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Abandoned Cyprus: Horrifying photos show a once-thriving seaside resort now frozen in time

Abandoned Cyprus: Horrifying photos show a once-thriving seaside resort now frozen in time

Forgotten churches, an apocalyptic car showroom, bare boutiques and skyscrapers reclaimed by nature.

These poignant photographs capture the once-thriving seaside resort of Varosha, located on the coast formerly known as the Eastern Mediterranean Riviera.

Varosia lies in a UN buffer zone between Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus and is under the control of the Turkish military. The Greek Cypriot residents fled Turkey’s invasion in 1974 – and Varosha has been a ghost town ever since.

The fascinating photos were taken by Dimitri Bourriau specializes in capturing the beauty of abandoned buildings: remnants of a bygone world frozen in time.

The French photographer, who has 58,000 followers on Instagram, turned his lens on lost causes ten years ago. His work took him to countries such as Morocco, GreeceGeorgia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and the USA

When asked what inspired the Cyprus project, 40-year-old Dimitri told MailOnline Travel: “People are capable of building fascinating things.” Unfortunately, some places are forgotten. I try to remember the places before they disappear. “In some cases, my photographs are almost a work of memory.”

The French photographer Dimitri Bourriau explains that after Turkey’s invasion in 1974, Varosha (pictured) “was guarded by the Turkish army for more than 50 years”.

An old school in Varosha that has fallen into disrepair.

An old school in Varosha that has fallen into disrepair. “The interior looked interesting to me, but I couldn’t get access,” explains Dimitri

In the spooky

In the spooky “ghost town” there are still signs pointing to the city bazaar of Varosha.

Dimitri wanders the streets of Varosha, photographing the dilapidated buildings

Dimitri wanders the streets of Varosha, photographing the dilapidated buildings

The Varosha district (photo) has

The Varosha district has “a long and tragic history,” says Dimitri, adding, “Nothing can stop nature from reclaiming its rights on the various buildings in the area.”

In the photo: An old Toyota dealership in the resort's main street is in disrepair

In the photo: An old Toyota dealership in the resort’s main street is in disrepair

Dimitri catches what looks to him like a

Dimitri captures what appears to him to be an “impressive waterfall of vegetation” in front of the Angolis Hotel Flats, one of many large hotel “ghosts” in the area

Dimitri explains that the vegetation has spread the most in the northern part (photo).

Dimitri explains that the vegetation has spread the most in the northern part (photo).

Dimitri says he was drawn to the brutalist architecture of this ancient Orthodox church in northern Varosia

Dimitri says he was drawn to the brutalist architecture of this ancient Orthodox church in northern Varosia

In the photo above, plants are taking over an abandoned hotel.  Entwined tendrils can be seen winding around the front of the building and winding around the balconies.

In the photo above, plants are taking over an abandoned hotel. Entwined tendrils can be seen winding around the front of the building and winding around the balconies.

According to Dimitri, this is the outer shell of a once busy shopping street

According to Dimitri, this is the outer shell of a once busy shopping street

This abandoned apartment complex casts far-reaching shadows on the ground
An abandoned hotel that was once full of tourists visiting the nearby beaches

This abandoned house casts far-reaching shadows on the ground (left). On the right is an abandoned hotel that was once full of tourists visiting the nearby beaches

Nature reclaims a former women's clothing store

LEFT: Nature reclaims a former women’s clothing store. RIGHT: “This street is very interesting,” says Dimitri about this photo. “In the distance we see another Orthodox church in the forbidden zone”

Lost in time: a small abandoned house now covered by vegetation

Lost in time: a small abandoned house now covered by vegetation

This photo taken in northern Varosha shows an abandoned hotel standing empty next to two palm trees - a reminder of the area's former identity as a popular seaside resort

This photo taken in northern Varosha shows an abandoned hotel standing empty next to two palm trees – a reminder of the area’s former identity as a popular seaside resort

Some letters fell from the storefront of this supermarket that once served the locals of Varosha and passing tourists

Some letters fell from the storefront of this supermarket that once served the locals of Varosha and passing tourists

The Bank of Cyprus in Varosha still has a rusty security grill, although it is deserted with no ATMs in sight

The Bank of Cyprus in Varosha still has a rusty security grill, although it is deserted with no ATMs in sight

An abandoned house in Varosha, tightly locked
This spooky photo shows a clock tower standing in front of a haunted tower block

LEFT: An abandoned house in Varosha, tightly locked “to prevent intruders.” Looking back at the area’s past, Dimitri added: “In the 1970s, residents had to leave the area in a hurry. They were never allowed to return.” RIGHT: This haunting photo shows a clock tower in front of a ghostly tower building stands

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