Unusual Towns

Unique Around the world

There are many strange towns with their own characteristics. Some are even replicas of other towns and others are built under rocks hanging overhead.

Every city and town on Earth is unique, but some specimens are so extraordinary that it’s hard to believe they really exist.

Some towns are all under one roof complete with shops, a police station and hospital. Others are built where most of the residents in the town,l live under one roof and some towns have only one resident. Below are 12 of these strange towns.

12. Setenil de las Bodegas - Spain

The town of Setenil de las Bodegas in Spain attracts tourists from all over the world — probably because around 3,000 inhabitants are living quite literally, under a rock. Their homes and buildings are built into a huge basalt rock. The natural caves of Setenil turned out to be ideal living quarters because rather than needing to build entire houses to keep out the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter, all they needed to build was a facade.

There are streets where you can see rocks hanging overhead instead of the sky. It might seem that they are about to fall, but they have been holding for centuries.

11. Chefchaouen - Morocco

Chefchaouen is a small city in the Rif mountains in the north-west of Morocco. Nicknamed “the Blue Pearl of Morocco because of the city's striking, blue-washed streets and buildings. The walls, doors, and even stairs of Chefchaouen are all various shades of blue. There different theories to why Chefchaouen is so blue. One popular theory is that they were painted by Jews who used to live here, blue being a sacred color for them. The Jews are now long gone, but the tradition remains.

10. Matmata - Tunisia

Matmata is a small Berber speaking town in southern Tunisia, Northwest Africa. It is famous for its quaint underground houses and cave dwellings. Some of the local Berber residents live in these traditional underground "troglodyte" structures which are pleasantly cool in summer and comfortably warm in winter.

The structures typical for the village are created by digging a large pit in the ground. Around the perimeter of this pit artificial caves are then dug to be used as rooms, with some homes comprising multiple pits, connected by trench-like passageways.

9. Hell - Michigan Town

Hell is an unincorporated community in Putnam Township, Livingston County, in the state of Michigan, USA. The origin of the name is uncertain, but the town’s inhabitants are happy to sustain its infernal image. It has a few small restaurants and bars, a souvenir shop, a chapel, a putt-putt golf course, and a canoe/kayak rental for the nearby Hell Creek Campground.

Although the United States Postal Service does not recognize Hell as a town; it instead uses the name of nearby Pinckney as the mailing address. Tourists eagerly take photos of themselves with "Welcome to Hell" boards in the background.

8. The Village - Florida

The Villages, is Florida's friendliest retirement hometown, about 90 minutes out from Orlando in Central Florida. The Villages is home to a lively 55 and over community of a strong 123,966 people and most of whom move around in golf carts - roughly 40,000 carts.

The Villages offers numerous forms of recreation: 513 holes of golf; 85 restaurants; 63 swimming pools and 14 medical centers. The three town square is the gathering hub, featuring free entertainment, from music to dancing. It’s been called 'Disneyland for Grownups.'

7. Busingen am Hochrhein

Busingen am Hochrhein, is a German exclave in Switzerland. Economically, it’s part of Switzerland; administratively, it’s part of Germany. It is the only German town with the Swiss franc as the main currency. Busingen residents enjoys public services from both Switzerland and Germany, and have both Swiss and German postal code and telephone codes.

In an emergency both the Swiss or German police can be called. Busingen's citizens can work and own properties in Switzerland, and if a German citizen has lived in Busingen for more than 10 years, he or she can receive a special status similar to Swiss citizenship.

6. Colma - California

Colma town in California has more dead people than living. It is home to 17 cemeteries. The Gold Rush of 1849 caused thousands of people to migrate to nearby San Francisco, but they brought diseases and subsequently, death. In 1900, San Francisco was overcrowded by the dead so new burials were banned.

In 1914, all bodies buried in San Francisco, was relocated to Colma which is sprawling with graveyards. The population of the town used to consist only of gravediggers, florists, and memorial makers, but in the 1980s, people of other professions also started to settle here. The town’s motto today is "It’s great to be alive in Colma!"

5. Begich Towers - Alaska

The entire city of Whittier, Alaska, is located in the 14-level building of a former military facility. Nickname a ‘town under one roof,’ the building contains all the shops, a police station, a hospital, playground and a church. The aim was to economize on heating since the weather here is cold and windy almost all year. The city’s population numbers only 220 people

4. Monowi - USA

Monowi is a small town in northeast Nebraska which has a population of 1. The sole resident, Elsie Eller is the mayor, librarian and bartender. She runs the council, the town’s tavern, library and serves as clerk. In the 1930s, the town had a population of about 150 people, but by 2000, it had two, Elsie and her husband, Rudy.

When Rudy passed away in 2004, Elsie was the town’s lone resident. Elsie pays her annual tax to maintain its four streetlights and other basic amenities. She is said to cook up a mean burger, enticing farmers from over 130km away, as well as catering to tourists and passers-by.

3. Longyearbyen - Norway

The town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway, is a place where dying is forbidden. There is a cemetery in the town, but it hasn’t been used in 70 years. Longyearbyen’s ground is permafrost, which means the soil is permanently frozen all year round. The frosty climate, prevents dead bodies from decomposing and makes them an attraction for wild animals like polar bears. People who are likely to die soon are transported to mainland Norway by plane.

2. Marloth Park - South Africa

Marloth Park, close to Kruger National Park, is filled with wildlife including, lions, hippopotamuses, and crocodiles. In despite of the dangers of having these wild animals close by, residents are not allowed to build fences around their houses. The only fence that separates the townspeople from the park is a small 1.2-meter (4 ft) fence that was built to keep humans out of the park.

It is not unusual then to see wild animals about the town. Cyclist are often the victims of attacks and townsmen have nicknamed people riding bicycles at night - 'meals on wheels.'

1. Hallstat - China

The beautiful Austrian village of Hallstatt is a town of breathtaking views. It attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Chinese decided to build the exact replica of the Austrian village in China's Guangdong province. The church was built first, followed by streets that look exactly like the original ones.

At first Hallstat Austria’s residents were not happy, but later the Mayor of Hallstatt and some residents visited the Huizhou town, and were given VIP treatment. This left the village of Hallstatt very proud that their town was replicated.

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