• 03.06.13

Beauty Among The Ruins: See Some of the World’s Most Beautiful Abandoned Places

Take a tour of the world’s apparently robust supply of empty castles, power plants, and churches–and witness the surprising grandeur of dilapidation.

A tired screenwriting trope is to use abandoned places as settings where one’s gory horror scenarios might unfold–the house nobody has been inside for years, the decrepit mental hospital kids dare each other to sneak into. But “abandoned” doesn’t always mean “scary.” In fact, in some cases, it can be downright breathtaking–and not in a strangulation kind of way.


Italian product manager and web designer Francesco Mugnai recently added a collection of images to his blog touting some of the most beautiful images of abandoned spots and modern ruins that he’d ever seen. The images Mugnai has captured come from empty castles, shuttered power plants, and dilapidated churches around the world. From a sunken yacht in Antarctica to a forever-closed amusement park in Japan, these images all make up a sort of anti-phoenix; rather than rising as new from the ashes, these husks remain preserved in decomposition, forcing viewers to confront the strange beauty of ruination.

Have a look through more of the images in the slide show above.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.