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The Ten Most Stunning Abandoned Places on Earth

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Nailmaille® is art jewelry handcrafted to create unique stainless jewelry that you won't find anywhere else. Our line includes men’s jewelry and women’s jewelry as well as key chains, wallet chains, belts, and straps for guitars and purses. As part of our ARTicles Blog, we want to share with our followers news articles and events that you may find interesting. This episode features a photo article on a shared interest of the Nailmaille® triad: Abandon Places...

The Ten Most Stunning Abandoned Places on Earth

There is something both eerie and striking about abandoned places—stark reminders of what used to be, with beauty seeping through the broken glass and dust.


It might seem impossible to find vaulted ceilings and chandeliers in a NYC subway stop. But that wasn't the case in 1904, when this Rafael Guastavino-designed station opened directly below City Hall. Unfortunately, commuters chose speed over style, so the stop closed in 1940, as the Brooklyn Bridge station grew. Today, Transit Museum members can tour the station, and some passengers might get a lucky viewing: Take the downtown 6 at Brooklyn Bridge and try to catch a glimpse as the train moves past the underground gem before switching to uptown.


The Buzludzha Monument was built towards the end of the Cold War by the Bulgarian communist regime, who hoped it would serve as a prominent and official headquarters for the Bulgarian Communist Party. The UFO-esque building was the site of many state functions, with Lenin and Marx posters and a red-star ceiling setting the ambiance. Though the monument was abandoned and closed to the public in 1989, sneaky explorers continue to venture in to gaze at the otherworldly dome.


What was once a bustling business hub is now a ghostly reminder of Detroit's economic status. The Michigan Central Station welcomed hundreds of trains every day after officially opening in 1914. Rail traffic began to dwindle, however, and the station struggled for several decades before closing in 1988.


You wouldn't guess by looking at it now, but the town of Kolmanskop was once the spot of diamond mining and extravagance in 1908. But once the fair-weather inhabitants discovered more diamonds south of Kolmanskop, the site instantly became a ghost town. It is now famous for its eerie, sand-filled houses, which have appeared on screen several times, notably Dust Devil (1993) and The King Is Alive (2000).


Spain's glamorous Canfranc Station has led quite a dramatic life. When it opened in 1928, it was the largest rail station in Europe. But just eight years later, the spot was affected by warfare (Spanish Civil War) and a Nazi takeover (WWII). The station tried to recover several times, but it has never been able to recapture its former glory.


Pripyat was the city most affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. The incident released massive amounts of radiation, forcing the residents to flee. The spot is now one of the most well-known abandoned places in the world, thanks in large part to the ghostly reminders of what used to be: toys in a schoolhouse, clocks all frozen at the exact same time, and the famous decaying amusement park.


Scottish immigrant Francis Bannerman achieved his American dream by collecting and selling army surplus goods (cannons, Civil War uniforms, etc.). After a major purchase following the Spanish-American Civil War, Bannerman had to find a larger space to set up shop. Luckily, he stumbled upon Pollepel Island on the Hudson River, a perfect place to erect a Scottish-style castle (as one does). Throughout the 20th century, the structure went through hell: a gunpowder explosion, ferryboat crash, and three-day fire. Conservation efforts have been protecting the castle since the 1990s.


Aniva Island and its stately lighthouse were involved in a custody battle between Japan and Russia for around a century. The island flip-flopped many times between Russian ownership, Japanese ownership, and even a shared ownership. The Soviets finally took full control after WWII and added radioactivity to the lighthouse. Nuclear generators and mercury lubricants helped the structure operate partially by itself, but it faded due to abandonment after the fall of the Soviet Union.


During the roaring 20s, this structure was built as an architect's mansion—one that would make Gatsby gawk. Since then, the cliffside structure has had a few major makeovers. It became the 18-story Hotel del Salto in the 1950s, but was abandoned shortly afterwards and left to collect moss and tales of ghosts and hauntings. It was most recently converted into the Tequendama Falls Museum.


Hashima Island was once the most densely populated island in the world; now it's completely empty. People became interested in the island after finding an underwater coal deposit directly under it. As time went on, tightly packed apartment complexes were constructed for the miners and laborers, providing its density record. But folks left as quickly as they came when the coal ran out. It's now a rock and concrete ghost town in the middle of the ocean.

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