Ghost Towns. On the hunt for ghosts
Journeys | 21.02.2019
Every one of these abandoned cities has its own atmosphere. Some look like horror they're straight from the sets of horror films, others resemble mystical settlements full of secrets. We've put together the most interesting ghost towns for those who are drawn not only to famous sights.
Kolmanskop, Namibia
In 1908, the first diamond was found here, and from that moment the history of the town began, which emptied out as quickly as it became rich. The usual point on the map became the centre of the diamond rush. Large houses were built in the town in typical German style and infrastructure was developed.
It's worth noting that the locals even built an ice and lemonade factory here so that it would be nice to have a glass on a hot summer's day. The first X-ray machine in South Africa was also located here.
But when larger deposits of diamonds were found, the buildings began to empty, and people left. Gradually Kolmanskop turned into a sandy ghost town and an attraction for tourists.
Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Bagan is also known as the city of 2000 temples. In fact, only Bagan airport appears on the map, and the settlement itself does not seem to exist. The city was built in the year 841 and was first a fortress, but gradually became an important strategic point on the Irrawaddy trade route, and then the capital of the kingdom, once it had united. The greatness of the city were its pagodas, which, as many say, amounted to more than 20 thousand, but most were destroyed due to wars and earthquakes.
The city fell in 1287, when Kublai Khan attacked it. Since then, only a few villages have continued to exist, and people go to Bagan to look at the incredible architecture of the pagodas. There are about 4,000 temples in the city, and here they also make excellent bamboo dishes that do not let water through.
Pyramiden, Svalbard
Pyramiden, the Soviet ghost town in Svalbard. The name was created because of its proximity to the mountain, which looks like a pyramid. There is a distance of only 1,300km to the North Pole, and 120km to Barentsburg, the capital of Svalbard. Nobody has travelled here for a long time, but now the Pyramid is gaining popularity among tourists.
The city survived on coal mining, and when in 1988 they decided to stop mining, the village was deserted. Although the city looks a bit creepy, it is surrounded by incredible northern nature, and opposite the famous mountain is the Nordenskiöldbreen Glacier.
Pripyat, Ukraine
Before the catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on 26 April 1986, the population was almost 50 thousand people. Now the city looks more like a horror film set. After the accident, more than 200 local villages suffered, but only Pripyat became a famous place and a tourist point on the map. The city is located on the bank of the Pripyat River, 3km from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, near the border with Belarus.
Workers of the power plant used to live here, the best were sent to work in Chernobyl, and the city itself was an example of a perfect Soviet city. Looking at the city now, it's hard to imagine.
The exclusion zone has become popular among new seekers. There are guided tours around Pripyat, you can walk around the ghost town and visit the most terrifying amusement park in the world.
Chaitén, Chile
Once a major port town, now another ghost town on the world map. After the eruption in 2008 of the Chaitén volcano, the entire population had to be evacuated. No one was injured, but 10,000 of the town's residents could not return home, as the town was deemed to be beyond repair.
Now the town is filled with ashes, the buildings look like they're from a zombie computer game, which, by the way, only 10% have survived. It's not possible to see the city completely as only separate areas are available for tourists.
Bodie, USA
Another town that quickly developed thanks to minerals and faded away just as quickly. The history of the town began with the gold rush, when William C. Bodie found a gold mine at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The settlement quickly became rich, the total amount of gold recovered in the history of the Bodie Mine was more than 30 million dollars.
The settlement, with an initial population of 30 people, quickly grew to 5,000. The town was actively developing and banks, churches and restaurants were built. As is often the case with cities built around mines, the life of Bodie ended up with gold reserves. The city began to empty in 1900. As the amount of gold dwindled, people began to leave, and a fire in 1932 almost completely devastated it. The history of the settlement ended in 1942, when the last inhabitants left, and the railway was removed.
Now Bodie is one of the few remaining well-preserved ghost towns and has turned into a landmark and has even acquired the status of a historical park. Every year 200,000 tourists come here.
Oradour-sur-Glane, France
People call this village 'dead', and that's because it is exactly that, following the terrible events that occurred here on 10th June 1944. The settlement suffered greatly from the Second World War. On the night of 10-11th June, German soldiers stormed the village.
People call this village 'dead', and that's because it is exactly that, following the terrible events that occurred here on 10th June 1944. The settlement suffered greatly from the Second World War. On the night of 10-11th June, German soldiers stormed the village.
Craco, Italy
Thanks to the surrounding landscape, the medieval village in the south of Italy in the Basilicata region does not look eerie, but rather mysterious. Olive groves, verdant fields and rocks on which abandoned stone houses are located.
People migrated from here in 1963 after a strong earthquake, which as a result, it became unsafe to live in the city. It houses the 13th century Norman castle with an entrance gate and a preserved tower, as well as the church of St. Nicholas, built in Baroque style. People come here not to be frightened, but to admire the ancient architecture.
Traveling to a ghost town could be quite an unconventional adventure if you want to experience something new. In such places, the sea will provide you with a special type of energy and all your impressions during your trip.
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