From ghost towns to forgotten estates, hollowed-out houses to sunken churches, there’s a whole world of lost and lonely buildings just waiting to be discovered all over again.
Here’s our pick of the most exciting empty places you can ever hope to find.
Built by wealthy sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in the 1900’s, this ill-fated building was created as a monument of love for his late wife. Set on fire during WWII by American soldiers to stop the Japanese using the building, the fire raged for three days leaving only the shell that still stands today.
The Ruins in Talisay City – Constantine Agustin
Valley of the Mills
For over 900 years this towering mill, tucked away in a lusciously green canyon, produced flour and materials for local cabinet makers. The creation of a nearby square in the 1800’s cut the mill off from the sea, resulting in rising humidity levels. The workers and residents soon left as a result of the sweltering conditions, eventually leaving the mill completely abandoned in 1866.
Kayaköy Ghost Town
It’s hard to believe this desolate hillside was once a thriving village. Dating back to the 18th century, 10,000 people settled in the area after Fethiye, a nearby town, was destroyed by an earthquake. All was well until after the Greco Turkish war when Turkey deported over 6000 Greeks and the village was abandoned.
Valley of the Mills, Sorrento – sneakerdog
Kayaköy Ghost Town – Sarah Murray
This building’s destiny was always hinged on the burgeoning popularity of the automobile and its associated industry. In 1925, a theatre was built on the site of Henry Ford’s first workshop. Lavishly decorated with grand ceilings, it closed in the 70’s due, a little ironically, to the lack of car parking. Now used solely as a car park, the magnificent remains are simply a shadow of their former glory.
The Michigan Building – Goldnpuppy
Michigan Theatre interior – grabadonut
When Saudi royalty invests in a London pad you might expect it to be a lavishly decorated mansion. Not on Bishops Avenue, London’s billionaire’s row. Houses lie empty and decaying while their owners profit from rising property prices without lifting a finger to decorate. Empty homes sit alongside some of the most opulent houses in the UK.
Dunalastair House sits on land steeped in Scottish history. Once the seat of the Struan Robertsons, one of Scotland’s oldest families, the site was redeveloped in 1850 to accommodate an extravagant mansion. The current owners refused offers of help restore the deteriorating structure in the 1990’s, citing invasion of privacy as the reason. All that remains today is the skeleton of the once proud building, now invaded by various plants and trees.
Dunalastair Estate – Trevor Littlewood
In the first instance, Thames Town brings to mind a film set or theme park. In reality, it’s a purpose built development 30km south-west of Shanghai. Built to resemble a ‘typical’ British town there are near perfect replicas of specific buildings, recognisable elements of UK architecture and even a red BT phone box. Unfortunately, the idea wasn’t as popular as developers thought, leaving the place a virtual ghost town.
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
One of Toronto’s oldest buildings, this lighthouse was originally built in 1808 on the very tip of Toronto’s coast. Empty for over 50 years, the structure has gradually ‘moved’ inland due to years of sand being deposited by the winds and waves of the ever-changing Canadian coastline. The ghost of the lighthouse’s original keeper is rumoured to haunt the tower, looking for lost souls.
Thames Town – Drew Bates
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse – Selflearner1
St Nicholas Church
Many churches around the world lay in various states of abandoned deterioration, but this has to be the most unusual. Almost completely submerged in a man made lake, elements of the religious building still sit above the water level. The lake itself was created during the construction of a nearby power station, and leaves you wondering about what other architectural treasures might lie beneath the aqua-marine waters.
The sunken church of St Nicholas – Marjan Lazarevski