Eight dark tourism sites around the world

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LONDON, April 27 — A new institute in Britain is to look at the phenomenon of “dark tourism”, the popularity of sites and attractions that are focused on death, suffering or the macabre. Here, a look at some of the world’s most popular dark tourism destinations.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
Paris’s largest cemetery is home to luminaries including Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, Molière, Marcel Proust and Jim Morrison, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Ground Zero, New York

Millions of visitors make the pilgrimage to the site where the World Trade Center stood before its destruction on September 11, 2001. The site is now home to the 9/11 Memorial, with a museum set to open later this year.

World War One Battlefields, Ypres, Belgium

The area around Ypres saw some of the fiercest fighting of WWI. The town is now home to the Menin Gate, commemorating soldiers who have no grave, and the In Flanders Fields Museum — thousands visit every year.

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oswiecim, Poland

The remaining parts of this World War Two concentration camp are preserved in memory of the 1.1 million people who died here. It’s now a major tourist attraction, with visitors from around the world, with a museum, guided tours and the largest art collection of its kind in the world.

Old Melbourne Gaol, Melbourne, Australia

Old Melbourne Gaol is one of Melbourne’s most popular tourist attractions thanks to its dark past — it was the place of execution for 135 prisoners, including Ned Kelly.

Titanic Museum, Belfast, Ireland

Opened this year to coincide with the centenary of the Titanic disaster, the Titanic Belfast Museum is located on the slipways where RMS Titanic was built and tells the story from her construction to her end, at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Choeung Ek, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The best known of Cambodia’s “Killing Fields”, Choeung Ek stands as a grisly reminder of the horrors inflicted by the Khmer Rouge, bones and teeth still littered across the site.

Hiroshima Peace Museum, Hiroshima, Japan

Over one million people every year visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which displays the belongings of those killed by the atomic bomb dropped there in 1945. It’s divided into sections telling the story of Hiroshima until the bomb, and the damage inflicted by it. — AFP-Relaxnews