A whole world opened up once I started exploring images of abandoned places.  As in so many wonder posts, it’s hard to pick and choose–and to stop because there seem to be endless amazing photographs.  Some of the pictures that follow are the remains of man-made beauty, some are of nature reclaiming what humans have abandoned.  And of course, as always, there are the artists who capture the perfect light, have an eye for the best angle, the exact right setting to give us the best of what they see.

If you recognize anything unlabeled, please let us know.

NYC’s City Hall Subway Station was first constructed over 100 years ago, a part of New York’s earliest underground transport network. It has been shut down and untouched since 1945.

Lee Plaza Hotel, once one of the most luxurious residential hotels in Detroit, closed in the 1990s. By Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre.

Bowling Alley, Former Bömisches Brauhaus, Berlin, Germany

Castle from 15 Century, Black Forest, Germany

House in Kolmanskop, an abandoned diamond mining town in the Namibia Desert.

Greenhouse, Wilkes-Barre, PA


Mill from 1866, Sorento, Italy

NSA listening station, Berlin, Germany by Jeremy Pierce-Mayer

Ascending stairs

Bannerman Castle, Pollepel Island, New York

Asunción, Paraguay

Russian Railway Station

Boat from 2nd World War, Homebush, Australia

Bulgarian Communist Party House–I think those are ceiling lights.

Ferris Wheel, Chippewa Lake Amusement Park located in Chippewa Lake, Ohio. It operated from 1878 through 1978.

Ta Prohm which is one of over 140 temples in the Angkor Complex of Siem Reap, Cambodia

Amusement park in Berlin, Germany called Spreepark. Also called Kulturpark Plänterwald.

Hopland in Mendecino County, California at a shop called Real Goods.

Pegrema, in the Republic of Karelia, Russia

“El Hotel del Salto”, Columbia

Abandoned City Near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine

“Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum” in Weston, West Virginia.

Safe deposit boxes in bank vault, Detroit, Michigan

Railway Station in Poland

Kalavantin Durg, India

76-foot Brazilian yacht named Mar Sem Fin (Endless Sea) that sank off the coast of Antarctica, likely due to ice compression and strong winds. . It sank in April, 2012.

Distillary, Barbados

Fishermen House at Lake, Germany

Detroit Spanish Gothic theater, United Artists, built in 1928, closed in the 1970s. By Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre

Mysterious Road Kerry Way, Ireland

Ruin in Detroit by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre

Abandoned Factory for Rockets in Russia

Ruins, Craco, Italy

North Brother Island, New York

Remains of a house built in the early mid-twentieth century by a New York showgirl with the local nickname of Madam Sherrie. The once elegant staircase is now in a forest aptly named Madam Sherrie’s Forest, Chesterfield, NH

Church, Detroit, Michigan

Ghost Town Keelung, Taiwan

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex, England

Airplane “graveyard, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson Arizona, US

St. John’s Hospital, a former mental asylum in Lincolnshire, England, which closed its doors in 1989. Built in 1852, the hospital was originally called the Lincolnshire County Lunatic Asylum, built to house 250 “penniless lunatics.” Through the years, the hospital expanded its grounds to 120 acres, its own mortuary chapel, gardens, farmland & a burial ground.

Abandoned house in Devon, England.

Train graveyard in Bolivia

Farm of the Heinen family, spiral staircase by MMG Zegwaard

The Park of the Monsters (Parco dei Mostri in Italian-language), also named Garden of Bomarzo, Italy.

Main staircase of Old Hall, England

World War II anti-aircraft gun towers in the Thames Estuary which were placed there in a not very successful attempt to protect the approaches to London from German bombers. They are known as Maunsell Forts.

Streetcars of L.A. waiting for demolition after it was decided that the car was the future!

Small gothic chapel

Theme park submerged by Hurricane Katrina, the former Jazzland, bought by Six Flags and became known as Six Flags New Orleans prior to the hurricane. The park was never reopened and the grounds will become an outlet mall complex.

Miranda Castle, also known as Noisy Castle. It is a 19th-century castle in Celles, a Province of Namur, Belgium

Taipingshan National Forest in Taiwan.

At Stalin’s Gulag Prison in Russian Siberia.

Protestant Chapel. Designed by Karl Langhans (also known for The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin) built in 1796-1797 in Zeliszow, Poland.

School for Girls in an unknown city in the UK.


Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA

Abandoned Tunnel of Love in Ukraine

A building in Antwerp (Belgium), called ‘handelsbeurs’ …

Underwater Bronze Statue of Jesus Christ, Mediterranean Sea, Italy. Notice the size of the diver.

Theme Park, Nora, Japan

Many thanks to Mike Allsup for offering corrections and details on so many of the images and to the many others who have taken the time to send corrections and added info.

Also thanks to:  Mike Hill on pinterest,   Your Amazing Places, 

to Benjamin and to French photographers, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre for Detroit images, to Lauren Riley for correcting labeling of Angkor Wat and Holland Island on the Chesapeake Bay.

34 thoughts on “Abandoned but Beautiful

  1. More magnificent wonders! Dusky, these photos are amazingly lovely. While they are all just great, I especially love the ones showing trees growing out of buildings and cars, etc. Also, the ruins of Detroit were so poignant. Thank you for these continuing wonders!

  2. beautiful images. tho i’d expect a lot of images from “old” countries, it was disconcerting to see so many from detroit.
    thanks again, dusky

  3. Just spectacular, Dusky–many of them took my breath away. I will have to go back and see them again…Thank you!

  4. great photographs.
    In loneliness the nature never abandons. It is the nature who wins all the ways, One may build rail roads, factories, houses, boats ,cars but the nature overrules them all! One may clear the forest but slowly and surely it creeps back to claim. Watch out for the greenery to overtake the Chernobyl in years to come.

    Proves nothing is permanent everything perishes.

  5. Wow I especially like the pictures showing trees growing out of cars/buildings. thanks

  6. The fifth one (counting up), you think is in Russia, is actually a building in Antwerp (Belgium). It’s called ‘handelsbeurs’ and is rebuilt in 1872 according to the original plans of 1531.

    Architects are working on plans for renovation, but at this moment it’s too expensive.

  7. your “lost temple” in Portugal is a fake. It’s photoshopped. Would be very cool if real, but it’s not. Check it out on google. Others are all the more beautiful because they are not faked. Lovely collection.

  8. I believe the large tree growing out of the rusty Cadillac was taken in the small town of Hopland in Mendecino County at a shop called Real Goods!

  9. Amazing images! I would let you know that ‘The Monsters Park is not abandoned, the park is open every day, sometimes they ‘cure’ the grass, but not too much, because it could lose the ‘magic atmosphere’. Patrizia

  10. Dusky, while all your photos are just beautiful I couldn’t help being taken by the shot of the Cadillac and tree from Hopland, CA. I have fond memories of driving through Hopland with a brief stop at The Keg on my way to Ukiah (thank you Doobie Bros) to visit my mother. If there lies a remote chance of obtaining a print of this photo, I would be so ever indebted to you. Of course I would handle any fees that you would need/want.

  11. The last picture is a painting by David Edwards (or Everlite on deviantart.com) depicting the artist’s fantasy of the Natural History Museum in London being abandoned and taken over by nature.
    Here are the links to the author: http://everlite.deviantart.com/art/Fallen-Beauty-71205953
    Here’s an actual photo of the museum for comparison: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/365-photos/natural-history-museum-london/

  12. Wow, thanks for sharing that info with the links. It’s almost too bad it’s not such a beautiful truly abandoned place. I think I have that picture of the real museum on my post about arches. Such an extraordinary building.

  13. The one labelled ‘Bulgarian Communist Party House’ is situated on Mount Buzludzha central Bulgaria .. They are not ceiling lights, unfortunately the complex is eroding extremely rapidly due to its location, vandalism and extreme weather variations.

  14. The picture of the wooden structure directly above the picture of the abandoned railway station in Poland is the abandoned floating landing stage/dock on Lake Denezhnoe in Volgograd, Russia.

  15. The Underwater Bronze picture is the choice of me. Its looks so interesting and its really a great picture.

  16. The picture of “El Hotel del Salto” is in Colombia . Sud Amerique. Today is a museum…

  17. Unknow school for girls in UK —
    is the derelict Lillesden School for Girls, closure in 1999.

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