12 Beautiful Abandoned Churches of the World

12 Beautiful Abandoned Churches of the World

There's something eerily beautiful about the ruins of these old churches which were all abandoned and forgotten for various reasons. Some played important historical roles during times of war and civil unrest, while others depict the challenges and hardships faced by our modern world. Now, all that remains of these architectural wonders are parts of the physical structures which provide a strange and fascinating look into what once existed.

1. Geamăna, Romania

The village of Geamăna Romania was destroyed when the valley was flooded by polluted water from a nearby open copper mine. Today the ruins of the village church stand straight out of the toxic red colored waters.

Geamăna, Romania

2. Yaropolets, Russia

The Kazan Theotokos Church, though now a guarded abandoned site is still the only Russian double-domed church which was built by the Russian Count and military General Zakhar Chernyshev.

Yaropolets, Russia

3.  Caen, France

The beautiful ruins of the St-Etienne-le-Vieux Church still stand in Caen France Today. The church and much of the city were destroyed during The Battle of Normandy in World War II.

Caen, France

4. Rome, Italy

The ruins of the Church of San Bonaventura stand on what was once the village of Monterano in Rome. The village and sadly its occupants were set on fire by the French Army during a brutal and unexpected attack at the end of the 18th century.

Monterano, Rome

5. Detroit, Michigan

The city of Detroit was once the 10th largest city in the United States, but due to job losses and many residents vacating, the city suffered an economic crisis and was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2013. Today many of the cities buildings are abandoned.

Detroit, Michigan

6. Ross Island, India

Ross Island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India was held under British occupation and used as a seat of power for the British during World War II. In 1941, an earthquake shook the island causing damage and also resulted in the eventual abandonment of this site. Today many ruins remain of the once lavish buildings including the church.

Ross Island, India

7. Coimbra, Portugal

The Portuguese Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha was built in the 14th century on the Mondego River in the city of Coimbra. The building had to be abandoned in the 17th century due to repeated flooding. Today the church has been restored and is open to visitors looking to see a glimpse of it's beautiful past.

Coimbra, Portugal

8. Bodie, California

The town of Bodie in California's Sierra Nevada Mountain range boomed after gold was first discovered in 1876 and the town boomed during this rush from 1877-1880. However, like most gold rush towns, all good things must come to an end and Bodie was no different. The decline started in the early 1900's and it's now an abandoned ghost town with many structures like the church still standing reminding us of its once glorious past.

Bodie, California

9. St. George's, Bermuda

The Unfinished Church sits as a reminder of what never came to be in the small town of St. George's on Bermuda's northeast end. Construction on this site began in 1874 after the existing church was damaged 'beyond repair' by a storm. Construction was quickly halted after a decision to repair the original church instead of building a new one and in 1926 a storm destroyed much of what construction had been done on the 'Unfinished Church'. Today the site is part of the St. Georges UNESCO World Heritage Site.

St. George's, Bermuda

10. Dumfries, Scotland

The beautiful ruins of Lincluden Collegiate Church sit on the northern outskirts of Dumfries Scotland. Founded circa 1160, this relic was later abandoned in 1700 and today the remains are a heritage protected building which can still be visited by the public.

Dumfries, Scotland

11. Gary, Indiana

Once a booming steel town and birthplace of the Jackson 5 musical group, this town near Chicago Illinois has seen hard times as a result of the steel industry which the city was built on. In 2013 an estimated one third of all homes were reportedly unoccupied or abandoned as are many public buildings like the city's Methodist Church featured below.

Gary, Indiana resized

12. Ani, Turkey

Ani was once the capital city of the medieval Armenian Kingdom that covered much of what is now Armenia and Eastern Turkey.  Between 961 - 1045 it played an important role as it stood on many trade routes and its building were considered some of the most technologically and artistically advanced in the world. Ani was later abandoned during the 16th and 17th centuries but remnants of this 'City of 1001 Churches' still remain today including the Church of the Redeemer seen below.

Ani, Turkey

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