In Chenzhuang Village, China, about 20 miles northwest of central Beijing, the ruins of a partially built amusement park called Wonderland sit near a highway, surrounded by houses and fields of corn. Construction work at the park, which developers had promised would be "the largest amusement park in Asia," stopped around 1998 after disagreements with the local government and farmers over property prices. Developers briefly tried to restart construction in 2008, but without success. The abandoned structures are now a draw for local children and a few photographers, who encounter signs telling them to proceed at their own risk. Reuters photographer David Gray visited the site on a chilly morning earlier this month and returned with these haunting images of a would-be Wonderland. [ 21 photos total ]

Situated on the eastern border of Turkey, across the Akhurian River from Armenia, lies the empty, crumbling site of the once-great metropolis of Ani, known as "the city of a thousand and one churches." Founded more than 1,600 years ago, Ani was situated on several trade routes, and grew to become a walled city of more than 100,000 residents by the 11th century. In the centuries that followed, Ani and the surrounding region were conquered hundreds of times -- Byzantine emperors, Ottoman Turks, Armenians, nomadic Kurds, Georgians, and Russians claimed and reclaimed the area, repeatedly attacking and chasing out residents. By the 1300s, Ani was in steep decline, and it was completely abandoned by the 1700s. Rediscovered and romanticized in the 19th century, the city had a brief moment of fame, only to be closed off by World War I and the later events of the Armenian Genocide that left the region an empty, militarized no-man's land. The ruins crumbled at the hands of many: looters, vandals, Turks who tried to eliminate Armenian history from the area, clumsy archaeological digs, well-intentioned people who made poor attempts at restoration, and Mother Nature herself. Restrictions on travel to Ani have eased in the past decade, allowing the following photos to be taken. [ 27 photos total ]

The New York City Municipal Archives just released a database of over 870,000 photos from its collection of more than 2.2 million images of New York throughout the 20th century. Their subjects include daily life, construction, crime, city business, aerial photographs, and more. I spent hours lost in these amazing photos, and gathered this group together to give you just a glimpse of what's been made available from this remarkable collection. [ 53 photos total ]

Pixtale.net presents a series of previously unpublished color photographs made in northwest France by photographer Frank Scherschel, detailing the devastating impact of the invasion and its aftermath. The impulse behind posting the gallery, meanwhile, is really no more complicated than this: to commemorate those Allied troops who fought and died; to honor those who fought and lived; and to mark the occasion by also remembering what happened to countless towns — and townspeople — in France and around the globe when the Second World War unleashed hell in the midst of their lives.

The ruins left behind after warfare speak a language of their own. Even more strikingly, no matter where the conflict has taken place — whether it’s in northern Europe or the South Pacific, the Middle East or Central Africa — the vernacular of destruction is often the same. Buildings reduced to rubble and dust. A scarred, tortured landscape seemingly devoid of life, aside from small human forms trying to piece it back together. Twisted, rusting, abandoned vehicles. And always, above it all, the silent, indifferent sky.

[ 16 photos total ]

Photographer Daniel Cheong's photos of Dubai's foggy, colourful nights give a unique perspective on one of the United Arab Emirates fastest-rising cities: From up above it all.
[ 29 photos total ]

The role and treatment of women in society has recently become a hot political issue in the country after several rape cases in the past two years has led to widespread protests in the region against violence against women. [ 18 photos total ]

While looking for good photographs of London, I was contacted by London photographer Jason Hawkes, who had some wonderful images of London, seen from above at night (from a helicopter, to be exact) - some of which which he's agreed to let me share here. From Jason: "Shooting aerial photography during the daytime had its own difficulties, you are strapped tightly into a harness leaning out of the helicopter, shouting directions through the headsets to the pilot. If shooting in the day can be difficult, night and the lack of light causes its own set of problems, but overcoming them is half the fun and the results can be stunning. I shoot at night using the very latest digital cameras, mounted on either one or two gyro stablazied mounts, depending on the format of the camera and length of lens I'm having to use." [ 19 photos total ]

It’s been another rollercoaster of a week on planet earth. In one part of the world fashion gurus are showing off their latest haute couture while a mere 7 hours flight away children are dying in a war zone. [ 73 photos total ]

A private zoo in Poland is now home to three week-old white lion cubs. [ 10 photos total ]

It's time again for a look at the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet. Today's photos include fire bulls in Spain, a massive iridescent ammonite, an ostrich amid the chaos in South Sudan, and the stray dog that took a team of 100 people to catch in China. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers, part of an ongoing series on animals in the news. [ 38 photos total ]

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