Foinikas – Finike, Cyprus - Atlas Obscura
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Finike, Cyprus

Foinikas

A crumbling ghost town with prime views of the dam that doomed it. 

These ruins add a sort of poetic, forlorn beauty to the land. The contrast between the abandoned village and verdant terrain is especially poignant in the spring, when flowers crop up amid the lush greenery that sprouts up around the crumbling stones.

People have called this small patch of earth home for centuries. The settlement was supposedly founded by the Knights Templar in the 12th century after the island was invaded by King Richard the Lionheart of England during the Third Crusade.

For many years, the village was home to a number of Turkish Cypriots. However, the hostile conditions following the 1974 coup d’état and subsequent Turkish invasion caused them to flee. After they left, the government resettled displaced Greek Cypriots within the village.

But, they, too, were eventually forced to vacate. The government decided to build a dam in the nearby river, which would warp the environment and render the settlement prone to floods and unsafe to inhabit.

Now, the village is a ghost town. The abandoned structures face prime views of the very dam that damned them into abandonment. Old stone houses and slightly newer, more modern models alike erode and decay. The weathered buildings stand like sad, forgotten memorials to the people who once called the settlement home.