• Friday, July 12, 2024
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World’s top 7 largest abandoned cities


Abandoned cities, once thriving metropolises filled with life and energy, now stand as haunting reminders that nothing lasts forever. These ghost towns, scattered across the globe, tell stories of forgotten histories. The rise and fall of a city is a complex phenomenon, influenced by a myriad of factors that can rapidly change the fate of a community.

When a city’s economy struggles, it can lose its energy and vitality, leading to financial problems. Industries that once provided jobs and prosperity can struggle or move away, causing many people to lose their jobs and leave the city. Political problems, like conflicts, corruption, or changes in government, can also harm a city’s social ties and lead to its decline. Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, or nuclear accidents can severely damage cities, making them uninhabitable. Finally, new technologies can make older cities seem outdated, leading to a decline in population as people move to newer cities with better infrastructure and opportunities.

Each abandoned city has its own story, a mix of happiness and sadness, success and failure, that teaches us about our shared past. According to The Travel, here are 7 of the world’s largest abandoned cities.


Craco, a city located in Italy, has always been prone to earthquakes. After the devastating Irpinia earthquake in 1980, the city was finally abandoned. Craco was once home to a university, a church, a castle, and several squares, making it a centre for education, a monastic hub, and a feudal town. Its unique atmosphere has earned it features in several movies, including “The Passion of the Christ” and James Bond’s “Quantum of Solace.”


Pyramiden, a once-thriving mining town in Norway, now stands as a haunting ghost town, abandoned and frozen in time. Founded by Sweden and later sold to the Soviet Union, it was a hub of activity, attracting settlers from far and wide. But when the coal mines closed due to a bad economic situation and lack of support from the authorities, the town was left to fend for itself, and in 1998, it was officially closed. Today, Pyramiden is a tourist destination, accessible only by boat or snowmobile. The cold weather has been helpful in preserving the original buildings, and developers have even renovated the town’s hotel. Despite its abandonment, Pyramiden’s history and charm continue to attract tourists.


Centralia, once a booming residential mining city in Pennsylvania, now stands as a shadow of its former self, with a population of fewer than five people. In 1962, a coal seam fire ignited beneath the city, spreading through the tunnels beneath its streets and ravaging the town. The consequences were catastrophic, with buildings reduced to rubble and residents suffering from severe health complications. As the fire continued to burn unabated, the government was forced to relocate the townspeople and provide compensation. Today, Centralia remains a hauntingly empty town, its coal seam fire still burning.


Tianducheng, a luxury estate on China’s eastern coast, was intended to be China’s own Parisian wonder, complete with French-inspired architecture. However, this ambitious project failed spectacularly, leaving behind a ghost town. Construction began in 2007 to address a potential housing shortage, but the city was ultimately abandoned due to its odd location and poor connectivity. Built to accommodate 10,000 residents, only a mere 10% of that number ever occupied the city. The main reason for its lack of success was its isolated location, with roads abruptly ending in the middle of vast farmland, making it inaccessible and unappealing to potential residents. Today, Tianducheng stands as a reminder of a failed urban planning experiment.


Bodie, California’s most eerie ghost town, was once a thriving mining community in the 1880s, attracting thousands of prospectors seeking gold rush riches. However, the town’s fortunes declined rapidly due to depleted resources, devastating fires, and a string of misfortunes, including disease outbreaks, harsh winters, and mining accidents that claimed many lives. As lawlessness and crime rates soared, the town’s population dwindled, and it eventually went bankrupt. The remaining residents sought better opportunities elsewhere, leaving Bodie to crumble into a ghost town. In 1962, it was preserved as a State Historic Park that has attracted visitors till date.

Hashima Island

Hashima Island, also known as “Battleship Island,” was once a thriving community off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. Built in the 1880s to house workers from the undersea coal mines, it grew into a bustling city with high-rise buildings, a movie theatre, swimming pool, stores, and even rooftop gardens. However, when Japan shifted away from coal power in 1974, the coal mine closed, and the residents lost their jobs. With no livelihood, they left the island in search of new opportunities, abandoning the city. Today, Hashima Island is an eerie, abandoned UNESCO-listed site, with only a small portion open to the public. Despite its abandonment, the island remains a unique and fascinating place, attracting visitors with its rich history and haunting beauty.

Ordos City

Odos City in China’s Inner Mongolia region was envisioned as a modern metropolis with state-of-the-art infrastructure, sports stadiums, and beautiful public spaces. Initially, it seemed like a great idea, but the city struggled to attract residents. Despite being built to accommodate thousands, barely half of the expected number of people moved in. Those who did eventually left due to limited job opportunities and high housing costs. As a result, construction came to a halt, and the city went bankrupt. Today, Odos City stands as one of China’s largest ghost towns, with most buildings old, empty, and abandoned.