Abandoned Wonders: A Photographic Journey to Places Left Behind

By Sarah Norman | March 15, 2024

The Hotel Belvédère, forever vacant on the Rhone Glacier

Whether they were once hospitals or office buildings, theme parks or restaurants, a myriad of buildings have been abandoned and left to turn into beautiful ruin across the world. While many of them are awe inspiring, there are just as many that give viewers the heebie jeebies.

These abandoned structures have been reclaimed by nature, leaving nothing but a mystery as to who called these places home.

What will our architecture look like when we've moved on? Will it crumble into the emptiness of an abandoned city? Will our cars be covered in ivy like some of the intriguing photos found here? Some of these pictures will give you goosebumps, others will make you nostalgic for better days, but they'll all make you want to take a closer look at the deserted architecture that exists all around you.

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source: reddit

Standing in the middle of a nasty turn on the Rhone glacier in Switzerland is the Hotel Belvédère. If you’re having trouble placing this spot, it can be seen in 1964’s Goldfinger. The hotel was once apart of the Furka Pass, an iconic drive through the Swiss Alps, something that used to be multi-day thrill ride through a mountain, but as cars got faster and the glacier receded travelers stopped staying the night and over the course of a few decades the hotel went out of business. The Belvédère still sits on this hairpin turn, presenting an obstacle to drivers across Europe, and a photo opportunity for everyone with a decent camera. 

These Sanzhi houses of Taiwan come in peace

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source: pinterest

During the middle of the 20th century there were a lot of architects who were dead set on the idea that people were meant to live in pod houses that resembled UFOs. These Future and Venture houses didn’t take off like the UFOs that they resemble, although many beachfront resorts in Taiwan really tried to make them a thing. There’s many a Taiwanese town that’s empty, its streets silent as the wind rustles around the pod homes that were based on designs by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. Oddly enough, Suuronen claims that there are only 10 “true” pod houses in the world, but even cursory glance around the internet shows at least a hundred pod houses around the world with no word about who built them.