A photographer has shared incredible photos of a Soviet ‘ghost town’ where locals have slowly departed and those who remain use a very odd mode of transportation to get around: rundown cable cars.
Step inside Chiatura, a small city in Georgia that is trapped in a different era with remainders from its communist past all around.
The streets are hauntingly quiet with dilapidated and abandoned buildings around every corner, including cable cars that haven’t been replaced since they were first built in the 1950s.
In the late 80s, Chiatura was home to an estimated 30,000 people but half of the population has left in a mass exodus, with just 12,800 locals now sharing the vast living space.
Dmitry Rzhannikov, 56, a journalist and photographer from Saint-Petersburg, Russia, recently visited the city, documenting the trip with his camera.
“Time stopped here in the 90s, or even in the 50s of the last century,” Dmitry Rzhannikov told Jam Press.
“And to ride for free on the cable cars, which were built under Stalin, is an invaluable experience, although dangerous.”
In one image, a cable car can be seen making its way across the city, with people travelling inside.
Another shows the view of Chiatura from one of the cable cars, revealing the beautiful layout of the mountain valley on the banks of Qvirila River.
Other shots feature an old, run-down chapel as well as creepy, abandoned buildings.
The city has the largest manganese reserve in the Caucasus Mountains.
The extraction of manganese was a huge business during the Soviet times, but when the regime collapsed in 1991, a steep economic decline ensued, which impacted the industry.
As a result, many people lost their jobs. As of 2016, there were only 3,000 workers remaining across the seven mines and eight quarries.
Due to its eerie atmosphere, Chiatura has become a popular tourist attraction.
One of the most popular attractions is the cable cars, there are 17 separate aerial lift systems.
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