Atlas of Forgotten Places Journey to Abandoned Destinations from Around the Globe

Travis Elborough

$45

Explore the places that time forgot. Abandoned, mysterious, sleeping monuments around the world have been relegated to the margins of history, pushed off the map and out of sight.

From ancient ruins and crumbling castles to more recent relics – an art deco New York subway station, a Soviet ghost town in the Arctic Circle, a flooded Thai mall teeming with aquatic life – Travis Elborough takes you on a journey into these strange, overlooked and disappearing worlds and immortalises their fates.

Original maps and stunning colour photography accompany Travis Elborough’s moving historic and geographic accounts of each site. The featured locations are a stark reminder of what was, and the accounts in this investigative book help to bring their stories back to life, telling us what happened, when and why, and to whom.

The book features 40 sites, including:

  • Santa Claus, Arizona, USA: A festive tourist resort turned ghost town deep in the desert where once you could meet Santa Claus any day of the year;
  • Crystal Palace Subway, London, UK: One of the city’s best-kept secrets is an underground, cathedral-like relic from where many Victorian commuters bustled through;
  • Montserrat, West Indies: The small Caribbean island with a population of 5,000 that was evacuated when its volcano erupted in 1995. The volcano is still active and nearly half the island remains a designated exclusion zone;
  • Balaklava Submarine Base, Crimea: The former top-secret Soviet submarine base that was kept off all official maps and known as Object 825 GTS;
  • Volterra Psychiatric Hospital, Tuscany, Italy: Once dubbed ‘the place of no return’, this long-closed lunatic asylum once housed 6,000 patients who were never allowed to leave.

Also in the Unexpected Atlas series: Atlas of Improbable Places, Atlas of Untamed Places, Atlas of the Unexpected and Atlas of Vanishing Places (WINNER Illustrated Book of the Year – Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2020).

$45

ISBN – 9780711263307
Publication Date – 19/10/2021
Categories – Travel

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Travis Elborough
Atlas of Improbable Places A Journey to the World's Most Unusual Corners


This engrossing book traverses the heights and depths, the beauty and terror, of our world.’ – THE OBSERVER

Travis Elborough goes in search of the obscure and bizarre, the beautiful and arcane. His unique atlas shows you the modern world from surprising new vantage points. Discover the secret Soviet city of Zheleznogorsk and the church tower of San Juan Parangaricutiro, miraculously still standing as the sole survivor of a town sunk by lava. Explore the underground realms of Beijing and Berlin, dug for refuge and espionage, and the floating worlds of remote Palmerston and the macabre Island of Dolls.

The truths and myths behind these hidden lairs, forgotten cities and improbable wonders are as varied as the destinations themselves. These curious places are not just extraordinary sights but reflections on our relationship with the world around us.

‘Atlas of Improbable Places has that rare, through-the-wardrobe quality. It is a delightful compendium of the strangest places on the planet.’- DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘Understatedly expressive.’ – NEW YORK TIMES
‘Deeply researched – and really worth your time.’ – GQ

$23

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