Just because a place has been abandoned, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s scary. You might not know it yet but abandoned places can actually be very stunning. There is something mysteriously fascinating about abandoned places that make you wonder about its history and how it became the way it currently is. Despite being abandoned, these places are actually still some of the most spectacular places you’ll find on earth. Underneath all the dust, cobwebs, and rust, know that many abandoned places were once a remarkable center of human activity even though something went wrong along the way, leading the people that were once there to evacuate the area. To give you an idea on just how incredible these places can be, here are five of the most beautiful abandoned places in the world.
- Temple of Santiago, Mexico
The Temple of Santiago was abandoned in the 1770s because of the smallpox epidemic. Since the completion of a dam in 1966 that created the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir in Chiapas, the Temple of Santiago rests under about 100 feet of water. However, because of an extreme drought in Southern Mexico, the waters surrounding the long-abandoned, 450-year old church dropped to approximately 80 feet. Although the circumstances are unfortunate, it made the church visible above the waterline, revealing the temple’s stunning and striking beauty.
- Christ of the Abyss, Italy
Just off San Fruttuoso, between Camogli and Portofino on the Italian Riviera, 15 meters underwater, you’ll find the bronze statue of Jesus Christ. Duilio Marcante had the idea of installing a statue of Christ on the seabed following the death of Dario Gonzatti. The statue was built by the sculptor Guido Galletti with the hands of Christ addressed to the surface as a sign of peace. On August 22, 1954, the 2.5 meter-high statue was placed underwater by the Italian Navy with the help of many divers.
- Pripyat, Ukraine
Many know of the ill-fated Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and how it caused the 50,000 inhabitants of the nearby town, only 3 kilometers away from the reactor, to immediately evacuate following a nuclear accident. The once beautiful town of Pripyat, by Soviet standards, was originally constructed for the personnel of the power plant. Because of the short-notice and immediate evacuation, many dolls, cots, pillows, and items can be found littering the town. Even a Ferris wheel still stands tall in the middle of what used to be the town’s playground. Decades after the catastrophe, nature reclaims the town as grass breaks through the cracks in the pavement, and trees grow through broken windows. The town of Pripyat is still undeniably stunning until today, although now in a much different way.
- Gouqi Island, China
Because of the diverse developments in the fishing industry, many fishing villages have become abandoned, including Gouqi Island. Gouqi Island is one of the 400 islands, collectively known as the Shengsi Islands, in the Zhoushan Archipelago, the largest archipelago in China, located outside Hangzhou Bay. However, Gouqi Island has been preserved well and the Shengsi Islands still attract more than 100,000 fishermen every winter since it is still an important fishery area. The Shengsi Islands have become a popular tourist destination as well. If you visit the Gouqi Island, you’ll find its stunning buildings covered in ivy and greenery, giving off a sense of tranquillity unlike any other abandoned place on earth.
- Kolmanskop, Namibia
In southern Namibia, in the Namib desert, you’ll find the ghost town of Kolmanskop surrounded by knee-deep sand. The small town was once a very rich mining village where German miners settled to exploit its diamonds. Because of the wealth that the diamonds brought, the residents built a lot of amenities and institutions in the town, including schools, hospitals, casinos, theatres, and even the first x-ray station in the southern hemisphere. However, eventually, the diamonds ran out and the town declined after World War I, ultimately leading to its abandonment by 1954.