Tianducheng, China, is a replica of Paris — without the crowds.
Built as an enormous luxury housing development, Tianducheng emulates the famous French city of lights in everything from the period-correct architecture to the 300-foot tall miniature Eiffel Tower. It even has a replica fountain from the Luxembourg Gardens. With the capacity for over 10,000 residents, the city has remained mostly abandoned except for the employees of a nearby French-themed amusement park, according to City Lab.
Ruby, Arizona, is an abandoned mining town.
Standing as one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the American Southwest, Ruby, Arizona remains as a reminder of the Wild West. With a mine founded in the 1870s that produced gold, silver, lead,, and copper, Ruby officially became a town when it opened its first post office in 1910. The town and the surrounding area were the sites of three horrific double homicides known as the Ruby Murders. These led to one of the largest manhunts in Southwest history, according to Legends of America. The mines are now home to an enormous colony of Mexican free-tail bats. The giant cloud of bats can be seen rushing from the mine entrances at sundown during the summer.
Varosha, Cyprus, was once a popular tourist destination.
It isn’t often that a tourist destination frequented by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, and Brigitte Bardot becomes a ghost town. But that’s exactly what happened to the Varosha section of Famagusta in Cyprus. Throughout the early 1970s, Varosha was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, according to BBC. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus. As the opposing Turkish and Greek armies descended on the area around Varosha, the residents fled for their lives. According to BBC, Varosha has remained abandoned and under the control of the Turkish Military since 1974. It has been fenced off, and nobody but military and UN personnel are allowed into the once beautiful tourist destination.
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, a large city that’s known for its marble buildings, is referred to as “the city of the dead.”
Turkmenistan is a former Soviet Union country with a leader that has been compared to North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. President Saparmurat Niyazov planned to create a “golden era of Turkmenistan” in 1991 with the building of Ashgabat. He did so by erecting buildings that broke records, like becoming the city with the most marble buildings in the world. In fact, the city has 543 buildings made of the luxury material. Ashgabat also has the world’s largest Ferris wheel. Today, the city is referred to as “the city of the dead” because it appears empty. This is in part because of the country’s isolated culture: Turkmenistan is one of the least-visited countries in the world.
Pripyat, Ukraine, remains the site of the most devastating nuclear power disaster in history.
Founded in 1970 as a “nuclear city,” a city specifically built to house the workers at a nearby nuclear power plant, Pripyat had more than 13,000 apartments, schools for 5,000 children, two dozen stores and cafes, a cinema, sports hall, cultural center, several factories and a hospital when disaster struck at the Chernobyl power plant, according to USA Today. After the reactor blew on April 26, 1986, releasing toxic radiation into the surrounding area, the entire city was evacuated. The people from Pripyat were relocated and the city of Slavutych was built as their new home. Since the radiation levels have decreased considerably in the years since the disaster and the reactor has been capped, people have been allowed back into the “Nuclear Exclusion Zone.”