Final Destination for Canfranc Railway Station, Spain.

Canfranc railway station in Aragon, Spain.
Opened in 1928, it was the stunning centrepiece of the line between Béarn and Aragon, across the French-Spanish border.
But in 1970 a runaway train destroyed a bridge on the French side.
They decided not to rebuild it, and as a result the station was abandoned.
Image Credit: Photograph by Alamy/Ed Cumming.
See more via Pretty vacant: the glory of abandoned spaces | Art and design | The Guardian

The Ruins of the Mayan City of Palenque, Mexico.

Palenque-2Image: Jan Harenburg,
A fairly recently discovered ruined city lying in the protective embrace of the Mexican jungles, Palenque is one of the most breathtaking of all Mayan ruins. Known for its intricate carvings and as the resting place of Pakal the Great, the city was once a thriving metropolis between 500 and 700 AD and was home to somewhere around 6,000 people at its height.
The site was only uncovered in the 1950s, and since then it’s been opened to tourists. Now, visitors can get a look for themselves at the massive stone structures, decorated with beautiful carvings, that were once the stomping grounds for one of the Maya’s greatest kings.
So intricate – and so cryptic – are the carvings that some people look at them as proof that the builders had help from a rather questionable source – extraterrestrials.
Carvings depicting bizarre symbols have alternately been interpreted as astrological or religious symbols, or symbolism implying the use of a space ship by the deceased on his way to the next world.
Palenque-3
Image: Mexicanwave,
Now a World Heritage Site, only a portion of Palenque’s estimated 1,500 structures have been excavated. Among those that have been thoroughly explored include Pakal the Great’s tomb, and the Temple of the Red Queen.
The latter yielded the knowledge that the Maya painted the bodies of their deceased nobility a bright red – the same red that would have been used to paint many of the buildings. For the Maya, red was the color of blood and the color of life.
Palenque was abandoned by 1000, left to be enveloped by the jungle and preserved by the same wilds that were once cut back from it. There’s plenty of theories about why people left the city, from famine caused by drought to a shift in political power.
The last date that we know the city was occupied was November 17, 799 – the date carved on a vase.
via 10 Ancient Settlements That Were Abandoned for Mysterious Reasons – Urban Ghosts.

If these Walls could talk, Rocky Point Hall, Victoria.

If these walls could talk … but all is now quiet at the Rocky Point Hall situated at Moyston in Western Victoria.
Image Credit: Photograph by ABC Open contributor cinarto
Source: Pic of the week Rocky Point Hall – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Port Arthur Convict Coal Mine, Tasmania.

The_Coal_Mines_is_one_chapter_in_the_epic_story_of_convicts_and_transportation_in_TasmaniaWhen an outcrop of coal was discovered at Plunkett Point by surveyors in 1833, immediate plans were made by the government to exploit the area.
A local supply of coal for the colony was not the only benefit envisaged by Lt. Governor Arthur:
“I think it is not possible that better employ will be found for some of the most refractory convicts than employing them in working coal mines.”
Joseph Lacey, a convict with practical mining knowledge, was sent with a small party of convict labourers to commence the work.
The first shipment of coal left the mine on 5 June 1834 aboard the Kangaroo.
The Plunkett Point mine was the first operational mine in Tasmania. Prior to its establishment most of the colony’s coal requirements had been imported from New South Wales, at great expense.
The coal was used in households and government offices for heating. Poor quality was a cause of constant complaint:
The settlement in 1839
When Lempriere (the Commissariat Officer at Port Arthur) reported on the settlement c. 1839 there were 150 prisoners and a detachment of 29 officers stationed at the mines.
Large stone barracks which housed up to 170 prisoners, as well as the chapel, bakehouse and store had been erected.
fileThe Quarters provided for the Officers assigned to guard the convicts.
Today, they form imposing sandstone ruins. On the hillside above were comfortable quarters for the commanding officer, surgeon and other officials. Remains of some of these can also still be seen.
Carts ran along rail and tram roads to the jetties for loading.
The coal mines settlement was a punishment station for Port Arthur where repeated offenders of ‘the worst class’ were sent.
Besides the men who worked underground extracting the coal, other prisoners were employed in building works, timber getting and general station duties.
Four solitary cells were constructed deep in the underground workings to punish those who committed further crimes at the mines.
Read on via Port Arthur – Coal Mines History.

Cook and Silverton, Ghost Towns of Australia.

Cook, South Australia
Photo: Disused building in the self-proclaimed ghost town of Cook, South Australia. (Image: John Darrington/Wikimedia)
Connected to Eyre Highway by 100km of dirt road, Cook’s current population can be counted on one hand.
The town was established in 1917 along with the Trans-Australian Railway, the longest stretch of straight railway in the world.
Cook was once home to a bush hospital which advertised itself with a sign at the station saying, “If you’re crook, come to Cook.”
Previously relying on an underground artesian aquifer, the town’s water supply is now carried in by train.
It has become a pit-stop for those traveling in luxury on the Indian-Pacific, where passengers can alight and wander through.
Silverton, New South Wales
Photo: Old railway platform for the defunct Silverton Tramway. (Image: Conollyb/Wikimedia)
The small town of Silverton was once a silver-ore mining hub and home to around 3000 people.
It wasn’t until 1875, when two men drilling a well on a station just south of the area hit a deposit of silver, that the town was officially established some 10 years later.
But it was with the discovery of an even richer ore body in Broken Hill that led to the abandonment of the town.
Today it has a permanent population of around 50 people.
The Silverton Hotel remains standing and has been featured in a number of Australian film production such as Mad Max 2, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Razorback.
Source: Australia’s top 10 ghost towns – Australian Geographic

Villa Epecuen Argentina.

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In the 1920’s, Villa Epecuén and its delightful salt lake were a popular tourist retreat for Buenos Aires vacationers.
Arriving by train, as many as 5,000 visitors at a time could relax in lavish quarters after taking advantage of the therapeutic waters of Lago Epecuén.
The mountain lake was usual in that its waters were saltier than any ocean—in fact, it was second only to the Dead Sea in salt content, and people suffering from depression, diabetes, and everything in-between came to soak in its healing waters—the very waters that would eventually harbor the village’s ruin.
In what can only be described as a freak occurrence, a rare weather pattern developed over Villa Epecuen in 1985, causing a seiche in the lake.
The seiche broke a dam, and then shoved its way through the dike. While the devastation was slow, it was thorough—the inevitable flood gradually devoured the entire village, submerging it under more than 30 ft. of briny waters. 280 businesses and countless personal dwellings disappeared under the surface like a modern-day Atlantis.
It wasn’t until 2009 that drier weather allowed the waters to retreat enough for the town to reemerge.
The damage total, the village was deemed a disaster area offering no incentive to rebuild.
What remains now is an eerie ghost town with rows and rows of dead, naked trees, decrepit buildings, and an entire landscape seemingly bleached out and stripped to bone by the once-healing salt waters that ravaged everything in sight.
See more via Villa Epecuen | Atlas Obscura.