Ağdam – Akna, Azerbaijan - Atlas Obscura


Akna, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani ghost town, decaying after a war left it an armed forces buffer zone. 


The fall of the Soviet Union left much of Eastern Europe in chaos. From the rubble of the fallen Russian behemoth, an Armenian autonomous nation called the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic arose in the nation of Azerbaijan, causing a vicious war that eventually left the town of Ağdam in ruins, completely abandoned and falling apart.

Shells bombarded the town of 40,000, reducing many of the buildings to crumbling and smoldering remains. As the invasion raged through 1993, every resident was forced to flee the area. Once the town was abandoned, the Armenian military spitefully destroyed most of the remains of the town, so it could never fall into Azerbaijani hands again.

Today, only the bombed-out skeletons of buildings remain, along with the former town’s mosque, which is badly damaged and was being used to house Armenian livestock. Although the area is no longer embroiled in conflict, Ağdam is a ghost town and is used as a buffer zone by the Armenian military. As long as its status remains unchanged, this shell of a town will remain empty and decaying.

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January 25, 2012

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