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21 Stunning Photos Of Abandoned Bulgarian Towns

abandoned bulgaria no entry

This former dairy farm looks to have been pulled directly out of a scene from a post-apocalyptic film. The ominous sign on the gate reads “No Entry!”
Source: Bored Panda

As the Soviet Union began to collapse in 1989, Bulgaria entered a new, challenging phase of its development. While the Bulgarian state eventually abandoned communist ideologies for more market-oriented practices, their memory remains in the form of abandoned infrastructure.

These spectral structures stoke the imagination of many, one such person being Bulgarian photographer Hristo Uzunov. From his home base in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, Uzunov has spent two years drawing out what he calls “The Abandoned Bulgaria” through photos, traveling to more than twenty of these deserted locations to capture their existence, perhaps to remind the nation of its past as knowledge of it recedes from memory.

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The Expanding Phenomena Of Abandoned Malls

All things must come to an end, and the era of the American shopping mall is no exception. With retail shopping becoming unpopular and unprofitable, abandoned malls all over America are being left to nature:

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No one will be placing any calls from this mall anytime soon.

No one will be placing any calls from this mall anytime soon. Source: Distractify

More withered plants and fallen ceiling tiles reflect the sad state of this American mall.

More withered plants and fallen ceiling tiles reflect the sad state of this American mall. Source: Distractify

There was an attempt to clean up the remnants of this mall at some point, and even that was abandoned.

There was an attempt to clean up the remnants of this mall at some point, and even that was abandoned. Source: Distractify

From another angle, many darkened storefronts pepper the landscape of urban decay.

From another angle, many darkened storefronts pepper the landscape of urban decay.

Mall Lobby

A fallen plant signifies the death of its commerce-driven surroundings. Source: Distractify

This once shopping area has now somehow become home for many, many fish.

This once shopping area has now somehow become home for many, many fish. Source: GalleryHip

American Malls

Not even a splash of green can breathe life back into this dead mall. Source: Distractify

This small Illinois mall was built in 1966 and closed in 1978. It enjoyed a very short ride, and died before even the internet had a chance to kill it.

This small Illinois mall was built in 1966 and closed in 1978. It enjoyed a very short ride, and died before even the internet had a chance to kill it. Source: iO9

This jewelry store almost looks as if it has been looted instead of simply closed.

This jewelry store almost looks as if it has been looted instead of simply closed. Source: Distractify

No customers to provide service to any longer- they are all buying their goods online.

No customers to provide service to any longer- they are all buying their goods online. Source: Distractify

A dilapidated outdoor entrance is unwelcoming.

A dilapidated outdoor entrance is unwelcoming. Source: Distractify

Outdoor elements have fought their way into this structure before its demolition.

Outdoor elements have fought their way into this structure before its demolition. Source: Puddles and broken glass populate the hall instead of people.

Puddles and broken glass populate the hall instead of people. Source: Distractify

Abandoned Malls Sad Store

Here’s a sad storefront that once upon a time contained a thriving business and gave jobs to employees. Source: Distractify

The shattered glass of an escalator that once carried many happy teenagers.

The shattered glass of an escalator that once carried many happy teenagers. Distractify

You can almost see the ghosts of bustling shoppers scurrying about.

You can almost see the ghosts of bustling shoppers scurrying about. Source: Distractify

Abandoned Malls In America

It’s anyone’s guess what was torn from its home here on a stage-like platform. Source: Distractify

Abandoned Mall Pictures

The top and bottom halves of this mall scene tell two different stories. Source: Distractify

Water damage is prevalent in this once vibrant and convenient shopping area.

Water damage is prevalent in this once vibrant and convenient shopping area. Source: Distractify

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Shopping malls enjoyed their heyday in the 70s and 80s, when the wealthy (and usually white) had left urban zones for glistening new homes–and shopping centers–in the suburbs. Not only did malls become an important part of consumer culture, they also composed an integral facet of American life. Many films, especially ones from the 80s and 90s, heavily feature shopping malls as an important location. Mallrats, Clueless, The Blues Brothers, and George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead all have characters who spend major time in malls (though one just happens to be filled with zombies).

The very first enclosed shopping mall was built in Edina, Minnesota in 1956. Minnesota is also home to one of the biggest malls in the nation, the Mall of America, which receives approximately 40 million visitors a year. The Mall boasts four levels and over 400 specialty shops and restaurants. So far, it still stands.

For more on the decline of the American shopping mecca, we recommend you check out Seph Lawless’s The Collapse of the American Shopping Mall.

Haunting Footage From Abandoned Chernobyl

Nearly 30 years have passed since the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The city has since been abandoned, yet it is still full of relics of a place that once was: where memories were forged, where families lived, and where life–and a model one, at that–was possible. Pripyat, the town forged next to the nuclear plant, was meant to be a model nuclear city, a testament to Soviet strength and ingenuity.

History clouds that vision, though, reminding us instead of the transience of politics and power. As photographer Danny Cooke said, “there was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us”.

If you enjoyed the video above, be sure to see these fantastic photographs of Chernobyl and Pripyat:

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Abandoned Chernobyl Box Office

Chernobyl has its origins in the Cold War, and was the first nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine.

Abandoned Chernobyl Trucks

The town of Pripyat was built around the power plant, meant to house nuclear experts, security and plant workers.

Abandoned Chernobyl Pool

The Soviets envisioned Pripyat as a model "nuclear city", where people flourished around nuclear industry and smart urban planning.

Abandoned Chernobyl Cart

On April 26, 1986, these dreams would come crashing down. A technical experiment failed, and sent Nuclear Reactor No. 4 into meltdown.

Abandoned Chernobyl Go Carts

The structure blew up, and it would take Soviet authorities a day to order citizens of Pripyat to evacuate.

Abandoned Chernobyl Doctor Room

Incredibly, Chernobyl released four hundred times more radioactive material than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Abandoned Chernobyl Doll

The entire town evacuated in three hours.

Abandoned Chernobyl Empty Room

Many first responders died or suffered incredible health damages.

Abandoned Chernobyl Furniture

The Soviet government spent the next seven months trying to contain the nuclear fallout, erecting a metal and concrete shelter over Nuclear Reactor 4.

Abandoned Chernobyl Dust

However, Reactor 4 had been leaking toxic fumes for weeks.

Abandoned Chernobyl Gym

The radiation spread throughout Europe, though most stayed in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

Abandoned Chernobyl Gym Floor

In 1986, Soviet officials erected the city of Slavutich to replace Pripyat.

Abandoned Chernobyl Hazard

Three decades later, nuclear fallout still threatens human health.

Abandoned Chernobyl Hotel

Radiation levels have dropped to the point where scientists and tourists can visit Pripyat, though living there is still not recommended.

Abandoned Chernobyl Living

Chernobyl "restarted" over the next year, producing nuclear power until December 2000.

Abandoned Chernobyl Workers

Workers in the area are mandated to take 15 days of rest following five days of work, due to the remaining radiation levels.

Abandoned Chernobyl Ferris Wheel

The Pripyat ferris wheel, so popular in abandoned photographs, was scheduled to open on May 1st, 1986, just days after disaster would strike.

Abandoned Chernobyl Masks

Immediately following the disaster, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness.

Abandoned Chernobyl Office

Some estimate that Chernobyl caused 4,000 deaths from cancer.

Abandoned Chernobyl Peeling Paint

However, these estimates are not necessarily accurate given the fact that the Soviet government tried to systematically cover up the extent of radiation injury.

Abandoned Chernobyl Plant

Some think that at least 17,500 people were intentionally misdiagnosed with "vegetovascular dystonia" by the Soviet Health Ministry.

Abandoned Chernobyl Playroom

This also allowed the Soviet government to deny claims for welfare.

Abandoned Chernobyl Pool Far

Thyroid cancer among children is considered one of the main health impacts.

Abandoned Chernobyl Race Car

A 2005 Chernobyl Forum report revealed 4,000 cases of cancer among children in the affected region.

Abandoned Chernobyl Rail Cars

Chernobyl also sowed a seed of mistrust of medical professionals, which resulted in a spike in requests for abortions.

Abandoned Chernobyl Register

Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the USSR spent then-$18 billion on containment and decontamination.

Abandoned Chernobyl Rink

This essentially bankrupted the already-flailing empire.

Abandoned Chernobyl Room

In Belarus, Chernobyl's cost in 2005 dollars was $235 billion.

Abandoned Chernobyl School

Given its environmental impact, billions have been lost in potential agricultural yields.

Abandoned Chernobyl Seating Room

Most of these areas have since been restored, but require costly cultivation materials.

Abandoned Chernobyl Snow

Politically, it also made the USSR quite vulnerable, opening up more dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union, which would ultimately unravel in 1991.

Abandoned Chernobyl Stained Glass

It also incited a shift in nuclear and environmental policies.

Chernobyl Stairwell

Italy began to phase out its nuclear power plants in 1988.

Chernobyl Storefront

In Germany, Chernobyl caused the government to create a federal environment ministry. The minister was given authority over nuclear reactor safety, and helped galvanize the anti-nuclear power movement and its decision to end the use of nuclear power.

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