There is no way to count the scenic spots in Europe as every city is adorned with monumental sites, breathtaking nature views, fountains, statues, and all sorts of picturesque sights. However, did you know that there is also an abundance of abandoned places that are often surprisingly beautiful as well? Here’s a list of the ten most beautiful abandoned places in Europe to spark your curiosity about the less-advertised side of the continent.
1. Craco, Italy
One of the most picturesque abandoned places in Europe is without a doubt the ghost town of Craco in Italy. Located on a large cliff in the province of Matera, the town was established in the 8th century. Throughout the years, it survived all sorts of rough conditions; however, a landslide in 1991 was the thing that eventually emptied out the exceptional town.
2. Canfranc Station, Spain
Next on the list is the hauntingly beautiful Canfrac Rail Station in the Spanish Pyrenees. Nicknamed as the Titanic of the Mountains, the impressive Beaux-Arts station near the French-Spanish border was erected as a grand railway hub to service international train travel. However, due to some unfortunate events, the international line was cut, and the station eventually deteriorated into an impressive yet hollow shell of a building.
3. Castelo da Dona Chica, Portugal
Castelo da Dona Chica is an impressive Neo-romantic residence in northern Portugal. Resembling a castle, the grand building was designed by a Swiss architect Ernesto Korrodi but was eventually neglected due to lack of funding. Intrigued to see it with your own eyes? Take an Alfa Pendular train to the municipality of Braga where Castelo da Dona Chica is located and witness its unique presence firsthand.
4. Spinalonga, Greece
Another abandoned place featuring a rather unique presence and an even more unique history is the island of Spinalonga in Greece. Despite boasting a long-lasting eventful history, the island that now stands empty is best known for being a shelter to one of the last communities of lepers in Europe.
5. Constanța Casino, Romania
The Constanța Casino în Romania is a forsaken edifice boasting impressive Art Nouveau architecture, which makes it one of the most beautiful abandoned places not only in the country but in Europe likewise. Opened in 1910, the casino was closed in 1990 as the costs of upkeep got too big to continue operating the building.
6. Rummu, Estonia
A must-visit while in Estonia, located just a short drive away from its capital, Rummu quarry is a location like no other in Europe. The bizarre yet somewhat beautiful image consists of the quarry itself together with the clear blue waters of the nearby lagoon, and an abandoned Soviet prison that is partially underwater. It attracts curious globe-trotters from all over Europe to marvel at it with their own eyes or to explore the abandoned edifice while diving.
7. Hirta, Scotland
Located on the archipelago of St Kilda, the ghost town of Hirta was once home to a tiny yet tight-knit community of Scots. The group of less than a hundred people lived on the remote island until living in such isolation became unfeasible. That is why in 1930 the residents of Hirta were transferred to live in their new homes in mainland Scotland, leaving the town behind them completely deserted. Don’t miss the chance to add the island of Hirta to the itinerary of your trip to Scotland and explore the abandoned settlement yourself.
8. Kirby Hall, England
Another beautiful abandoned location in the Old Continent is the renowned Kirby Hall, a 17th-century country house located in Northamptonshire, England. Left behind by its owner back in the 1800s, the imposing edifice has now been partially restored and is often used as a set for films and tv series.
9. Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, France
Considered to be one of the most beautiful neglected buildings in the world, Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers in the French commune of Les Trois-Moutiers will undoubtedly leave you in awe. Dating back to the 13th century, the fairytale-like castle was on the verge of disappearing; however, a joint force of over 7000 crowd-funders invested in the exceptional site in the hope of bringing it back to life.
10. Burj Al Babas, Turkey
Providing a sight like no other in the world, the settlement of Burj Al Babas in Turkey sure looks like something from a movie. It is a deserted village that was supposed to be a residential area made of miniature castles. They now stand empty creating an indescribable eerie ambiance and equally as uncanny of a view.
Whether it’s taking a trip on Italy railways to reach a spectacular hilltop ghost town, crossing the France-Spain border to marvel at a decaying architectural masterpiece, or strolling around the creepy miniature world of castles – there is no wrong choice when it comes to the most beautiful abandoned places in Europe.
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