Monday, October 26, 2015

The Mexican Island of the Dolls

Dolls with severed limbs, decapitated heads and blank eyes can be seen all over the abandoned Isla de las Muñecas - the Island of the Dolls. The island, created as an artificial agricultural plot or chinampa, in the canals of Xochimilco, south of Mexico City, used to belong to a man called Julián Santana Barrera.

The story goes that Barrera found a little girl drowned under mysterious circumstances while he was not able to save her life. Near her dead body he found a floating doll, possibly belonging to the dead girl. He picked up the doll and hung it to a tree, as a way of showing respect to the spirit of the girl. That's when he started collecting the old broken bodies of dolls from the canals and rubbish tips, and hang them from branches and tree trunks to keep away evil spirits and appease the spirit of a dead girl he had found.

He then started believing that the dolls were possessed by the spirits of dead girls and that they would come to life every night and walk around the island. In 2001, Barrera was found drowned at exactly the same place he discovered the little girl 50 years earlier. Since then, visitors stared going to the island, often bringing their own dolls. The creepy dolls are today the sole inhabitants of Isla de las Muñecas.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned islands around the world // More abandoned places in Mexico // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

A sunken yacht in Antarctica

From April 7th, 2012 and for about a year, the Brazilian research vessel Mar Sem Fim ("Endless Sea") could be seen under the freezing shallow waters of Maxwell Bay in Antarctica

It all started when the 76-ft boat, owned by Brazilian journalist João Lara Mesquita, struck the ice while carrying a crew of four researchers filming a documentary. As the ship began to sink, the crew was rescued by Chilean Navy. For the next months, the ship could be seen from the surface, under 9 meters (30 feet) of water.

A year later, the owner João Lara Mesquita returned to the site to save the ship. The vessel was surfaced using inflated buoys and was then towed back to the shore. After a year covered in sea water, Mar Sem Fim was deemed beyond repair.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

The deserted Giersdorf Church in Poland

Żeliszów is a small village in south-western Poland, very close to the German borders. In fact, until 1945 and the end of World War II, Żeliszów was in Germany. There, the evangelical Giersdorf (the German name of Żeliszów) church was built between 1796-1797 by the design of self-taught architect Carl Gotthard Langhans, whose best known work is the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, The church was built in an elliptical shape with dimensions of about 20x30 meters. In 1872, by the design of local architect Peter Gansel the bell tower was built out of bolesławiecki sandstone.

The church, which locals called "the Pearl of Żeliszó", survived World War II but was deserted after Żeliszów became a part of Poland and fell in disrepair. Currently, it's undergoing renovations by Your Heritage Foundation (Fundacja Twoje Dziedzictwo) and it's going to be used as a multifunctional arena for cultural events, concerts, films, and photos.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The abandoned Kilchurn Castle in Scotland

Kilchurn Castle was built around 1450 by Sir Colin Campbell, first Lord of Glenorchy on an island inside Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was a a five storey tower house with a courtyard, defended by an outer wall. 

During the next centuries, the castle was extended and new chambers were built. In 1681, the castle was turned into a modern barracks, capable of housing 200 troops by its then owner, Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy, 1st Earl of Breadalbane. During the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite risings, Kilchurn was used as a government garrison. 

The castle was abandoned in 1760, when it was badly damaged by lightning. The remains of a turret of a tower, are still resting upside-down in the centre of the courtyard. In 1817, the water level fell and since then the castle is connected to the mainland, resting on on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe.

Today, Kilchurn Castle is in the care of Historic Scotland and it is open for visits during the summer months. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Abandoned Sinai hotels

Between 2001 and 2004, the Munich artist duo Haubitz + Zoche visited the Egyptian Sinai peninsula and took photos of concrete skeletons of abandoned 5-star hotel complexes for their project Sinai Hotels. 

The reasons for the abandoning of these construction projects at resort sites are many and varied, ranging from bad investment and misappropriated state subsidized loans to diminishing tourism as confidence was undermined by the reports of terrorist attacks.

'Sultan’s Palace’, ‘Sindbad’, ‘Sunestra’ and the ‘Magic Life Imperial’ are the names of some of those would be hotels that now remain abandoned against the background of mountain and desert landscapes. 

'Sinai Hotels' won the German Photobook Prize in 2007. 

SEE ALSO: The deserted hotels of Sharm el Seikh, Egypt // More abandoned hotels around the world // More abandoned places in the desert // More abandoned places in Egypt // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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