The mysteriously ruins of El Salvador Beach

One of the last things you would expect to find washed up on a tropical beach is a concrete abandoned villa, and yet that’s exactly the kind of bizarre discovery that beachgoers at the picturesque La Puntilla Beach in Costa del Sol, El Salvador, are treated on these days. It’s unclear how the building ended up there, but it seems to have been there a while, as it is covered up with what appears like recent graffiti. One of the most popular theories is that the villa was the victim…

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Thann, Alsace and L’œil de la Sorcière (The Witch’s Eye)

The little town of Thann lies on the eastern slopes of the Vosges, in the département of Haut-Rhin (Alsace). A historic town which once belonged to the Habsburgs in the Middle-Ages, it is renown for its remarkable Gothic church and the Rangen vineyard and, in fact, it is also the southern gate to the Alsace Wine Route. According to the legend, the town originated from a miracle attributed to St. Theobald, the Bishop of Gubbio (Umbria, Italy). In 1160, Ubald (or Theobald) saw his death coming soon and promised his…

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The remains of Buchanan Castle in Scotland

The eerie remains of Buchanan Castle are located west of the village of Drymen in Stirlingshire, central Scotland. Interestingly, although it bears the name of the Buchanan Clan, none of the Buchanans ever lived there. And in fact it is not even related with them, except that the original castle on the site (Buchanan Auld House) was the ancestral seat of Clan Buchanan for several centuries. Historically, the old house and surrounding lands had been the property of the Clan Buchanan but passed to the Clan Graham in the late…

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The forgotten Benbulben Barite Mines – Ireland

In a beautiful and remote area of Ireland are the remains of Benbulben Barite Mine. The once industrious mine was used to unearth barite ore, a naturally occurring mineral used in cement as an aggregate, or ground down and used as a filler or extender. It’s an agent in the sugar refining process, a white pigment in paint and paper, and used as a weighting agent in oil and gas exploration mining, among many other industrial-type things. Due its chemical stability it can be used to give added value to…

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Remembering Undercliff Sanatorium, Meriden

The state of Connecticut is home to many well-known abandoned mental hospitals. For decades, the Undercliff Sanatorium, a former state health facility, lied at the base of South Mountain, near Hubbard Park in Meriden. Even though it was shuttered, some claimed it was still in use….by the ghosts of former patients. It was originally opened in 1910 as the Meriden Sanatorium and, in 1918, became the first facility in the nation dedicated exclusively to treating children afflicted with tuberculosis but also measles, chickenpox, and smallpox. The name was changed to…

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Cereseto castle and its secrets

Cereseto is about 50 kilometres east of Turin and about 30 kilometres northwest of Alessandria, Northern Italy. Probably established around 500–600 AD. and mentioned in records of the Bishop of Asti from around 957 AD., it is perched on a hill, and is dominated by its castle. The town was the property of the Graseverto family of Asti, who probably built the first castle around 900–1000 AD, but completely demolished in 1600. It was 1910 when the financier Riccardo Gualino and his wife launched construction of a new castle with…

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Salice Terme: the sad story of a beloved tourist destination and its decline

Hotels no longer have a single free room, streets and nightclubs are overflowing with tourists, while flocks of photographers swarm from one limo to another in search of some VIPs. Who will be the winner this year? The jury is hard at work and will soon issue the verdict. It seems like the description of one of the highlight days of the Venice or Cannes Film Festival. But no, we are in Salice Terme, in the heart of the Po Valley, in the mid-1960s, when the spa town in the…

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Crackpot Hall: the dramatic remains of an abandoned farmhouse on the edge of a remote hillside in North Yorkshire, England~

On the slopes of Swaledale, near the village of Keld, North Yorkshire, England, stands the shell of a 300-year-old farmhouse. The building, curiously named Crackpot Hall, is an abandoned 18th-century farmhouse shrouded in its own myths and legends. Its name is said to be derived from the Old Norse words for ‘crow’ and ‘cave’ and, not by chance, many of the underground caverns in the area are also known as Pot, meaning a deep hole. An earlier 16th-century hunting lodge is thought to have stood on the site, when this…

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The curious abandoned Sea Cable Car of Sidi Ifni (سيدي إفني), Morocco

Sidi Ifni is a city located on the west coast of Morocco, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, with a population of approximately 20,000 people. The economic base of the city is fishing. Not by chance, in 2000, an important fishing port was completed, which serves as a base for fish exports. Walking along the beach, toward the port at the southern end of town, you may spot a huge concrete structure a little ways off the shore, standing lonely in the middle of the sea. The huge abandoned…

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The impressive little Lourdes 30 km from Milan

It would take a miracle to save what should have been the little Lourdes of the Lombard Prealps. In Merate, a small town near Lecco, in Northern Italy, about 30 kilometers from Milan, locals call it “ex Oratorio San Luigi” because, before becoming a dark and decaying ruin, it was the parish meeting point in the city for about 30 years. Actually, this is the Basilica of the Santissima Immacolata, designed in 1906 by Spirito Monsignor Chiappetta, engineer and friend of Pope Pius XI on an area of 4 thousand…

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Rusovce Mansion: a once-fairy tale mansion in Slovakia now stands in a state of disrepair.

We are in the Rusovce borough, part of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. Surrounded by crumbling walls and Rusovsky Park, a beautiful sprawling English park, the Rusovce Mansion, english for Rusovský kaštieľ, is a decaying example of neoclassical architecture. There are records of a castle at this location dating back to 1266, but today visitors to the area will only see this once-glorious white building constructed between 1840 and 1906. The current mansion was built on the site of an older manor house from the 16th century, with a medieval structure…

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Don’t release the witch! The ruins of St Mary’s Church at East Somerton, England ~

The county of Norfolk, England, is home of the world’s greatest concentration of medieval churches, with over 650 scattered in the area. Drive to any place in the county, and you are guaranteed to find at least one such church. Try to imagine Norwich, its main city, that has enough for worshippers to visit a different one each week for a whole year! However, since some of these date from at least half a millennia ago, some have not survived as well as others. In the woods of East Somerton…

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Bilkyrkogården Kyrkö Mosse: a peat bog in southern Sweden that provides a cozy and photogenic home for decaying cars.

Bilkyrkogården Kyrkö Mosse near Ryd in Småland is an unusual but charming attraction. The swampy forest is literally an old car graveyard, filled with the wrecks of historical vehicles which found their last parking space there decades ago. Bilkyrkogården Kyrkö Mosse is the final resting place for an estimated around 150 car wrecks in various stages of disassembly, partially sunk into the swampy forest ground, some covered with moss, others are covered with pine needles or overgrown by shrubs. There are old VW Beetle, Ford Taunus, Opel Kadett, Volvo PV,…

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Gamsutl: nestled high atop the peak of Mount Gamsutlmeer, this abandoned russian village is one of the oldest settlements in the region.

We are in the Gunibsky district of Dagestan, Russia, where lies Mount Gamsutlmeer. At an altitude of roughly 1,400 meters above sea level, resides the pictoresque village of Gamsutl, known to be one of the oldest settlements in the region. Translated from the Avar, the majority ethnic group of the republic, Gamsutl literally means “at the foot of the kahn’s fortress”, leading many to assume that someone named Khan chose this location to build his fortress or tower, to defend himself from his enemies. And, eventually, a community evolved around…

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Casa Hamilton, the charm of abandonment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

The island of Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. It is famous for its active volcano, Mount Teide, which is considered the third-largest in the world. But here there is also a place that combines a sense of abandonment and breathtaking views: it is the Elevador de aguas de Gordejuela, better known as Casa Hamilton, a pumping station where hydraulic pumps once transported the abundant waters of the Gordejuela springs to hills and banana plantations, located in the extraordinary area by Los Realejos. This set of ruins, which…

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The decaying beauty of the Winderbourne mansion (for sale)

Sometimes people are surprised to learn just how many abandoned places there are in Maryland. From ghost towns to asylums, the Old Line State is full of secret spots that have long been forgotten. But probably this place is among the most interesting. Winderbourne Mansion is a victorian-era house built in 1884 by Enoch and Mary Totten. Enoch Totten was a Civil War veteran and a prominent Washington lawyer, shot four times at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House (with a minie ball passed through his right hand after ricocheting…

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Squire’s Castle: the only structure from a huge mansion that was never built

The so-called Squire’s Castle sits upon a slight hilltop right off of Chagrin River Road just north of Route 6 in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. Its massive stone walls, arched doorways and larger tower have enchanted visitors for generations. However, It isn’t actually a castle, but rather the gatehouse to a castle that was never built. And apparently there are two versions of why the building never materialized…. In the late-19th century, such a Feargus B. Squire (1850-1932), attracted by the beauty of the scenic Chagrin Valley purchased 525 acres there.…

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Hillandale Bridge: the abandoned bridge to nowhere that stands secluded in the woods of a Cleveland suburb

Many people have had conversations about the “abandoned Hillandale bridge to nowhere” and some even have reach it, either with or without spray paint in hand. This 1920s construction that has stood the test of time lies perched atop a hill on an old brick road in Euclid, Ohio, near a city park of the same name. And now exists, not by chance, literally as a bridge to nowhere. Money was poured into a bridge that was built to allow car traffic to a development that promised “high grade homes”…

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Abandoned Bunkers of Salpalinja, Finland

In the early 1940s, tensions were high in Finland, as locals suspected that the Soviet Union, not satisfied with the territorial gains they had made during the Winter War (1939–1940), would plan another invasion.. As a result, in 1940, Finland began the construction of so-called Salpalinja (the “Salpa Line”), a system of more than 700 field fortifications made from concrete or excavated from rock along country’s eastern border. Stretching 1,200 kilometers from the Gulf of Finland in the south to modern-day Pechengsky, Russia, in the north, Salpalinja consisted of bunkers,…

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Underwater abandoned Aquarium of Silver Cay, Bahamas

We are on Silver Cay, part of the city of Nassau and Island of New Providence, Bahamas. The Coral Island Marine Park is located on a small cay off of Nassau city and was once a popular tourist destination. Opening in 1987 by Coral World International, it was the biggest park developed by the company at the time, and it was an instant hit in Nassau becoming the leading tourist attraction in the city. It offered a museum, underwater observatory, shark, turtle and stingray pools, but also snorkeling trails and…

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Saginaw River Lighthouse

Saginaw Bay lies between Michigan’s thumb and the rest of the state’s Lower Peninsula. As Michigan was preparing to become a state, it adopted a constitution in 1835 that encouraged internal improvements such as roads and canals. A project that was contemplated at this time was linking Saginaw River, which flowed into eponymous Bay, with Grand River, which flowed into Lake Michigan. The Saginaw River lighthouse stands about a mile from the mouth of the river. It worked in conjunction with a beacon closer to the mouth and, when sailors…

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Grange Lido: Abandoned for over 20 years, this art deco seaside swimming pool is a magnificent waste.

We are in Grange-over-Sands, England. Built in 1932, this once-glorious seaside outdoor pool has been left to rot for over 25 years. The lido, an open-air public pool that was popular in 1930s England, was originally filled with saltwater from nearby Morecambe Bay. Adorned with art deco designs, it’s easy to imagine how the lido must have looked in its heyday. The pool is 50m long and bordered by an entrance block with upper viewing gallery and attached sun decks, detached changing wings, terraces, pump house, paddling pool and a…

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Sanatorio Durán: one of the most haunted places in Costa Rica

We are along the road to Irazú Volcano, 7 kilometers north of the city of Cartago, Costa Rica. It’s said Carlos Durán Cartín, an eminent physician who briefly served as president of Costa Rica (1889-90), opened this tuberculosis hospital in 1918 hoping to treat his own daughter who was suffering from the disease, for which there was no known treatment in Central America at the time. Others say that she contracted the disease after the hospital opened but, in any case, he chose a remote location complete with good weather,…

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Ruins of Lazaretto de Isla de Cabras: the crumbling remnants of a 19th-century quarantine hospital that hint at the touristy island’s darker past.

Isla de Cabras (traslates as Goat’s island) in the town of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, is known today for its beaches, spectacular views of Old San Juan, and other recreational activities, including swimming and fishing. However, atop a hill overlooking the coast, are some ruins that are seemingly out of place. Their past reveals that the island wasn’t always a beautiful tourist destination…. During the early 19th century, the island served as an inspection port for ships coming from Europe, when the threat of cholera was imminent. Thus, as a…

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Saint Marcel, a castle haunted by hooded souls

In Surpian, a small hamlet of the municipality of Saint-Marcel, 12 km from italian city of Aosta, stands an imposing castle, Saint Marcel (in french château de Saint-Marcel), probably built in the fourteenth century by Giacomo di Challant and now in a state of complete abandonment (with the exception of some recent restoration interventions). It is located on a plateau at a crossroads of paths leading along the valley bottom and the roads towards the larger valley located to the south, known since Medieval times for the presence of iron,…

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Mission Ruins of Venn’s Town: the remains of a 19th-century school perched atop a mountain surrounded by a thick tropical forest in Seychelles.

We are deep in the Morne Seychellois National Park where, perched on a mountaintop, lies the ruins of a mission named after Henry Venn (1796 – 1873) an Anglican missionary who in 1799 together with William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833), the English abolitionist, co-founded the Church Missionary Society to spread Christianity to the natives of Africa and Asia, as well as creating orphan asylums for children of slaves. Getting there is easy, it’s about 6 km drive from the city centre of Victoria, capital of Seychelles. A sign points at…

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San Severino di Centola: a medieval hilltop village that was abandoned at the end of the 19th century after existing for more than 500 years.

The ruins of the old village San Severino di Centola, known known until 1861 as San Severino di Camerota, are located on a rugged hill in southern Cilento, in the Italian region of Campania. The village was founded during the 10th-11th centuries, although it seems that some traces of inhabited settlements on the rocky spur are known since the seventh century. However, it was progressively abandoned as inhabitants chose to move their settlement just below the hill but closer to the newly developed railway. The village was strategically placed above…

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Hellingly Mental Hospital: the story of an asylum

We are in the village of Hellingly, in East Sussex, England. Here, on 20 July 1903, the Hellingly Mental Hospital was inaugurated: an asylum, the best in the area because, apparently, the most innovative treatments were experimented there. It was also the refuge for patients who had to flee West Sussex due to the First World War. The main complex comprised an administrative block, central stores, kitchens, a recreation hall and the assistant medical officer’s residence. Like most large institutions of this age and type the sexes were separated into…

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SS United States and its unknown fate

SS United States is an ocean liner that still makes America proud, even though it is now fully docked and immovable. Historically, It was initially inspired by ships from the United Kingdom. During the Second World War the United States required service from the United Kingdom to help them transport their soldiers to the shores of Europe. In order to do it, the United Kingdom put some of their best vessels up to the task: the famous RMS Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Pleased with what they saw, the United…

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Z Ward: a perfectly preserved abandoned criminal asylum in South Australia.

In the sleepy suburb of Glenside, Adelaide, South Australia, rests a building long abandoned and protected from trespassers by a wall far taller than it first appears, the only complete Ha-Ha Wall in Australia. The wall doesn’t look too high from the outside but, once over it, it is soon discovered that on the other side, a deeper moat hinders any escape. The building is known as Z Ward, and it was for years closed off to the public, even though recently, access to the building was allowed to the…

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