10 most interesting ghost towns: Pripyat, Kadykchan, Halmer-U, Pyramida, Centralia, Berlin, Humberston, Sewell, Kolmanskop, Oradour-sur-Glane, San Chi.
It makes no sense to talk about the most famous ghost town - Pripyat, so we will focus on lesser-known cities.
Kadykchan, Khalmer-Yu and Pyramid
We combined these three settlements into one, although Kadykchan is located in the Magadan Region (Susuman District), Khalmer-Yu - in the Komi Republic, and Pyramid - on the West Spitbergen Island (Spitbergen Archipelago, Arctic Ocean). The fact is that these are not cities, but villages. But each of them has its own destiny.
Kadykchan was built during the Great Patriotic War. It was built by prisoners as a workers' settlement at a coal mining enterprise. In September 1966, an explosion thundered at the mine - six people were killed. All people were evicted from the city, and houses were mothballed, disconnecting them from heat and electricity. Almost the entire private sector was burned to prevent anyone from returning. Despite this, even by 2010, two of the most principled residents remained in Kadykchan, however, by 2012 only one elderly man and two of his dogs remained.
Khalmer-Yu in translation from Nenets means “river in the valley of death” or in another version “dead river”. Halmer-Yu is also a workers' settlement, which was built around a coal mine. However, after the collapse of the USSR, the Russian government raised the issue of the expediency of the existence of the village, and in 1993 a resolution was adopted to liquidate the mine. In the fall of 1995, the "operation" to evict residents was planned to be completed, as a result, they had to resort to the forces of riot police. At the same time, doors were kicked out, and people were forcibly herded into carriages and taken to Vorkuta. Not everyone was provided with new housing, some got unfinished apartments, others had to settle in hostels and hotels in Vorkuta. Today Khalmer-Yu has become a military training ground, conventionally called "Pemba".
The mining village Pyramida got its name thanks to the pyramidal mountain, at the foot of which the village was founded. Until 1998, the mine of the village was considered the northernmost operating mine in the world. The mine was decided to close in 1997 due to limited coal reserves and high production costs. In 2010, the population of the village was 11 people. Despite this, the village welcomes tourists; the infrastructure has been preserved here, allowing for scientific research.
The very term "ghost towns" came to us from the United States. A town in Pennsylvania called Centralia is the prototype town of the fictional Silent Hill. 50 years ago, an underground fire broke out here, which continues to this day. The fire occurred due to the arson of the city garbage dump, during which deeper underground deposits of garbage were also ignited, which could not be extinguished. As of 2014, only 10 people live here.
We did not take this Berlin in 1945, it is located in the state of Nevada (USA), and its emblem depicts a huge ichthyosaurus. The fact is that once on the site of the state of Nevada there was an ancient ocean in which these reptiles with a fish body swam. The remains of these animals are found everywhere here. But the deposits of the bones of ichthyosaurs are far from the only treasure that the local bowels hide. Long before archaeologists - in 1863, a company of prospectors visited here and discovered deposits of silver. In connection with this circumstance, the city of Berlin appeared. At the junction of the 19th and 20th centuries, about 300 people lived here.But the outbreak of the crisis in the United States at the beginning of the last century led to the fact that in 1911 the last sad silver prospector left these places.
In 1970, due to the influx of lovers of antiquities, in particular, dinosaur bones, a significant area around uninhabited Berlin was declared a National Park.
Humberston and Sewell
These ex-townships are located in Chile and are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Humberston was founded in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile in connection with the development of saltpeter in the region. The business that provides life to the city was closed in the late 1950s, and by the 1970s the city became a ghost, after which tourists flooded here, and in 2005 UNESCO took it under its protection.
Sewell is located in the Andes at an altitude of 2000-2250 m above sea level, in the commune of Machali (province of Cachapoal). Sewell founded Braden Copper Co. In 1904, for the extraction of copper in the world's largest underground copper mine El Teniente.
An interesting feature of the city is that the buildings on its streets are made of wood, many of them painted in bright colors - green, yellow, red and blue. In 1925, the city was named after the first president of Braden Copper Co. Burton Sewell. The population of the city by 1918 was 14 thousand people, however, many years of development did their job - in 1977 the company began to relocate people from Sewell, which soon became uninhabited.
Another ghost town is located in Namibia in the Namib Desert, 10 km from the small commercial and fishing port of Luderitsa on the Atlantic coast. Kolmanskop is another victim of the race for natural wealth. In 1908, diamonds were discovered in these places in the sand. Very quickly, large beautiful houses, a school, a hospital and a stadium appeared here. And a few years later Kolmanskop turned into an exemplary German town. The creators of the city counted on its long prosperity. But, as usual, the supply of natural resources quickly dried up, and then it "turned out" that life in the city, frankly, is not sugar: there is no water, sandstorms. A few years later, not a single inhabitant remained here. Kolmanskop still stands covered with sand and is a sad monument to the human thirst for quick enrichment. Namibians, however, are trying to capitalize on even what is left, keeping Kolmanskop houses in satisfactory condition, so tourists love to drop in here.
Despite the florid name, Oradour-sur-Glane is just a village in France, notorious for being destroyed by the SS during World War II. Until June 10, 1944, the peaceful settlement lived its own sedate provincial life. But on that bad morning, German soldiers ordered all the inhabitants of the village to gather in the main square. The men were lined up, and the women and children were locked up in the church. The men were shot in the legs, then doused with a combustible mixture and set on fire. Women and children were simply burned, shooting those who tried to escape from the burning church. Only five men and one woman managed to escape - 240 women and 205 children were killed.
The settlement is not going to be rebuilt, leaving it as it was on the June morning of 1944, as an eternal monument to the savagely perished innocent people.
The Taiwanese resort of San Chi was built in the 1970s. The construction was carried out in a deliberately space style and was associated with complex technologies that were beyond the power of many workers. In this regard, there were many fatalities at construction sites. The credit crunch of the early 1980s made the developers forget about their ambitions, after which they decided to dismantle the futuristic buildings of San Chi, and the deadly emergency resumed. Apparently, remembering the Tower of Babel, the superstitious Chinese decided not to anger God anymore and left everything as it is.