Lost Luxuries: The World's Costliest Deserted Wonders

Discover the globe's grandest deserted sites, from Pyongyang's hotel to the Land of Oz, showcasing ambition, miscalculation, and time's whims

Lost Luxuries: The World's Costliest Deserted Wonders

Tuesday September 26, 2023,

2 min Read

The world is dotted with architectural marvels that tell tales of opulence, vision, and sometimes, sheer miscalculation. These expensive edifices, once buzzing with life or envisioned grandeur, now stand in solitude, bearing testimony to the unpredictable nature of time and fortune. Let’s delve into the enigmatic chronicles of some of the most expensive abandoned wonders.

Ryugyong Hotel: North Korea’s Deserted Skyline

Dominating Pyongyang’s skyline at a staggering 1,080 feet, the Ryugyong Hotel, with a price tag of $750 million, is an epitome of halted ambitions. Initiated in 1987, its construction paused in 1992, resuming only to finish the exterior in 2011. Although whispers of a 2018 opening circulated, this megastructure remains eerily vacant.

Ryugyong Hotel

Land of Oz: A Silent Yellow Brick Road

Once echoing the laughter of children and fans of the 1939 classic, North Carolina’s Land of Oz stands muted. Constructed with a lavish budget of $5 million and inaugurated by the iconic Carrie Fisher in 1970, the park faced the wrath of flames, leading to its closure in 1980. However, select annual openings still let nostalgia-seekers glimpse its past magic.

Land of Oz

Rio’s Fading Aquatic Dream

Built for the spotlight of the 2016 Olympics, Rio de Janeiro's Aquatics Stadium, with an investment of $38 million, was once a sports haven. Promises of repurposing post-games went unfulfilled, and the edifice now decays in silence

Rio’s Fading Aquatic Dream

San-Zhi Pod City: Taiwan’s UFO Enigma

Envisioned as a trendy vacation spot, the San-Zhi Pod City in Taiwan, costing over $50 million, lies incomplete. Initiated in 1978, a sequence of mysterious events and financial woes halted the project. Yet, these abandoned pods draw adventurers, many of whom share eerie insights online.

San-Zhi Pod City

Hashima Island: Japan’s Deserted Time Capsule

Once a coal-mining hub, the 16-acre Hashima Island now stands desolate. Although a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the weather allows only seasonal visits. Yet, those who venture find a frozen slice of the 1950s.

Hashima Island

Balaklava’s Subterranean Secret

Post WWII, Stalin’s vision led to the creation of an underground submarine base in Balaklava, Ukraine. Built at a staggering $1.3 billion, this base stayed operational till 1993. Currently, it mesmerises visitors as a military museum, showcasing a bygone era.

Balaklava’s Subterranean Secret

These structures serve as silent reminders of the transient nature of human endeavors. While their price tags are hefty, the stories they enclose are invaluable, making them eternal landmarks in the annals of time.

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