50 Startling Photos of Abandoned Places Around the World

By Sophia Maddox | March 5, 2024

This Scene at Holland Island, Maryland, Shows the Final Vestiges of a Sinking Chesapeake Bay Legacy

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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The Washington Post / Getty Images

Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay reveals how quickly the relentless elements of the coastal wilderness can overtake human habitation. The island once supported a thriving community of fishermen and agriculturalists alike. Scores of attractive homes and peaceful shops were scattered over the islane, which included a small local church.

The sea eventually became too much for this fragile splinter of land, as residents could no longer battle the intense winds, waves, and slow erosion that began to whittle away at the island’s shorelines. By the early 20th century, despite several efforts to protect the land, erosive forces accelerated, and the community eventually retreated in search of more stable ground.

The Canfranc Station, Spain, Is the Fallen Star of Europe’s Historic Railway Crossroads

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Jess Snchez-Bermejo Ramos/500PX

Deep within the Pyrenees lies the dormant yet spectacular Canfranc International Railway Station. Its Art Nouveau elegance offers a faded reminder of a time when the site was a bustling mecca of European travel. The station opened in 1928 to connect France with Spain and was globally renowned as one of the world's largest and most luxurious transportation hubs.

Canfranc International Railway Station came complete with an opulent hotel, high-end dining experience, and original custom facilities. The station’s lively platforms were frequented by countless international celebrities.