Three Abandoned Places

Another installment in our series on abandoned places in the world.

1. Divine Lorraine, Philadelphia, Baltimore, United States

The 10-story Divine Lorraine was built between 1892 and 1894 and designed by architect Willis G. Hale. Initially serving as a high-end apartment complex, it was eventually purchased by Father Divine, leader of the Universal Peace Missions Movement, in 1948. Transformed into a hotel, the Divine Lorraine was the first of its class in Philadelphia to be racially integrated. Closed in 1999, the building was recently purchased by developer Eric Blumenfeld in 2012. Many thanks to Forty for this suggestion.


Divine Lorraine - interior

Divine Lorraine

2. Canfranc Railway Station, Spain

Once considered the largest train station in Europe, Canfranc was designed by architect Fernando Ramírez de Dampierre. Linking the Spanish (Aragon) and French (Bearn) sides of the Pyrenees by railway, the Canfranc line was built between 1921-1925 and inaugurated in 1928. During WW2, the site was rumoured to have served as a transfer point for both German gold and British espionage. The station was abandoned in the 1970s when a bridge near L’Estanguet was destroyed, effectively ending the international link between the two regions.

canfranc - exterior


Canfranc - train

3. Skellig Michael, Ireland

Located 8 miles off the south-west coast of Ireland, Skellig Michael once served as a Christian Monastery between the 6th and 12th century. When not praying, the monks had constructed beehive huts, two oratories, a church, cross slabs, stone terraces, and some 200 meter flights of stone steps. Added to the Unesco World Heritage list in 1996, the site was abandoned during the 12th century when the monks relocated to the mainland’s abbey in Ballinskelligs. Seriously, aside from fish, sea birds and grass(?), what did the inhabitants eat?

Skellig Michael

Skellig - graveyard

Skellig huts

For previous entries, please click here.

(Images c/o 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *