It is painful to see monuments and historical buildings get destroyed by natural disasters and the actions of human beings. While it’s almost impossible to prevent the damage caused by nature as its forces often act in a chaotic way, there is something that can be done with human activities that harm important landmarks and architecture of historical value. Whether it’s ISIS or disastrous cataclysms, beautiful buildings and even whole cities get destroyed or buried in volcano ash. We’ve seen thousands of pictures like that and it’s hard not to notice that some of them look eerily beautiful. Here are 13 things that have survived typhoons, tsunamis, hurricanes and terrorist attacks. They are mesmerizing!
St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City
Compared to all the buildings that were destroyed under various circumstances, St. Paul’s Chapel turned out to be miraculously intact after the tragedy that destroyed the World Trade Center. On the next day the staff of the chapel came to the place and found it all in one piece – even the graveyard was mostly undamaged!
Pompeii in Italy
Pompeii got destroyed in 79 AD by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius that covered the city with ash in mere seconds. The catastrophe happened so quickly that no one was able to flee – the whole city was buried alive! All the bodies and most of architecture were preserved and look much the same today as they did hundreds of years ago.
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Berlin was heavily bombed during the Allied attacks in 1945. The Brandenburg Gate miraculously survived through all of WWII and still stands today as it did dozens of years ago. It is the only monument in Berlin that was not destroyed by bombs!
Cologne Cathedral in Cologne
This cathedral is the only thing that remained intact in Cologne, Germany after the bombings in 1942. Cologne was covered with over 1,000 bombs and the city center was turned into rubble in a matter of minutes. The Cologne Cathedral survived through everything standing tall and proud among the remains of the city.
Hiroshima Peace Dome in Japan
The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have shocked the whole world. With 90% of the town destroyed by the attack and thousands of people dead, the only thing that was still standing in Hiroshima was the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. It now stands in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and bears a new name – the A-Bomb Dome.
Sanno Shrine in Nagasaki
When the second bomb was dropped on Japan, destroying the city of Nagasaki with all its citizens, the only thing that was left was this one-legged Torii at the Sanno shrine. Torii mark the entrance to the shrine, emphasizing the sacredness of the space. The bombing destroyed the Sanno shrine and everything around it, but not this piece of Torii!
Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh
In 2004, the town of Banda Aceh in Indonesia was completely wiped out by a devastating tsunami. The mosque was the only thing standing after the disaster ended. It became a home for hundreds of people who had lost their houses and a symbol of hope for all those who have suffered terrible losses.
Chicago Water Tower in Illinois
The Chicago Water Tower was built in the 1800s to supply the citizens of Chicago with drinkable water. In 1871, a terrible fire has destroyed most of the city that was mainly constructed of wood. The Chicago Water Tower was one of the few stone structures that survived the fire. It still stands today, although it doesn’t serve its purpose anymore.
Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu
This spectacular Buddhist monument has survived one of the strongest earthquakes that has ever hit the city of Kathmandu. Most of the monuments, even the Dharahara Tower standing nearby, were destroyed by the 2015 earthquake, but the stupa remained mostly undamaged.
The Ghost Town in Pripyat
The Chernobyl Nuclear Station disaster is one of the most hideous catastrophes in human history. Pripyat is the abandoned town located close to the radioactive zone. Thousands of people were evacuated from there without the time to pack their belongings, so you can still see the schools packed with learning gear, homes with all the things left intact, dolls lying around and structures slowly succumbing to the forces of nature. The town is getting devoured by the surrounding forests and soon there may be nothing left for the explorers!