Category: architecture

Abandoned Hashima City: Island Inspiration for James Bond Movie ‘Skyfall’

January 14th, 2013 Permalink

This abandoned island with crumbling concrete buildings was the inspiration for the evil dude’s hacking headquarters in the latest James Bond movie Skyfall. Yes, hacking, cyberwar and an abandoned island city are all parts of ‘Skyfall. It was too dangerous here to truly film the secret lair of a 007 villain, so it was reproduced to “make everything real.” Hashima Island, also called Gunkanjima meaning Battleship Island, is Japan’s ultimate industrial ruins ghost town. The island was bought by Mitsubishi in 1890 to mine undersea coal. It was the first place that Japan built large concrete buildings up to 9 stories high, and was constructed to withstand the destructive forces of a typhoon. The island at one point had a population of 5,259, but that did not last. 39 years after it was abandoned virtually overnight, time and nature are winning the battle. Considered creepy by some with all the trappings of home but no people, some folks started to call the abandoned island, ‘Ghost Island.’ Folks interested in history or legal urbex are pleased that portions of Hashima reopened to tourists in 2009. This is the first ‘lost city’ in modern times and with the James Bond movie Skyfall, the infamous island has become even more famous. [35 Photos, 3 Videos]

Stairway To Hell, Gunkanjima, James Bond Skyfall villain hacking headquarters

This Stairway To Hell on abandoned Hashima led to a temple. The climb was reportedly “hellishly” steep. Hacking, cyberwar and an abandoned island city are all featured in the James Bond movie Skyfall. There is a hacking hideout for the villain Raoul Silva and that crumbling city in the film was based on abandoned Hashima off the coast of Japan. Photo #1 by Jordy Meow

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7 Sea Temples of Beautiful Bali: The Island Paradise Of 1,000 Temples [51 PICS]

November 30th, 2012 Permalink

Beautiful Bali has been called the famed island of the Gods. With its varied landscape of sandy beaches, hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and cliffs, gorgeous waterfalls, as well as lush rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides, some people claim that Bali is a paradise on earth. But Bali also has a colorful and deeply spiritual culture, which is why it is known as the “island of a thousand temples.” There are sea temples, directional temples and so many others so that 1,000 is an understatement. In fact, everywhere you go, you see a temple. “There are so many temples that the Government does not bother to count them.” There are also monkeys guarding the temples, monkeys in the rain forest, and even bats in a cave temple. Here’s a look at the sea temples, some wonderfully cute wildlife like monkeys, and some other stunning temples on the paradise on earth known as beautiful Bali. [51 Photos]

A Bali sunset and Tanah Lot Temple, one of seven sea temples

After being inspired by a gorgeous photo of Tanah Lot, a sea temple in Bali, we looked up more information. There are seven sea temples, but in trying to find them all, we kept bumping into images of directional temples. Then even more temples, until we found out that beautiful Bali is known as the “island of a thousand temples.” According to the CIA World Fact Book, Indonesia is “slightly less than three times the size of Texas.” Bali is the largest tourist destination in the whole country . . . and everywhere you go there is a temple. “A Bali sunset and Tanah Lot Temple,” one of seven sea temples. Photo #1 by Fabio Gismondi

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Laura Croft’s Tomb Raider & Indiana Jones’ Temple of Doom: Ancient Angkor [PICS]

November 15th, 2012 Permalink

Once upon a time, or around 1580, while cutting a path through the thick Cambodian jungle, Portuguese missionaries came upon huge towers carved into rocks that were in ruins and covered in roots and vines. Continuing on, they discovered an ancient lost city that was twice as large as Manhattan and that nature was trying to swallow. The missionaries had discovered abandoned Angkor Wat—the 500-acre site is one of the world’s largest religious monuments and the most elaborate of the Angkor’s temples. There are more than 1,000 Temples of Angkor which were built from the 9th to 13th centuries during a time when the Kingdom of Cambodia was one of the most powerful civilizations on the planet. There were rarely any inscriptions found in later centuries after 1431, when Angkor was seized by the Thai army. During its prime, as many as 750,000 – one million people lived in Angkor, making it one of the greatest vanishing acts of all time. Archaeologists now know that Angkor Wat and many of its surrounding structures were built to appease “devas” and “asuras” which are angelic demi-Gods of the Hindu religion. Thousands upon thousands of these demi-god beings are carved into every single rock temple at the site. Both Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones Temple of Doom were filmed here. Angkor Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. New research claims to have solved the mystery of how the huge stones of Angkor Wats were moved. “The massive sandstone bricks used to construct the 12th-century temple of Angkor Wat were brought to the site via a network of hundreds of canals. The findings shed light on how the site’s 5 million to 10 million bricks, some weighing up to 3,300 pounds, made it to the temple from quarries at the base of a nearby mountain.” The mystique of Angkor may cry out to the adventurer in us all, but the roots and trees are now being cut back as Angkor is being restored. So many people come here, about 2 – 3 million a year; all that walking and climbing on the (mostly) sandstone monuments caused additional damage to the archaeological sites at Angkor. These photos hearken to ancient Angkor as the Temples of Doom for a Tomb Raider to explore. [41 Photos, 4 Videos]

Echoes of Silence; the beauty and mystical ambiance of Ta Prohm. Angkor, Cambodia

“Echoes of Silence; the beauty and mystical ambiance of Ta Prohm. Angkor, Cambodia,” the photographer wrote. This scene may appeal to the Indiana Jones in all of us. Photo #1 by Peter Nijenhuis

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Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Europe: Meet Urbex Master Andre Govia

October 21st, 2012 Permalink

Urbex guru Andre Govia has an uncanny ability to take the most amazingly beautiful photos of creepy abandoned places. If you like abandoned, creepy, spooky, scary or haunted, then you could disappear for hours into Andre’s photostream. He’s a master of capturing hauntingly beautiful shots of abandoned mansions, hospitals, asylums, industrial complexes, hotels and about anything else you can imagine that might be abandoned across Europe. Andre Govia is on an urbex European madness tour; the fear factor is off the charts and some of the photos could scare the snot out of you. He’s been urbexing all over the globe and in 22 different countries. He and his adrenaline junkie buddies have Fright Night down to a fine art, exploring places caught in a time-warp, locations where history is frozen in time, and capturing ghosts of the past. Interesting at any time, it’s downright spooky to view his artistic photos around Halloween. Be ready to take a trip through some of the creepy, haunted locations. Andre granted Love These Pics an interview and offers tips for urban explorers and secrets to get the killer shots. His photos offer something for everyone, from elegant and hauntingly beautiful, to a scare factor that is the stuff of nightmares. Meet Andre Govia. We love these pics! [47 Photos, 1 Video]

Rooms full of old toys and decay at abandoned manor house

What happened at this once elegant mansion with its rooms full of furniture and beloved old toys as if the family fled at a moment’s notice and never returned? Mr. Button Eyes was at least 100 years old and is still hauntingly beautiful. Andre Govia was kind enough to also give an interview and tips to urban explorers. He said, “My main occupation is Film and cameraman for a TV Company; I also undertake Film edit work for US and UK networks. I am a explorer by heart and was urbexing for 6 years before I even had the idea of getting a camera to document the abandoned buildings. I was given a camera as a gift (canon20d) and it all started from there.” Photo #1 by © Andre Govia

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48 Eerily Intriguing Shipwrecks

September 27th, 2012 Permalink

We expect to see ships from land as they sail away, but there is something eerily intriguing about ships that you see from land because they are above-water wrecks. Some are rusty and crusty shipwrecks that didn’t sink completely underwater, while others crashed, collided, or ran aground on the sandy beach or rocky reef. Yet other wrecks were perfectly fine ships that nature picked up and tossed on land via a hurricane, typhoon or tsunami. Even though these abandoned boats litter nature, the shores or shallow waters, there is still a haunting beauty to wrecks and to seascapes with relic ribs where ghostly wreckage remains. It makes us ponder what the story is behind these shipwrecks visible from land and what the sailors endured. The United Nations estimates more than 3 million shipwrecks litter the ocean floor, but we could find no estimate to the number of boats that are abandoned, derelict or beached worldwide. Here are 48 fabulous photos showing eerily intriguing shipwrecks in varying states of destruction and decay. [48 Photos]

Rusted shipwreck resting on a reef in Hawaii - All that remains above water of an unnamed vessel wrecked on the reef long ago

Rusted shipwreck resting on a reef in Hawaii. The photographer noted, “All that remains above water of an unnamed vessel wrecked on the reef long ago.” NOAA Photo #1 by Dr. Dwayne Meadows, NOAA / NMFS / OPR; NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program

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Celebrating World Photography Day with Wikimedia Commons Pictures of the Year

August 14th, 2012 Permalink

August 19, 2012, is World Photography Day. This is great opportunity to say thank you to photographers. Without photographers licensing their awesome captures as Creative Commons, we wouldn’t be able to share so many awesome works of art. Once upon a time there were not nearly so many quality images licensed under Creative Commons, but that continues to change. We wanted to celebrate World Photography Day by showcasing the Wikimedia Commons Pictures of the Year, decided at the last part of June 2012. There were all sorts of categories in this Sixth Annual Wikimedia Commons POTY Contest, so here are extremely varied subjects that were declared Picture of the Year winners. Congratulations! [31 Photos]

WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY, Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 1st place: View of Lake Bondhus in Norway, and in the background of the Bondhus Glacier, part of the Folgefonna Glacier

Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2011 #1 with 143 votes in Final. A view of the lake Bondhus in Norway. In the background a view of the Bondhus Glacier as a part of the Folgefonna GlacierView of Lake Bondhus in Norway, and in the background of the Bondhus Glacier, part of the Folgefonna Glacier. Photo #1 by Alchemist-hp (www.pse-mendelejew.de)

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Sensational Sand Sculptures: From Creative Castles to Adorable Dragons [47 PICS]

August 4th, 2012 Permalink

When a person builds a castle, it’s a strong fortress meant to last hundreds of years. Yet some people build temporary, fragile castles of sand. In fact, most sandcastles are not castles at all but, amazing works of sand sculpture art. This is a mixture of nature, of art, of science. Physicists theorize that even more massive sand castles could be built underwater. While that would be cool, it would be much harder for the masses to enjoy the sandy works of art by masters of sand sculpting. We really liked these and imagined what it might be like to walk along the beach, enjoying nature, but taking in giant cultural pieces of sand art at the same time. While it’s still summer hot in the USA and some “kids” will soon start school, let’s globe hop and enjoy a summer day on the beach and these sensational sand sculptures. [47 Photos]

Dragon Dwellers - Amazin' Walter and William Lloyds entry in the Tournament of Sand Sculpting Champions at Harrison Hot Springs, British Colombia

Dragon Dwellers – Amazin’ Walter and William Lloyds entry in the Tournament of Sand Sculpting Champions at Harrison Hot Springs, British Colombia, Canada. Photo #1 by © Amazin Walter

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Dry Tortugas: Coastal Fortress, Coral Reefs, Marine Life, Shipwrecks & Sunken Treasure

August 3rd, 2012 Permalink

About 70 miles west of Key West, Florida, lies Dry Tortugas National Park which is world-renowned for picturesque blue sea waters, white sands, brightly colorful coral reefs, abundant marine life, and legends of shipwrecks and sunken treasures. There are seven small islands in the 100-square mile park, but it is mostly open water that is accessible only by boat or seaplane. Dry Tortugas is also famous as the home of magnificent and historic Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry building in the Western Hemisphere. Though it was not finished, the fort has more than 16 million bricks that make up the massive 45-foot-high, three-level hexagon, coastal fortress that has 2,000 architecturally beautiful arches. [44 Fabulous Photos]

Fort Jefferson aerial looking east

Aerial of Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, part of Dry Tortugas National Park. The park is located at the farthest end of the Florida Keys, closer to Cuba than to the USA mainland. NPS says, “To reach this remote ocean wilderness one must travel by boat or plane over 68 nautical miles of open sea.” Garden Key is the second largest island in this chain. Photo #1 by National Park Service

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Climbing the Extraordinary Excalibur Wall in the Netherlands [21 PICS, 2 VIDS]

July 19th, 2012 Permalink

The area around Groningen, Netherlands, has been described as “flat as a pancake” which leaves climbers with nothing to climb outdoors . . . that is until the massive climbing tower Excalibur was built. Klimcentrum Bjoeks is considered one оf the best Dutch Climbing Centers. It has a boulder area both outside and inside, as well as 18 meters (59 feet) high indoor climbing walls for route climbing. Outside Bjoeks looms the mighty Excalibur, a spectacular and curved climbing tower that is over 121 feet high (37 meters) to reach the thrilling peak. The overhang curves 36 feet out from the base and offers numerous routes up, from the slabby side, to the “steep” side that requires some thought and climbing muscle. Being adrenaline rush fans, we thought it looked pretty cool. Even if it’s not made by nature . . . climbing to the top would allow adventurers, adrenaline junkies and extreme sport participants to see for miles. It would surely feel as if you reached the summit of Dutch mountain. [21 Photos, 2 Videos]

Balloon festival Groningen -- T-Rex vs the 37 meter high Klimcentrum Bjoeks climbing wall

Balloon festival at Groningen, Netherlands. T-Rex vs Excalibur, the 37 meter high Klimcentrum Bjoeks climbing wall. Photo #1 by © Gerrit Stel the Netherlands

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69 Exquisite Infinity Pools That Will Blow Your Mind

July 5th, 2012 Permalink

It’s a hot, dry summer right now in America, so we’ll go globetrotting to stare at mind-blowingly beautiful infinity pools. Each ultra-modern design is a soothing slice of paradise and leaves us longing. Wow, I wish, life is good, and heavenly all sum up these incredible infinity pool views that combine the best of man-made and nature. Cool off and enjoy! [69 Photo]

INFINITY SUITES AT ANSE CHASTENET RESORT at ST. LUCIA

Infinity Suites, slice of heaven at Anse Chastenet Resort at St. Lucia. Photo #1 by © PROCON

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Urbex: Abandoned, Burned, Semi-Demolished Emge Foods Meat Processing Plant [72 PICS]

June 16th, 2012 Permalink

Emge Foods Plant in Fort Branch, Indiana, is listed as “Emge Foods Plant: Tourists’ most wanted hotspots on Google Maps …” on Wikimapia. I was looking for urban decay, but discovered a previously burned and partially demolished Emge Food Processing Plant where an adventure included a little climbing and even a bit of caving . . . urban exploration is after-all a type of ‘extreme sport‘ and adrenaline rush. On Memorial Day, when it seemed most unlikely anyone would pay double-time for a security guard, a trip for an urbex adventure sounded fun. Once I got there, come to find out, it’s in the midst of being demolished. Just the same, I’d made the trip so little things like ‘no trespassing,’ security cameras and danger zone weren’t going to stop me. I spent the next three hours inside the place, armed with my camera, probably the very last urban explorer to go inside. I’ve done a lot of adrenaline rush adventures and urban explorations, but nothing abandoned, burned, flooded, and a pile of wreckage being demolished. It caught fire yet again a few short days after this trip. It smelled terrible in spots, old burned asbestos, and then stagnate flooded areas down below. Fairly treacherous. Good times. Had fun and wanted to share the abandoned slaughterhouse tour. [72 Photos]

Burnt time clock and phone time clock at abandoned and semi-demolished Emge Food Processing plant

Burnt time clock and phone at abandoned and semi-demolished Emge Food Processing plant. Before this urbex adventure of an abandoned and partially burned Emge meat processing plant and slaughterhouse was posted, the building caught fire. Again. It caught fire in 2009 as you can see by the toasted time clock — and the walls were partly missing in that room due to the wrecking ball. Knew I was the last urban explorer to go inside the place, but didn’t anticipate the fire. Photo #1 by Love These Pics

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Tales from the Crypt [29 PICS]

May 27th, 2012 Permalink

Every crypt has a different story, how it was built, who it was for, but very few of these graves will be decorated or the people remembered on Memorial Day — especially since only two are in the USA. Mostly we don’t know those stories, but we did like the images. Several of these crypts were abandoned and then ‘discovered’ during urbex adventures, or by photographers on very remote and rural adventures. Nature is reclaiming some, others are a bit eerie, while yet others are still beautiful. Tales from the crypts: Happy bizarre Memorial Day? [29 Photos]

The Overgrown Crypt

The Overgrown Crypt — La Recoleta cemetery in Argentina. The photographer wrote, “Every crypt seemed to have its own story… I wish I could have heard the tales of each one. But, on the plus side, I did have my over-active imagination to fill in the blanks.” Photo #1 by Trey Ratcliff

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