These abandoned places turned tourist attractions offer a mix of historical significance, architectural beauty, and a sense of intrigue. They provide visitors with a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the eerie beauty and stories of the past.
Craco's story, geological challenges, and visual appeal make it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts, photographers, and adventurers alike. Perched on a hilltop in southern Italy, Craco is an abandoned medieval village with a rich history dating back to the 8th century. Due to geological instability and natural disasters, the town was abandoned in the 1960s. Guided tours offer a chance to wander through its empty streets and admire the scenic views. The location's unique and atmospheric appearance made it a filming site for several movies, including "Quantum of Solace," a James Bond film, and "The Passion of the Christ," directed by Mel Gibson.
Machu Picchu, Peru:
Machu Picchu continues to captivate visitors with its mystical aura, breathtaking vistas, and intricate architectural marvels. It stands as a testament to the ingenuity and cultural legacy of the Inca civilization. Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. It is recognized for its exceptional cultural and natural value and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Although not entirely abandoned, Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city that lay hidden in the mountains until its rediscovery in 1911. Today, it is a major tourist attraction and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Hashima Island, Japan:
Hashima Island's unique history, architectural remnants, and evocative atmosphere have made it a captivating destination for exploration and reflection on the changing landscapes of industry and human habitation. Also known as Gunkanjima or Battleship Island, Hashima Island is an abandoned coal mining facility off the coast of Nagasaki. Once a densely populated mining town, it became uninhabited in the 1970s. Hashima Island gained international recognition when it was featured in the James Bond film "Skyfall" (2012). In 2015, Hashima Island was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the "Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution." Guided tours offer a unique opportunity to explore the decaying buildings and learn about its history.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia:
Angkor Wat is not only a remarkable architectural marvel but also a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Cambodia. Its grandeur, historical importance, and artistic beauty make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, photographers, and explorers of ancient civilizations. Angkor Wat is a symbol of national pride and is featured on the Cambodian national flag. The ancient city of Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Temples like Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm were reclaimed by nature over centuries, with massive tree roots intertwining with the stone structures. These breathtaking ruins attract tourists from around the world every year.
Pripyat was once a thriving city and a model Soviet-planned community. It was specifically built to accommodate the workers and families of the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The city was carefully designed with modern amenities, including schools, hospitals, cultural centers, and even an amusement park called "Pripyat Amusement Park," which featured a Ferris wheel and other attractions. Following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, the city of Pripyat was evacuated. Today, it stands as a haunting reminder of the tragedy. Guided tours allow visitors to explore abandoned buildings, schools, and amusement parks, offering a chilling glimpse into the past.