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Strange reasons why they all became abandoned & derelict

Bojan Ivanov
Photo Credit: nicolas pascarel CC BY 2.0

There are a lot of ghost towns around the world, and each seems to have an equally interesting story behind it.

Some towns became ghost towns because of a disaster, others because of economic reasons. Here is a list of five most haunting ghost towns:

1. Potosí (Venezuela)

Potosí is a ghost town located in west Venezuela. In 1985, the Venezuelan government deliberately flooded the town to build a hydroelectric dam. In 2010, because of the prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, caused by the weather phenomenon El Niño, the town was uncovered for the first time since its flooding.

The church, the tombstones, the ruins of houses and the outline of the former town square have appeared, with the church entirely revealed, although only its facade remains. The church tower (26 meters tall) was once used as a high-water mark for the reservoir.

Before the flooding, Potosí had nearly 1200 citizens. They were relocated to a region not far from Potosí and throughout Venezuela.

Colonial church in Potosí. Author: TheKillerKira  CC BY 3.0

Colonial church in Potosí. Author: TheKillerKira  CC BY 3.0

 2.  Belchite (Spain)

The most famous ghost town in Spain is the town of Belchite, in the province of Zaragoza. Belchite was ruined in the summer of 1937, during a battle in the Spanish Civil War, between the loyalist Republicans and General Franco’s Nationalists forces.

The abandoned town of Belchite has remained untouched for nearly 80 years as a monument to the battle that destroyed it. The ruins of the town are open to the public and tourists can visit the bullet scared buildings, some of which date back to the late 18 century, like the San Martin de Tours church and the Convent of San Rafael, which arches and columns are still standing.

The remains of the town have been used as filming locations. Terry Gilliam’s 1988 film The adventures of Baron Munchausen and Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth were filmed in Belchite.

Belchite: ruins of the old town. Author: Ovidio Calvo CC BY-SA 3.0

Belchite: ruins of the old town. Author: Ovidio Calvo CC BY-SA 3.0

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