Crumbling bricks, vines crawling up the walls and trees growing on roofs – see the silent beauty of an abandoned Soviet-era town nestled in the mountains of Abkhazia.
In summer, you would have a hard time spotting Akarmara from above. The small town is almost entirely overgrown, with trees even growing on the few roofs that are still intact.
Nature has been slowly reclaiming the Abkhazian town since the early 1990s. Most of its inhabitants fled the Georgian-Abkhazian war of 1992-’93, when the area was shelled, besieged and starved.
This used to be an elite residential neighborhood of Tkvarcheli (or Tqwarchal), once a prosperous coal mining center and Abkhazia’s second-largest city. Despite having only a handful of apartment blocks, Akarmara boasted an autonomous infrastructure: a market, a restaurant, a hospital and a cultural center.
Now, it’s a ghost town. Eerily quiet, with most of the plaster crumbled from the walls and most of the roofs caved in, Akarmara stands connected to the surrounding area with a picturesque tall railroad bridge, the rails now gone and green moss settled in their place. The local train station is just another overgrown shell of a building.
Perhaps most surprisingly, the ghost town is not entirely abandoned. About half a dozen families still live here, surviving on their own without the luxuries of modern infrastructure.
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