Ghost towns make for some cool photos, but the stories behind those photos are much harder to unveil. They’re passed down from family to family and not often shared without incentive. Some of these towns have been abandoned over time, others have never been inhabited at all. Why spend millions of dollars on a city without people? Read on to find out.
Kilamba New City, Angola: Why China Built An Abandoned City In Africa
China built a city 18 miles outside of Luanda, the capital of Angola. It cost China $3.5 billion to build 750 apartment buildings, 100 retail units and several schools. Kilamba New City sits in isolation, with nothing else surrounding it. It sits in silence, ready for its 500,000 residents to show, but for what?
Pierson Capital Group, owned by Pierre Falcon, a famous architect, built the city with the backing of Chinese oil revenue. In 2015, the poor from surrounding areas started to move into the city’s housing units.
Some say the city is some sort of social experiment. “Phase three” was initiated last year without any press coverage and without any public knowledge of what “phase three” even means. No one has gone back to report from the inside.
Oradour-sur-Glane, France: From Village To Ghost Town In A Single Day
During World War II, this was a farming village in a German-occupied area of France. On June 10, 1944, German troops killed the entire population of the town–minus those who were able to flee. Following the killings, the troops burned the town to the ground.
Oradour-sur-Glane is now an iconic symbol, a reminder of the war crimes the Germans committed. No one dares to rebuild it. It has become a museum in itself.
Kolmanskop, Namibia: A Literal “Ghost” Town
Kolmanskop was once a thriving city full of German miners during a diamond rush. After World War I, a more promising diamond rush took precedence, leading inhabitants away from the site. The town essentially emptied over the course of a month.
Its new inhabitants? Sand. Lots and lots of sand. This site attracts ghost hunters from all over the world, who claim the scandalous deaths of miners and prostitutes have left the place haunted by ghosts.