This once-bustling Greek island resort is now a ghost city


From the height of chic to post-apocalyptic terror town!

There are ghost towns dotted all across America, but a ghost city? Now that's something you don't see every day. One of the few larger communities that was abandoned is Varosha, which can be found on the island of Cyprus. Once a resort city, humming with tourists, it was evacuated and left to decay after the Turkish invasion in 1974. High-rise hotels, once luxurious, are now crumbling. 

During the city's heyday in the early 1970's, it was the world's most popular vacation destination, and frequent guests included Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch and Richard Burton. Bars, restaurants, nightclubs, shops and hotels began opening all over the city-- there was even a Toyota dealership. But, right as the city's popularity was peaking, the Turkish Army invaded. Everyone in the city fled, fearing for their lives, but hoping to return once things cooled down. Sadly, that never happened, and the city remained frozen in time, just as it was the day people left. Except, you know, everything is all old and falling apart now.

Varosha Ghost City remains fenced off, which is probably a good thing for safety reasons, but it's still a really cool peek into the past. There are even cranes still standing, stopped mid-construction while building new hotels to keep up with the formerly-booming tourism business. It didn't take long for the city to go from the height of chic to post-apocalyptic-looking terror town, either-- it's only been 40 years. Imagine what New York City or LA would look like after 40 years of neglect!

 

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Header via BBC/Urban Ghosts

Places explored in this article:

This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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