Most Famous “Ghost Cities” In The World

Ghost cities are not only found in movies. Around the world, there are mysterious abandoned cities that attract thousands of tourists.
July 30, 2020 | 07:49
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If you are the kind of adventurous travellers, head out to explore some of the most attractive abandoned cities in the world.

Ordos Kangbashi (China): The largest ghost city in the world

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Ordos Kangbashi (China)

Located in Inner Mongolia, Ordos Kangbashi was designed to become a modern city with trendy architecture, large stadiums and beautiful public spaces. The city achieved all of that in less than 10 years, but it failed to attract people to settle down.

Ordos Kangbashi was built for 300,000 residents, but only 70,000 moved into the city.

Finally, those people also started to leave. The city stopped building and went bankrupt. Today, Ordos Kangbashi has become a ghost town, with most buildings left completely empty.

Ashgabat (Turkmenistan): Famous for its marble buildings

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Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)

Turkmenistan is a country of the former Soviet Union. President Saparmurat Niyazov planned to create a "golden era of Turkmenistan" in 1991 with the construction of Ashgabat.

He erected record-breaking buildings aiming to turn Ashgabat into the city with the most marble buildings in the world. In fact, this 4.5 million metres square city has 543 buildings made of this luxurious material. Ashgabat also has the largest ferris wheel in the world. Now this place has become a ghost town because of the country's isolated culture. Turkmenistan is also one of the least visited countries in the world.

Wittenoom (Australia): The “asbestos city”

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Wittenoom (Australia)

Founded in 1946, Wittenoom is a mining city in Western Australia whose nearby canyon was filled with asbestos - an important raw construction material in the early 20th century. By the early 1950s, Wittenoom was the largest city in the Pilbara region. As health concerns continuously grew, the reduced demand for asbestos has led to mines being closed in 1966 with most residents moved to find other jobs.

Wittenoom was officially shut down in 2007 and the Australian government has taken steps to restrict its citizens from entering the city and removed it from all official maps.

Ruby - Arizona (USA)

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Ruby - Arizona (USA)

As one of the best-preserved ghost cities in the southwestern United States, Ruby - Arizona remains a reminder of the wild west.

With a gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper mine established in the 1870s, Ruby officially became a city when it opened its first post office in 1910. The city and its surrounding area are the sites of three horrific double murders known as the "Ruby Murder". After the mines were shut down, the city was officially abandoned in 1940.

Varosha (Cyprus): Once a famous tourist destination

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Varosha (Cyprus)

During the early 1970s, Varosha was one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world.

In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus. When the Turkish and Greek troops confronted and bombarded the area around Varosha, its people fled. Later, despite being abandoned, Varosha has remained under the control of the Turkish Army since 1974.

The city was fenced, and no one but the military and UN staff was allowed in and out of the once beautiful tourist attraction.

Craco (Italia)

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Craco (Italia)

Craco was built before 1060. Throughout its thousands of years of history, Craco has witnessed many conflicts between monarchs, the army and various political factions.

In 1963, the last 1,800 residents were forced to leave Craco for their own safety and were moved to Craco Peschiera, a new town in the below valley. Since then, Craco has been abandoned, yet this is still one of Italy's famous tourist attractions and was added to the World Heritage Foundation's watchlist in 2010.

Centralia, Pennsylvania (USA)

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Centralia, Pennsylvania (USA)

An attempt to clean up the local landfill has ignited fires in coal seams below the surface of the small city of Pennsylvania.

During the years of a smoldering fire, residents have gradually abandoned their homes for fear of not only the flames at their feet but also unexpected sinks and carbon monoxide poisoning. Since then, the city became deserted.

However adventurous tourists still flock to Centralia and find a way to walk along the cracked path leading into the city.

Tianducheng (China)

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Tianducheng (China)

Tianducheng mimics the famous French city of Paris as the city has a miniature 91 metres high Eiffel Tower and a fountain copied from Luxembourg Garden.

With a capacity of more than 10,000 residents, so far the city remains largely deserted except for some amusement park near the “Eiffel tower”.

Pripyat (Ukraine)

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Pripyat (Ukraine)

Founded in 1970 as a "nuclear city", a city specifically built to accommodate workers at a nearby nuclear power plant, Pripyat has more than 13,000 apartments and schools for 5,000 children, dozens of shops and cafes, a movie theatre, a sports room, a cultural centre, several factories and a hospital.

After a nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl power plant in 1986 caused harmful radiation throughout the surrounding area, the entire city was evacuated. People from Pripyat have been resettled in the newly built Slavutych city. Since then Pripyat has become one of the largest ghost cities in the world.

Hashima Island (Japan)

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Hashima Island (Japan)

Hashima Island, commonly known as Gunkanjima (meaning Battleship Island), is an abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. Originally developed as a residence for people working in undersea coal mines in 1887, Hashima quickly expanded into an island of high-rise concrete buildings with more than 5,000 settlers.

In addition to the usual community buildings, the fortress on the island has a club, cinema, sauna, swimming pool, rooftop garden, shop and even a pachinko game room.

In 1974 when Japan abandoned coal power, the mine was closed and people left the island, leaving it abandoned for a long time.

Oradour-sur-Glane (France)

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Oradour-sur-Glane (France)

Oradour-sur-Glane is a small agricultural village located in the German-occupied area in France during World War II. In 1944, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane was destroyed by the German Schutzstaffel organization.

The soldiers killed 642 people and left a few survivors. After the war, the village became a symbol of German crime against civilians and became a memorial and a museum.

So far Oradour-sur-Glane is still under preservation, and every year on June 10 a celebration will be held in remembrance of the massacre.

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