Abandoned Leper Colony of Arico – Abades, Spain - Atlas Obscura

For those driving on the Autopista del Sur on the island of Tenerife, a huge cross can be spotted in the distance near the ocean. Those who venture closer will realize that the cross belongs to a skeleton of a church surrounded by decrepit buildings in an unnamed and abandoned village by the Atlantic Ocean.

An eerie and macabre vibe can be felt as the ghost town extends beyond the empty church, with structures where broken beds, bathrooms, and ceramic tiles mingle with trash and graffiti. The abandoned site was originally supposed to be a quarantine colony for lepers, built in the 1940s by Franco’s military to address the rising number of leprosy cases. The planned colony was to include a residential area, a church, a hospital, a school, and offices.

But the colony never hosted a single patient, as a cure was discovered before the site was finished. Though the military briefly used the site for training, it was eventually abandoned and slowly turned into a dream spot for graffiti artists and ravers.