Ancient, modern, unsolved, and unexplained mysteries all exist. The world’s most mysterious buildings, on the other hand, are a physical force to be reckoned with.
Our list of mysteries avoids cliched stories of the Bermuda Triangle and Egyptian pyramids, as well as the usual suspects of PR-driven haunted hotels. These strange buildings are unique, lesser-known, and frequently arcane. After all, the mystery must be real. Our concept of mystery is broad and diverse.
A sand-swallowed lighthouse in Denmark’s Jutland and a lava-buried church in Mexico’s remote highlands are among the mysterious buildings on our list that are being eaten alive by the Earth. Others have bizarre design elements or were suddenly abandoned by their people centuries ago.
There are lots of architectural mysteries out there that have long gone unexplained, ranging from world wonders to modern structural oddities. These enigmas, whether they’re baffling mysterious buildings, hidden cities, or surprising features, are surrounded by unsolved questions: Why are they there? Where did they come from? Why is there so much mystery surrounding them? Stay tuned as we finally get to the bottom of these mysterious buildings.
5 Most Mysterious Buildings in the World
This secret space may appear to be a cupboard or hidden storage space, but it was one of many located in stately homes around the UK. During the English Reformation in the 16th century, they were used to conceal catholic priests.
Elizabeth I made being a Catholic illegal and punishable by execution almost immediately, but many devoted families continued to pray in secret and had these spaces built into the fabric of their homes. When this mysterious building was ultimately opened up in 1910, it was discovered to contain a rope ladder, a little tapestry, bedding, and a folding leather altar.
- Renwick Hospital, Roosevelt Island, New York City
The abandoned Smallpox Hospital, with its granite veneer, corbelled parapets, and mansard roofs, serves as a reminder of Gotham’s violent past. Its 100 hospital beds originally held quarantined immigrants who had suffered the dreadful disease. Renwick reopened to the public in 2013 after a $4.5 million restoration project, which will include an art project featuring huge butterflies hovering above the mysterious building.
Mystery: Renwick is illuminated at night by an anonymous patron with a view of it from an Upper East Side penthouse.
Visit: The American Institute of Architects and Classic Harbor Line both offer architecture-themed excursions around Manhattan, complete with lectures about Renwick and other mysterious city sites.
- Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico
The spiral staircase of the massive Gothic Revival church is a woodwork marvel that connects the choir loft to the ground-level seating without the need for nails or a central column for support.
The staircase was built in 1878 by an anonymous carpenter who then vanished without being paid, according to legend.
Visit: La Posada de Santa Fe, a three-story Victorian mysterious building turned art-filled hotel, is just across the block. Julia Staab’s presence is supposed to haunt Suite 100, which was her bedroom before she died.
- Manhole, Wiesbaden, Germany
Have you ever been in a scenario when you wished the ground would swallow you up? Perhaps a spiral staircase beneath a pavement hatch will do. This manhole in Wiesbaden, Germany, invites passersby to take the leap and go beneath the city streets with a futuristic spaceship-like entrance.
The science-fiction contraption is the entrance to the dungeon of the Salzbach canal, one of the oldest in central Europe, once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole you can witness the mysterious building. Most people above ground have no idea what lies beneath their feet in the maze of shadowy tunnels that run beneath Wiesbaden.
- Egyptian Pyramids, Giza, Egypt
The pyramids of Giza in Egypt are perhaps the world’s most famous, ancient, and elusive architecture and mysterious buildings. Built approximately 2500 BC as huge tombs for the ancient pharaohs, their construction is more perplexing than their existence. The colossal blocks of stone appear hard to maneuver without the technology of today in an era before industrial revolutions and modern mechanics.
A possible explanation for the pyramids’ construction has just come to light, sparking much debate among archaeologists. Scientists discovered a ramp with stairways while examining ancient writings on the Giza monuments, which could have helped in the hauling of the stone into place.