Abandoned Villages

Bittersweet emotions accompany any visit to an abandoned village. Ghosts walk the forgotten, overgrown streets, their conversations heard only by the occasional passing goat. So take a wander, but be respectful. Enjoy the scenery and the beautiful countryside, but don't forget the tragedies that occurred in the not-too-distant past.

A tragic legacy of Cyprus’ traumatic recent past are the abandoned villages that are scattered throughout the countryside. After the invasion of 74, the UN-brokered peace saw Turkish Cypriot villages displaced to the North to be replaced by Greek Cypriots displaced from occupied area. Most of the villages, because of the prior troubles, had not been modernised, and had no electricity. Consequently, the arriving GC chose instead to move elsewhere, leaving the villages to the fate of the elements. Now, these villages are fascinating places to explore, but they are tinged with sadness.
Of course, not all abandoned villages  were emptied because of the troubles. In some cases, notably Theletra, Statos and Ayios Fotios, the villagers left because for environmental reasons. Landslides and erosion forced them to move to more stable areas.
If you visit these villages, bear in mind that some of the houses may still be inhabited, at least for part of the year. The owners won’t appreciate you poking your nose through their belongings, so if you aren’t sure about a building, don’t go in it. Also bear in mind that ruined villages are in a state of collapse. Walls might not be steady, floors might give way. Enter at your own risk, and make sure you bring your common sense with you.

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