Monday, January 27, 2014

Inside an abandoned secret Russian military base

In February 2012 only 5 people were allowed to enter inside this abandoned Cold War era Russian military base on Kotlin island. Inside the base, part of which was a coastline anti-ship complex, there are many vehicles in good condition. The base was abandoned more than a dozen years ago. 





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Monday, January 20, 2014

Maunsell Forts: The abandoned sea forts from World War II

To protect London and other Thames settlements during World War II, the Royal Navy built several Maunsell forts, named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. During the war, the forts shot down 22 aircraft and about 30 flying bombs. They were decommissioned in the late 1950s. During the 60s, many of them were used as offshore pirate radio stations, as their size made them ideal antenna platforms. Today, Fort Roughs is occupied by a family claiming that the fort is an independent nation, called the Principality of Sealand.



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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The abandoned Château Rochendaal

Castle Rochendaal was built in 1881 by Jean-Henri-Paul Ulens, a lawyer and later mayor of the city of St. Truiden in Belgium. During World War II the small castle was occupied by the Nazis and became part of a Luftwaffe airfield which included 3 runways. Château Rochendaal was renovated and used as a residence for many high-ranking officers. After the War, the castle was taken over by the Belgian Air Force and used again as an officers' residence until 1996 when it was abandoned.


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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The old airport of Athens


Elliniko International Airport (also spelled Hellinikon) was the first, and for all its 60 years of operation, primary airport of the Greek capital. Its construction begun in 1938 but was cut short due to World War II. During the Nazi occupation of Greece, Kalamaki airfield, as it was known then, was used as a Luftwaffe base. After the end of occupation, a second runway and later, in 1969, a second terminal were constructed. Olympic Airways, the Greek national carrier used the West Terminal for its flights while all other airlines operated through the newly constructed East Terminal.

Even from the 70's it was obvious that the airport was nearing full capacity and Athens needed a newer airport, further away from the city center. The location was chosen early on but the construction begun only after Athens was given the 2004 Olympics. Eleftherios Venizelos airport finally opened on March 27th 2001. On the same day, an Olympic Airways Boeing 737 bound for Thessaloniki was the last flight to depart Ellinikon. 

After its closure, the western part of its runways was redeveloped. An Olympic Complex was constructed with venues of Canoe/Kayak, Hockey, Baseball and other sports. Those venues though were mostly left abandoned after the 2004 Olympics. At that time, the Greek government pledged to turn Ellinikon into the largest metropolitan park of Athens area, with a small portion only sold to private developers. Those plans failed though due to the economic crisis that followed and today's government is seeking an investor that will develop the site commercially. Until then, Ellinikon airport will remain an abandoned site.


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