BODIE, UNITED STATES
The wooden roofs of Bodie houses have remained intact and lonely since the 1960s. This ghost town is the fruit of the 19th century gold rush, when several veins of this precious metal were discovered that made its inhabitants rich: they arrived to extract $ 400,000 a month. The population went from 20 inhabitants to 10,000 in just 20 years, and 65 saloons were opened! The Great Depression of the 20th century and the Second World War ended the economic boom in the area, which was progressively abandoned.
Built in the late 16th century, the ghost town of Bhangarh has been abandoned for 400 years. Legend has it that, under the reign of Maharaja Bahgwant Das, this city located in Rajasthan, India, grew and was embellished with sumptuous royal buildings, something that the monarch had promised not to do under threat of the curse of a guru. It is believed that the curse came true when some kind of natural disaster struck the city, but the truth is that in 1720 it was conquered and from then on it began to decline until it was completely abandoned.
In Pripyat, a town created to house the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, time stopped on April 26, 1986. The appearance of everything that remains in the city seems to have been abandoned from one moment to another, without looking behind. 24 hours after the plant’s reactor explosion, the city was evacuated and has remained intact ever since. Visiting it means taking a trip back in time where you can still see communist symbols and a multitude of personal belongings of the ancient inhabitants.
The ruins of the town of Belchite tell us about one of the toughest and most symbolic battles of the Spanish Civil War. Taken by the Francoist side in 1937, Belchite was attacked by Republican troops to divert attention from the northern front of the country. The result is all that is left standing today, a town reduced to ruins. Given its troubled past, it has now become a pilgrimage site for paranormal investigators, who say they have found the presence of supernatural activity.
The natural catastrophe caused by the eruption of Vesuvius, almost 2,000 years ago, is in turn responsible for both the disappearance of life in Herculaneum and the always surprising conservation of its ruins. That August morning – it is believed – in AD 79, the inhabitants of this neighboring Roman town of Naples were burned under the rain of ash and burning rock that fell on the city. 20 centuries later, a visit to Herculaneum allows us to perfectly imagine what life was like in its streets.
The vast Namib Desert – which stretches along the entire coast of the country – is now the main inhabitant of Kolmanskop. Since this German mining town was abandoned in the early 20th century, the invasive desert sand has taken over most of its buildings. The first constructions were built in 1908 and since then the surroundings began to be exploited, which provided the settlers with large quantities of diamonds. However, after the First World War, the quantities of diamonds were reduced and the city was abandoned.
CORBERA DE EBRO, SPAIN
The pillars and arches of the old church of Sant Pere proudly support the ruins of what was once a solemn Gothic building in the town of Corbera de Ebro, in Catalonia. The battle of the Ebro, one of the bloodiest of the Spanish Civil War, passed over this Tarragona town and left it as it can now be seen: just a few standing walls that recall the peaceful past of peasant families that in the past they filled her with life.
The ancient city of Livissi, built around the 18th century, ended up being the victim of the fierce Turkish-Greek war in the early 20th century. When the Second World War broke out, suddenly the Greek communities settled on the west coast of Turkey found themselves in enemy territory and had to flee or face an uncertain fate. When this conflict ended – which lasted until 1922 – Kayaköy had been deserted, with the same aspect that it offers today.
HUMERSTONE Y SANTA LAURA, CHILE
From its appearance, it could well be a town in the American West. But the ruins of the mining town of Humberstone emerge from the plains of the majestic Chilean Atacama Desert. 150 years after the golden age of saltpeter extraction, the experience of visiting this completely abandoned town in 1960 can now also be done at night. Even scarier, if possible.
Following the Normandy Landings in June 1944, and with World War II drawing to a close, a Waffen-SS armored division stopped at Orador-sur-Glane on its way back to Germany. They had orders to retaliate against civilians, and they did. The massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane ended with the entire population, including the children, after which the city was reduced to ashes. Today, its ruins are a sinister memory of the worst face of one of the great wars of the 20th century.