Category Archives: cities

Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus

by Salander, a view of Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus

Varosha (Greek: Βαρώσια; Turkish: Maraş) is a quarter in the Cypriot city of Famagusta. Prior to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it was the modern tourist area of Famagusta. Its inhabitants fled during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and has remained abandoned ever since.

Unlike other parts of the non government controlled areas of Cyprus, the Varosha section of Famagusta was fenced off by the Turkish army immediately after being captured and still remains in that state today. The Greek Cypriots who had fled from Varosha were not allowed to return, and journalists were banned. It has been frozen in time with department stores and hotels empty but still fully equipped. Swedish journalist Jan-Olof Bengtsson, who visited the Swedish UN battalion in Famagusta port and saw the sealed-off part of the town from the battalion’s observation post, called the area a ‘ghost town’. He wrote in Kvällsposten on September 24, 1977:
“The asphalt on the roads has cracked in the warm sun and along the sidewalks bushes are growing [...] Today, September 1977, the breakfast tables are still set, the laundry still hanging and the lamps still burning [...] Famagusta is a ghost-town.”

by Salander, a view of Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus

 

In the 1970s, Famagusta was the number one tourist destination in Cyprus. To cater to the increasing number of tourists, many new high-rise buildings and hotels were constructed. During its heyday the Varosha quarter of Famagusta was not only the number one tourist destination in Cyprus, but between 1970 and 1974 it was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and was a favourite destination of wealthy, rich and famous stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Raquel Welch and Brigitte Bardot.
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Canate di Marsiglia, Liguria, Italy


by Paolo De Lorenzi, a view of Canate di Marsiglia, Liguria

The medieval village of Canate is located north east of Genoa, at an altitude of 550 meters over the sea level approximately, on the southern side of mount Lago. The village can only be reached by foot and this is the reason of its total abandonment happened between 1957 and 1958, when the last 27 families left definitively the village. At the end of the Second World War the inhabitants were about 150 and approximately thirty families. In 1951 the residents were less than 100.
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Craco village, Matera, Italy

by Jean Pierre Pommerol, a view of Craco village, Matera, Italy

Craco is a commune and medieval village located in the Region of Basilicata and the Province of Matera in Italy. About 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Taranto at the instep of the “boot” of Italy. The medieval village of Craco is typical of the hill towns of the region with mildly undulating shapes and the lands surrounding it sown with wheat.
Craco was built on a very steep summit, for defensive reasons, giving it a stark and striking appearance and distinguishing it from the surrounding lands which are characterized by soft shapes. The centre, built on the highest side of the town, facing a ridge runs steeply to the southwest where newer buildings exist. The town sits atop a 400 metre high cliff that overlooks the Cavone River valley. Throughout the area are many unique vegetation-less mounds formed by intensive erosion that are called “calanchi.”

by Jean Pierre Pommerol, a view of Craco village, Matera, Italy

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Village Valle Piola, Torricella Sicura, Teramo, Italy

by pizzodisevo, a view of Village Valle Piola, Torricella Sicura, Teramo, Italy

Valle Piola is a deserted village in the province of Teramo, in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. It is part of the municipality of Torricella Sicura. Having been abandoned in 1977, all that remains are 9 abandoned houses, a church, and the ruins of a shepherds’ shelter. The village has recently received renewed interest from the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park authorities with the aim of restoring and revitalizing the village and its environs.

by pizzodisevo, a view of Village Valle Piola, Torricella Sicura, Teramo, Italy

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Oradour-sur-Glane, Limousin region, France

by Ian, a view of Oradour-sur-Glane,Limousin region, France

Oradour-sur-Glane (Occitan: Orador de Glana) is a commune in the Haute-Vienne department in the Limousin region in west-central France.
The original village was destroyed on 10 June 1944, when 642 of its inhabitants, including women and children, were massacred by a German Waffen-SS company. A new village was built after the war on a nearby site and the original has been maintained as a memorial.

by mksfca, a view of Oradour-sur-Glane,Limousin region, France

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Kayakoy Ghost Town, Turkey

by Chris Parfitt, a view of Kayakoy Ghost Town, Turkey

Kayaköy, or Levissi as it was known to its former inhabitants, was a Greek town until 1923, when, after the multinational Ottoman Empire drew to close, governments of Greece and Turkey concluded on a population exchange to become nation states ethnically homogenous as much as possible on the basis of Treaty of Lausanne.

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Rhyolite Ghost town, Nevada, United States

by Ken Lund, a view of Rhyolite Ghost town, Nevada, United States

Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is located in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners, and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region’s biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.
Industrialist Charles M. Schwab bought the Montgomery Shoshone Mine in 1906 and invested heavily in infrastructure including piped water, electric lines, and railroad transportation that served the town as well as the mine. By 1907, Rhyolite had electric lights, water mains, telephones, newspapers, a hospital, a school, an opera house, and a stock exchange. Published estimates of the town’s peak population vary widely, but scholarly sources generally place it in a range between 3,500 and 5,000 in 1907–08.

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Bodie ghost town, California, United States

by Todd Lappin , a view of Bodie ghost town, California, United States

Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States, about 75 miles (120 km) southeast of Lake Tahoe. It is located 12 miles (19 km) east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8379 feet (2554 m). As Bodie Historic District, the U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes it as a National Historic Landmark. The ghost town has been administered by California State Parks since becoming a state historic park in 1962, and receives about 200,000 visitors yearly.

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Mining town Sewell, O’Higgins Region, Chile

by Samael Kreutz, a view of Mining town Sewell, Chile

Sewell is an uninhabited Chilean mining town located in the commune of Machalí in Cachapoal Province, O’Higgins Region, on the slopes of the Andes, at an altitude between 2,000 and 2,250 metres. The town was founded in 1904 by the Braden Copper Co. to extract the copper in the El Teniente mine, and, in 1915, it was named after the company’s first president, Mr. Barton Sewell. In 1918, it already housed 14,000 people.

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Ghost town Prypiat, Kiev Oblas, Ukraine

by Scott, a view of Ghost town Prypiat, Kiev Oblas, Ukraine

Prypiat (Ukrainian: При́п’ять, Prip’yat’; Russian: При́пять, Pripyat’), 50,000 people used to live here, now it’s a ghost town in the zone of alienation in northern Ukraine, in the Kiev Oblast (province), near the border with Belarus.
Prypiat was founded in 1970 to house the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers, officially proclaimed a city in 1979, and was abandoned in 1986 following the Chernobyl disaster. It was the ninth nuclear-city, “атомоград” (atomograd) in Russian, literally “atom city”. Its population had been around 50,000 before the accident.

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