Someone, on the contrary, creates museums and memorials in order to preserve the memory of the tragedies that occurred. And there are always those who are willing to pay for a ticket to the museum in memory of the victims or cross the ocean to visit the place where terrible events once happened. In this article, we will talk about the most famous areas of “gloomy” tourism.
1. Death Museum, Los Angeles
“We will all die, so why not get to know death better,” reads the inscription above the entrance to the Death Museum on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, which offers the world’s largest collection of artifacts related to death and the darkest crimes. Here you can see casts from posthumous masks, photographs from the murder sites, forensic tools used to investigate, identify and autopsy corpses, and even videos with dramatized attacks.
But the emphasis in the museum is not only on coffins and funerals, although this is enough here, but also on the personality of the infamous serial killers. For example, there is an exhibition of photographs from the crime scene of Charles Manson and his gang, who killed the pregnant actress Sharon Tate and her guests, the head of a guillotined criminal known as Bluebeard or paintings by John Gacy, who dressed as a clown in Pogo lured and killed 33 people, 26 of which buried under the floorboards in his house. In prison, he became an artist, and most of his works were sold at auction, and many were bought and defiantly burned by the relatives of the victims. But some paintings can be found in the Museum of Death.
2. Kigali Memorial Center for the Victims of the Genocide, Rwanda
In a hundred days, from April to July 1994, from 500 thousand to a million (according to various estimates) people were killed as a result of clashes between two ethnic groups: Tutsi and Hutu. The main political party organized the genocide against the Tutsi people, and the military and even representatives of the law were involved in it. People were killed in a mosque, shot, raped and mutilated in the streets of cities, in houses, in schools and churches. The government incited the killers on the radio and even encouraged Hutu civilians to destroy their Tutsi neighbors.
Crimes stopped only after the intervention of the international community. Ten years after the tragedy, a memorial was opened in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, at the burial place of 250 thousand victims of genocide. The memorial center houses eight mass graves, monuments, audio and video testimonies of survivors, and hundreds of thousands of people have already visited it.
3. Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan
On August 6, 1945, the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki underwent atomic bombing. The bomb, dropped by American pilots on Hiroshima, exploded 600 meters above the ground directly above the hospital and surgical center. A dazzling flash was replaced by a deafening roar and a fiery tornado; within a radius of one and a half kilometers from the epicenter, everything was destroyed. More than 70 thousand people died instantly, another 70 thousand were seriously injured.
In the following years, thousands of people who were in the affected area – they began to call them “hibakusha” – died from radiation and the diseases caused by it. In 1955, a memorial park was opened in honor of the victims of the tragedy, and there is a museum in it, where personal belongings of the victims are exhibited. Since then, about 53 million people have visited the memorial; about a million a year.
Pompeii is an ancient city, where more than 20 thousand people died at the same time, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. It was near modern Naples. In 79 A.D. the volcano Vesuvius, waking up, began to erupt, and Pompeii was buried under a six-meter layer of volcanic ash.
Excavations began only in 1748 and went very slowly until the engineer Giuseppe Fiorelli suggested filling gypsum in the hardened ash formed after the decomposition of the bodies. So hundreds of casts were taken from the earth from the bodies of the dead, frozen in various tragic poses, for example, covering his head with his hands. This technique is used during excavations to this day, and Pompeii has attracted millions of tourists for more than 250 years.
5. People’s Democratic Republic of North Korea
The extremely secret dictatorial regime turned out to be unexpectedly accessible for tourists: anyone can visit the country, with the exception of journalists. The Koryo Tours travel agency operates in Beijing, which sends curious foreigners directly to Pyongyang on an old Soviet plane. Upon arrival, cell phones are taken away from tourists, and each step is strictly controlled. Every year, more than 1,500 people visit the capital of North Korea – a city built of Soviet concrete blocks, in which not all residents of the country have the right to live, but only those who have special permission.
Tours, which are strictly regulated every hour, are carefully planned by the host. Foreigners should not disappear from the sight of guides. Millions of people in North Korea are believed to have starved to death and were tortured to concentration camps, but tourists will never learn from the locals whether this is true or not, as well as the brutality of the authorities, food shortages, lack of social services and even electricity. which shut off at ten in the evening. All this is hiding from foreigners who have to be content with what North Korea itself wants to show the world.
Communication with local residents is strictly limited, and tourists cannot see life outside of Pyongyang.
6. Pripyat, Ukraine
If you would like to see a picture of a post-apocalyptic city, come to Ukrainian Pripyat. Many years ago, it was a flourishing city with more than 50 thousand people. On April 26, 1986, the reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded, near which Pripyat was built. Tons of radioactive particles were thrown into the air, reaching Russia and Europe. Two people died directly in the explosion, 28 died within a few months after it and, according to WHO, about 4 thousand victims have died since then from the effects of radiation. Residents of the city were not immediately evacuated; they began to be taken out a day after the accident when many began to complain of severe headaches and vomiting. People were told that after a while they will be able to return, so all things remained in the houses.
Tourists are allowed to visit only certain parts of the disaster area. It is forbidden to take things from Pripyat, you can’t even touch anything. After returning from the zone, tourists are checked for radioactivity, and if it is exceeded, the person is sent for chemical treatment.
7. Gulag Museum, Magadan
Magadan, a city in northeastern Russia, became notorious as a place of exile for prisoners of the Stalinist regime. Political prisoners went to this fair land, in absolute isolation from civilization, where sometimes they did not even build fences to prevent escapes – there was nowhere to run, all around the taiga.
Today, the ruins of the camps have been preserved in the Magadan Region, and in 1996 the large monument “Mask of Sorrow” was unveiled in the city itself on the Krutaya hill, from where the repressed were sent to camps. In the village of Yagodnoye, Magadan Region, there is a Gulag Museum called “In Memory of the Kolyma ”