There are cities around the world that have been abandoned due to unfortunate events. These cities range from cities abandoned after wars, to cities emptied by the cessation of production, to cities abandoned due to nuclear accidents, to cities without settlements. These ghost towns, each captivating with their unique stories, reveal the transience of human life and the tragedies associated with history. Here are those ghost towns…
12 most famous ghost towns in the world
These orphaned cities were plundered by some countries, some were subjected to the disastrous experiments, some were a complete city, but there was no demand from the people. Here are those cities;
1. Ordos / People’s Republic of China
Similar to Paris but China’s most expensive abandoned ghost town, Ordos draws attention with its luxurious villas, theatres, museums and public housing. Originally designed for 1 million people, this city was only able to attract two percent of the expected population.
2. San Zhi / Taiwan
Designed as a resort for the wealthy, San Zhi was built with the aim of attracting global attention with its futuristic architecture. However, this place has not been successful in any way contrary to the original plans. Due to fatal accidents during construction and loss of interest in the project, San Zhi has turned into an abandoned ghost town.
3. Hashima Island – Japan
Hashima, one of the largest mining islands in the world, has become a ghost town due to the abandonment of coal. After the Mitsubishi company bought the island, maximum efficiency was obtained from the coal mines, but the fate of the island changed with the preference for oil. In 1974, with the closure of all mines, it was decided to evacuate the island.
4. Kolmanskop / Namibia
Kolmanskop, where diamond reserves were discovered, was a lively town with casinos, restaurants, swimming pools and theatres. However, due to the depletion of diamond reserves, the city quickly emptied and became a ghost town swallowed up by the desert sands.
5. Pripyat / Ukraine
Pripyat is one of the cities worst affected by the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. About 49 thousand people living in the city were evacuated within two days of the explosion. People exposed to radioactive fallout experienced serious health problems. Today Pripyat is remembered as an empty city of the dead.
6. Tomioka – Fukushima / Japan
After the major nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, the city of Tomioka and the surrounding area were completely evacuated due to the risk of radioactive leakage. About 16 thousand people were evacuated from this region. Still uninhabitable, Tomioka is remembered as a ghost town.
7. Closed Varosha / Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Covered Maraş is a town that was evacuated and closed to the civilian population after the Cyprus peacekeeping operation. Once a luxury tourist destination, Varosha is now full of abandoned houses and ruins. This ghost town, loaded with history and memories, seems frozen at a point where time stops.
8. Val-Jalbert v. Canada
Val-Jalbert is an abandoned town in the Canadian region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Founded with the paper factory, this town was abandoned with the closure of the factory. Best preserved with all its structures, Val-Jalbert continues its life as a ghost town that attracts the attention of visitors.
9. Kajakoy / Mugla, Türkiye
Kayaköy is a Greek village in Fethiye. Abandoned with the population exchange in 1923, Kayaköy was once a village where a vibrant life was lived. Now it exists as a ghost town full of abandoned houses and ruined churches.
10. Oradour-sur-Glane, Haute-Vienne, France
Oradour-sur-Glane is an abandoned town, scarred by a massacre during the Second World War. On June 10, 1944, 642 people died in this brutal attack by an SS unit of Nazi Germany. Today, the city has been preserved as a monument, keeping alive the memory of the massacre.
11. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, India
Mandu is an ancient city that was once the capital of a Muslim state in North India. Famous for its stunning structures like the royal palace and mosque, Mandu has faced abandonment over the years. Today it exists as a ghost town that impresses visitors with its historic ruins, with the only inhabitants inhabited by gypsies.
12. Bodie, California
You remember the cities from the Red Kit comics right? Bodie exists as a scene from those novels. Founded as a mining town in 1876, the city was completely besieged by its gold and silver reserves. The town reached a population of 10,000 people and was known as the “Sin Town” at the time.
What is a ghost town?
Ghost towns are cities that have been abandoned or have a significantly reduced population. They are areas where people give up or leave their settlement, usually due to historical, natural or human factors.
Why are ghost towns abandoned?
Ghost towns can be abandoned for a variety of reasons. Factors such as wars, natural disasters, economic collapse, nuclear accidents, earthquakes, political changes and resource depletion can lead to cities being abandoned.
What is the cultural and historical significance of ghost towns?
Ghost towns are important cultural and historical heritage, reflecting humanity’s past and historical events. These cities provide valuable information about the lifestyle, architectural styles and social structures of the past. They also help us understand the difficulties people experience due to natural or human factors.