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Throughout history shifting economies, disasters, regime changes, and utter incompetence have all caused the evacuation of impressive architectural structures. From the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine that rendered a region of the then-Soviet Union uninhabitable, to the decline in public transport that saw a number of US train stations becoming superfluous, the history of architectural abandonment touches all cultures. And, without regular maintenance, structures deteriorate, leaving behind no more than awe-inspiring ghosts of the past to fuel the ever-growing internet trend for "ruin porn." Below are 8 abandoned buildings slowly being reclaimed by nature: 1. Buzludzha, Bulgaria Nicknamed “Bulgaria’s UFO,” this brutalist saucer-shaped monument to communism was erected by the Bulgarian Army between 1974 and 1981. The domed structure held a large seating area that served as a venue for celebrations and state functions. Additionally, the room’s interior was slathered in murals that celebrated Marx and Lenin. After the communist party helmed by Todor Zhivkov fell in 1989, the building fell into disrepair. Although the structure still stands, the constant freeze-thaw cycles of Eastern Europe have caused large holes to form in the roof. Both restoration and demolition are too conflicting to undertake, so the building continues to wither away on the mountaintop. View more View full description
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