nickfranssen's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Holiday Gift Guide: Atlas Obscura Books and Calendars
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Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands

Efteling Sprookjesbos

This fairy tale forest hides scenes from some of the more obscure and bizarre Western nursery stories.
Isfahan, Iran

Vank Cathedral

The cathedral stands in New Jufa, Isfahan's Armenian quarter that was established in 1606.
Kantubek, Uzbekistan

Vozrozhdeniye Island

Former island in the Aral Sea used to be a top-secret Russian bio-weapons facility.
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Ascension Cathedral

In Kazakhstan, a colorful cathedral with many lives once survived the most powerful earthquake in the region.
Dolinka, Kazakhstan

KarLag Memorial Museum

A sober museum housed in the original administrative building of one of Stalin's largest gulags.
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Statue of Panfilov's 28 Guardsmen

This Soviet statue is based on a piece of propaganda that's been elevated to national myth.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Beatles Monument

A beloved tribute to the Fab Four and the freedoms they inspired.
Namibia

Hoba Meteorite near Grootfontein, Namibia

Largest Known Meteorite on Earth.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Shop #47 at Mwenge Woodcarvers Market

An exquisite and eclectic selection of African masks stands out within a massive woodcarving marketplace.
Dakar, Senegal

Gorée Island

This tiny, tranquil Senegalese island serves as a powerful symbol of the Atlantic slave trade.
Mbour, Senegal

Fadiouth Shell Island

And island made out of shells, including a cemetery.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Red Terror Martyrs' Memorial Museum

A powerful tribute to the victims who suffered under Ethiopia's most devastating regime.
Afar Zone 2, Ethiopia

Gaet’ale Pond

The Earth's saltiest natural body of water belches toxic gas.
Arsi, Ethiopia

Tiya Stelae

Ethiopian standing stones featuring remarkably preserved carvings of swords and people.
Malindi, Kenya

Gedi Ruins

Abandoned city hidden from the world by tropical forest and isolation on the coast of Kenya.
Malindi, Kenya

Marafa Depression

Strange sandstone canyon known as the "place broken by itself."
Iten, Kenya

Iten: Home of Champions

The Kenyan town where the best distance runners in the world are trained.
Kenya

Mara River Crossing

Life and death are on parade at the most reliably perilous site of “the Great Migration.”
Kenya

Lake Turkana

The world’s largest permanent desert lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Chemin de Fer Railway Museum

Rusting railcars and locomotive equipment fill this Ethiopian train graveyard.
Aksum, Ethiopia

Obelisk of Axum

Massive stele returned to Ethiopia after 70 years in Rome.
Lalibela, Ethiopia

Bete Giyorgis of Lalibela

An Ethiopian "Jerusalem" featuring a church hewn out of a single rock.
Afar Zone 2, Ethiopia

Dallol

The hottest place on the planet.
Afar Zone 2, Ethiopia

Erta Ale

Ethiopia's "smoking mountain" is in one of the hottest regions on the planet and is home to two lava lakes.