Hashima Island in Japan
Hashima Island, commonly called Gunkanjima (Battleship Island), is an abandoned island of Nagasaki, lying about 15 kilometers from the center of the city. It is one of 505 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture. The island’s most notable features are its abandoned concrete buildings, undisturbed except by nature, and the surrounding sea wall. While the island is a symbol of the rapid industrialization of Japan, it is also a reminder of Japanese war crimes as a site of forced labour prior to and during the Second World War.
In 1959, the island’s population reached its peak of 5,259 persons.
As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down across the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. Mitsubishi officially closed the mine in January 1974, and the island was cleared of inhabitants few months later.
Today its most notable features are the abandoned and still mostly-intact concrete apartment buildings, the surrounding sea wall, and its distinctive profile shape. The island has been administered as part of Nagasaki city since the merger with the former town of Takashima in 2005. Travel to Hashima was re-opened on April 22, 2009, after 35 years of closure.
It was estimated that landing of tourists would only be feasible for fewer than 160 days per year because of the area’s harsh weather. A small portion of the island was finally reopened for tourism in 2009, but more than 95% of the island is strictly delineated as off-limits during tours. A full reopening of the island would require substantial investment in safety, and detract from the historical state of the aged buildings on the property.
The island is increasingly gaining international attention not only generally for its modern regional heritage, but also for the undisturbed housing complex remnants representative of the period from the Taishō period to the Shōwa period. It has become a frequent subject of discussion among enthusiasts for ruins. Since the abandoned island has not been maintained, several buildings have collapsed mainly due to typhoon damage, and other buildings are in danger of collapse. However, some of the collapsed exterior walls have been restored with concrete.
The island has appeared in a number of recent feature films. External shots of the island were used in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall. The 2015 live-action Japanese films based on the manga Attack on Titan used the island for filming multiple scenes, and 2013 Thai horror film Hashima Project was filmed here. The 2017 South Korean World War II film The Battleship Island fictitiously depicts an attempt by Korean forced labourers to escape the labour camp on the island.
Sony featured the island in a video promoting one of its video cameras. The camera was mounted onto a mini multi-rotor radio-controlled helicopter and flown around the island and through many buildings. The video was posted on YouTube in April 2013.
In 2013 Google sent an employee to the island with a Street View backpack to capture its condition in panoramic 360-degree views and allow users to take a virtual walk across the island. Google also took pictures inside the abandoned buildings, which still contain such items as old black-and-white television sets and discarded soda bottles.
Since April 2009 the island has been open for public visits, although there are restrictions by Nagasaki city’s ordinance. Sightseeing boat trips around or to the island are currently provided by five operators; Gunkanjima Concierge, Gunkanjima Cruise Co., Ltd., Yamasa-Kaiun, and Takashima Kaijou from Nagasaki Port, and a private service from the Nomozaki Peninsula. Landing access to the island costs ¥300 per person, in addition to the cost of boat travel.
The story of what happened at Oradour is tragic, and it’s evil. But the way the French have chosen to preserve the site of this tragedy and assure that the martyrs are not forgotten is simple and moving.
The village has been preserved as it was left after it was destroyed by the Nazis. Today it is a peaceful place, perhaps a holy place, where we are reminded of what happened here in 1944. visiting the museum is worth it as it puts it in perspective.
On 10 June 1944, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in Haute-Vienne in Nazi-occupied France was destroyed when 642 of its inhabitants, including non-combatant women and children, were massacred by a German Waffen-SS company.
A new village was built nearby after the war, but President Charles de Gaulle ordered the original maintained as a permanent memorial and museum.
On 10 June, Diekmann’s battalion sealed off Oradour-sur-Glane and ordered everyone within to assemble in the village square to have their identity papers examined. This included six non-residents who happened to be bicycling through the village when the SS unit arrived. The women and children were locked in the church, and the village was looted. The men were led to six barns and sheds, where machine guns were already in place. In all, 190 Frenchmen died.
The SS men next proceeded to the church and placed an incendiary device beside it. When it was ignited, women and children tried to escape through the doors and windows, only to be met with machine-gun fire. 247 women and 205 children died in the attack.
Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States about 121 km southeast of Lake Tahoe, 12 mi (19 km) east-southeast of Bridgeport,at an elevation of 8379 feet (2554 m).
Bodie became a boom town in 1876 after the discovery of a profitable line of gold; by 1879 it had a population of 7,000—10,000.
The town went into decline in the subsequent decades and came to be described as a ghost town by 1915. The U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes the designated Bodie Historic District as a National Historic Landmark and also registered as a California Historical Landmars, it receives about 200,000 visitors yearly.
In the 1940s, the threat of vandalism faced the ghost town. The Cain family, who owned much of the land, hired caretakers to protect and to maintain the town’s structures.
Bodie is now an authentic Wild West ghost town and has been named California’s official state gold rush ghost town.
Visitors arrive mainly via SR 270, which runs from US 395 near Bridgeport to the west; the last three miles of it is a dirt road. There is also a road to SR 167 near Mono Lake in the south, but this road is extremely rough, with more than 10 miles of dirt track in a bad state of repair. Due to heavy snowfall, the roads to Bodie are usually closed in winter .
Bodie is a popular destination for organized night photography, emphasizing the eerie nature of the park.
Today, Bodie is preserved in a state of arrested decay. Only a small part of the town survived, with about 110 structures still standing, including one of many once operational gold mills. Visitors can walk the deserted streets of a town that once was a bustling area of activity. Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Littered throughout the park, one can find small shards of china dishes, square nails and an occasional bottle, but removing these items is against the rules of the park.
Bodie has many abandoned artefacts, such as a 1937 Chevrolet coupe.
Craco is a ghost town and comune in the province of Matera, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. It was abandoned towards the end of the 20th century due to natural disasters. The abandonment has made Craco a tourist attraction and a popular filming location. In 2010, Craco was included in the watch list of the World Monuments Fund.
Craco is about 40 kilometres inland from the Gulf of Taranto. The town was built on a very steep summit for defensive reasons, giving it a striking appearance and distinguishing it from the surrounding land. The centre, built on the highest side of the town, faces a ridge which runs steeply to the southwest, where newer buildings exist. The town sits atop a 400-metre-high cliff that overlooks the Cavone River valley. Throughout the area are many vegetation-less mounds called calanchi (badlands) formed by intensive erosion.
In 1972 a flood worsened the situation further, preventing a possible repopulation of the historic centre. After the 1980 Irpinia earthquake, the ancient site of Craco was completely abandoned.
In 2007, the descendants of the emigrants of Craco in the United States formed the “Craco Society”, a non-profit organization which preserves the culture, traditions, and history of the comune.
Tombs have been found dating from the 8th century BC. Around 540 BC, the area was inhabited by Greeks who moved inland from the coastal town of Metaponto. The town’s name can be dated to 1060 AD, when the land was the possession of Arnaldo, Archbishop of Tricarico, who called the area Graculum, which means in Latin “little plowed field”. This long association of the Church with the town had a great influence on the inhabitants.
Mandu or Mandavgad is an ancient city in the present-day Mandav area of the Dhar district. It is located in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh, India, at 35 km from Dhar city. In the 11th century, Mandu was the sub division of the Tarangagadh or Taranga kingdom. This fortress town on a rocky outcrop about 100 km from Indore is celebrated for its architecture.
An inscription discovered from Talanpur (around 100km from Mandu) states that a merchant named Chandra Simha installed a statue in a temple of Parshvanatha located in the Mandapa Durga. While “Durga” means “Fort”, the word “Mandu” is a Prakrit corruption of “mandapa”, meaning “hall, temple”. The inscription is dated 612 VS (555 CE), which indicates that Mandu was a flourishing town in 6th century.
Mandu, due to its strategic position and natural defences, was an important place with a rich and varied history. It was an important military outpost and its military past can be gauged by the circuit of the battlemented wall, which is nearly 37 km and is punctuated by 12 gateways. The wall encloses a large number of palaces, mosques, Jain temples of 14th century and other buildings. The oldest mosque dates from 1405; the finest is the Jama Masjid or great mosque, a notable example of Pashtun architecture. The marble-domed tomb of this ruler is also magnificent
Some of the notable places, listed in South to North direction are:
- Roopmati’s Pavilion
- Baz Bahadur’s Palace
- Baz Bahadur’s Palace
- Darya Khan’s Tomb complex
- Shri Mandavagadh Teerth
Probably the most controversial and interesting ghost town in the world, is Varosha. Despite what many people believe, Varoshia is not an abandoned town but it is actually an evacuated town during the Turkish invasion in Greek Cyprus in 1974. Before the invasion, Greek Cypriots were living in this town and since the invasion happened suddenly, the residents did not have the chance to collect their belongings and left them behind.
The interior of the houses, hotels, businesses, shops, apartments, everything was left as it was, with set tables and even clothing in the closets.
As of 2020, the quarter continues to be uninhabited; buildings have decayed, and, in some cases, their contents have been looted over the years; some streets have been overgrown with vegetation; and the quarter is generally described as a ghost town.
If you are thinking to visit the Varoshia ghost town, note that the entry is forbidden and the United Nations is constantly patrolling the area, said to arrest on spot or even shot at trespassers. Which makes it even more appealing for urban explorers looking for a challenge and an unexplored ghost city that not too many people know what lies behind its walls.
Balestrino is a municipality in the Province of Savona in the Italian region Liguria, located about 70 kilometres southwest of Genoa and about 30 kilometres southwest of Savona.
Balestrino is composed by the old historic town, upon a hill, and the new town below it. Abandoned in 1953 for hydrogeological instability, the old centre is a ghost town whereas the modern center is still inhabited today.
The old abandoned village of Balestrino was a very important set for film shoots.
Most of the filming of the famous film “Inkheart”, based on the same named novel by Cornelia Funke, was filmed here.
The film, produced by the “New Line Cinema”, which already had achieved great success with the trilogy of “The Lord of the Rings”, was released in Italy in February 2009.
The film was shot almost entirely in our province of Savona, between Balestrino, Laigueglia, Albenga and Alassio.