These 26 beautiful ruins are guaranteed to take your breath away. Each one of them has its own unique story behind its abandonment. These places are a testament to humanity’s ability to survive despite the constant passing of the changes that take place over time. If you ever are able to visit these amazing ruins in person they will definitely give you a unique look into the history of humanity. If you have the urge to travel, be sure to visit Gamma Travel.
26. PRIPYAT, UKRAINE.
The city of Pripyat, Ukraine had a population of nearly 50,000 when it was completely abandoned after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The abandoned city has been untouched because of the massive amounts of radiation. See the city here. Nature has now retaken the city in a way that makes it look like a post-apocalyptic world.
25. BANNERMAN CASTLE – POLLEPEL ISLAND, NEW YORK.
Francis Bannerman VI built the Bannerman Castle as a storage space after buying the American military surplus after the war with the Spanish. In 1920, 200 lbs of ammunition exploded and much of the castle was destroyed, after this the castle was abandoned. The castle is located on Pollepel Island, which you can view here.
24. DISNEY’S DISCOVERY ISLAND – LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA.
This abandoned island was a former wildlife attraction in the middle of Disney World. Rumor has it that the island was abandoned after people discovered deadly bacteria in the surrounding water. Disney claims that the island was shut down due to all of the animals being transferred to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can view more information about the island here.
23. ANIVA ROCK LIGHTHOUSE – SAKHALINSKAYA OBLAST, RUSSIA.
Aniva is a formal penal island that was used by the Russians. Originally the island was being fought over by Russia and Japan. It is now controlled by Russia but sits uninhabited in the ocean between the eastern coast of Russian and Japan. View more about the lighthouse here.
The Canfranc Rail Station was a part of the international railway route through Spain and France. After an accident in 1970, a nearby bridge was destroyed and along with it the international rail link between both countries. Canfranc has been abandoned ever since. View the former rail station here.
21. CHATEAU MIRANDA – CELLES, BELGIUM.
Chateau Miranda was built by French aristocrats who were fleeing the revolution. During and after World War II, it was converted into an orphanage. Eventually, in 1980, the castle was abandoned, with the family that owned it refusing to let authorities care for it. Sometimes, it is rumored, that you can see ghosts walking around inside of the building. View it here.
20. CITY HALL STATION – NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK.
The City Hall Station in New York City was built in 1904. It was then opened to the public but was shut down in 1945 since only around 600 people used it on a daily basis. See more here.
19. ORPHEUM AUDITORIUM – NEW BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS.
The Orpheum Auditorium opened in New Bedford, Massachusetts on April 15th, 1912. Even though most of the building is deserted, a supermarket actually occupies part of the property. View more information here.
18. ABANDONED POWER PLANT – BELGIUM.
In Monceau, Belgium the I.M. Cooling Tower is a building that’s part of an abandoned power plant. The tower worked by cooling incoming hot water by using wind. The wind entered the opening, at the bottom of the tower, and then rise upward, cooling the hot water. In its prime the I.M. Cooling Tower cooled as much as 480,000 gallons of water per minute. See more about it here.
17. SALTO HOTEL – BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA.
An old, abandoned hotel sitting next to a 515-foot waterfall ouside of Bogotá, Colombia, Hotel del Salto opened in 1928. The hotel used to have many clients but when the Bogotá River was contaminated the tourism industry in the area went away. The hotel was finally closed in the 1990’s and was left uninhabited. The hotel is rumored to be haunted, mostly because of the large number of suicides that have occurred around the waterfall. The hotel was recently renovated in 2012 and made into a museum. View it here.
16. CRACO – BASILICATA, ITALY.
An abandoned medieval village, Craco is located in the Region of Basilicata and the Province of Matera. Greek people settled in the town in 540 AD when they had moved into the area. The town had many calamities that included: plagues, poor agricultural conditions, and earthquakes. Landslides caused a large amount of damage to the area in between 1959 and 1972. In 1963 the last of the town’s 1,800 citizens moved to a valley in another area. You can see it here. The town is now abandoned but is sometimes used in films.
15. WRECK OF THE S.S. AMERICA – FUERTEVENTURA, CANARY ISLANDS.
A former U.S. ocean liner, the S.S. America, was wrecked in 1994 after being in use for 54 years. It now lies stranded in the shallows of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. The beautifully abandoned wreck looks extremely picturesque lying amongst the waves.
14. BEELITZ-HEILSTÄTTEN MILITARY HOSPITAL – BEELITZ, GERMANY.
Beelitz-Heilstätten is a military hospital where Hitler and Honecker were both treated for injuries sustained in WWI and the last days of East Germany. This huge military hospital compound now lies deserted. It has long corridors and modern window frames that still have the glass intact.
13. HOLLAND ISLAND IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY – DORCHESTER, MARYLAND.
Holland Island was settled towards the last decades of the 1600’s and reached a peak population of 360 between 1890 and 1910. In the 1920’s the erosion caused from the bay forced the residents of the island to leave. View it here. The only remaining residents are those that were buried in the graveyards on the island that are slowly eroding into the bay.
12. RANCHO LOS AMIGOS – DOWNEY, CALIFORNIA.
The Rancho Los Amigos Hospital is also know as the “Hollydale Mental Hospital” or “Downey Insane Asylum.” The hospital was built in 1888 for much more than caring for mentally ill, it was also created to care for handicapped, homeless, insane, and elderly. The southern campus is the part of the hospital that has been uninhabited since the late 1950’s. Plans to redevelop the south campus have deteriorated over time and it seems as though it will be left uninhabited. You can see pictures and information on the abandoned southern campus of Rancho Los Amigos Hospital here.
11. ABANDONED CITY – KEELUNG, TAIWAN.
The city of Keelung, Taiwan have nothing written about them in the English language. The only tangible proof we have of this place are pictures that were taken and uploaded online, viewable here. Nobody knows why the area was deserted but all you can see on Google Maps is an empty plot of land with dense vegetation.
10. THE ENCHANTED FOREST – ELLICOTT CITY, MD.
Originally a theme park that was built in Ellicott City, Maryland in 1954. The original plan was that the park would have no mechanical rides and children would interact with costumed performers instead. Another company bought the park in 1992 and decided to close it permanently in 1996. You can view the park here.
90 km, about 56 miles, south of Bagdhad are the ruins of ancient Babylon, which is roughly translated as “the Gate of the Gods.” Babylon is one of the most famous ancient cities, known for refinement, beauty and magnificence. You can view the city here. The city flourished for 15 centuries until about the time of Alexander the Great in 322 B.C.
8. PALENQUE – MEXICO.
One of the most important Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico and Central America are the ruins of Palenque. Most of the building here were constructed between the 6th to 10th centuries. You can see the site here. Only 34 of around 500 buildings have been excavated.
7. RUINS OF AYUTTHAYA – THAILAND.
Ayutthaya was once a bustling metropolis, known internationally, with progress that rivaled even the capitals of European cities. Burma saw the city as a threat and burned and looted it. All that remains of the city are debris that have been converted into the Ayutthaya Historical Park. You can see the city here.
6. THE COLOSSEUM – ROME, ITALY.
The Colosseum of Rome, Italy is one of the most renowned works of Roman architecture. It is an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of Rome, Italy and is the largest one ever built in the time of the Roman Empire. It was capable of seating 50,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial games, mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas that were based upon Classical mythology.
Tikal was one of the biggest population centers of the Mayan civilization. The site has architecture that dates all the way back to 4th century B.C. Towards the end of its existence there is evidence that the elite palaces were burned and the population declined, leading eventually the site’s abandonment at the end of the 10th century.
4. CHICHÉN ITZÁ RUIN – YUCATÁN PENINSULA, MEXICO.
The ruins of Chichen Itza are located in the northern center of Yucatán Peninsula, in Mexico. The site shows a large variety of architectural styles from ones that are Mexican to some that show differences which experts believe to be the result of cultural diffusion. The region was mostly active from about 300 A.D. to 1200 A.D.
3. JESUITICAL RUINS – TRINIDAD, PARAGUAY.
25 km or about 16 miles from Encarnacion on the way to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. Trinidad was founded by natives from the mission of San Carlos and its main architects were father Juan Bautista Prímoli of Milan and the Catalan Jose Grimau. The west side of the city has the ruins of a tower and long chapel. View it here.
2. COPAN RUINS – HONDURAS.
Copan is one of the biggest and important Mayan capitals discovered to date. It is composed of pyramids, temples and 21 stone pillars that have exquisite carved likenesses of ancient Copan kings. This is a major archaeological discovery of modern times and provides us with a lot of information about Mayan civilization from the 400’s to the 800’s. View it here.
1. PALMYRA RUINS – SYRIA.
Palmyra is a hidden oasis in the heart of the Syrian Desert located near a hot-water spring named Afqa. The location of the city attracted the Romans who ruled it in the 1st century. The queen of the city, Zenobia, when the Romans conquered it poisoned herself while adorned in chains of gold. View the ruins here.