We live in an era where people get bored easily... They're always on the look out for something bigger and better, whether it's a gadget or a place.
The result is a growing number of buildings or even entire towns that have been left to fall into ruin. Here are 12 impressive locations that, for one reason or another, were sadly left to rot...
1. The city of Argentiera in Italy
Argentiera is an old silver mining town, hence its name. It was during Roman and Phoenician times that its silver began to be mined and turned into jewelry, dishes, etc. Argentiera had its heyday in the 1940s, but production quickly declined and it was finally closed in 1963.
2. The Varosha district in Cyprus
This area was very popular in the 1970s, attracting hoards of tourists before the Turkish invasion, after which it became a ghost town. In 1984, UN Security Council resolution 550 literally prevented anyone from investing in the neighborhood with the statement "Any attempt to invest in Varosha by people other than its inhabitants will be considered inadmissible". As a result, nature and the local wildlife have gradually taken over.
3. The Palace of Regaleira in Portugal
This palace is home to an initiation well. It is made up of 9 levels, which, according to legend, symbolize the 9 circles of hell. This place was once very popular with Freemasons. The Domaine de la Regaleira was sold several times before being returned to the city. Today it is open to the public.
4. Grytviken in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Grytviken is an administrative center corresponding to the British overseas territory. It was here in 1904 that the first whaling station in Antarctica was established. Only the church has retained its role and continues to hold weddings. The most recent took place on November 18, 2009.
5. Oradour-sur-Glane in France
This pretty little French village was destroyed in June 1944 by the German army. 642 villagers were killed during the attack. A former French president ordered that this village should never be rebuilt and would act as a memorial for future generations, so they could understand the cruelty shown by the Nazis.
6. Cape Romano in the United States
It was in southwest Florida, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico that a house with several domes was built in 1980. But the very sandy soil made the building subside. In 2005, the new owner decided to renovate the building, but it was hampered by new laws imposed by the local authorities. It's now abandoned, with only the ocean for company.
7. Plymouth in Montserrat
The Soufriere volcano is located 4 kilometers from the city and erupted in July 1995. The lava and especially the ash covered most of Monsterrat and Plymouth was badly affected by August of that same year. The nigh-on 4,000 residents were all evacuated in December.
8. Spinalonga in Greece
Spinalonga is a Greek island located off eastern Crete. In 1669, the Ottoman Empire invaded Crete. The Greek strategy to recover its land was ingenious. They gathered lepers and other sick people and sent them to the island. For fear of being contaminated, the Turks quickly left. Today, the fortress has become a very popular tourist spot.
9. Spreepark in Germany
Spreedpark is an amusement park in Berlin, Germany that opened in 1969. It was a great success until 1989. The company Spreepark GmbH bought the park, but the owner was financially dubious and the park quickly found itself with several million Euros worth of debt. Weighed down by this debt, the owner declared bankruptcy in 2001 and the park was abandoned.
10. The city of Agdam in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in Azerbaijan
A colony in south-western Azerbaijan, Agdam was bombed in 1993 during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. According to various sources, the city was looted, then burned down. People then fled east. Once home to 28,000 inhabitants, it's now deserted.
11. Ha-shima in Japan
Ha-shima Island is located in the East China Sea. It was rich in coal and was once home to several mines and operating wells. Some reach up to 600 meters deep. In 1940, the Mitsubishi company exploited Chinese and Koreans workers who they recruited to work in these mines. As a result this small island of just 6.3 hectares became one of the most densley populated places on Earth with 835 people per hectare. In 1974, mining ceased and the island was abandoned.
12. Pripyat in Ukraine
The city of Pripyat was founded in 1970 to serve the nearby famous Chernobyl nuclear power plant. After the disaster in 1986, the city was evacuated and remains empty. That said, after radiation levels dropped, local authorities declared it safe for visitors, but the city has also become home to some awesome yet creepy graffiti…