50 Startling Photos of Abandoned Places Around the World

By Sophia Maddox | April 23, 2024

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

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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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.

Majestic Fantasy Meets Reality at the Abandoned Castles of Burj Al Babas, Turkey

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Argun Konuk/Getty Images

An unexpected view from lush and verdant Turkish countryside near Mudurnu, the castles of Burj Al Babas appear as if out of an ancient fairytale. This surreal development of virtually hundreds of min-castles was imagined as a luxury housing project for wealthy international investors. The project broke ground in 2014, aiming for a blend of contemporary grandiosity and Old World luxury.

The homes were constructed in the Neo-Gothic style with pointed spires and ornate classical facades. The well-manicured surrounding landscape displayed hints of social extravagance and financial distinction. A struggling economy and the developer's bankruptcy brought this once-fanciful dream to an unexpected halt, leaving the expanse unfinished. The skeletal chateaus are still there, providing a surreal vista of wonderment and reflection over this once-ambitious real estate endeavor.