Many people visit castles for their elegant and sophisticated designs. Others love the rich history that tends to come with them. Some have been lucky enough to explore the winding, hidden passages found deep within the walls of centuries-old castles in Europe. In Turkey, there is a town with hundreds of beautiful castle-shaped mansions that will surely take your breath away. Despite its majestic view, the town has an eerie side to it because it was abandoned. Why? Well, here are some details about Burj al Babas, a ghost town in Turkey filled with fairy tale castles.
The Burj al Babas
Situated in the northwest region of Turkey, the Burj al Babas is a housing project of the Sarot Group. The town has about 587 mansions that look like fairy tale castles all closely lined up together. Burj al Babas was designed to be a luxurious housing project for tourists who desired to enjoy a royal life for a time. As such, the town was meant for those who wanted to experience European luxury in Turkey. (In other words, it was for those looking for a gorgeous vacation home in the Turkish hills.)
Unfortunately, the construction of the housing project met several problems and setbacks. As a result, the town was left unfinished for years. Now, Burj al Babas is famously known as a ghost town eerily filled with fairy tale castles.
The Initial Concept
Initially, it was designed to contain 732 luxurious villas with similar designs. Each castle has design elements that combine English, American, and Gothic architecture. Aside from that, the town was also designed to have a domed structure with a shopping center, mosque, movie theatre, and other facilities like Turkish baths.
The housing project was aimed at the Arab market. Each castle was on sale, with prices ranging from $370,000 to $530,000. The majestic houses were marketed in Kuwait through the company’s real estate agency.
Problems and Complications
The construction of Burj al Babas started in 2014. Initially, the project was successful because half of the villas were bought in advance. By 2018, the sales of the castles stalled, resulting in the developer declaring bankruptcy.
One of the issues the developer encountered was the local people. When the houses were being constructed, many locals were enraged, claiming they were outraged by the ‘unpleasant designs’ of the villas. To be specific, many locals claimed the castles didn’t resemble ancient Ottoman-style houses, a Turkish staple. Aside from that, a lawsuit was also filed against the developers, claiming that they destroyed and harmed the environment. To make matters worse, the economy of Turkey struggled during the construction of Burj al Babas. As a result, the developers incurred a debt of about $27 million.
In 2021, about 587 out of the 732 castles had been fully constructed in Burj al Babas. Some gardens were also built. Even so, the housing project is far from complete and currently, the properties are all just sitting there.
Will Burj Al Babas be Completed?
Even though the buyers and investors pulled their money out of the project, the Sarot Group is confident that their housing project will be completed. For now, the town looks empty and unlivable because of the half-finished castle homes. As such, the Burj al Babas has a post-apocalyptic feel with patchy landscapes and no sign of life. Still, many tourists visit this empty yet fascinating ghost town in Mudurnu, Turkey to see this strange sight for themselves, wondering if the castles will ever be finished or if they will stay a creepy fairy-tale-like ghost town.