11 Majestic Ruins Around The World
I guess you could say I’m an avid traveller. I’ve relaxed on the sandy Maui Beaches in Hawaii, scoured the streets of Thailand for delicious local fare and even trodden upon the rocky mountain roads of Nepal. And yet, to call myself an experienced traveller would still be a heavy overstatement. After all, I have yet to step foot on the obscure land of North Korea nor visited even half of the Seven Wonders of the World – yes, I’ll admit that. I’m set on changing this.
This August, I’m planning to take another trip overseas. And instead of heading to generic places like Paris or California, I’m thinking: why not visit ruins instead? I’ve heard of a couple of abandoned-places-turned-tourist-spots, and so I did a bit of research online. Let’s just say I was totally blown away by the places I found. Here are my top favourite majestic ruins around the world.
1. Cagsawa Ruins, Philippines
Cagsawa Ruins is what remains of the old 18th century Cagsawa church that was destroyed by the Mayon volcano eruption more than 200 years ago. It was the strongest eruption recorded to date of said volcano, one that killed about 1,200 people. This towering beauty may not function as a church anymore, but it has been touted as one of the most-visited places in Asia.
2. Bannerman’s Castle, New York
Source: Phil Haber Photography
Bannerman’s Castle, despite what you would expect, isn’t even a castle. It is actually an abandoned military surplus warehouse built to look like a castle, ‘cause it’s builder was quirky like that. And well, he was really rich as well. However, it is said that spirits haunted its walls, causing misfortune to befall on the warehouse. Bannerman’s Castle withstood no less than four disasters in 10 years, so maybe that theory isn’t too far off. But in any case, even in ruins, the “castle” still looks pretty magnificent.
3. Chateau Miranda, Belgium
Chateau Miranda, or Noisy Castle, is probably anything but noisy considering that it’s now abandoned land since 1991. Residing in Celles, Belgium, Noisy Castle is scheduled for demolition this year, much to the dismay of ghost hunters. Noisy Castle was once used as an orphanage during World War II, and it is believed to be haunted by ghost children. Creepy but pretty cool.
4. City Hall Station, New York
City Hall Station is easily the most awe-inspiring train station I’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s the antiquated charm of the medievalesque architecture or the beautiful stained glass and brass chandeliers that don its arched ceilings – I’m hooked regardless. Take the 6 train at the Brooklyn Bridge if you want a glimpse of the station’s interior!
5. Shi Cheng, China
Shi Cheng, or Lion City, is China’s Atlantis brought to life. This majestic city is the size of 62 football fields, has been buried about 30m underwater for the past 56 years, and is still completely intact! This city was deliberately submerged under a man-made lake when the 1959 Chinese government wanted to built a dam for hydroelectric power. Talk about a hidden treasure.
6. Hashima Island, Japan
You wouldn’t believe it but Hashima Island is a completely abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki. Back in the day, miners used to dig for coal on the seafloor beneath the island. Thus, the island was used to house the workers along with their friends and families. The island was fully functional, complete with schools, apartments, religious institutions, restaurants and even a graveyard. Now, its lands are desolate, protected by the Japanese government and kept away from prying eyes.
7. Machu Picchu, Peru
A visit to the Peru would be incomplete if one does not visit this charming place. With agricultural terraces along the valleys and stone Inca-style structures built way up above sea level, the enigmatic Machu Picchu is popular amongst tourists. You’re in for the scenery of a lifetime.
8. Christ of the Abyss, Italy
Christ of the Abyss is the first and original submerged bronze statue of Jesus located in the Mediterranean Sea. Erected there back in 1954, the statue was the idea of an Italian diver, who wanted to remember a friend who died at that very spot during a diving trip. A must-visit for avid divers.
9. Acropolis, Athens
Source: Athens Guide
The Acropolis in Athens screams “Greek!” in every sense, and is probably the most iconic monument of the ancient Greek civilisation. The perfectly balanced stone structures that tower over its visitors are so majestic and grand that you won’t be able to help but feel small in comparison. Enjoy a blast to the past and explore the culture of Greece through a visit to the symbolic Acropolis.
10. Petra, Jordan
The unique feature of Petra is that it’s structures are half-built, half-carved into the sandstone cliffs, creating an “igloo” of sorts. Dubbed as the Rose-red City, Petra is known for the brilliant red hues of the rocks of which its structures are carved out of.
11. Stonehenge, England
Stonehenge is probably the most well-known ruins of this list, and for good reason too – it’s enchanting. It seems inconceivable how our ancestors constructed such a structure, and the reason for its creation still remains a mystery to us all. Whatever the case, there is an enigmatic charm to Stonehenge that I just can’t explain.
I’ll be honest, I can’t decide which ruin to visit for my upcoming trip. What do you think? Do let me know if there are other majestic ruins that I’ve missed out on as well!