50 Startling Photos of Abandoned Places Around the World

By Sophia Maddox | April 30, 2024

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

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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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.

Time Stands Still in the California Gold Rush Town of Bodie

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The ghost town of Bodie, California, is a silent monument to the classical boom-and-bust saga of the American West. Bodie was among the most significant gold rush towns in the late 19th century. A bustling mining settlement is now a visually striking specter of decay in the heart of California’s high desert.

The village was established in 1876 to accommodate the surge of miners lured by the prospects of striking it rich in the gold mining trade. The diverse population represented an early melting pot culture, and Bodie was a hotbed of legendary figures in the Wild West. The site is currently managed and maintained in an arrested state of decay by the California State Parks system. Visitors can tour the more than 100 historical structures that still remain at the site, including the bespoke, weather-wooded saloons and original Methodist church.