Living in the hectic metropolis of Manchester, it’s hard to imagine the bustling streets empty and abandoned, the buildings left to ruin and decay, and complete silence where once was the sound of thousands of people. However there are entire Islands in the world that have been abandoned, now uninhabitable, and buildings which saw thousands pass through their walls, now empty and decaying.
Beelitz Military Hospital
This hospital in a suburb of Berlin was mostly abandoned by 2000, after over 100 years of use. It served as a sanatorium for the Imperial German Army in the First World War. After Adolf Hitler was injured at the Somme, he recuperated in this hospital. At the end of the Second World War, it was taken over by the Soviets and continued as a military hospital until 1995. Now only the Neurological Rehabilitation Centre is still in operation, the rest slowly decays, unvandalised. No longer a destination for injured soldiers but curious visitors and film-makers (The Pianist and Valkyrie used the location).
This concrete slab in the Pacific Ocean will be recognisable to anyone who has seen the latest Bond film, Skyfall. The island has been abandoned for nearly forty years but before then it had the highest population density in the world. Its reinforced concrete residential blocks were home to 5,000 employees of the Mitsubishi Corporation. The company mined coal from the seabed, around ‘Battleship’ Island. The labour force extracted huge quantities of coal but when demand for petroleum took off, Mitsubishi closed the mine and Hashima was deserted.