There’s something magical about abandoned places. Maybe it’s that they’re frozen in time, brimming with centuries worth of history and filled with untold stories waiting to be discovered.
For some, there’s also the creepiness factor, making many forgotten towns and deserted kingdoms a ghost hunter’s dream. But the one thing they all have in common is that there’s nowhere else like them.
So without further ado, here are the most beautiful abandoned places across the globe.
You might recognize this ancient site from The Passion of the Christ. Craco is a well-known ghost town and commune in the province of Matera. It dates back to 540.
The majority of its residents gradually left throughout the 20th century, first due to poor agriculture, then a landslide, and finally a massive flood in 1972.
Built between 1866 and 1907, this magical mansion was meant to be a summer home, but its designer died before it could be completed.
Also known as “Château de Noisy,” it was taken over by Nazis during World War II. It later became a summer camp for about 20 years. Finally, in 1991, the storybook structure was abandoned. Not so shockingly, it was too costly to maintain.
Located beside the Yangtze River, Gouqi Island is not your average abandoned fishing village. Many who venture here say it’s like something out of a dream.
The forgotten town in the Shengsi Islands is full of life in its own right. All of its buildings are completely covered in stunning ivy and greenery. If you want to see this lush serene sight for yourself, you can get to Gouqi Island by plane, train, or ferry.
In South Andaman, India, this unique and uninhabited island awaits you. It was once a British administrative center for the Indian Penal Settlement, but now nature has taken over its grounds.
Sometime after it was abandoned, Ross Island became overgrown with wild ficus. People come from far and wide to get lost in its splendor for hours. The historic ruins are now known as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island. When you’re done exploring, you’ll have your pick of nearby beaches.
On the western edge of Scotland, Hirta is the largest island in the St Kilda archipelago. Once inhabited for more than 2,000 years, harsh weather ran all Hirta residents out, especially the unbearable winters. It’s been abandoned since 1930. Also, it’s gorgeous.
Scotland’s most remote ghost town is known as “The Island On The Edge Of The World.” While it has no permanent human residents, it’s home to 100,000 seabirds, including gannets and puffins. You can go to Hirta by boat or take a tour, but even in summer, make sure you take a coat.
On the evergreen island of Hachijojima, Hachijo Royal Hotel sits on of the country’s largest resorts. Once upon a time, it was an incredibly popular vacation spot.
This massive hotel was built during the tourism boom of the late 1960s. But as fewer and fewer tourists frequented the island, its popularity began to decline.
By 2006, the royal hotel was shut down. The good news is, you can explore this French Baroque style structure for free now.
The international Canfranc train station in Huesca, Spain, is no longer up and running, but it’s still an incredible sight to see.
Built in 1928, it was the second-largest train station in all of Europe. After a train derailed on the French side of the bridge, however, it was closed and never reopened.
For many years, these magical ruins went unnoticed. But a drought in southern Mexico revealed this almost 500-year-old church and made headlines.
The residents all said they had no idea it was hiding beneath the water. Nor do they know what else might still be submerged.
Beyond the fog and through the Alaskan woods, you’ll stumble upon the Kennicott Mines.
In the early 1900s, Kennecott was a flourishing copper town. By the late 1930s, resources were becoming scarce, and almost all of its residents decided to leave.
By 1950, the one most loyal locals moved on as well. Today, the ghost town is still sitting pretty for all who pass through.
On the Croatian coast, Hotel Goricina was one of many luxury hotels destroyed during the Croatian War of Independence.
While much of the inside has been gutted, the breathtaking view from its highest floors and rooftop couldn’t be destroyed.
Prisoners worked in the quarry of this unusual prison until the early 1990s. Once it was abandoned, the area flooded and now, it’s frequented for a much different reason.
For those who know about this hidden gem, Rummu Prison is now a beloved beach. If you’re going to Estonia, it’s definitely worth getting your scuba diving license.
If you’re looking to explore something architecturally stunning, fully abandoned, and a little creepy, this is where you want to go.
In the 1800s, the Beelitz military hospital had a lot going on during times of war. Over time, people began to flee the surrounding areas, and the hospital soon went under. It was used as a hospital again during World War II, but it didn’t last.
Now, parts of it are used for research and rehabilitation. But as Insider notes, the majority of this intriguing hospital has remained untouched for almost 30 years.
Once upon a time, diamonds were found in the desert of Kolmanskop, Namibia. But after every stone was turned and all resources were fully exhausted, the once-hopeful residents moved onto the next town where diamonds were being found.
Today, the abandoned homes of Kolmanskop are filled with sand. It’s certainly strange to see a sand-full bathtub outside, in the middle of an abandoned desert town, but there’s also nowhere else quite like it.
Nestled into the Romanian countryside, this abandoned village now lurks below the surface. Copper mining was a big part of what kept Geamana afloat in the 1970s. Unfortunately, all that mining led to a deadly amount of toxic waste. Its residents were forced to evacuate.
The village was fully flooded by an artificial lake. On top of that, tons of toxic waste was dumped into it. But that doesn’t stop curious explorers from seeking it out every year to gaze upon its peculiar and striking features.
Talk about a photo op! This famed Scottish castle was built back in the mid-1400s. In its heyday, Kilchurn Castle was home to some of the most prominent and powerful people in the country. Today, it’s just echoing halls.
Abandoned in the 1700s, it’s been a popular spot for travelers ever since. Adding to its specialness, the scenic estate is said to have a number of secret rooms.
Kayakoy was forcefully abandoned at the end of the Greco-Turkish War. Over 350 vacated stone houses remain.
“Rock Village” has gained museum status, but it hardly has visitors because of the remote location. Annually, adventurous hikers make it their mission to find this eerily quiet ghost town and explore what’s left.
Ta Prohm Temple is an incredibly famous site in Angkor Wat, Cambodia. At one point, more than 10,000 Khmer people lived in it. However, It was swiftly abandoned following the fall of the Khmer empire in the 17th century.
After so many years untouched, it was engulfed by the Cambodian jungle.
The ruins of this ornate Buddhist temple are protected today. To capture Ta Prohm in all of its unique glory, it’s advised to visit in the morning when the light is at its best for photographers.
If you’ve ever dreamed about exploring a moated castle built in the 14th century, now’s your chance. Located in East Sussex, England, it was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III. His goal was to defend the area from French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War.
It has sturdily stood the test of time, surviving several wars and becoming one of the most famous castles in all of England. Today, Bodiam Castle is open to the public and accessible by a drawbridge.
Believe it or not, this disused church is located in the heart of Gary, Indiana. And you can’t miss it. It’s one of the largest Methodist churches in all of the midwest.
Built in 1926, it cost a whopping $1 million to construct. But over time, employment declined and crime rose in the area. The church population dwindled and soon enough, so did the church. It officially closed its doors in 1975, but the incredible remnants remain. Today, it’s a popular destination for urban exploration, but you’ll need a permit first.
Built by the Japanese in 1939, this is often revered as the most inaccessible lighthouse in Russia. The seven-story wonder is situated on the southernmost point of Sakhalin.
It was annexed by Russia following World War II and it’s been fully vacant since the 1990s. But if you want to explore it, you’ll have to get there by boat.
Have you heard of Bodie, California? It’s said to be the most famous ghost town in the West. While it was once a booming mining town, it’s now an undisturbed shrine to the past.
Tourists come here every year to explore the deserted streets, the church, schoolhouse, barbershop, and of course, the saloon. What’s most impressive about this one is how undisturbed everything remains inside its buildings.
Near Tequendama Falls, you’ll find Hotel De Salto. It opened its doors back in 1928, closed for good in the early 90s, and today, it’s a ghost hunter’s treasure trove.
Locals and many who’ve stayed here believe it’s eternally haunted. Hotel De Salto translates to “hotel of the leap.” For unclear reasons, many once lept to their deaths from the nearby waterfall. As the chilling legend goes, they haunt the hotel’s stunning grounds day and night.
Located on Pollepel Island, Bannerman Castle was meant to be used as storage for American military supplies. However, things did not go as planned.
In 1920, 200 pounds of ammunition went off, destroying most of the castle, but leaving behind its abandoned bones to forever be explored.