The final week of 2016 is here, which means it's time to remember 16 deserted places we discovered during the last year. As always, some of these posts are the ones most viewed by you, while other are my personal favorites.
2016 was a great year for this blog as we managed to post more photos of deserted places than ever before. A record of 75 posts, which is about 1.5 posts per week.
Many of those posts (when possible) had a link to Google Maps so you can do your own (online or offline) exploring. Similar links were added to posts dating back to 2012.
Moreover, a promise we gave years ago became reality at last. An index of all deserted places we've explored, arranged by location and type.
Once more, I'd like to thank you for your visits, comments, suggestions, and for sharing our posts with your friends.
2017 is going to be the 5th year of this blog, and we're determined to make it a good one.
Wishing you all a happier and healthier 2017!
1. A semi-submerged church in northern Italy
In 1950, the Italian town of Graun im Vinschgau (Curon Venosta) had to be submerged to create the artificial Reschensee lake (Lago di Resia). The town's tallest structure, the steeple of a 14th-century church is still visible all year round and can be even visited on foot when the lake freezes during the winter months. (More photos)
2. Tour the abandoned Star Wars film sets in Tunisia
George Lucas went to the Tunisian desert to shoot many scenes for his Star Wars movie franchise. Most of the sets are in relatively good state having survived the threat of ISIS, and are visited every year by hundreds of Star Wars movie fans. (More photos)
3. Michigan Central Station: The most iconic abandoned building of Detroit
Michigan Central Station opened its doors in 1914, being the tallest railway station in the world. Initially, more than 200 trains would depart each day but after World War II railway's decline began. Amtrak made many efforts to revive the station in the 1970's and 80's until it shut down in 1988. (More photos)
4. The legendary TWA Flight Center terminal of JFK airport
Designed by the famous Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the TWA Flight Center Terminal of JFK airport in New York City, opened in 1962 for the exclusive use of Trans Air Airlines. Although it was considered revolutionary for its time, the arrival of jumbo jets and the increase of passenger volume, made it inadequate. The terminal shut down in 2001 and has been abandoned since. (More photos)
5. Inside an abandoned Belgian power plant
Power Plant IM opened in 1921 in the Belgian city of Charleroi. It was one of the largest coal burning power plants in Belgium but also one of the largest polluters, responsible for 10% of the country's carbon dioxide emissions. It has been abandoned since 2007. (More photos)
6. The Dead Cities of northern Syria
In the northwest of Syria, between the cities of Aleppo and Idlib, lies on of the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the world, the Dead Cities of Syria. More than 700 settlements grouped in 8 archaeological parts provide an insight into rural life in Late Antiquity and during the Byzantine period. (More photos)
7. Romania's abandoned Casino Constanta
From 1910 and for the next 80 years, Casino Costanta was a place of gathering for Romania's wealthy as well as international jet setters. The art nouveau building was used as a hospital during World War II and later converted into a restaurant. Although declared a historic monument, it has been abandoned since 1990. (More photos)
8. Beijing's abandoned Olympic venues
Many of the venues Beijing constructed for their 2008 Olympic Games, including those for kayaking, beach volleyball, BMX, and baseball have been sitting untouched since 2008. In photos, taken the years after the Games, signage and landscaping appear to have gone without maintenance since the closing ceremonies. (More photos)
9. Tiki Palace: An abandoned Playboy mansion in Tennessee
The Tiki Palace party mansion was built in 1972 by a strip-club tycoon in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 5,600 sq foot 3-bedroom mansion features a Playboy bunny shaped swimming pool just off the main entrance. The mansion fell into disrepair when its owner was nicked for income tax evasion while later he was convicted of hiring an assassin to kill his wife's lover. (More photos)
10. Inside Michael Jackson's abandoned Neverland Ranch
Neverland Ranch was Michael Jackson's home for 17 years. Inside the 3,000 acres ranch the King of Pop built a private amusement park, two railroads, and a zoo. From 2003 the ranch was searched multiple time by police and Michael Jackson decided he didn't want to live there ever again. After his death in 2009 the ranch has been left abandoned, waiting for its next owner. (More photos)
Built on a hill, overlooking Baguio City, Philippines, the Diplomat Hotel was constructed as a retreat house for Catholic monks. It was later converted into a school and into a hospital during World War II. After the war it became a hotel. Its most famous owner was a 'faith healer' who performed psychic surgery to patients from all over the world during the 1970's. (More photos)
Budapest's Kelenföld power plant is an incredible example of thoughtful industrial design from the prewar era with its Art Deco control room, with a massive glass ceiling, being one of the more recognizable features. The control room, as well as the largest part of the power plant shut down and was abandoned in 2005, while a part of the plant is privately owned and still in operation. (More photos)
13. The abandoned Family School Fureai in Japan
The Japanese city of Yubari has seen its population plummet during the last decades as the local coal production was halted. The city's elementary school had to close as well due to lack of students. Although the building was converted into a public dormitory, Family School Fureai, the company went bankrupt in 2006 and the school closed forever. (More photos)
14. The abandoned 'Chicken Church' of Indonesia
Although nicknamed 'Chicken Church', this giant abandoned structure on the the hills of Magelang, in Java, Indonesia, it was built as a prayer house built in the shape of a dove. The man who built it claims he received a message from God asking him to built a place where people from all religions could pray. Construction was never completed due to high costs but the 'Chicken Church' has become an attraction for locals and tourists. (More photos)
15. An abandoned hotel in the south of France
Looking like an old abandoned ship, Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert in Cerbère, France is squeezed between the train tracks and a street. The art deco building, which also included a cinema and a tennis court, operated from the 1930's till 1983. Today, parts of the hotel are used as apartments. (More photos)
16. The abandoned 'Orient Express' train in Belgium
This abandoned train in a railway yard somewhere in Belgium went viral when someone online called it an 'Orient Express' train. Although it's not an 'Orient Express' train, it's certainly an certainly an impressive reminder of a past era. (More photos)