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Varosha (Greek: Βαρώσια ,Turkish: Maraş or Kapalı Maraş) is a ghost town just south
of the Cypriot city of Famagusta. It is located within Northern Cyprus. Prior to the
Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it was the modern tourist area of Famagusta. Its
inhabitants fled during the invasion, and it has remained abandoned ever since.
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
celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, and Brigitte
The main features of the Varosha quarter included John F Kennedy Avenue, a street
which ran from close to the port of Famagusta, through the Varosha quarter and parallel
to Glossa beach. Along JFK Avenue, there were many well known high rise hotels
including the King George Hotel, The Asterias Hotel, The Grecian Hotel, The Florida
Hotel, and The Argo Hotel which was the favourite hotel of Elizabeth Taylor. The Argo
Hotel is located near the end of JFK Avenue, looking towards Protaras and Fig Tree
Bay. Another major street in Varosha was Leonidas (Greek: Λεωνίδας), a major street
that came off JFK Avenue and headed west towards Vienna Corner. Leonidas was a
major shopping and leisure street in Varosha, consisting of bars, restaurants, nightclubs,
and a Toyota car dealership.
Only land value structure in the direction of the city's estimated $ 100 billion in excess
of about tourism began in 1960
6.5 km in length extending longitudinally from the sea coast Varosha, in the 1970s there
was a 50% higher rate in the hotel on the island
Only the number of hotel beds in this region, the total number of hotel beds in the
current TRNC had an equal capacity
45 hotels and 60 hotel apartments (a total bed capacity of over 10,000)
3000 in the vicinity of cities large and small commercial offices, entertainment centers
99, 25 museums, 24 movie theaters, 21 bank, there were 2 sports facilities
Time in Marash, made by the British royal family, Golden Sands Hotel, reputedly the
world's first 7-star hotel
4469 homes across the city, 143 government offices, 9 churches, shrines and cemeteries
were located 8 school
Turkey's military intervention in the August 14, 1974 after 2 Maras, Armed Forces and
civilians were closed except for the UN military
Swap purpose of the lesion as a political trump card, as the symbol of war and conflict,
abandoned for 39 years and closed condition stands
The buildings in the city was looted during this last time and derelict for a long time
because they use case
After the 1974 morning when it was frozen and the city that never sleeps, it is shrouded
in silence since military
39,000 inhabitants left the location of the urban quality of life no longer have to live in
an environment where even the animals
Taken under special protection by UN troops and all buildings except regular
maintenance is carried out in three buildings have been abandoned to their fate
An important part of the hotel and office building of international institutions and
organizations Varosha Although built with the investment, the territory of Cyprus ha
Overall for this region of the Turkish Cypriot Abdullah Pasha Foundation Foundations,
Lala Mustafa Pasha Foundation and Foundation Tekkelitik ...
Counterfoil (title deeds) is said to be the property
Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July 1974, the Greek Cypriot army
withdrew its forces to Larnaca. The Turkish army advanced as far as the Green Line,
which is the present day border between the two communities. Just hours before the
Turkish and Greek Cypriot armies met in military combat on the streets of Famagusta,
the entire population fled, fearing a massacre. Many refugees fled south to Paralimni,
Deryneia, and Larnaca. Paralimni has since become the modern day capital of the
When the Turkish Army gained control of the area during the invasion, they fenced it
off and have since barred admittance to anyone except Turkish military and United
Nations personnel. The people living in Varosha hoped to return to their home when the
situation calmed down, but the resort was fenced off by the Turkish military and
soldiers were ordered to kill anyone who attempted to enter.
The UN Security Council Resolution 550 of 1984 ordered for Varosha to handed over
to the administration of the United Nations, and was to be resettled by no other people
than the inhabitants who were forced out. The Turkish state did not comply, but has
held Varosha as a "bargaining chip" ever since in the hope of persuading the people of
Cyprus into accepting a settlement of the Cyprus issue on their terms.
One such settlement plan was the Annan Plan, which the vast majority of Greek Cypriots
rejected as unfair. It provided for the return of Varosha to the original residents, but this
never happened because the plan was rejected by Greek Cypriot voters in a referendum,
as the overall plan was considered unacceptable. The UN Security Council Resolution
550 states that it "considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its
inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of
the United Nations".Since 1974, entry to the district is forbidden by Turkey with the
exception of the TSK personnel and the students of the girls' dormitory there.
The European Court of Human Rights awarded between €100,000 and €8,000,000 to
eight Greek Cypriots for being deprived of their homes and properties as a result of the
1974 invasion. The case was filed jointly by businessman Constantinos Lordos and
others, with the principal judgement in the Lordos case dating back to November 2010.
The court ruled that, in the case of eight of the applicants, Turkey had violated Article 1
of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human rights on the right of peaceful
enjoyment of one's possessions, and in the case of seven of the applicants, Turkey had
violated Article 8 on the right to respect for private and family life.
As nobody has inhabited the area and no repairs have been carried out, all of the
buildings continue to fall apart. Nature is reclaiming the area, as metal corrodes, windows
break, and plants work their roots into the walls and pavement. Sea turtles have been seen
nesting on the deserted beaches.
Poveglia is a small island located between Venice and Lido in the Venetian
Lagoon, northern Italy. A small canal divides the island into two parts.
The island is first mentioned in chronicles of 421, when people from Padua and
Este fled there to escape the barbarian invasions. In the 9th century the island's
population began to grow, and in the following centuries its importance grew
steadily, until it was governed by a dedicated Podestà. In 1379 Venice came
under attack from the Genoan fleet; the people of Poveglia were moved to the
Giudecca. The island remained uninhabited in the subsequent centuries; in 1527
the doge offered the island to the Camaldolese monks, who refused the offer.
From 1645 on, the Venetian government built five octagonal forts to protect and
control the entrances to the lagoon. The Poveglia octagon is one of four that still
In 1776 the island came under the jurisdiction of the Magistrato alla Sanità (Public
Health Office), and became a check point for all goods and people coming to and
going from Venice by ship. In 1793, there were several cases of the plague on two
ships, and consequently the island was transformed into a temporary confinement
station for the ill (Lazzaretto); this role became permanent in 1805, under the rule
of Napoleon Bonaparte, who also had the old church of San Vitale destroyed; the
old bell tower was converted into a lighthouse. The lazzaretto was closed in 1814.
In the 20th century the island was again used as a quarantine station, but in 1922, the
existing buildings were converted into an asylum for the mentally ill and for long-term
care. This went on until 1968, when the hospital was closed, and the island, after being
shortly used for agriculture, was completely abandoned.
In 2014, the Italian state announced that it would auction a 99-year lease of Poveglia —
which would remain state property — in the following month to raise revenue, hoping
that the buyer would redevelop the hospital into a luxury hotel.
The island has remained closed to visitors in recent years with access strictly restricted
by the Italian government.
The surviving buildings on the island consist of a cabana, a church, a hospital, an
asylum, a prison, a bell-tower and housing and administrative buildings for the staff.
The bell-tower is the most visible structure on the island, and dates back to the 12th
Century. It belonged to the church of San Vitale, which was demolished in 1806. The
tower was repurposed to a lighthouse.
A bridge connects the island on which the buildings stand with the island that was given
over to trees and fields. The octagonal fort is on a third, separate island, next to the
island with the buildings, but not connected to it. The fort itself today consists solely of
an earthen rampart faced on the outside with brick.
The island contains one or more plague pits. Some estimates suggest that 100,000
people died on the island over the centuries.
Some time after the island had become a quarantine station for ships arriving at
Venice in the 18th century, a plague was discovered on two ships. The island was
sealed off and used to host people with infectious diseases, leading to legends of
terminally ill Venetians waiting to die before their ghosts returned to haunt the island.
In 1922, the island became home to a mental hospital where a doctor allegedly
experimented on patients with crude lobotomies. He later threw himself from the
hospital tower after claiming he'd been driven mad by ghosts. The island has been
featured on the paranormal shows Ghost Adventures and Scariest Places on Earth.
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 population 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, but on the orders of the then
French president, Charles de Gaulle, the original has been maintained as a permanent
memorial and museum.
After the Allies landed on the beaches in Normandy on 6th June 1944, the German units
in France were put on high alert. On the 8th of June 1944 the 2nd SS Panzer division
"Das Reich" began to advance to the Normandy invasion front to help repel the allies,
from their base just north of Toulouse in southern France. This was a journey of some 450
miles. Almost a soon as they began the journey north, they were constantly under attack
by the Resistance, who had increased their activity. Although the Resistance couldn't
cause any serious damage to the convoy, what they did do was slow them down and this
in turn made the commanders angry enough to take reprisals, this amounted to shooting
or hanging civilians. When they arrived in Tulle, they were just in time to save the
German garrison stationed there from capture by the Resistance. Apparently the partisans
blew up a railway bridge at St-Junien just 10 miles from Oradour, and several German
officers and troops were mutilated and killed.so the SS rounded up all the men they could
find, then after questioning them 120 were selected to be hung from lampposts as a
warning. Ironically after 99 had been hung, the soldiers ran out of rope, so the rest were
deported to Germany as slave labour.On the morning of 10th June Diekmann left his
temporary HQ at St-Junien to attend a meeting in Limoges, where he found out about an
unnamed captured German officer he assumed to be his friend Helmut Kampfe who was
being held in nearby Oradour, a quiet little village where there was no partisan activity.
He then requested and was given permission to go and rescue him.
Oradour street looking northThe HotelChurch clock - stopped at 4 o'clockThe church
ruinswindow in church where woman jumpedAlter in churchone of the barnsThe well
where bodies foundBakery where baby's skeleton foundThe Doctors carVillage Forge
1998 construction memorial centreMemorial to the massacredruins photo 2007Robert
Hebras (on right with white jacket and shoulder strap) 10th June 2009
A Survivors account
There are only 2 living survivors of the terrible massacre. Robert Habras was only 19
years old when he escaped death in a village barn.He lost his mother and 2 sisters, they
were killed in the church. It all started with the arrival of the Germans, who, it was
rumoured that were just checking identity cards. All the villagers were gathered together
on the village green, and then divided up into 2 groups, men on one side and women
and children on the other.As the women and children were marched off to the church,
the Germans encouraged the children to sing. They felt that nothing bad would happen
to them in God's house, so they calmly waited. Meanwhile the soldiers searched the
village for any remaining civilians. They then divided the men into several smaller
groups and led them to 3 barns, two garages, a warehouse and a hanger, then the ordeal
It was around 4 o'clock that an explosion rocked the village. From inside the church the
women could here the rattle of machine guns as the men were all simultaneously
massacred in the various locations. Survivors reported that the soldiers deliberately fired
at the men's legs first, so that they were just badly wounded. Then the soldiers piled straw
and wood on them and set it alight, thus many burned to death as they were unable to
move. Remarkably 5 wounded men escaped because they feigned death at the start of the
shooting, and lay under the corpses until they could no longer stand the heat,.They then
left the barn and hid in some bushes until after dark when they made their escape. The
women and children met a similar fate. The large gas bomb that was placed in the church
to asphyxiate them all didn't work properly so the SS had to use machine-guns and hand
grenades to disable and put them to death. Madame Rouffranche escaped alive from the
church by climbing a ladder and throwing herself from a window 10 feet from the
ground. Despite being shot 5 times she escaped to the back of the church where she hid
beneath the earth in the vegetable plot until the next day. While the killings were taking
place the solders resumed their search for any who were missed in the initial round up,
and killed them wherever they were found. One old man was burned to death in his bed,
and a baby was baked to death in the local baker's oven, several other villagers were
killed and their bodies thrown down a well. Strange as it may seem when a local tram
arrived during this killing spree, the passengers were allowed to leave in peace.After
killing everyone they could, they looted all the houses and set the town on fire, before
they left the following morning.
The Retreat and the Trial
The soldiers continued up country towards Normandy and joined the rest of the German army to help
repel the Allied invasion. Many of them including Adolf Dickmann who had led the attack on
Oradour-sur-Glane, were killed in the Normandy battles.
During January and February 1953 only 23 men were tried by the French courts for their part in the
massacre. they were all members of the Der Fuhrer regiment of DasReiche Division who survived the
war. The highest rank was a Sergeant. Of the 21 men, 14 came from Alsace now a French province,
but in 1940, after the French had surrendered, it was taken over by Germany. Although being
conscripted into the German army, to the French, these man were considered to be French and thus
Between the end of the war and the end of 1952, 13 of these men had been free. One man had become
a police Inspector, another had won the Croix de Guerre,(France's highest military medal for valour)
whist fighting with the French army in present day Vietnam. The 7 German defendants had been
interred in POW camps from 1945 until the trial started.
The trial was beset with difficulties, and in the end just 2 defendants were given death sentences, the
rest were sentenced to between 8 and 12 years in prison. Needless to say these verdicts were
considered too harsh by the people of Alsace, and too lenient by to people of Oradour. Protests and
demonstrations for the men's release followed in Alsace, and quite soon after the trial had ended all
21 men were released.