(All images (unless stated) reproduced with the permission of Sometimes Interesting)
One of several ghost cities of Eurasia, the abandoned resort of Varosha in Famagusta was once north Cyprus’ most exclusive tourist destination frequented by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Brigitte Bardot. But since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the Varosha quarter has been abandoned, its hotels, restaurants and highrise structures slowly decaying amid the ruins of this once thriving millionaires’ playground. In this incredible series of photographs courtesy of Sometimes Interesting, we take a rare trip beyond the fence.
Highlighted in Alan Weisman‘s book The World Without Us as an example of the relentless and unstoppable power of nature, Varosha is now considered to be beyond repair. Any potential future development would require the site to be leveled, as aging infrastructure and decades of neglect have seen the structures begin to collapse.
Elsewhere in the former tourist quarter, clothes still hang in the closets of long abandoned buildings and a car dealership remains fully stocked with now-vintage 1974 model vehicles.
Meanwhile, some highrise structures remain relatively intact while others are little more than crumbling skeletal relics of Famagusta‘s most exclusive hotels.
Varosha before the 1974 Invasion
These historic photographs show Varosha in its heyday, boasting crowded beaches, seaside bars and swimmers enjoying the pleasant temperatures of the eastern Mediterranean. The scene is a far cry from the ‘ghost city’ of today.
Also Abandoned – Nicosia International Airport
Once the main airport serving the island of Cyprus, Nicosia International Airport has also been abandoned since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Principally the headquarters of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, the commercial flight terminal and solitary passenger jet have suffered almost 40 years of decay.