Cardross : Scotland

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If you find yourself in Glasgow, or you’re visiting TravelCreepster sites such as the Overtoun Bridge take a quick drive North where you can find two of the UK’s little known abandoned treasures within a fifteen minute walk from one another; one ancient and one very modern.  Welcome to Cardross…

Kilmahew Castle, found just beyond the Northern edge of Crardross Golf Course is an estimated seven hundred years old, built by the Clan Napier. To be accurate, the Kilmahew Castle is not a full fledged castle, but a four-storey 16th century tower house with gothic modifications added on in the 19th century. The Napier’s lived in the castle for another 18 generations following its construction, but today the property is owned by the Catholic Church.

The real treasure of urban exploration is situated across the golf course. St. Peter’s Seminary; although it was accepting residents earlier, it was completed in 1966. From the beginning the seminary was riddled with difficulties. It became notorious for exceptionally bad construction, in most part due to “significant water ingress”. More so, it never did reach its full capacity of students. Troubles persisted until 1980 when the Catholic Church abandoned the structures function as a seminary and attempted its shift to use as a drug rehabilitation center. Maintenance costs of the structure became to much for the church to bear and in 2005 it was finally abandoned completely.

Despite having such a short history the site is a Category A listed by Historic Scotland and considered to be Scotland’s greatest post-WWII building. In 2008 the building was included in the World Monuments Fund’s “100 Most Endangered Sites”.

The above photos were found on a chat board, taken and posted by user “Stuball”. Tremendous work Stuball. I’d love to put a link to your site, get in touch.

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Gunkanjima : Japan

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Just two miles off the coast of the Nagasaki Peninsula in Japan, and a mere nine and a half miles from Nagasaki itself sits a lonely 15 acre island formally named Hashima that was once home to over five thousand people. Now it’s just a ghost town of decaying concrete towers; and a skyline that gives it the nickname of Battleship Island. Welcome to Gunkanjima…

They don't call it Battleship Island because it looks like a row boat

The island’s resemblance to a battleship was even more so reinforced when it was mistaken at the battleship Tosa and torpedoed by the American Navy during World War II.

Founded as a coal mining facility under the ownership of the Mitsubishi Corporation in 1887, Gunkanjima grew to a population of 5,259 by 1959, making it a larger town than many across North America. Upon the advent of petroleum fuelled power; coal became more and more obsolete, as did coal mining towns. In 1974 Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of Hashima. All those that lived on the island returned to the mainland to find work, leaving behind what would one day become one of planet Earth’s crown jewels of urban exploration.

Mitsubishi voluntarily handed over ownership of the island to Nagasaki city in 2002. However; after almost 30 years of neglect the island was completely uninhabitable. A number of the buildings had already collapsed completely by 2002, and the remainder were in an extreme state of decay. As the city of Nagasaki and the Japanese government sought UNESCO modern industrial heritage recognition for the island, they began to reinforce walls in danger of collapse.

Hashima was opened to the press in November of 2009, and the city of Nagasaki began construction on a paved walkway through the island in order to open its borders to the public. Today tours are offered by a number of companies and depart from several locations throughout Nagasaki Port.

MAP OF GUNKANJIMA


To see more amazing images of the island visit Gakuranman’s website.

Spreepark : Germany

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In the midst of East Berlin in all its industrial glory, you’ll suddenly find a forest running the bank of the Rummelsburger Lake. Although this may seem completely out of place, it’s just because you don’t know what’s in it. Beyond the trees and beyond the attack guard dogs is a magical forbidden land of collapsed dinosaur statues, rusting ferris wheels, and graffitied swan boats. Welcome to Spreepark…


Kulturpark Plänterwald was formally opened in 1969 in what was at the time GDR controlled East Berlin. At the time it was also the only park of its kind in either East or West Germany. In 1989 when the wall came down and the GDR lost control of East Berlin, Spreepark Berlin GmbH was granted the contract to convert Kulturpark Plänterwald into VEB cultural park Berlin. Although modifications to the park were successfully completed in 1991, the granting of that contract to Spreepark Berlin marks the first step in the ground’s downfall.

The mixed municipal authorities granting the contract didn’t check the references of Norbert Witte of Spreepark Berlin GmbH. It was essentially a “lowest bidder” scenario, and Witte lied his way through the whole bidding process. Despite visitor numbers of above 1.5 million per year the park was soon struggling with large debts. In response, admission was increased, that price hike as well as a severe shortage of parking space is noted as the cause for rapid and significant drop in attendance. By 2001, only 400,000 people per year were visiting Spreepark.

Norbert Witte, con man that he was, knew when to get out. Having convinced the municipal authorities that six of the parks major attractions were in need of repair, he had them shipped to Lima, Peru where he himself fled. It’s not every day somebody steals six major theme park attractions. Using the stolen attractions he attempted to open “Luna Park” in Peru, but failed miserably in 2004. Following that he was discovered in an attempt to smuggle £14 million worth of cocaine from Peru to Germany in the masts of one of the stolen attractions. He should be getting released this year.

In 2002 Spreepark closed for good, sighting debts upwards of €11,000,000. Today the park is patrolled by guards with what are reportedly “vicious attack dogs”, but that hasn’t stopped many an urban explorer from getting across the gates and into a forbidden wonderland. If attack dogs aren’t your style get yourself a copy of the movie Hanna, wherein the grand finale takes an amazing stroll through all that Spreepark has to offer.

If you do find yourself in Berlin be sure to take a short 45 minute road trip to check out the Beelitz Military Hospital.

SATELLITE VIEW OF SPREEPARK

For more incredible images of Spreepark visit the photographers’ website…

RollerCoaster – photo credit Midnight Sushi Club

Dinosaurs – photo credit Evelyne Leveke

Dinousaurs2 – photo credit The Neuro Bureau Berlin

Swans – Photo credit The Neuro Bureau Berlin

Ferris wheel – Photo credit The Neuro Bureau Berlin

Tunnel – Photo credit The Neuro Bureau Berlin

North Brother Island : USA

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Most people know that New York City is a collection of islands; in fact it is made up of roughly 36 islands. Some of these names, such as Coney Island, Roosevelt Island, and Manhattan I’m sure you’ve heard. Almost everybody knows what the Manhattan skyline looks like, but less known is a small 13 acre island, completely abandoned, and completely off limits right in the middle of them all. Consisting of over 13 acres and 30 abandoned buildings including factories, hospitals, and churches the island is a veritable abandoned city and a jewel amongst urban exploration sites. Welcome to North Brother Island…

North Brother Island and its sister island South Brother Island were claimed by the Dutch West India Company in 1614 but North Brother remained uninhabited until 1885 when the quarantine facility Riverside Hospital relocated there from its former home of Roosevelt Island (at that time known as Blackwell’s Island). The island’s storied history also includes the housing of WWII veterans attending New York colleges, and a heroine rehabilitation facility.

The island was also the site of New York State’s worst disaster until 9/11. In 1904 the passenger steamboat, General Slocum carrying members of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church caught fire and sank off the port of North Brother Island killing 1,021 of the passengers. The ruins of the General Slocum were excavated and recycled into a barge by the Knickerbocker Steamship Company.

In our sister blog, Travel Creepster you’ll find numerous locations, their histories filled with tragedy resulting in modern day accounts of hauntings and the like. That doesn’t seem to be the case with North Brother Island. As creepy as the surroundings may be it’s not generally known as a “haunted” location.

Although the island is closed to the public, that hasn’t stopped numerous photographers and urban explorers from capturing the magnificence of the island.

MAP OF NORTH BROTHER ISLAND

For more incredible images of Spreepark visit the photographers’ website…Factory : photo credit jag9889

Building : photo credit  RichM

Factory2 : photo credit jag9889

Physical Plant : photo credit Wardine

Nurses Cottage & Spiral Stairs : photo credit Ian Ference

Riverside Hospital : photo credit The Kingston Lounge