As the start of summer grows closer, so does Europe's popularity among travellers.
It's not hard to see why. Few continents offer a mixture of history, culture and sights capable of attracting 29 million international visitors in a year.
But that's the thing about Europe in the summer: if you're planning a trip, expect another 10 people to do the same.
It would also explain the crowds of families, backpackers and the general lack of personal space that comes with every Eurotrip. If only there were a way to take in a collection of visually stunning sites rich in history and culture.
Cue Europe's collection of abandoned destinations.
Yes, you're probably thinking, "who in their right mind visits forgotten railway stations, hospitals or amusement parks?" Well, someone had to, otherwise there'd be no photographs of these terrifying, yet oddly fascinating photos of abandoned Europe.
And what these places lack in crowds (not to mention things like life, electricity or working doors), they make up for with an eerie sense of wonder that you can witness below.
Fun Park Fyn, Aarup, Denmark
Once known as a place for family fun back in the '80s, this amusement park has sat abandoned since 2006 after its owners went bankrupt. But there might be a ray of hope for Fun Park Fyn as possible new investors could breathe life into its forgotten waterslides and carousels.
Hotel Heinrich Heine in Schierke, Wernigerode, Germany
Let's just say time hasn't been too kind to the Hotel Heinrich Heine in the town of Wernigerode. Located on the fringes of the Schierke region, this hotel was originally built in 1900. It housed a nightclub and was a booming spot for tourists and locals alike. That was until the reunification of Germany, when it suffered a loss in business. The hotel shut down in 1995.
Waterville Beach Hotel, Reenroe, Ireland
What was once meant to be a four-star waterfront hotel in the '90s became a €30-million liability in 2007. It's said that plans to turn the area into a 120-bed hotel were opposed by a couple in Canada and that halted the project for 10 years. Plans to finish the building tanked along with the Irish economy when it came time to resume construction.
Lillesden School for Girls, Kent, England
It started as a private school but now the Lillesden School for Girls sits empty and forgotten. The school closed in 1999 due to a lack of students to keep it in business. Originally built as a mansion by banker Edward Loyd in 1855, it also served as a hospital during World Wars I and II.
Colonia Fara, Italy
Believe it or not, this abandoned seaside resort could one day be an apartment complex and mall. However, for most travellers, the Colonia Fara, or Colony Fara, will be remembered as a summer resort and camp for kids that also served as a wartime hospital, hotel and refugee camp before becoming a school. Students and teachers were forced to leave the building when the upper floors became unsafe due to a lack of maintenance.
Canfranc Station, Huesca, Spain
The Canfranc Station once served as a major transport hub between France and Spain through the Pyrenees. That was before a train derailment destroyed the bridge connecting the station to France, leaving little use for the building. It soon fell into disrepair and became a haven for junkies and drug dealers in the '90s. Most have since fled and been replaced by urban explorers brave enough to cross the barbed wire.
Dadipark, Dadizele, Belgium
Things were going swell for Dadipark until 2002, when a boy lost his arm while on a water ride. It originally started as a playground created by a pastor for the children of tourists but closed as an amusement park maligned for its questionable safety standards.
What are some abandoned destinations you recommend in Europe? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @HPCaTavel.
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