1.6 miles (2.56 km) west of the famous Borobudur, or Barabudur, Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia is a building in the shape of a giant bird with a crown (warning: unnecessary music). Though widely referred to as the Chicken Church ("gereja ayam" in Indonesian), the builder, Daniel Alamsjah designed it to be a dove-shaped house of prayer. [more inside]
Pennsylvania's oldest and largest is 400 acres. The oldest in New Jersey is now "trapped in the 19th century." NYC turned many into parks. What happens when a cemetery goes under? [more inside]
Not many bands can claim to have inspired whole genres of music from a single track. But in addition to wholly inventing Zeuhl from scratch, Magma laid the basis for what evolved into the Brutal Prog scene populated by bass-heavy acts like The Flying Luttenbachers, Lightning Bolt, and Ruins by recording "De Futura" in 1976 for their Üdü Ẁüdü release. [more inside]
Marc Wilson’s series The Last Stand documents the remains of coastal fortifications that lined Northern Europe during the Second World War — bunkers swallowed by the sea, pillboxes barely clinging to land, buildings ripped from their foundations and wrecked on the rocks — from Allied positions on England’s east coast and the far tip of the Northern Isles, to the once German-occupied archipelago of the Channel Islands and the remains of the Atlantikwall, the colossal Nazi defense network which stretched from Norway to Spain.Slideshow
Fort Carroll is an abandoned Army fort on an artificial island in Baltimore's harbor. Robert E. Lee designed its hexagonal structure and supervised its construction, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commenced in 1848. The fort was declared defunct in 1921, having never seen combat. Sitting in the middle of the Patapsco River, it can be seen clearly from the Key Bridge (named after a witness to an event at Baltimore's more famous fort), but rarely is it seen up close. Certainly, it helps if you have a boat. [more inside]
Eerie computer-generated images reveal how UK landmarks could crumble and decay if humanity was wiped out. Gallery
Photos of 30 Beautiful Abandoned Places and Modern Ruins. Each place identified below. [more inside]
Once upon a time, there was a wizard who knew what Heaven and Hell looked like.On Joseph Michael Gandy (1771 – 1843), the architect's assistant who painted palaces that never were and ruins that had yet to be. [more inside]
About 2 miles into the park... things start to get strange. A forbidding padlocked wrought-iron gate, surrounded by a low lying stone wall sits nestled on the edge of the trail.... Strange rusted debris starts to appear on the side of the paths. What looks like an old water filtration system, broken pieces of farm equipment, half buried sinks, strange concrete slabs with graffiti . A lovely little steam appears and makes delightful background noises, lizards and birds scatter about your feet. And then you see it. A burned-out overgrown concrete building completely covered with graffiti. Cartoon of Hitler? Check. Declaration of undying teenage love? Check.... The bunker of the building is exposed and filled with trash; a metal cage sits menacingly in the corner, and outside a series of stone steps wind up to what seems to have once been a sustenance garden. The steps then continue all the way to the top of the canyon (3,000 steps in all) and ghosts of America Nazis patrolling the wilds fill your head. Baby, we aren't at the Grove anymore... We are at the Los Angeles Nazi Compound! Well, it's actually the ruins of a small community built by Nazi sympathizers, in the hills outside of greater Los Angeles. [more inside]
Tarquin Blake photographs the abandoned castles, houses, forts and mines of Ireland. I'm fairly sure I've come across Rhincrew Abbey and the Lost Mines once or twice in my travels in Skyrim ...
Built by the Shona (1100-1500 AD), the empire of Great Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s greatest civilizations like Egypt and Meroe, stood between present-day Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana and south-east Mozambique. The empire’s highly developed architecture overwhelmed discoverers. And much in the same manner as German anthropologist Doctor Frobenius ignorantly mistook the Kingdom of Ife in Nigeria for the lost kingdom of Atlantis in 1911, some Europeans blatantly refused to believe that Great Zimbabwe was built by Africans. Dawson Munjeri, former director of Great Zimbabwe, a World Heritage site, discusses the history of the exceptional Zimbabwe empire. [more inside]
AFP photographer Juan Mabromata recently visited the ruins of Villa Epecuén in Argentina, a small touristic village that started slowly re-surfacing after the rising waters of the nearby lake left it completely underwater nearly 26 years ago. [more inside]
The wilderness below New York City, where mysterious and wonderfully abandoned structures are explored by urban historians and adventurers.
Into the Tunnels with Steve Duncan.
Into the Tunnels with Steve Duncan.
AD 79: Destruction and Re-discovery is full of information about the Roman cities wiped out by Vesuvius in Titus' reign.
Virtual hacking is cool but place hacking makes it core again, brachiating across scaffolding to get the shot on your Digital SLR that maximizes your flickr stats, raking in the google adsense cash and conforming to a zerowork ethos if we get pro at it. Sleep in ruins, sell your photos of disgusting shit to tourists. Rinse off in a petrol station sink and repeat. We are the nerds that finally walked away from their computers and we are behind that scaffolding covering the building you ignore everyday when you walk by it going to work, we just loved on that place like no one has in 20 years. We are psychotopological terrorists and we will shove that masterlock up your ass.A "reformed archaeologist" talks about exploration of urban ruins. Modern urban ruins.
Digital Karnak documents and digitally reconstructs "one of the largest temple complexes in the world." The site includes digital models, photographs, a "time map" (allowing you to see alterations to the site under different pharoahs), and video. For projects devoted to more specific areas of the temple complex, see the Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall Project (University of Memphis) and the Mut Precinct (Brooklyn Museum).
Ghosts of Shopping Malls Past. : beautiful photos of modern ruins.
Ancient Pompeii Ruins now on Google Street View Today on Morning Edition I head this story. The Italian government has allowed the ruins of Pompeii to be photographed for Google Street View. It's very cool. (SLGM)
Urban exploration has been featured here once or twice before, but Jim Griffioen's site photo-documenting his discoveries in and around Detroit deserves a look. Griffioen was recently interviewed [direct mp3 link] on the American Public Media radio program The Story. [more inside]
When thousands of people depart, leaving an entire city dead that’s a real tragedy. There are mainly two reasons why people leave the place where they used to live for years or even generations: danger, and economic factors. Abandoned Places In The World. ( previously 1,2)
Ruins and Remnants of Long Island's Gold Coast Mansions. Some still standing are in private hands, others are public. A surprising number of castles and moats.
Shaun O'Boyle recently returned from Cape Canaveral where he photographed the artifacts of the early space program. They are part of the Modern Ruins site (previously, previously, and previously) which is a great place to waste an afternoon.
"This is a building where our deeply-troubled public school system once stored its supplies, and then one day apparently walked away from it all, allowing everything to go to waste...All that's left is an overwhelming sense of knowledge unlearned and untapped potential." (Via Making Light.)
Urban Exploring. Recently: Sanatorio Popolare Cantonale di Piotta. Sinteranlage, Duisburg. Atomschutz Kurfürstendamm, Berlin (flash). (Previously.)
Excellent post over at BLDBLOG on the history of Bannerman's Arsenal, a ruined island castle in the middle of the Hudson river, created by a war profiteer who was at one time the world's largest arms dealer. Bonus points for the amazing accompanying photos by Shaun O'Boyle, whose site Modern Ruins has been featured on the blue previously.
American Ruins: a gallery of photgraphs by Chuck Hutchinson. "a gallery of houses, barns, automobiles and businesses that have become the ruins on the landscape of America."
Delirious Moscow: a survey on stellar and interstellar Soviet constructivist architecture, or, buildings in the time before Stalin (with pictures).
Abandoned places: A satellite facility. A drag strip. A sports arena. A factory. A highway. A school. Another factory. An industrial park. A missile site. A church. A brewery. And much more at Abandoned But Not Forgotten. (Warning: Web 0.2 site with very large photos of variable quality...)
Modern Military Ruins in San Francisco. Really awesome Flickr set includes documentation of Hunters Point Shipyard, Treasure Island Naval Station, Alameda Naval Air Station, the SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Hamilton Field Air Force Base, and Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
Hisaharu Motoda’s “Neo-Ruins” series of lithographs depict the cityscape of a post-apocalyptic Tokyo, where familiar streets lie deserted, the buildings are crumbling and weeds grow from the broken pavement. More here, here & here.
The city of Detroit is in a bad way. House are cheaper than cars. The city's neighborhoods are in decay. Families are leaving. Even "revived" areas are struggling. Entire portions of the city are starting to revert to prarie and ruins. Can the city be saved or is it time to give up on the Arsenal of Democracy?
Tourists coming to Los Angeles usually visit the standard few spots; but there are some amazing urban ruins that even the locals are rarely aware of. From the original site of the Los Angeles zoo (abandonded cages & rock facades now) to the remains of the Sunken City, to the inexorably rusting hull of the 44 year old shipwrecked Greek freighter Dominator, L.A.'s forgotten places are tourist destinations for the intrepid, local & visitor alike. A PDF guide to how to find many of the best (including the Echo Mountain House & The Bridge To Nowhere) can be found here. Many links & inspiration via
The extraordinary Center For Land Use Interpretation is a tertiary reference for one of today's posts, and it's been mentioned in comments before. Don't miss the Land Use Database or the Newsletter.
Samarra is in the news. The modern city is small, but built on the colossal ruins of the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Google Earth reveals amazing details of the ancient city, one of the largest archaeological sites in the world.
Just wandering through the streets of Naples. (make sure to peruse each link as each has more to be seen!)
Abandoned Memories is short on text but thick with photos. Even without captions for every picture, contextual clues can give us a disturbing idea of what life might have been like in the Wayne County Child Development Center (before it was abandoned, razed, and turned into a golf course). The rather-less-easy-to-navigate Northville-Tunnels.com also has photos and information.
Iraq is full of fabled ancient ruins, many in bad shape, but which still fire the imagination. Some highlights: Ur, birthplace of Abraham, still contained many beautiful artifacts when it was last excavated in the 1920s. Then there is vanished Cunaxa, near Baghdad's airport, where the Ten Thousand, a group of Greek mercenaries, fought their way back to Greece in a 1,000 mile, two-year-long retreat described by Xenophon in the Anabasis (and which served as the inspiration for cult films/games and bad science fiction alike). The ruins of the city of Nineveh were discovered in the 19th century just across the river from Mosul, containing art confirming elements of the Biblical account of the conquests of King Sennacherib. Most famously, the ruins of Babylon (not much to look at, the best bit being in Berlin) have seen much abuse, from Saddam's awful rebuilding of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar to reports of recent damage by coalition troops.
There have been a number of urban exploration or modern ruins photography posts here over the years, but I couldn't find any that linked to my new favorite modern ruin site, opacity.us. With 85 galleries of subjects as gorgeous as Bannerman's Arsenal and as haunting as the Verden Psychiatric Hospital, it's a treasure trove of entropy on film.
Stones of the World. Photographed by Yoshida Tatsuya.
You've probably seen Modern Ruins, Forgotten New York, and even Lost America... but have you seen the abandoned island of Gunkanjima? [via Boing Boing]
Modern Ruins are a window into human histories, they tell the stories of the past through the stark presence of objects and architectures. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of ruins is the subject that is missing in the photographs; the people who once worked, lived, walked, talked, slept and dreamed in these spaces.
The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February. -- J W Krutch
New England Ruins :: Photographs
Built St. Louis. The historic architecture of St. Louis, Missouri, its ruins, and its wondrous anachronisms.
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