As anyone who's been in this art for a while can attest to, jumping around on abandoned ruins and the neglected fringes of cities can be an incredibly fun experience, as well as make a really cool video. So when we came across this list of 10 ghost towns/modern ruins you can visit, we knew this needed to be on the site. Of course, session these places at your own risk as old places tend to be quite unstable and these places look like they may have security.
Either way the standouts for our purposes are below and the rest can be found via the link.
Teufelsberg listening station, Berlin, Germany
Built by the American National Security Agency in the 1960s, the listening towers on Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) in former West Berlin were used to spy on Soviet and East German military communications. Now the tattered towers with their golf ball-like radar domes can be visited on a tour that offers a peek into the paranoia of the cold war. You’ll find you’re being supervised, rather than guided, but it’s an amazing experience to explore at your own pace the anarchic graffiti and street art that emblazon the interior. The way in which sounds are amplified and then resonate within the gigantic domes is as creepy as it is intriguing. The view at sunset, from what is the highest point in Berlin, is spectacular.
• €7pp, minimum age 14, open Mon-Sun 1p-6pm, berliner-teufelsberg.com
Hashima Island, Japan
Also known as Battleship Island (because of its shape), this tiny former coal mining facility off the Nagasaki peninsula is a haunting place once populated by more than 5,000 people. The facility, which has industrial and residential sections, functioned from 1887 to 1974, when owner Mitsubishi officially closed it as oil began to replace coal in Japan. It remained closed for 35 years until the government began to permit access again. Among the looming concrete ruins are deserted homes with dusty televisions and telephones still in place. Two tour operators now run boat trips to the island but you can also explore from home thanks to a spooky Google Street View project that mapped it last year.
• Tours by gunkanjima-concierge.com and gunkan-jima.net from around £21pp
Tyneham, Dorset, UK
Dubbed “the village that died for England”, Tyneham was a small fishing community on the Dorset coast until 1943, when the area was requisitioned by the government in preparation for the D-day landings. Unlike many other requisitioned villages, Tyneham’s residents were not allowed to return after the war and the area is now part of the Ministry of Defence’s Lulworth range. As long as you don’t visit during a military training exercise (seriously, stick to the footpaths), you can take a look at the village, which now consists of the remains of the residents’ cottages, a 1929 K1 telephone kiosk, the church and the school – where the displays are still intact. But, as the website will inform you: “The village was last inhabited in 1943 so there is no cafe or shop.”
• Visits to Tyneham are free (donations for restoration welcomed),tynehamopc.org.uk. A recorded message provides access details on 01929 404819. The Lulworth Range Walks and Tyneham Village are open to the public every weekend, for other times check the website
This small rocky island off the Crete mainland has a long history, originally as a Venetian fortress but more recently as one of the last active leper colonies in Europe. Patients lived in a small community from 1903 to 1957, running their own barber shop, church theatre and cinema. In the 50s, when a cure for leprosy was discovered, most of the patients recovered and left the island. Today, visitors to Spinalonga can still get a sense of the isolation that must have been felt by those living there while suffering from the disease.
• Boat trips run from Ayios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka, visitgreece.gr
Mineral de Pozos, Mexico
You could say Mineral de Pozos is a ghost town that’s dusting off the cobwebs. In 2012, the former mining town, which has buildings dating as far back as the 16th century, has been declared a “Pueblo Magico”, or a magical town of Mexico, in recognition of its cultural and historic significance. In the 1990s artists began to move to the town and over the last decade it has become popular with visitors. Among the sights you can visit are the former mines and mining haciendas, as well as the unfinished church, its old bullring and the ruins of the train station.
Tempted to travel yet? The rest can be found at The Guardian.com