Abandoned Places to See Now

Ghost towns, deserted amusement parks, drifting shipwrecks, dilapidated castles — better see these disappearing places soon, before they’re gone forever. 

Photos

Snagov Monastery

Snagov Monastery

On a tiny islet, surrounded by a lake, stands Snagov Monastery. Vlad enthusiasts have been claiming since the 19th century that Vlad himself is buried inside this monastery, more than 300 miles from Bucharest. While there’s no definitive proof of it, it sure makes for an intriguing story. 960 1280

fusion-of-horizons, flickr  

Count Dracula Club

Count Dracula Club

Inside this 19th-century house in Bucharest, visitors encounter a Dracula-inspired restaurant with some, um, newfangled twists. Dine on menu options like “Count Dracula’s Beefsteak” and the “Van Helsing Plate,” in honor of Dracula’s biggest enemy. But beware -- someone might sneak up on you, and take a bite out of your tasty neck! 960 1280

Count Dracula Club   

Brasov, Home to Dracula’s Castle

Brasov, Home to Dracula’s Castle

The medieval fortress, about 100 miles from Bucharest, was invaded by Vlad back in the day. Perched atop a 200-foot-tall rock, overlooking the village of Bran, Bran Castle yields panoramic views of the village below. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Poenari Fortress

Poenari Fortress

This weathered, cliff-side castle was Vlad’s main fortress. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries in south-central Romania by the rulers of Wallachia (a principality in what is now Romania), the castle was later abandoned and fell into ruin, until Vlad stepped in and oversaw its repairs. 960 1280

RomaniaTourism.com  

Chindia Tower in Targoviste

Chindia Tower in Targoviste

This military tower, in the Romanian city of Targoviste, was built by Vlad in the 15th century. Construction began during Vlad’s second reign (his first reign had been interrupted by a political coup and subsequent exile). Vlad came back strong with Chindia Tower, which stands at more than 88 feet. 960 1280

RomaniaTourism.com
  

Vlad's Old Princely Court

Vlad's Old Princely Court

This place of residence, located in Bucharest’s historic center, was built during the rule of Vlad III. But don’t let its regal arches and (1 remaining) Corinthian column fool you; the princely court was also likely a house of horrors. Local lore has it that Vlad kept his political enemies in dungeons beneath the court’s grounds. 960 1280

Nicubunu, Wikimedia Commons  

Sibiu, Where the Impaling Began

Sibiu, Where the Impaling Began

Vlad’s gory legend was born in the Transylvania city of Sibiu. In 1459, thousands of people were impaled in the city, at Vlad’s orders, on St. Bartholomew’s Day. Vlad’s victims included women and children, along with merchants and the local aristocracy. While some justify Vlad’s gruesome acts as a defense of nationalism (many of his victims were German Saxons), his detractors note that many of his victims were also from his native Wallachia. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Vlad's Birthplace, Sighisoara

Vlad's Birthplace, Sighisoara

See where Vlad III was born. In the winter of 1431, the future Prince of Wallachia was born in the present-day city of Sighisoara -- this yellow building is his supposed birthplace. Vlad’s father was Vlad II Dracul, who went on to become the voivode (warlord) of the area. No one really knows who Vlad III’s mother was; some speculate it was a princess from Moldavia, but Vlad’s father had several mistresses. 960 1280

Aleksandar Cocek, flickr  

Borgo Pass

Borgo Pass

This high mountain pass, roughly 309 miles northwest of Bucharest, is actually known as the Tihuta Pass. Located in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, the area was made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula -- in the novel, he rechristened the area, “Borgo Pass,” depicting it as the gateway to Count Dracula’s lair of horrors.

 960 1280

Richard Mortel, flickr  

Hotel Coroana de Aur

Hotel Coroana de Aur

Once you’ve checked out the Borgo Pass, settle down for the night at Hotel Coroana de Aur. The property comprises 109 rooms and 4 suites, with air-conditioning, mini-bars and free Wi-Fi among the amenities, making for a clean, streamlined environment to kick back and read up on Vlad and Dracula’s bloody exploits. 960 1280

Iván Vieito  

USS Hornet

USS Hornet

The USS Hornet, on the shores of Alameda Point, CA, held the most distinguished aircraft carrier combat record during World War II. She was later decommissioned in 1970, then opened to the public as a museum in 1998. 960 1280

the_tahoe_guy, flickr  

USS Pampanito

USS Pampanito

Take a stroll along San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, where the USS Pampanito awaits. This US Navy ship completed 6 war patrols during World War II. 960 1280

Dawn Endico, flickr  

USS Alabama

USS Alabama

Moored at Battleship Park in Mobile, AL, the USS Alabama fought during World War II in the Pacific as a member of the fast carrier task forces. In 1964, it was donated to Alabama as a museum ship. 960 1280

Courtesy of USS ALABAMA Battleship Commission  

Battleship North Carolina

Battleship North Carolina

The Battleship North Carolina was considered the world's greatest sea weapon in 1941. By 1958, she was headed for the scrapyard -- until a statewide campaign by North Carolina citizens saved her. 960 1280

Courtesy of Battleship NORTH CAROLINA  

USS Lexington

USS Lexington

During World War II, Japanese forces nicknamed the USS Lexington "the Blue Ghost" because of her dark blue paint color. Today, self-guided tours cover 100,000 square feet and 11 decks. 960 1280

Stuart Seeger, flickr   

USS Intrepid

USS Intrepid

This World War II aircraft carrier in NYC was saved from the scrap heap in 1978. Now a museum, the USS Intrepid serves as a hub for the annual Fleet Week events. 960 1280

storem, flickr   

USCGC Taney

USCGC Taney

'Air Raid, Pearl Harbor.' The USCGC Taney heeded the call that fateful day, and became the last ship floating that fought in the attacks. Today, she is located in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. 960 1280

Wally Gobetz, flickr  

Battleship Texas

Battleship Texas

A dreadnought, the USS Texas is the oldest remaining battleship of its kind. Today, it's moored at San Jacinto Battleground, near Houston. 960 1280

Al Pavangkanan, flickr  

USS Nautilus

USS Nautilus

The USS Nautilus was the world's first operational nuclear submarine -- and inspiration for Jules Verne's 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. 960 1280

Victor-ny, Wikimedia Commons  

USS Midway

USS Midway

Located at the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum, the USS Midway -- better known as the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century -- includes 60 exhibits, including a jail, engine room and pilots' ready rooms. 960 1280

Courtesy of USS Midway Museum  

Bowfin Submarine

Bowfin Submarine

This beast of a submarine was aptly named after a predatory fish. Since 1981, it's been open to publc tours as a museum in Pearl Harbor, HI. 960 1280

Courtesy of USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park  

USS Blueblack

USS Blueblack

The USS Blueback is the US Navy's last non-nuclear, fast-attack submarine. For 3 decades, it was in official operation throughout the Pacific Ocean. 960 1280

M.O. Stevens, Wikimedia Commons  

USS Kidd

USS Kidd

The USS Kidd won 8 battle stars for World War II service and 4 for Korean War service. It is now located in Baton Rouge, LA. And -- how's this for fun -- now offers overnight camping aboard the ship. 960 1280

U.S. Navy, Wikimedia Commons  

USS Massachusetts

USS Massachusetts

The USS Massachusetts -- or 'Big Mamie,' as her crew called her -- received 11 battle stars for World War II service. 960 1280

David Smith, flickr  

USS Batfish

USS Batfish

The USS Batfish sank 3 enemy submarines and 11 other enemy vessels during its active years. Today, the submarine rests at Port of Muskogee, OK, and is open to the public from late March to November. 960 1280

Doug Wertman, flickr  

Wrigley Field’s 100th

Wrigley Field’s 100th

Before it was ever known as Wrigley Field, Chicago’s famed baseball venue went by 2 previous names. Built in 1914 for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the stadium was first known as Weeghman Park, and later, as Cubs Park. In April 2014, Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday bash will showcase 10 decade-themed home stands as the stadium hosts the Arizona Diamondbacks. 960 1280

iStock  

St. Louis Turns 250

St. Louis Turns 250

The Gateway City marks its 250th anniversary this year. In 1764, French fur trader Pierre Laclede set out to construct a trading post near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Laclede eventually settled on a site 18 miles downriver. Today, St. Louis’s riverfront area is named Laclede’s Landing in his honor. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Berlin Wall’s Fall, 25 Years Later

Berlin Wall’s Fall, 25 Years Later

Germany marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November. The anniversary joins 2 other big events this year: 100 years since the outbreak of WWI and 75 years since the start of the second, earning 2014 the nickname in Germany of Super-Gedenkjahr, or the “super-year of commemoration.” 960 1280

Reuters   

WWI Turns 100

WWI Turns 100

In July 2014, the world marks the 100th anniversary of the Great War. In July 1914, Austro-Hungarian Empire formally declared war on Serbia, setting off World War I. Learn the story at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. The 32,000-square-foot facility consists of 2 theaters, exhibitions of period artifacts and replica trenches. 960 1280

National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial   

50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang

50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang

On April 17, 1964, Ford Motor Company unveiled the Mustang, and the smooth, 2-door beaut quickly became a fixture of American muscle car culture. (Who could forget the 7-minute chase scene in 1968’s Bullitt, when a Ford Mustang GT 390 rips through the streets of San Francisco?) Grab your shades, and celebrate the Mustang’s 50th with a ride in a sixth-generation Mustang this year. 960 1280

Getty Images   

D-Day 70th Anniversary

D-Day 70th Anniversary

This year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when the coast of Normandy, code-named Omaha Beach, saw the Allied invasion against German-occupied France. Commemorations will unfold everywhere from Bedford, VA, to the Norman coast, where Queen Elizabeth will be guest of honor. Meanwhile, Holland America is offering a 12-day D-Day tour, and a plethora of Normandy tours will recall the June 6 landings. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Japan’s Bullet Train (Shinkansen): 50th Anniversary

Japan’s Bullet Train (Shinkansen): 50th Anniversary

Japan’s high-speed railway turns 50 this year. In October 1964, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen opened between Tokyo and the Shin-Ōsaka Station 320 miles away, for a total trip time of 4 hours. Today, the journey takes about 3 hours. Spring 2014 will see test runs of the new Series E7 bullet train, with a top speed of 160 mph. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Sundance Film Festival's 30th

Sundance Film Festival's 30th

America’s top independent film festival sees its 30th anniversary this year. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Film Festival has gone on to showcase such groundbreaking films as Little Miss Sunshine and Beasts of the Southern Wild. This year’s festival will be held in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance Resort. 960 1280

Getty Images   

The Beatles: 50th Anniversary of US Debut

The Beatles: 50th Anniversary of US Debut

In early 1964, the Beatles kicked off their first official US tour with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Months later, with Beatlemania at its height, the Beatles performed at the Hollywood Bowl (pictured). Relive the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s US invasion with a Magical History Tour and a Beatles Walking Tour in NYC. 960 1280

david_hwang, flickr  

Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition: 100th Anniversary

Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition: 100th Anniversary

Just as WWI broke out, Sir Ernest Shackleton embarked on the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. Then his ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s heroic journey. Relive one of the greatest survival stories of all time on an Antarctica cruise, the last frontier for cruise travelers. 960 1280

Thinkstock   

South Africa: 20 Years of Freedom

South Africa: 20 Years of Freedom

This year South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom and general elections. In 1994, on the heels of decades of struggle led by Nelson Mandela, South Africa transitioned from apartheid to a government of majority rule. Take a South Africa tour, and see where history was made. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Yosemite’s 150th Anniversary

Yosemite’s 150th Anniversary

This year marks Yosemite’s 150th anniversary. In June 1864, Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, the first land grant in the nation to protect wild lands for the enjoyment of future generations. This year, more than 150 events are planned at Yosemite to mark the historic milestone. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

New Jersey Turns 350

New Jersey Turns 350

The Garden State celebrates its 350th birthday in 2014. In 1664 Charles II of England granted a chunk of land on the East Coast to his brother, James. James then gave 2 friends part of the land; it was soon named New Jersey. It’s all just one more reason to celebrate the land of bikinis and boardwalks. 960 1280

iStock   

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