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Maps of the Earth's Most Cursed Destinations

Journalist and sailor Olivier Le Carrer released a book called Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations full lot maps and stories that appears to be catnip for geography nerds. It contains the stories of 40 unfortunate places and the stories behind them, along with detailed period maps. Here’s a taste of one such place.  

Gur-Emir: The Malevolent Mausoleum

The site of this cursed edifice lies in modern-day Uzbekistan in a region formerly known as Transoxiana. Timur, ruler of the region in the 14th century, went around and slayed everyone in his kingdom who he felt served him no purpose—a total of 17 million apparently purposeless citizens. Timur commissioned this mausoleum for his grandson, who was killed in combat, with the intention of joining later on. While the mausoleum is elegant and impressive in its grandeur, don't forget that the man behind it sent 17 million people to their very arbitrary deaths. Skipping ahead a whole bunch of centuries: On June 22, 1941, a few hours after a Russian forensic scientist opened the tomb to exhume and study Timur’s remains, Germany launched an attack on the Soviet Union. Curse or coincidence? You decide.

Here’s what that mausoleum looks like. Read about seven other places from the book at Atlas Obscura.


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