Ghost Towns And What Happened to Each (150 Pics)

Hashima Island, Japan
This island was made into a small little city to accommodate the workers and their families. The main purpose for the island was a large coal mining operation.
The island was inhabited from 1887 to 1974.

At one point in 1959, over 5200 people lived on this small island, making it one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, making this mining facility obsolete. It was finally shut down and evacuated in 1974. This is the same island used in the James Bond film Skyfall in 2012.
Oradour-sur-Glane, France
On June 10, 1944, the Nazi's who occupied this town killed all 642 inhabitants including women and children. They burned it and then departed after the massacre.

The French turned the little town into a permanent memorial.

A new town was built nearby after the war leaving this town virtually untouched since the massacre.
Kolmanskop, Namibia
Diamonds were discovered in 1908 and the town was built like a traditional German town as it was a German colony at the time.

Diamonds were found elsewhere and were way more plentiful, so residents of this mining town left everything behind to join others in another diamond rush.

It was completely abandoned by 1954.

The sand from the Namibia Desert has taken over the town as it has engulfed the buildings slowly.
Varosha, Cyprus
This tourist destination was abandoned by its residents when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974.

It remains in Turkish control, falling apart slowly and restricted to the public.

39,000 people used to live here. It was a very popular tourist destination before its occupation.

The UN forbade any residents and threaten to seize control away from Turkey if they tried to inhabit it, leaving it run down, empty, and useless despite its pristine location for tourists.
Rhyolite, Nevada

The town started in 1905 as a mining town for the surrounding hills.

It peaked near 5000 people as it mined rich ore.

The deposits were depleted as quickly as it rose, and by 1920 the town was abandoned.

The town had everything very quickly, including electricity and running water. It was one of the fastest growing then one of the fastest declining towns in the US, as it sprang up and died in the span of 16 years.
Ani, Armenian Highlands, Turkey.
Built in the 5th century AD, this large city was called the "City of 1001 Churches". The city sat on an ideal trade route, and for a time was considered one of the most advanced cities in the world. Its artistry and design were things of wonder, especially where it was located. This artist concept is what was believed to be the cities design at its height sometime around 1000 AD.

The city was the capital of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom from 961-1045, which is the area of East Turkey (Armenia).

The Mongols invaded Armenia in 1222, and then again in 1236, finally sacking the city and destroying many of the churches and buildings and killing most of the 100,000 inhabitants. You can easily attribute to the entire breakdown of social order, science, and art in the Middle East, Turkey, and nearby areas to the Mongol Invasions and utter destruction of all cities of influence in the areas.

Then, in 1319, a devastating earthquake rocked the city, again destroying many structures. The city rebounded and was rebuilt, but never found its greatness again.

It remained occupied as a city for another 400 years, finally being completely abandoned in the late 1600s. Interesting note, tribes and nomads were said to live here in some capacity for another 200 years. Regardless, the buildings were left to slowly fall apart or be picked by scavengers. To help salvage the city and its rich history and culture, it was somewhat occupied again in the late 1800s by archeologists and even had structures erected to preserve the findings.

In WWI, the Ottoman Empire captured and looted the site. They destroyed many buildings and items left behind. The overseers of the city at that time were able to save some 6000 artifacts, but to this day there is no telling of the art and items lost during the looting. Today it is a remote tourist attraction, with archeological digs periodically, hoping to unearth more of this once great city.
Imber Village, England.
This small little village has a history predating the Roman invasion of Britain. It never grew more than a village, but was always inhabited for nearly 1700 years.

The population was always small, peaking at some 440 people in 1851. It had a pub, an inn, and homes, and little else.

Then, in 1943, with 150 residents still living in the town, the British Government evicted everyone. The government turned the town into a training ground for their soldiers. At first, mostly US soldiers used the town to simulate street fighting in preparation for the invasion of France.

The town suffered damage from military use for years after the war, and was even expanded in the 1970s. In 1961, some 2000 people attended a meeting to encourage the government to allow civilians to reoccupy the town, but to no avail. Sometime in the 1980s, it was drastically reduced of its military use. It stopped being used altogether sometime in the early 2000s, deteriorating over the years. Some restoration was done, but the town is just a site for tourists now.
Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia.

Started in 1830 as a timber colony, it was eventually transformed into a notorious penal colony 3 years later. Britain sent its most hardened criminals here, and the small town housed the families of the guards.

Criminals of all sorts were sent here, as the prison worked, for comparisons, as an Australian Alcatraz due to its remote location. It ran for 44 years, closing down in 1877.

Many died at the prison. In fact, there are 1646 graves there. Only 180 of those graves are marked, and those belong to prison staff and their families.

The town was abandoned shortly after the prison was shut down, having no other means of support for those living there. Fires in the 1890s destroyed much of the buildings, and decay and weather damaged much of what was left. This actually added to the towns eeriness, and it was turned into a major tourist location in the early 1900s. To this day, it attracts many visitors yearly.

On a sad note, this town is also the site of the worst mass murder in Australian history. In 1996, Martin Bryant killed 35 people, and wounded another 23 more, almost all of whom were tourists. He was captured and is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Grytviken, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, UK.
Built in 1904, this whaling station settlement was in a perfect location with a harbor in a harbor. It had flat land right by the water and a fresh water supply.

Whaling was extremely profitable in the beginning, and this settlement was a major station for it. Some 300 men worked here at its height, some with their families here as well.

Eventually the whaling population decreased drastically, making the station useless. It was finally shut down in 1966. It stayed a small outpost of sorts until eventually turning into a tourist destination in the 1990s.

Interesting enough, the settlement was involved in the Falklands War in 1982 between the UK and Argentina. Argentina occupied it for some 3 weeks, before relinquishing control without a battle.

Tourists visit the site often, but due to its remote location, virtually all of the tourists are part of Antarctic cruises. Due to its increasing tourism, now during the peak tourist season, some 20 people live in a small village right next to the settlement to accommodate the demand.
Bannack, Montana, US.
Upon discovering gold nearby in 1862, the town was built to accommodate the rush. Named after the local Indians, it grew so fast, it was actually the capital of the Montana Territory in 1864.

The town grew larger than most mining towns of the era, growing at one point in the late 1800s to over 10000 people. It had all the modern amenities and continued to flourish for many years.

The town has some interesting history, with the sheriff of the town Henry Plummer and his so called gang being accused of nearly 100 murders (only 8 officially documented though) as they vied for control of the gold mines. In 1864 he and some of his gang were hanged without trial, calling more into question their activities.

This town actually had residents for over 100 years, despite the gold mines drying up long ago. It was officially abandoned in the 1970s.

Some 60 buildings still stand, most in terrific condition and can be explored inside. Unfortunately, little furniture or items remain, having been removed by the residents before being abandoned. By all accounts it is a nice little ghost town to visit, if you ever find yourself in Montana.
Ghost Towns And What Happened to Each (150 Pics) Ghost Towns And What Happened to Each (150 Pics) Reviewed by Your Destination on October 29, 2017 Rating: 5

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