by Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler
From a ship graveyard in Mauritania to a picturesque 16th century Italian village, we can't help but be mesmerized by these mysterious and beautiful abandoned places around the world.
1. Michigan Central Station
This hulking Beaux-Arts train station was the tallest train station in the world at the time of its construction in 1912. It was designed by Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem--the same architects behind New York's Grand Central Terminal--but has been abandoned since 1988.
More than 10,000 people lived on this tiny Japanese island up until the 1970s. Once home to an active coal mining facility owned by Mitsubishi Motors, Gunkanjima (or, literally, "Battleship Island") is now entirely abandoned.
3. Nara Dreamland
Japan's troubled version of Disneyland closed in 2006, but all of the park's roller coasters, arcades, and souvenir shops remain intact.
4. Maunsell Forts
These sci-fi towers were constructed in the Thames estuary to protect England's coast from German air raids during World War II. After being abandoned in 1956, the forts were briefly used to broadcast offshore radio stations.
Kolmanskop was once a thriving diamond mining town--home to the southern hemisphere's first X-ray station and Africa's first tram--but the dwindling diamond field was exhausted by the 1950s. Now, sands of the Namib desert have overtaken the town.
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