[[caption-width-right:340:[[BoltOfDivineRetribution God]] doing some urban renewal.]]
[-[[caption-width-right:340:''The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah'' by [[http://www.wojm.org.uk/ John Martin]]]]-]

->''“When a country goes mad, it has the right to commit every horror in its own walls.”''
-->-- ''Literature/TheScarletPimpernel''

A city or civilization that is destroyed after growing so [[WeHaveBecomeComplacent complacent]], [[LookOnMyWorksYeMightyAndDespair hubris-laden]], and/or [[WretchedHive corrupt]] that it is [[ItIsBeyondSaving beyond redemption]]. Usually the agent of destruction is [[BoltOfDivineRetribution divine retribution]] or [[TheScourgeOfGod a scourge of God]] but also can be the result of [[CallItKarma karmic justice]], [[GaiasVengeance nature's revenge]], [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]], or even [[HanlonsRazor human]] [[FinaglesLaw error]].

Often, the Soiled City was once a ShiningCity or {{Utopia}} but, [[HumansAreBastards humans being who they are]], it fell victim to arrogance and [[SevenDeadlySins moral degeneration]]. In fact, before destruction, the Soiled City can still look like a Shining City even though its [[CrapsaccharineWorld gleaming exterior is really concealing rot and vileness within]].

Almost always a WretchedHive. Can also be a CityNoir. The opposite or (as mentioned previously) the corrupted version of the Shining City. This trope often overlaps with LookOnMyWorksYeMightyAndDespair and is used as AnAesop. The ShadowLand of {{Arcadia}} and the GhibliHills; many a FarmBoy who went expecting the Shining City was lucky to escape with his life, if at all.

[[TheGreatFlood Water]] is a common means of the Soiled City's destruction.

The name refers to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_on_a_hill the City on a Hill]], an early symbol of American {{Utopia}}.

Compare with AfterTheEnd, CataclysmBackstory, AndManGrewProud and {{Gotterdammerung}}.


* This is what ultimately ends up happening to the World of Mana in ''Anime/CrossAnge'' due to the hubris of its creator, Embryo, although he is the one who initiates its destruction when he decides to create a new world in his disgust with the present one. Its inhabitants are guilty of complacency and overdependence on Mana, as they by and large have no ability to think for themselves due to Mana's effects, leading them to immediately turn on Princess Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi after they find out she is a norma, a race instinctively despised by them, in the first episode. By the time she encounters a few of them as the world is falling apart, they [[EntitledBastard angrily demand she help them]], which, after all the crap she has been through, including them earlier cheering for her public execution, she breathlessly rejects and scares off with a few gunshots, thus leaving them (not to mention her sister who also turned on her) to survive in the aftermath after Ange and her comrades save the world and are transported into the real earth to live in peace.
* This was the state of "the cities of Man" in ''Anime/TheAnimatrix'', which lead to the creation of robot slaves that since rebelled. It doesn't really factor into the plot, though; [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters mankind's]] chief characteristic is hatred rather than self-indulgence.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* As bad as Heavenside from ''ComicBook/DoktorSleepless'' is (most people consider it an ironic name), it is actually a contrast to [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Hellside]], the even worse city on the other side of the mountain where ''everyone died''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'': Blüdhaven is wiped out when [[ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis the Society]] drops Chemo on the center of the city.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' fanfic ''Fanfic/TheLastGreatTimeWar'' shows Gallifrey becoming this as the Time War progresses.
* In the backstory of the [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/207616/moonlight-palaver Palaververse]], Antlertis was a decadent ancient society responsible for most of the modern world's ills, which was seemingly destroyed by cosmic entities that the ruling mage-lords tried to bind to their will.
* ''Fanfic/{{Quizzical}}'' plays on this in ''The Basements of Doom'', where the treasureless lost city is just lost because it's in a dangerous area, and people just moved away.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', there's [[KnightTemplar the League of Shadows]] which is an ancient secret organization that takes upon itself to destroy societies and cities that, according to their standards, have become too corrupt and decadent. ("The League of Shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome. Loaded trade ships with plague rats. Burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance.") Next on their list: Gotham City. [[spoiler:And then they show up again years later, trying to do the same thing, under the command of Ra's al-Ghul's heir Talia and Bane in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''.]]
* No Name City in the film version of ''Film/PaintYourWagon'' seemingly pays for its sins by being swallowed up by the Earth. (In actuality, the town collapses due to the miners [[DugTooDeep tunneling under it]] to get at the last of the gold.)
* Coruscant in the StarWars prequels shows signs of this, as does the Old Republic generally. At least, according to the Empire's propaganda. To be fair, the fact that they could and circumstances surrounding their willingly voting in the empire and its new and oppressive system does, ironically, illustrate it nicely.
* Texas City, CA in ''Film/BreakerBreaker''. An abandoned mining town re-incorporated by what the film, at first, seemed to hint was a band of traveling gypsies (but later just turned them in to 70's-style corrupt hicks), and funded by bootlegging and hijacking 18-wheelers. Gets destroyed in the end by a band of vengeful truckers responding to a distress call on behalf of the film's hero, [[Creator/ChuckNorris JD]].

* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numenor#History Númenor]] in Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''. After Sauron is taken captive by the Númenóreans, he takes on a role as TheCorrupter, and by the time he's done Númenor was so corrupt that it had become an militarily expansionist EvilEmpire that treated its conquered peoples as [[SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil slave chattel]] ([[{{Irony}} and it was this horrible treatment that drove many Easterling and Haradrim groups to side with Sauron later on]]), Melkor (a.k.a. [[{{Satan}} Morgoth]]) [[ReligionOfEvil worship]] went so far as to include regular HumanSacrifice, and pretty much nobody among the populace save for the few dissenters who escaped being sacrificed batted an eye when TheEmperor Ar-Pharazôn decided to [[VillainousIncest marry his first cousin against her will]]. The final straw was when Sauron tricks them into sailing to Valinor and violating the Ban on setting foot there. As a result, the Valar call upon Eru Ilúvatar and he destroys Númenor with a giant wave, sinking it beneath the sea.
* Creator/AndreNorton's "Operation Time Search". In our real world, Atlantis fell under the control of evil rulers and was destroyed. The actions of the hero prevent this, and as a result history is changed and Atlantis survives to the present day.
* The city of Brussels, Belgium, appears this way in retrospect to Marlow in ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness''.
* The Emerald City in ''Literature/{{Wicked}}''. Even in ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'' it has shades of this--although the people aren't unhappy or corrupt, the Wizard in charge is a phony playing the whole city for fools (and the city ''isn't even really emerald''; the Wizard just makes everyone wear emerald-colored glasses so they think it is). But like everything else in Oz, the depiction is even worse in ''Wicked.'' Booze-soaked nightclubs, whores on every corner, chamberpot contents in the street, the Unionist church's {{Knight Templar}}s running unchecked, and a brute posing as a wizard cheerfully exploiting all of it to keep in power.
* The Thran Empire, particularly the city of Halcyon, that served as {{Precursors}} to the main setting for MagicTheGathering is shown to be one of these in its titular novel, ''The Thran.'' Even before Yawgmoth started pulling their strings, they practiced FantasticRacism against the goblins and other species, were much more concerned with aesthetic beauty than people's safety or comfort, created a massive undercity of caves where all the undesirables (both criminals and people who merely disagreed with the way of doing things) and had a superstitious understanding of disease (which they believed was caused by evil spirits....granted that was sometimes true in Dominaria, just not most of the time. [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt After Yawgmoth...]]
* Charn from ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'', the {{prequel}} to ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia''. The civilization (and ''the entire universe in which it existed'') was destroyed by the Empress Jadis, who killed every single living organism just because she couldn't be queen. She kept herself preserved as SealedEvilInACan until two kids from another universe freed her from her slumber (they had been tempted by the SchmuckBait-laden mechanism used to awaken her). Then she hitched a ride with the kids back to their universe, and eventually to Narnia, where she became known as [[spoiler:the White Witch.]] Some of Jadis's passing comments suggest that Charn was plenty corrupt before she destroyed it, too. Nostalgic remarks about torture chambers, and "the cracking of whips and the groaning of slaves," convey a pretty clear impression of what life was like there.
* Danu Talis, better known as Atlantis, from ''Literature/TheSecretsOfTheImmortalNicholasFlamel.''
* The city of Shadukiam in ''Literature/TheOrphansTales''. In "The Book of the Sea" we learn about how its rich inhabitants care about nothing but aesthetics and money, devouring ridiculous delicacies made of jewels and forcing their [[FantasticGhetto species minorities to live in ghettos.]] In "The Book of the Storm," we learn of how the city met its terrible end, lost its anchoring in the world, and became the hollow nightmare city of [[spoiler: Marrow.]]
* New Babylon, by virtue of destiny, becomes this in the Literature/LeftBehind books.
* Magrast in ''Literature/ChroniclesOfMagravandias''. The city is pretty much the concentrated corruption of the entire Magravandian empire, and the palace in particularly bad.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', this sort of divine retribution is rumoured to be what happened to the civilisation that once existed around Holy Wood Hill. It's been suggested that if the gods wreaked hideous vengeance on corrupt and depraved cities, they'd certainly have done it to Ankh-Morpork by now, but it's possible they did and no-one noticed the difference.
* In the ''Literature/GentlemanBastard'' books, Salon Corbeau is a city-state that serves as a playground for the insanely rich and shameless. Casual cruelty and violence against the powerless are institutions; noble parents give their children small animals to experiment on with new daggers and poor people are made to play a twisted version of chess on a giant chessboard for rich spectators where they are subjected to humiliating degradations. At the end of the novel, [[spoiler: the main character sets a pirate armada on them.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'' this happens to the US through a combination of deficit spending leading to a hyperinflation crisis, a genetically-engineered pandemic caused by spreading around scientific knowledge, and a series of oppressive laws meant [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad to please everyone]] leading to growing rebellion and secession movements as the federal government becomes ever more tyrannical and dictatorial. Of course, according to the protagonists, the ''real'' failure of the United States was ever dabbling in multicultralism and tolerance at all, straying from its solid Christian foundation.

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* Sunnydale on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' was doomed from the start, ''founded'' to be an epicenter of a Hellmouth and its citizens meant to be prey for demonic beings. Buffy's biggest accomplishment in early seasons, it seems, is to make the citizens realize the danger, even as it gets worse. Eventually, in the seventh season, supernatural activity becomes worse than ever, and the human populace finally have the sense to evacuate. Soon after, the showdown between the Scooby Gang and the [[BiggerBad First Evil]] in the SeasonFinale (the last season shown on television) results in the town being obliterated, reduced to a smoldering crater as the Hellmouth is closed.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' gives us Gallifrey, home of the Time Lords, as a ''planet-wide'' example of this trope. As early as the classic serial ''The Deadly Assassin'', Gallifrey was established as having fallen into decadence and corruption long ago. By the end of the Time War, the Time Lord High Council had tried to destroy the time-space continuum to save their sorry hides. In hopeless desperation, the Doctor actually set out to destroy Gallifrey for the good of the rest of the universe. [[spoiler: Fortunately, he and a pair of his future regenerations figured out at the last minute how to shunt Gallifrey into a PocketDimension instead, protecting the rest of the universe ''and'' the remaining innocent lives (re: children and other civilians) on the planet.]]

[[folder: Religion And Mythology ]]
* Literature/TheBible features the following examples.
** The world before TheGreatFlood is arguably the UrExample.
** Sodom and Gomorrah are the prime examples. The destruction of these cities is the subject of the 1852 painting by John Martin that's the image for this page.
** Even Jerusalem itself. God's chosen people on Earth started off well but became so corrupt and decadent that [[TheScourgeOfGod God let the Babylonians and other civilizations conquer them]] to snap them back into what they needed to be doing.
** Speaking of which, Babylon is another biblical example.
** Also, in [[Literature/BookOfRevelation the Book of Revelation]], the world gets a lot more rotten before [[ApocalypseWow it's destroyed during the end time.]]
** Nineveh is an interesting example- it's a truly soiled city, being the capital of the astonishingly cruel Assyrian Empire, but when Jonah brings a message that God's going to destroy them for it, [[SubvertedTrope the inhabitants of the city shape up and repent]], and God decides to spare them... [[DoubleSubversion at least temporarily]], because it's not long before they fall back into old habits and get destroyed anyway.
* In the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}, the city of Dwaraka (a.k.a., Dvārakā) sinks into the ocean after becoming corrupt.
* {{Atlantis}} became one of these before it sank into the sea.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ys The sunken city of Ys]] in French folklore and Myth/CelticMythology. It was built below sea level and surrounded by a dike with a gate that was opened to allow access for ships during low tide. Ys was destroyed by being sunk under the waves as punishment for the [[TheEvilPrincess Princess]] [[RoyalBrat Dahut-Ahès's]] and the other inhabitants' debauchery. (Although, in one version of the legend, Ys sank as a result of the Princess Dahut-Ahès [[AlcoholInducedIdiocy getting drunk]] [[WhatAnIdiot and opening the gate at high tide during a storm]].)
* The medieval city of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vineta Vineta]] was, according to legend, a rich and powerful port on the Baltic Sea located near the present-day border of Germany and Poland. The sinfulness of its inhabitants led [[BoltOfDivineRetribution God to destroy it with thunderbolts]] and sink it underneath a storm tide.
* In Literature/TheBookOfMormon, the city Ammonihah is destroyed by [[TheScourgeOfGod an army of the Lamanites]] after they rejected the words of the prophet and killed those that did believe. They were pretty sure God couldn't destroy their great city in a day as prophecied if they didn't repent.
** More broadly, the Nephite and Jaredite nations near the end of them. They did pretty deplorable things at the end.
* Legend tells of a Pacific {{Expy}} of the above-mentioned {{Atlantis}} called [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_(lost_continent) "Mu."]] It, too, sunk into the ocean after becoming riddled with corruption.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** In the ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' setting, the Suel Imperium was the capitol of the Suloise a nation ruled by evil sorcerers thousands of years ago, which was eventually obliterated by the Invoked Devastation which caused the cataclysm called the Rain of Colorless Fire, reducing the Suel Imperium and the whole countryside to a hostile wasteland called the Sea of Dust. Very little is known about the nature of this disaster, but some believe the Suel did it to themselves by accident trying to [[EvilIsNotAToy do something]] ''[[EvilIsNotAToy very]]'' [[EvilIsNotAToy evil]].
** In the ''TabletopGame/{{Dragonlance}}'' setting, the KnightTemplar civilisation of Istar finally overreached itself when the Kingpriest demanded godlike powers to [[WellIntentionedExtremist remove evil from the world]]. The gods' reaction to this was the Cataclysm, which not only destroyed the city utterly, it hit the rest of Krynn [[HitSoHardTheCalendarFeltIt so hard the calendar felt it]].
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'': The ancient Eldar both embody and subvert this trope. Their glittering, technologically dazzling civilization once dominated the galaxy, but their descent into jaded excess and hedonism led directly to the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh and their near-obliteration during the Fall. The heartlands of the civilization are now the warp-tainted hellholes known as the Crone Worlds, swallowed up by the Eye of Terror that the Fall ripped into the fabric of realspace. However, the one part of pre-fall Eldar civilization that survived and prospered was the dark city of Comorragh - the Eldar's worst den of vice, iniquity and depravity. It survived because it was safely concealed from prying eyes in a pocket universe between the dimensions, and is now the home base for the Dark Eldar, who continue to celebrate and indulge in the kind of vileness that brought their civilization low in the first place. [[MeaningfulName And if you still don't get it]], Commorragh used to have a sister city named Satom.

[[folder: Theatre ]]
* The eponymous city of Music/KurtWeill's and Creator/BertoltBrecht's opera, ''Theatre/TheRiseAndFallOfTheCityOfMahagonny''.
* No-Name City/Rumson in ''Theatre/PaintYourWagon'' is founded as a ShiningCity, but falls into vice and debauchery once the Fandango girls come to town. In the 5th Avenue Theatre's adaptation, it gets [[BoltOfDivineRetribution destroyed by a thunderstorm]] at the show's climax.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarII'', [[spoiler: the entire human civilization of the Algo system is dependent on Mother Brain. This leads to complacency, and the world is unable to handle it when she starts going bonkers on them.]]
* The Kingdom of Zeal in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
* Kirkwall from VideoGame/DragonAgeII, best summed up by Varric;
--> '''Varric''': Kirkwall, "The City of Chains". Long ago it was part of [[TheEmpire the Imperium]], slaves coming from far and wide to work the quarries. Now it's a Free City... but I use the word ''loosely''
** Also, as revealed in the ''Trespasser'' DLC of VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition, [[spoiler:Arlathan. By the time Fen'Harel destroyed it, the magical city of immortal elves had a populace willing to murder each other over what shade of paint to trim the roof with.]]
* ''Pathologic'' features a Soiled City in a Steppe. Depending on the ending you end up with, this trope is more or less relevant.
* In ''VideoGame/HectorBadgeOfCarnage'', the villain's plan is to use a HatePlague on the residents of Clapper's Wreake so that they kill each other, wiping the slate clean and allowing him to create a better city.
* ''VideoGame/BioShock''
** Rapture in [[VideoGame/BioShock1 the first game]] was by all appearances a highly successful attempt to create an [[UsefulNotes/{{Objectivism}} objectivist]] haven where the [[TheSparkOfGenius brightest]] and [[SelfMadeMan boldest]] of humanity could thrive [[TheUnfettered unfettered]] from the WretchedHive- at least until the [[DidntThinkThisThrough people who moved to the bottom of the ocean to do whatever they wanted]] turned on each other. The city has been torn apart by a war between Ryan and Atlas, and the only ones left are [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke insane splicers]] only interested in finding more ADAM, and a few remaining individuals [[SoleSurvivingScientist trying to undo what was done]], [[CrazySurvivalist too crazy to leave]], [[TheStarscream trying to take over the ruins]] or holed up in private sanctums [[TheyCalledMeMad doing things even Rapture's]] [[SerialKiller loose laws frowned upon]] in private playgrounds or just [[DancingInTheRuins enjoying the show]].
** Interestingly, ''VideoGame/BioShock2'' seems to imply that the vast majority of the city actually survived as a functional society for as long as several years after the events of the first game. Most of Rapture [[ScrewTheWarWerePartying simply didn't give a damn]], being largely populated by ApatheticCitizens only caring about their own interests and keeping the BreadAndCircuses going. Some even [[WarForFunAndProfit find their fortune selling]] [[MechaMooks security systems]] and personal bodyguards to deal with the splicer problem spilling over from the nasty business in [[TheCityNarrows THAT part of Rapture]] and catering to [[GlamorousWartimeSinger those seeking distraction]].
** Columbia from ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite''. Sure it's a beautiful city. Sure it has beautiful parks, gorgeous architecture, and the honour system in use at shops. But there's a price to that pretty. And it is ugly.
* The ''Franchise/{{Fallout}}'' universe in general is this. Capitalists vs Communists got so out of hand that both sides became extremist caricatures and the world got nuked over real good.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'': In the decades preceding the game, the Pitt, formerly the industrial giant Pittsburgh, was a lawless PollutedWasteland inhabited by rape gangs, raiders, slavers, and various horrific mutants. Upon discovering the city, Lyons' chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel initiated the Scourge, which wiped out most of the population except for a few unmutated children who were placed into initiate training, one of which was Paladin Kodiak. After being left for dead in an explosion and rescued by scavengers, [[TinTyrant Paladin Ashur]] became the leader of the city.
** Nipton from ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' was populated by gamblers, thieves and prostitutes, until the Legion laid waste to the town and executed or enslaved the residents.
* The Allagan Empire of ''Videogame/FinalFantasyXIV'' is revealed to be this. Once a technologically advanced society with a literal [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Crystal Spire]], its emperor made a DealWithTheDevil in a bid for more power, causing him to seal Bahamut into [[ThatsNoMoon Dalamud]] and use him to power said crystal spire to fulfill his end of the bargain; the attempt created a massive earthquake that wiped their civilization out. The Fractal Continuum museum in their artifical FloatingContinent of Azys Lla (the only other place of Allagan origin besides Dalamud that survived their fall) highlights their arrogance and Azys Lla itself shows how far they'd fallen before the Earthquake hit.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Ba Sing Se, capital of the Earth Kingdom, was once the greatest city in the ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' world. But over time, thanks to EvilChancellor Long Feng and his SecretPolice, it has degenerated into an Orwellian dystopia where {{brainwashing}} abounds, poor people are kept in segregated neighborhoods, and people are forbidden to even mention the war that's been raging outside the city for a hundred years. And just when Long Feng was arrested and things were starting to look up, [[spoiler:Princess Azula of the Fire Nation infiltrated Ba Sing Se, got the SecretPolice on her side, and finally captured the city and the entire Earth Kingdom]]. Unusually for this trope, though, [[spoiler:Ba Sing Se was never actually destroyed. At the end of the series, it was retaken by the Earth Kingdom, and the SecretPolice was brought under heel]]. The final scene in the series has [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments the heroes relaxing in Iroh's tea shop in the city, while Aang and Katara kiss outside]].
** SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'': Though Republic City was founded as a symbol of peace and cooperation, and is perhaps the world's main center of technological advancement, it's also filled with both bending criminal syndicates and a large homeless population, and is run by unelected bureaucrats who aren't doing much with the unequal treatment of non-benders. These tensions eventually erupted into war, with the anti-bending Equalist terrorists managing to momentarily take control over the entire city. It's implied that Republic City has been working on its problems since then, with the introduction of actual elections, though crime and political corruption still are abundant.
** Sadly enough, it's also revealed in season three of ''Korra'' that Ba Sing Se, despite its technological modernization, remains a wretched and segregated hive 70 years after the events of the original series, due to its selfish and tyrannical queen and her SecretPolice (the same organization as the original series's). When a band of anarchists [[spoiler:assassinate said queen and bring down the walls separating the different social classes, the entire city instantly dissolves into chaos]].
* TheEmpire of Thundera in ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}} ThunderCats (2011)]]''. The [[{{Catfolk}} Cats]] of Thundera are a ProudWarriorRace who believe themselves a SuperiorSpecies, and practice UrbanSegregation, FantasticRacism and enslavement of species like [[LizardFolk Lizards]] and [[{{Dogfaces}} Dogs]]. They employ a FantasticCasteSystem, where tailed Cats and Specific minorities live in a FantasticGhetto that exists below the upper level's ShiningCity, BrightCastle and gardens of the nobility. The city is [[EasilyConqueredWorld conquered]] overnight by Mumm-Ra and his [[LesCollaborateurs collaborators]] the Lizard army and {{Plunder}}ed of all its valuables while surviving Cats hide in the wilderness or are taken as slaves.

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* On the Arabian Peninsula, there was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iram_of_the_Pillars Iram of the Pillars]]--the "Atlantis of the Sands". In Islamic legend, Iram of the Pillars (also known as Ubar) was a city of untold riches that was buried under the desert sands as punishment for defying God. Long thought to be a myth, satellite photos and recent archeological excavations have indicated such a city probably existed until around 300 AD--about 300 years before the birth of UsefulNotes/TheProphetMuhammad, i.e. long enough for it to become the stuff of legend.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rungholt Rungholt]] was a thriving German merchant city on the North Sea coast until it was destroyed by a storm tide in 1362. Legend attributed its destruction to the rampant greed of its citizens and acts of sacrilege against God.
* The low-lying Dutch city of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saeftinghe Saeftinghe]] was a prosperous trading center from the 14th to the 16th century until much of the land surrounding it was lost to a disastrous flood in 1570. The city itself was abandoned in 1584 when, during the Dutch War for Independence, Dutch soldiers were forced to destroy the dike that protected Saeftinghe resulting in its sinking into the marshy bogs of the Schelde River. In [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saeftinghe_legend Dutch folklore]], Saeftinghe was an ornately rich but avaricious city that ultimately paid for its greed by sinking into the salty marshlands after being cursed by a merman for refusing to set his captured mermaid wife free.
* Port Royal was an open haven for pirates and smugglers during the 17th century with economy largely based around boozing, whoring, and stealing. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692 that caused it to sink into the sea.
** Perhaps most impressive is the multiple tsunami waves that also hit the city in its destruction. For years scientists thought the accounts of multiple great waves hitting the city must be an exaggeration, until geological surveys of the area showed it was indeed possible for a tsunami to enter the harbor, hit one side, rebound, hit the other side, rebound and repeat.
* UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia as a whole [[UsefulNotes/RedOctober fell]] due to massive economic inequality and injustice, making it a nationwide example of this trope. UsefulNotes/TheNewRussia in the nineties was approaching the late-Imperial level of decadence and injustice amazingly fast.
* The incredibly deadly and destructive Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 represents a real-life inversion of this trope. After the quake shook the city for five minutes, most of the population took refuge on the waterfront where, 40 minutes later, a tsunami hit. In the aftermath, virtually everything that hadn't collapsed or gotten flooded was destroyed by fire. Because the city ''wasn't'' much of a WretchedHive and the quake struck on All Saints' Day, it lead to a lot of philosophical exploration of theodicy, i.e., why do bad things happen in a world governed by a good deity? Most of the Enlightenment's great thinkers were influenced by the Lisbon Earthquake, with Kant and Voltaire writing works that discussed it directly.
* Saint-Pierre, Martinique, the "Paris of the Caribbean", was destroyed twice, first by a hurricane in 1780, then more completely by a volcanic eruption in 1902.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayocean Bayocean, Oregon]], founded in 1906, was envisioned to be "the Atlantic City of the West", with a hotel, a dance hall, and numerous homes, but due to concerns with crossing treacherous Tillamook Bay, a jetty was built to calm the bay's waters. Unfortunately, [[GaiasVengeance this attempt to control Mother Nature backfired]] (two jettys were needed for a proper solution, and the town could only afford one), and the changed bay current began eating away at the sand beneath the city. From 1932 to 1971, the town slowly fell into the sea, starting with the huge indoor swimming pool and ending with a garage. Nothing but a plaque marks the spot now.