Thursday, February 4, 2016

An old fishing hut in the lake


This old fishing hut was built in the crystal clear waters of Germany's Obersee lake. The lake is inside the Berchtesgaden National Park, in the mountainous area of Berchtesgaden Alps, very close to the borders with Austria. The national park was established in 1978 to protect this area of natural beauty. 


SEE ALSO: More abandoned places in Germany // VIEW ALL DESERTED PLACES
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Inside Costa Concordia cruise ship

View on Google Maps (as of February, 2016)

It all started on the evening of January 13th, 2012. The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, carrying 4,252 people on its first leg of a Mediterranean cruise, struck an underwater rock while sailing too close to Isola del Giglio island, off the coast of Italy. The ship started capsizing and an evacuation effort began with the assistance of locals as well as the Italian Air Force. While most people made it to shore safely, 32 passengers and crew died during the disaster.

In the following months, one of the largest and most expensive (its total cost reached $1.2 billion) salvage operations ever commenced, aiming to refloat and remove the half-sunk cruise ship. Using huge sponsons attached to its sides as well as an underwater steel platform, Costa Concordia took an upright position on September 2013 and was finally refloated in July 2014. The ship was finally towed to the port of Genoa where it was moored against a wharf that had been specially prepared to receive the vessel for dismantling. This operation is expected to last several years. 

Since 2014 only a handful of photos from the interior of Consta Concordia have been published, mainly by the Italian Carabinieri. Last year, German photographer Jonathan Danko Kielkowski swam 200 metres to the ship and jumped on board for a photoshoot. In his photos we see that much of the ship's furniture and equipment remain on board. Among them, luggage, wheelchairs, prams and other personal belongings of passengers who abandoned the ship on that January night four years ago.


SEE ALSO: More abandoned ships // More abandoned places in Italy // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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Monday, January 25, 2016

An abandoned Soviet interplanetary communication link center

This abandoned Soviet interplanetary communication link center was photographed by urban explorer Ulter1or, after walking dozens of kilometers through the snow. The complex includes a huge antenna with a diameter of 75 meters (75 feet), as well as a 2-story underground command center.

The main task of this communication center was the monitoring and control of a number of spacecrafts of the pioneering Soviet space program. Among them, the world's first satellitethe first manned space flight, the flight of the first woman - cosmonautthe first spacewalk, and the first transmission of a color image with the use of artificial satellites.

Inside the complex, mechanical equipment and archives have been left abandoned. An underground bunker features the center's control room as well as storage rooms and living quarters. Clothes hanging on hangers and dusty household appliances give the impression that the space is temporarily abandoned and ghost soldiers are still operating the machines. And indeed, the fresh tire marks on the snow indicate there is still some military presence around the area. 



SEE ALSO: More abandoned space exploration facilities // More abandoned military facilities // More abandoned places in Russia // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dair Mar Elia, Iraq's oldest Christian monastery

Situated just south of Mosul, St. Elijah's Monastery, called Dair Mar Elia by locals, was the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq. The monastery was founded in 595 AD by Mar Elia, an Assyrian monk. For centuries, Dair Mar Elia was the center of the region's Christian community, who would visit every year to observe the Mar Elia Holiday, which falls on the last Wednesday of November. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of Christ's name, were carved near the entrance

In 1743, the Persian leader Tahmaz Nadir Shah ordered the destruction of the monastery and the death of the monks who dwelt there for refusing to convert to Islam. Even though it was left abandoned for the next 200 years, it still attracted visitors to its ruins. Some restoration took place in the beginning of 20th century, and during the Second World War the monastery became a place of refuge for the local population.

A significant restoration effort was initiated, ironically, by the US army during the Iraq War. The monastery was enclosed inside the American Forward Operating Base Marez, initially becoming the base's garbage dump. An eagle symbol was painted on an ancient wall, while another wall was smashed by a tank turret blown off in battle. After an American military chaplain realised the monastery's significance, the US troops made a topographical survey of the site and continued guarding it even after the base was vacated. Iraqi archaelogists started working at the site for the first time since before the Second Gulf War in May 2008.

The monastery, which survived complete destruction by war and conquerors for 1400 years, was completely demolished by ISIS at some point before September 2014.




SEE ALSO: More abandoned places in Iraq // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, January 18, 2016

The abandoned Rockland Psychiatric Center in New York



Rockland Psychiatric Center, known initially as Rockland State Hospital for the Insane, was established in 1927 in Orangeburg, New York. It was a time when mental patients were segregated from society and new psychiatric institutions were essential to relieve older overcrowded ones.

By its peak in 1959, Rockland had more than 9000 residents and a staff of 2000. Its grounds contained a power plant, a farm, a bowling alley used to entertain the patients, and various shops where patients produced things like the hospital's furniture. Once, Rockland State Hospital was named the best planned state hospital in history.

However, as more and more patients were admitted into the hospital, escapes became a regular occurrence. Many murders taking place around the grounds of Rockland were attributed to the hospital's escapees. The situation became worse during World War II when many male attendants left to join the armed forces. The overcrowding and lack of personnel led to many instances of abuse and negligence. Shock therapy and lobotomy were the only treatment methods available for severe cases of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

From the 1960's the development of antipsychotic drugs meant that many patients were now able to live independently outside of the asylum system. Since the 1970's Rockland Psychiatric Center has been mainly operating as an outpatient facility. By 1999 it housed less than 600 patients while today the inpatient treatment center has 410 beds.

Starting in the 1930s and 1940s, buildings on the majority of the site have been abandoned and are closed to the public. The abandoned hospital buildings represent one of the largest intact psychiatric hospital facilities in the United States. During the last years, the exterior of these buildings has been used as a shooting location for the tv series Orange is the New Black.



SEE ALSO: More abandoned places in New York // More abandoned places in the United States // More abandoned hospitals // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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Monday, January 11, 2016

Tour the abandoned Star Wars film sets in Tunisia



Why would hundreds of Star Wars fans visit the Tunisian desert every year? Because that's the filming location George Lucas chose to film many scenes for his Star Wars movie franchise. Being in the Sahara desert definitely gives you a feeling you're out of this planet which was needed for the movies. The desert also provided inspiration for Lucas. The planet Tatooine was named after the town of Tataouine, located close to a filming location.

Most of the sets are still in relative good state as there was no reason to be taken down due to their location. Star Wars fans have even raised money and worked with locals to restore some of them and today. In 2005 there were reports that Star Wars set were under threat by ISIS, however Tunisian authorities reassured visitors that no such threat exists.



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Thursday, January 7, 2016

A semi-submerged church in northern Italy



In South Tyrol, northern Italy, close to the Italian borders with Austria and Switzerland, there's the artificial lake of Reschensee (Lago di Resia in Italian), which is known for a little more than the nature surrounding it: the steeple of a submerged 14th-century church which is visible all year round in the middle of the lake. 


Together with the church, the whole town of Graun im Vinschgau (Curon Venosta) needed to be moved to a higher ground to make space for the lake. In total, 163 homes and 523 hectares (1,290 acres) of cultivated land were submerged in 1950. 

Today the church bell, which can be visited on foot when the lake freezes in winter, can be seen on the coat of arm of the newer Curon Venosta town which know sits on the shores of Reschensee. A legend says that during winter one can still hear church bells ring even though in reality the bells were removed from the tower on July 18, 1950, a week before the demolition of the church nave and the creation of the lake.


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Monday, January 4, 2016

Okpo Land: An abandoned amusement park in South Korea



Okpo Land was an amusement park built on top of a mountain, in the outskirts of Okpo-dong neighborhood, on South Korea's Geoje island. The park has a controversial history as it was a site of 2 fatal accidents before authorities shut it down. 

In the middle 1990's a person died on the park's famous duck-themed coaster, but his family received no compensation or apology from the park. When the exact same accident occurred again in 1999, the park's owner disappeared overnight, leaving the second victim's family again with no compensation or apology. Soon after, the park was declared unsafe by the authorities and shut down. For years, the cart where the second victim died, was left hanging off the edge of the ride's tracks. 

What was left from Okpo Land park was finally demolished in 2011.


SEE ALSO: More deserted amusement parks // More deserted theme parks // VIEW ALL DESERTED PLACES

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Monday, December 28, 2015

15 Deserted Places we discovered in 2015

As 2015 draws to a close (how fast was that?), it's time to remember the 15 best posts of the year. Again, some of those were the most visited by you, while other, my personal favorites.   

While for most of this year posts on our blog were scarce, we want 2016 to be the year we'll discover more deserted places than ever before. I'll try to have at least 1 or 2 new posts for every week of the year. 

Something else 2016 will bring, starting with our first post of the year next week, will be Google maps links for as many deserted places as possible. Moreover, another old promise of mine will become reality: a catalog of every deserted place we've published, arranged by location.

I would like to thank all of you for visiting this blog, for commenting on our posts and sharing them with your friends online. 

If you don't want to miss any post, you can always follow us on twitter or like us on facebook.

Finally, I'd like to wish a happy and healthy 2016 for each and every one of you!

See you around,

'The most beautiful subway station in the world' is one of New York's ghost stations. City Hall station, featuring Guastavino tile, skylights, colored glass tilework and brass chandeliers has been closed since 1945. They don't make them like that anymore. (More photos)




From Manhattan we move to Brooklyn where the Domino Sugar Refinery was the biggest sugar refinery in the world when it opened in 1882. It finally shut down in 2004 after 148 years of operation and it's a must-see if you're into abandoned industrial buildings. (More photos)

The ghost town of Kayakoy used to be a prosperous village during the second half of the 19th century. Greeks and Turks lived peacefully next to each other but it all changed after 1922. The Greek population was expelled and Kayakoy was abandoned. (More photos)

As many dictators often do, Benito Mussolini built several underground bankers underneath Rome to protect himself as well as other party leaders. This one was built under his Villa Torlonia residence and this year opened to the public for the first time. (More photos)

Keranis used to be the biggest Greek tobacco company. Its Athens factory would produce more than 2.5 million cigarettes per shift. The business went into serious decline in the 1990's and the factory was shut down around the turn of the century. (More photos)



Monday, December 21, 2015

The abandoned Rolling Acres Mall in Ohio

Rolling Acres Mall opened in 1975 in the Rolling Acres area of Akron, Ohio. It started with 21 stores but through the next 2 decades it expanded multiple times reaching more than 140 stores, including five anchor stores, a movie theater and a food court.

The mall's demise began in the late 1990's when it started losing stores. Two of its anchor stores, Dillard's and JCPenney, were downgraded to clearance centers in 1997 and 1999. In 2000 the mall was sold to Bankers Trust who gave the mall a new logo as well as a website. The mall's cinema -closed since 1993- reopened again only to be closed once more 2 years later. 

In 2006, big stores started leaving Rolling Acres. Target, Dillard's Clearance Center and Macy's were all closed by 2008. The only stores to remain in operation by the end of the year in the now empty mall were Sears and JCPenney Outlet. Both of them finally moved out in December 2013. Since then, the abandoned Rolling Acres Mall has changed owners multiple times. None of them were able to reopen it. 


More deserted places in the United States

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