Hashima Island (端島, or correctly Hashima, as -shima is Japanese for island), commonly called Gunkanjima or Gunkanshima (軍艦島; meaning Battleship Island), is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island’s most notable features are the abandoned concrete buildings and the sea wall surrounding it. It has been administered as part of Nagasaki city since 2005; it had previously been administered by the former town of Takashima.
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.
by Angie Linder, a view of Michigan Central Station, Detroit, USA
Michigan Central Station (aka Michigan Central Depot or MCS) was built in 1913, after the previous Michigan Central Station burned. The station was built for the Michigan Central Railroad and has been Detroit and Michigan’s passenger rail depot from its opening in 1913 until the cessation of Amtrak service on January 6, 1988. At the time of its construction, it was the tallest rail station in the world.
by Aparna E., a view of the entrance, Michigan Central Station
by sci, a view of UFO House, Sanjhih,Taipei County, Taiwan
The Sanzhi UFO houses (三芝飛碟屋), also known as the Sanzhi pod houses or Sanzhi Pod City, were a set of abandoned pod-shaped buildings in Sanzhi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan. The buildings resembled Futuro houses, of which some examples also can be found in Taiwan. The site where the buildings were located was owned by Hung Kuo Group.
by Nick Haung, a view of UFO House, Sanjhih,Taipei County, Taiwan
The Bauru station is very big and it’s composed by three different stations, built at the beginning of the 20th century in order to serve three different railroads/company services (Noroeste, Sorocabana, Paulista). In 1939, with the completion of the huge new Noroeste station, which also encompassed the company’s offices, all departures and arrivals of the three railroads were centralized at this new station, and the buildings of Sorocabana and the old Noroeste have been divested.
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.
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.
by Davide Angeli, a view of Psychiatric hospital “Osservanza”, Imola, Italy
The Observance asylum was built in 1890, because of the growing need for beds, that the existing Central asylum was not able to handle. At the time Luigi Lolli (Riolo Terme Imola 1819-1896), founder and director of the existing asylum, decided to build a decentralized structure that consisted of independent pavilions, had a capacity of about 1000 patients and that covered, with the agricultural colony, an area of approximately 75,000 square meters. The design model was taken from the Academy of Sciences in Paris, dating back to 1788, but still considered the most appropriate and perfect example.
It’s the first property that will be sold by the municipality, but is also the one with the richest history. The ex-slaughterhouse was derived in part from the walls of an old eighteenth-century theater, designed by the architect Cosimo Morelli. The building was constructed thanks to 16 citizens, part of the Imola’s noble families (hence the original name, Theater of Associated Knights) who in 1774 took over the financial burden of the construction works.
The theater was inaugurated on the 27th July 1782 and soon became famous for the bold architectural solutions studied by Morelli and the decorations of Antonio and Alessandro Della Nave Villa, who painted the ceiling and floor. Unfortunately, it had short life: on the 5th February 1797 it was destroyed, perhaps for a fire set by a theater company unsatisfied for engagement.
Later the building was partially rebuilt and it was used as a stable, until the acquisition by the City of Imola, that in 1864 converted it into the slaughterhouse. The building has remained in operation until 1978.
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!