Wednesday, August 30, 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

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 so I can thank you personally. You can also email me if you have any questions.

- Alex

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. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned places in the state of New York // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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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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Monday, July 17, 2017

The abandoned Hachijo Royal Hotel in Japan

Back in the early 1960's it wasn't possible for Japanese tourists to travel oversees, so the country's tourism industry tried to compensate by building equivalent resorts closer to home. The island of Hachijo-jima, part of the Izu islands in the Philippine sea, was chosen for its subtropical climate and it was promoted as the 'Hawaii of Japan'. With a distance of 287 kilometers (178 miles) south of Tokyo, it was possible to reach the island by ferry or by plane.

The island saw a lot of investments with many new hotels being built. The largest of them was lavish Hachijo Royal Hotel. Modeled on French Baroque architecture, its gardens contained plaster renditions of Greek statues and ornate water fountains. The hotel attracted clients from Japan's expanding middle class and was very successful.

In the following decades things changed as Japanese tourists could now visit other countries easier. The prospect on spending their holidays on the black volcanic sands of Hachijo-jima wasn't so appealing when instead they could visit Thailand, Guam or even Hawaii. The hotel changed names several times, with the last one being Hachijo Oriental Resort prior to its demise and eventual closure around 2006.

Since then, the tropical heat and saltwater has ensured a swift deterioration of the hotel, while thick vegetation has covered its exterior. Inside the hotel, everything appears to have been left behind, from furniture to computers and other equipment. However, it doesn't look like it's possible for it to open again anytime soon

Monday, July 10, 2017

Inside an abandoned train yard in Budpest

The abandoned Istvántelek Train Yard occupies a vast area of land outside Budapest. Also known as the Red Star Train Graveyard, it is the resting place of more than 100 train cars and locomotives that have been abandoned in various states of disrepair.

The train yard was built in the early 20th century and today only a small part of it is used while the rest remains abandoned. Two large depots, a few smaller sheds and open-air areas are scattered with train engines and carriages, some newer and some from many decades ago. 

Among them, many German rail cars that could be among those that carried hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews to their death in Auschwitz during Nazi occupation in World War II. The Red Star Train Graveyard comes from a few Hungarian MAV 424 steam engines that bear a red star on their fronts. Also in the yard, many Soviet train cars brought to be repaired before being exhibited in the Budapest Railway Museum but never made it to the display and were instead abandoned there. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Deserted places on Alaska's Adak Island

Adak Island is part of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, where Bering Sea meets the northern Pacific Ocean. Harsh winds and cold temperatures make Adak Island an inhospitable land, however it has been home to Aleut peoples since ancient times. 

Due to its strategically important location, the United States military constructed a base and an airfield on the island during World War II. From there, fight operations against the Japanese began in September 1942. After the war was over, the approximately 6,000 American military men who served on Adak recalled its cold, foggy, windy weather; mud; Quonset huts; few women and no trees; and a volcano that from time to time would issue puffs of smoke. Fresh food was a rarity.

The military continued to have a presence on the island with Adak Naval Air Station which remained operational during the Cold War and finally closed in 1997. The closure of the base brought the population of the island down to 326 residents from a high of 6,000. Although the town of Adak was incorporated with the former base, many structures were left abandoned. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Inside the abandoned Whitchurch mental health hospital

When Whitchurch Hospital opened in 1908, it was Cardiff's largest mental health hospital. As the population of the city had expanded greatly during the late 19th century, there was need for a large psychiatric hospital to treat patients that were until then held in other institutions around Wales. Named 'Cardiff City Asylum' it was built over a period of 10 years and with a cost of £350,000.

The main hospital covered 5 acres and consisted of 10 wards, 5 for men and 5 women, that could accommodate 750 patients. Like many Victorian institutes, it was designed as a self-contained facility, with its own farm, were patients could work, water tower and power house which contained two steam engines powering electric generators and was decommissioned only in the mid-1980s. 

During wartime, the hospital was converted into a military facility. It was called Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital during World War I and in World War II it became an emergency service hospital treating British, US Army and German personnel, while also offering early treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder

As Whitchurch Hospital had been constructed over a century ago, it wasn't suitable for the needs of modern psychiatric care. In the 2000s an ongoing programme to phase out and replace the old building took place. Some facilities were moved to other hospitals while other wards were replaced by community-based services. 

Whitchurch Hospital finally closed its doors in April 2016. Now a residential development with of 150 houses and 180 flats is being designed for the site of the former hospital. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned hospitals and health institutions // More abandoned places in the United Kingdom // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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Monday, June 19, 2017

The ruins of a Chinese city, turned into a museum after the Great Sichuan Earthquake

On May 12th, 2008, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit a mountainous region in southwestern Sichuan province of China. Over 70,000 people lost their lives while hundreds of thousands were injured and 5 million remained homeless. 

In Beichuan county 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed and 80% of buildings were destroyed. Qushan Town which was until then Beichuan's county seat was abandoned but instead of pulling them town, authorities decided to stabilize and preserve the ruins as part of the Beichuan Earthquake Museum. There were hydraulic engineering projects to help preserve the site and an underground museum was built at the site of of the old Beichuan High School. 

The Earthquake Museum site also includes Tangjiashan Lake which was formed during the earthquake.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Inside the abandoned Cottontail Ranch brothel of Nevada

Two and a half hours outside Las Vegas, near the intersection of U.S. Route 95 and State Route 266, stands a small abandoned building that used to host the legendary Cottontail Ranch brothel. The brothel opened in 1967 on leased federal land from the Bureau of Land Management by madam Beverly Harrell, a Jewish girl from Brooklyn and former dancer. 

In its early days one of the most faithful customers was billionaire aviator Howard Hughes who would make several visits while he was living in nearby Las Vegas. He would fly there are a small airstrip exists next to the brothel. 

While Cottontail Ranch was licensed as prostitution is legal in the state of Nevada, the bureau of Land Management evicted her in the 1970's when word leaked of the government's role. In 1974, Harrell attempted to run for a Nevada Assembly seat in 1974 gaining national attention. 

The madam died in 1995 and the brothel finally closed in 2004. Since then it remains abandoned. 

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