A dull landscape characterizes these fourteen places where time seems to have stopped.
The wooden roofs of the Bodie houses have remained intact and lonely since the 1960s. This ghost town arose as a result of the gold rush of the 19th century, when various deposits of this precious metal were discovered, which made its inhabitants rich: 400 thousand dollars were mined monthly. The population grew from 20 to 10,000 people in just 20 years, and 65 beauty salons were opened! The Great Depression of the twentieth century and World War II put an end to the economic prosperity of this place, which was gradually abandoned.
Built at the end of the 16th century, the ghost town of Bhangarh remained abandoned for 400 years. Legend has it that during the reign of Maharaja Bahgwant Das, this city, located in Rajasthan, grew and was decorated with luxurious royal buildings, which the monarch swore not to do under threat of the curse of the guru. It is believed that the curse came true when some kind of natural disaster hit the city. It was conquered in 1720 and from then on began to fall into disrepair until it was completely abandoned.
In Pripyat, the city created to house the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, on April 26, 1986, time stopped. The city was evacuated 24 hours after the power plant's reactor exploded and has remained untouched ever since. Visiting this place means traveling back in time, where you can still see communist symbols and many personal belongings of former residents.
The ruins of the village of Belchite tell of one of the most difficult and symbolic battles of the Spanish Civil War. Captured by the Francoist side in 1937, Belchite was attacked by Republican troops to divert attention from the northern front of the country. As a result, all that is left standing today is the village, reduced to rubble. Given its troubled past, it has now become a place of pilgrimage for paranormal investigators who claim to have discovered the presence of supernatural activity.
The eruption of Vesuvius almost 2,000 years ago, in turn, is responsible both for the disappearance of life in Herculaneum and for the always amazing preservation of its ruins as a result of the natural disaster it caused. On that August morning in what is believed to be AD 79, the inhabitants of this nearby Roman settlement of Naples were burned to the ground by a rain of ash and burning stones that hit the city. 20 centuries later, a visit to Herculaneum allows us to perfectly imagine what life was like on its streets.
Ever since this German mining town was abandoned in the early twentieth century, aggressive desert sand has taken over most of its buildings. The first buildings were erected in 1908, and since then their surroundings began to be exploited, which gave the settlers a large amount of diamonds. However, after the First World War, the number of diamonds declined and the city was abandoned.
Corbera de Ebro, Spain
The columns and arches of the old church of Sant Pere rise proudly over the ruins of what was once a majestic Gothic building in the village of Corbera de Ebro in Catalonia. The Battle of the Ebro, one of the bloodiest of the Spanish Civil War, took place over this town in Tarracona and left it as it is today: few surviving walls recall the peaceful past of the peasant families that once filled it with life.
The ancient city, built around the eighteenth century, fell victim to the brutal Turkish-Greek war of the early twentieth century. When World War II broke out, suddenly the Greek communities that had settled on the west coast of Turkey found themselves in enemy territory and were forced to flee or face an uncertain fate. By the end of this conflict, which lasted until 1922, Kayakoy was abandoned and looked the same as it does today.
Humberstone and Santa Laura, Chile
From the looks of it, it could very well be a city in the American West. But the ruins of the mining town of Humberston rise among the plains of Chile's majestic Atacama Desert. 150 years after the golden age, the experience of visiting this completely abandoned city in 1960 can now be enjoyed at night. However, night walks in such a place are not for the faint of heart.
This abandoned village in the Middle Ages was a prosperous city with about 2500 inhabitants, a university was built, four noble palaces and a tower, the profile of which is still one of its distinguishing features. Its privileged location atop a headland in the Cavone Valley, combined with an aura of mystery that has characterized it since its abandonment in 1922, has made Kraco the setting for several films such as 007: Quantum of Solace or The Passion of the Christ.
After the Normandy landings in June 1944, as World War II drew to a close, the Waffen-SS armored division stopped at Oradour-sur-Glane on their way back to Germany. They had an order to deal with civilians, and they did it. The massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane destroyed the entire population, including children, after which the city was reduced to ashes. Today, their ruins stand as an ominous reminder of the worst outcome of one of the great wars of the twentieth century.
Saint Elmo, USA
One of the best preserved ghost towns in America is Saint Elmo, located in Colorado. Again, it was the gold and silver mining sector that singled out this city on the map. Since its founding in 1880, its population has grown exponentially, hotels, schools, shops have opened, and even a local newspaper has appeared. However, when the railroad stopped running to St. Elmo due to the decline of the mining industry, the villagers abandoned the village, leaving it abandoned in 1952.
The arctic ghost town is isolated by the high walls of a fjord, the Norwegian Isfjord. Although it used to be a Swedish settlement, it was from the 30s that the former Soviet Union began to use it as a coal mine. After World War II, it became a model Soviet city: it was prosperous and the standard of living was good. With the collapse of the USSR, its streets were empty, and now the view from the inside of its buildings, in the rooms of which most of the furniture is still preserved, is silent evidence of the decline of the ideal world.
Chaco Canyon, USA
This vast valley in northern New Mexico was where the Anasazi Indians settled and flourished between AD 900 and 1150. The Pueblo Bonito area was probably one of the most important centers in which commercial, ceremonial and social activities developed. Circular structures called kivas served a ceremonial function and were built of clay, brick, sandstone and wood: they still stand today.