Saturday, October 7, 2017

Help Anna get a kidney transplant


Our co-blogger and friend Anna needs our help. Although she was diagnosed with kidney disease a long time ago, during the last months kidney disease took a turn for the worse. She now has to undergo dialysis three times a week, while her symptoms don't allow her to work.

Undergoing kidney transplant would allow her to improve her quality of life and get back to work. It is however one expensive medical procedure and that is why Anna needs our help.

You can read more about Anna and make a donation on gogetfunding.com

Any amount, even $10, would help and go towards her medical treatment.

Thank you a lot for your help and generosity. 

If you donate, make sure you email me at alexanderlrs@gmail.com so I can thank you personally. You can also email me if you have any questions.

- Alex
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Monday, September 18, 2017

The abandoned trains of an old British railway station in Brazil


A few miles outside Sao Paulo, sits the picturesque village of Paranapiacaba. It was established in the middle of the 19th century by the British-owned São Paulo Railway Company. Designed by Jeremy Bentham according to a prison model style, it was the operational headquarters of the British railway company.

The British had built the zig-zag railway line in the hilly terrain to export coffee beans from the area through the port Santos. For 30 years Paranapiacaba prospered and at one time about 4,000 workers, mostly British citizens, lived there. When automated machines replaced the funicular, the population declined and many buildings were abandoned. The last steam train was decommissioned in 1982. 

Even though only about 1,000 people live in Paranapiacaba today, the village's abandoned buildings have been well preserved as the government of Brazil has declared it a historic district and has promoted tourism.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Europe's largest abandoned underground military air base


It used to be one of the largest military complexes in Europe but it was destructed to keep it from falling into the enemy's hands. Željava Air Base was built by Yugoslavia's communist government starting in 1948 just on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Known by the code name 'Objekat 505', construction took about 20 years and cost approximately $6 billion, making it one of the largest and most expensive military construction projects in Europe. Yugoslavia's communist government chose the site, below Mount Pljesevica, for its strategic location. The role of the facility was to establish, integrate, and coordinate a nationwide early warning radar network for Yugoslavia, similar to the American NORAD. With radars on top of the mountain, the base was built in an ideal location.

The facility had 5 runways and within the immediate vicinity of the base, there were numerous short-range mobile tracking and targeting radars, surface to air missile sites, mobile surface-to-air missile interceptor systems, and various other supporting facilities. 

What made this base special though were its underground facilities. The tunnels ran a total length of 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) and the bunker had four entrances protected by 100-ton pressurized doors, three of which were customized for use by fixed-wing aircraft. The complex included an underground water source, power generators, crew quarters and other strategic military facilities. It also housed a mess hall that could feed 1,000 people simultaneously, along with enough food, fuel, and arms to last 30 days without resupply. Fuel was supplied by a 20-kilometer (12.4 mile) underground pipe network.

The airbase was last used extensively during the Yugoslav Wars. In 1991, the Yugoslav People's Army destroyed the runways during its withdrawal by filling pre-built spaces for this purpose with explosives and detonating them. The destruction was completed the following year by the forces of the Military of Serbian Krajina which detonated an additional 56 tons of explosives, to make the facilities unusable by the enemies.

The destruction of the base caused serious environmental damage in the area. It is said that there are still undetonated explosives in the vicinity of the base and accidents have occurred periodically. Today the former military base serves as a waypoint for illegal immigrants while the local government has launched an initiative to use one of the runways as an airport.




Monday, September 4, 2017

Inside North Korea's abandoned 'Hotel of Doom'


It was supposed to become the world's tallest hotel. Instead, it became the world's tallest abandoned building. The pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel is 330 metres (1,080 ft) tall and one of the most prominent features of Pyongyang's skyline. The structure consists of 105 floors and it was originally intended to house five revolving restaurants, and between 3,000 to 7,665 guest rooms

Construction began in 1987 and it was North Korea's response to other high-rise development taking place in cities around the West and Asia during the Cold War. For North Korean leadership, it was also an attempt to bring western investors into the marketplace. The hotel was scheduled to open in June 1989 for the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students, but problems with building methods and materials delayed completion.

In 1992, after it reached its architectural height, construction halted due to the economic crisis and famine in North Korea following the collapse of the Soviet bloc. By then, the hotel's construction cost $750 million, consuming 2% of North Korea's GDP. For over a decade, the unfinished building sat vacant and without windows, fixtures, or fittings, appearing as a massive concrete shell while A rusting construction crane remained at the top.

In 2008, construction resumed by the Egyptian Orascom company. The company had also made a deal to operate North Korea's telecommunications network and installed antennas on top of the building. By 2011 work had finished. Ryogyong Hotel was fitted with windows but not much work had taken place in the hotel's interior. Since then, there have been many rumors of the hotel finally opening but until today it remains unoccupied. 





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Monday, August 28, 2017

West Virginia's amusement park of death


Haunted or not, the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in Lake Shawnee, West Virginia, has seen its fair share of death and suffering, which begun even before the small amusement park was built. 

Formerly, it was the site of the Clay family massacre. Until 1783, Mercer County was home to a Native American tribe. When a European family attempted to settle the land, a turf war began. One day, while the family's patriarch, farmer Mitchel Clay was away hunting, the natives murdered his family, including his youngest son Bartley, while his daughter Tabitha was knifed to death in the struggle and his eldest son Ezekial was kidnapped and burned at the stake. After burying his family, Mitchel Clay assembled a group of white settlers and took revenge by murdering several Native Americans. 

Centuries later, the tragic history of the site didn't stop a businessman named Conley T. Snidow from buying the site of the Clay farm in order to turn it into an amusement park. The park included a swing set, a Ferris wheel, and a pond for swimming. Then, more deaths followed. 

A little girl in a pink dress was killed after climbing into the circling swing set. Another time, a little drowned in the amusement park’s swimming pond. In total, 6 people died inside the amusement park. In 1966, Lake Shawnee Amusement Park was abandoned.

Its new owner claims that the amusement park is haunted and you can hear the wooden swings creak even if they don't move, while sometimes the seats start moving when you get near them. He says that he's even seen a little girl covered in blood. Unsurprisingly, he offers paid tours of the "haunted" amusement park. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

An abandoned brewery in Berlin



It used to make one of the most loved beers in Germany but today it is abandoned. The Bärenquell Brewery, first called Borrusia Brewery, was founded in 1882 in the Berlin borough of Treptow-Köpenick. In 1898 it was bought by brewer Schultheiss-Brauerei AG, which expanded it adding more buildings and equipment. Only two of the original buildings remain today: the official residence and the administrative building, built in neo-Renaissance style.

After World War II, the brewery was nationalized and became part of Volkseigener Betrieb, the large publicly owned corporation of East Germany. The harder times came when Bärenquell Brewery was privatized, after the Fall of the Berlin Wall. East Germany turned its back to its local products, delighted by what the west had to offer. The eastern beers could not compete anymore to the trendy ones available from the west. That was the time that many breweries closed and Bärenquell was one of them, shutting its doors in 1994. 

Even though several of its buildings have been listed as protected since decades ago, the brewery has fallen in disrepair and have been heavily looted and vandalized. Around 2013, several buildings were de-listed in order to be demolished and make way for redevelopment. However, no action has been taken yet.



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Monday, August 14, 2017

The abandoned Miranda Castle of Belgium



Miranda Castle (Château Miranda), in the Namur province of Belgium was built in 1866. It was commissioned by the Liedekerke-De Beaufort family, who had left their previous home, Vêves Castle, during the French Revolution. Its architect, Edward Milner, died before the Gothic castle was completed. Construction finished only in 1907 after the clock tower was erected.


Descendants of the Liedekerke-De Beaufort family stayed in the castle until World War II. During the war, a portion of the Battle of the Bulge  took place around Miranda Castle and the property was occupied by German forces. 

In 1950, the National Railway Company of Belgium took over the castle and renamed it to Château de Noisy. It was then turned into an orphanage and a camp for children and remained so until the late 1970's. 

Château de Noisy was abandoned in 1991 as the costs to maintain it were too high, and a search for investors in the property failed. Although the municipality of Celles had offered to take it over, the family has refused, hoping to find a buyer. Meanwhile, Château was often visited by urban explorers and it was also used as a filming location by the US tv series Hannibal.

In October 2016, it was reported that the demolition of the castle had began by tearing down its towers. However, as of 2017 the largest part of the castle is still standing.





Monday, August 7, 2017

A secret abandoned apartment inside New York's Hunts Point Library


In 1902, Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men of the modern time, donated $5.2 million to New York City to be used for the construction of 39 public libraries. The Carnegie libraries were heated by coal, and maintaining them was a 24/7 job. That's why every one of them included a large apartment where a live-in custodian and his family could live while also getting paid for their job. Although coal is a thing of a past, some of these secret apartments were occupied until fairly recently. 

For example, Hunts Point Library in the Bronx includes an apartment that was occupied until 2001. Today, it is one of the 13 Carnegie apartments that haven't been renovated yet. Built in the architectural style of 14th-century Florence, Hunts Point Library was one of the last Carnegie libraries to be completed, opening in 1929. 

Located on the second and third floor of the building, the huge 8-room apartment was occupied by the library's custodian and his family until 2001. One of the perks of the job was that the residents could read books after hours and have parties in the library when it was closed. 

The custodian program ended towards the end of last century as a 24/7 presence in the library wasn't needed anymore after coal furnaces were removed. During the last years the abandoned library apartments are being converted into usable space for the libraries. 




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Monday, July 31, 2017

An abandoned Soviet village in Siberia

This village was founded in 1968 on the shore of the Anadyr Bay of the Bering Sea, opposite to the town of Anadyr. You wouldn't find it on the map during the Soviet era, as part of the village was a military settlement guarding the eastern borders of the USSR, opposite to Alaska. Those living in the civilian part of the village were mainly engaged in lignite mining. 

After the fall of USSR and the elimination of a part of the country's nuclear weapons, the military part of the village was abandoned. The officers' club, a school and a shopping center were shut down. That was the beginning of the end for the village. In 2013, the local authorities decided to move the last remaining residents to Pervomaysky district as 70% of the village was abandoned by then.

Russian photographer and blogger e-strannik visited the village in 2016, capturing what was left behind by the last residents of a village that you again won't find on a map. 









Monday, July 24, 2017

The submerged church of Sant Romà de Sau


For more than a thousand years, the Romanesque town of Sant Romà de Sau was standing in what is today in the Sau valley of Catalonia, Spain. It did so until the 1960's when the government decided to create a reservoir that would submerge the town. The residents left, taking with them their valuables as well as their dead, leaving behind only the empty buildings. 

The creation of the reservoir flooded Sant Romà de Sau submerged the town, covering everything but the top of the town's church. The tip of the bell tower can be seen even when the level of the water is high. During drought conditions, when water levels fall, the rest of the church, as well as other ruins of the town can be seen as well.

During one of the dry seasons, engineers reinforced the church so it would remain standing, as it had already started attracting visitors to the area. Today, tourists often visit the Sau reservoir to see the submerged church as well as other ruins of the town, including an empty cemetery and the foundations of other buildings.

The submerged church reminds us of a similar one in South Tyrol, Italy.





SEE ALSO: More deserted churches around the world // More deserted underwater places // More deserted places in Spain // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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