What went wrong? The $200 million village of abandoned Disney castles

With rolling hills and hundreds of pristine Disney-esque castles, Burj al Babas sounds like a real-life fairytale.

But if you look closely at the Turkish development, you might think all the Disney villains banded together and ransacked the place.

The eerily enchanting village of more than 500 castles is now a ghost town.

The ornate exteriors of the Disney-like chateaux © @burj_al_babas Instagram

Developers sold the identical castles as luxury holiday homes for the wealthy. Prices started at $600,000 and construction began in 2014.

An in-house movie theatre, sport facilities and Turkish bath were all part of original vision for Burj al Babas which lies in the remote Turksish town of Mudurnu.

burj al babas
Some of the lavish plans that were part of the project © @burj_al_babas Instagram

The original project included 732 villas, but only 350 were sold to investors. An increase in oil prices and the decreasing value of the Turkish lira affected the buying capacity of potential investors, according to the project architect.

By 2018 the Sarot Group had gone bankrupt causing investors to pull out. So far construction had racked up a cool $200 million bill.

Developers put the construction of Burj al Babas on hold until they could gather more funds, but that never happened.

burj al babas
© Canva

Left behind were hundreds of castles in varying stages of completion. Many of the houses appear to be complete from the outside. The French-style chateaux exteriors feature ornate facades and Juliette balconies.

Take a step inside and it looks like the tradesmen have dropped their tools and left mid-job. You will see half-finished interiors with exposed walls and wires.

burj al babas
An eerie image of what remains of the luxury development © Yes Theory YouTube

What does the future hold for Burj al Babas?

Not all hope is lost for the Disney-like village. “We only need to sell 100 villas to pay off our debt,” said Mezher Yerdelen, deputy chair of the Sarot Property Group.

Today, no work on Burj al Babas has resumed. It remains a modern day ghost town.

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