Category Archives: cities

Ghost Town Kolmanskop, Namibia

by Damien du Toit, a view of Ghost Town Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop (Afrikaans for Coleman’s hill, German: Kolmannskuppe) is a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia, a few kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement. Once a small but very rich mining village, it is now a popular tourist destination run by the joint firm NamDeb (Namibia-De Beers).
In 1908 the black worker Zacharias Lewala found a diamond while working in this area and showed it to his supervisor, the German railroad inspector August Stauch. After realizing that the area was rich of diamonds, lots of German miners settled nearby and soon after the German government declared a large area as a “Sperrgebiet”, starting to exploit the diamond field.
Driven by the enormous wealth of the first diamond miners, the residents built the village in the architectural style of a German town, with amenities and institutions including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theater and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere, as well as the first tram in Africa, that had a railway link to Lüderitz.

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Castiglioncello, Firenzuola, Italy

by Laura Mancini, a view of Castiglioncello Village, Firenzuola, Italy

Castiglioncello is a small fortified village, that sits on the top of a crest in the Appennino Tosco-Romagnolo, strategically located on the ancient line that used to connect Florence and Imola.
This small village, located on the left side of the river Santerno, very close to Moraduccio, has the typical characteristics of an old castle, with the natural defenses of the river surrounding it almost entirely.

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Poggioreale, Trapani, Italy

by Barbara Sambri , a view of Poggioreale Square, Trapani, Italy

Poggioreale is one of the most shocking places you’ll probably ever see in your life! It is a ghost town that sits in the center of western Sicily: it used to be a nice place since during the night between the 14th and 15th of January 1968 an earthquake completely devastated the area know as Valle del Belice (Belice Valley). Some small villages were severely devastated, among them Gibellina (we talked about it a few days ago), Salaparuta, Montevago and Poggioreale were so damaged that have been rebuilt from scratch in another place.

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Il Cretto, Gibellina, Trapani, Italy

by Barbara Sambri , a view of Il Cretto of Gibellina, Trapani, Italy

Gibellina is a small city of central Sicily, in the Province of Trapani, that was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1968, known also as the Belice Valley’s earthquake.
The new city, Gibellina Nuova, was rebuilt some 20 km distant from the old one and it was designed by many of the most prominent artists and architects in Italy, even though the final result is a collection of different art and architectural pieces, with little relation to each other or to the local architecture.
Ruderi di Gibellina (as the ruins of the city are now referred to) remained just as it was after the earthquake, a ghost-town in the middle of nowhere.
The most remarkable part of the old city is an art piece from artist Alberto Burri, who preferred to work here instead of the new Gibellina and covered the entirety of the ruins with white concrete, preserving the shape of the buildings and the streetscape: he’s art piece is known as “Il Cretto”, which in italian means “the crack”, and, as you can see both from the picture above and from the satellite map below, it’s a really impressive monument!

webography:

  • Gibellina page from Wikipedia
  • Il Cretto by Burri from Archidose
  • by Barbara Sambri , a view of ruderi di Gibellina, Trapani, Italy


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    Serracapriola, Foggia, Italy

    by Silvia Tamburrelli, a view of Serracapriola, Foggia, Italy

    Small town of 4,000 souls in Puglia counting dogs and cats.
    I think these houses are inhabited, perhaps there was an attempt to place the properties on the market a few years ago, but there were conflicts of interest and all worked out in nothing.
    The district is historical, but unfortunately most of the houses around there, the church and other buildings have been damaged by an earthquake a few years ago and never restored.
    There is no money, the City has none, the owners do not have the sensitivity or the money and so everything has been left since then. Houses in particular may end up further damaged by seasonal migrants who illegally employ them as a base to work in the fields all summer.

    by Silvia Tamburrelli, a view of Serracapriola, Foggia, Italy


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    Castalla, Alicante, Spain

    a view of the center of Castalla, a small city near Alicante

    Castalla is a small city located in the inner province of Alicante, with a population of approximately 8,000 residents. In the center of Castalla there is a castle and the historic center all around it.
    This part of the city has been abandoned over the years by the local administrations, leaving it in a state of ruin, without a special planning for its revitalization and rehabilitation. The different public administrations have built (during the years of spanish economical growth) new buildings outside the city and, in 2003, they also built some housing for foreigners.

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