50 Mesmerizing Photos of Abandoned Places Around the World

By Sophia Maddox | February 29, 2024

The "Chicken Church" of Java

Come along on a trip around the world with us to visit some of the most visually stunning and occasionally haunting abandoned spaces. Each breathtaking image reflects a historically significant location once brimming with life and purpose.

Today, the following monuments stand alone as a signifier of bygone eras. From ancient fairytale-like palaces to forgotten covert military infrastructure, these abandoned buildings are a stark reminder of time's fleeting nature.

 

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Gereja Ayam, also known under its alternative moniker The Chicken Church of Java, sits abandoned near Magelang. This peculiar underground temple is set against a dense and unrelenting Indonesian jungle. Built by Daniel Alamsjah in the 1990s, the divinely inspired monument served as a worshiping space for followers of his religion.



 

After a series of financial obstacles and resistance among locals, the structure was ultimately left unfinished and surrendered under the weight of its own wings to the surrounding jungle. Originally intended as a dove, the temple found new life as stories of it circulated the internet. The whimsical Chicken Church of Java is now decked with jewel tiling and cloud-painted ceilings. This dream-like religious monument contains 12 prayer rooms in its catacombs. Early-bird visitors can pay to tour the structure and watch the sunrise from the crown of the chicken-shaped temple.

Indonesia’s Locomotive Graveyard Is Reminiscent of the Nation’s Global Steam Era

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Behind the grasslands of Purwakarta lies a cadre of somber locomotives, many of which trace back to the early 20th century. The desolate resting place for these once-majestic engineering marvels powered Indonesia’s early industrial era. Today, these machines are scarcely supported by their own hulking steel frames. They sit rusted and stripped of the bustling lifeblood that once powered these robust industrial pieces of machinery through the Indonesian countryside.
 

This eerie gravesite for retired engines exists as a lasting, if haunting, memorial of rail travel's Golden Age.