Thursday Photo Friday #7

September 25, 2008

in Architecture, Europe, Photos, Travel, Web Tips

It’s not where I’d recommend you stop for a drink after sightseeing in Nicosia, Cyprus:

Just inside the Paphos Gate, this cafe is one of many victims of the long-standing Cypriot conflict. Within the walled perimeter of the Old Town, it stands directly on the present border, the so-called Green Line, which cleaves the island nation into two halves — one Turkish Cypriot, the other Greek Cypriot. Its windows are blocked with concrete-filled barrels and sandbags, its plaster cracked and shedding, its roof rusted through completely. This is just one of many buildings in the center of the city which have been abandoned or taken over by the UN over the years that the conflict has dragged on.

There are plenty of comfortable and pleasant cafes on both the Turkish and Greek sides of the divided capital, and as tensions ease and EU money flows in, the safe mingling of tourists and locals may instill enough confidence to begin dismantling the physical barriers present in the city. As with all conflicts of this nature, however, decades remain before the emotional scars will truly begin to heal.

Have you visited Cyprus? Share your impressions in the comments.

Check out the rest of this week’s Photo Friday entries here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dominique 09.26.08 at 1:59 pm

Photos of architectural ruin, decay and destruction can be beautiful, even as they may be heart-breaking. It’s particularly sad to think how long it does take even for some of the physical scars in a landscape take to heal…there are still a number of places in Detroit that bear the visible scars of the 1967 riots.

2 Michelle D 09.26.08 at 10:46 pm

Amazing! We went out of our way to take our kids right to this spot when we were in Cyprus last year.
You should have seen my kids reaction to the border cutting across the city. They were fascinated to see the sickle on the TRNC flag. And the UN flags. And the armed border guards.

3 Mara 09.27.08 at 2:19 am

I haven’t been there but Bitter Lemons by Lawrence Durrell, which describes it in the 1950s before the revolution, is one of my favorite books.

I like that you thought to share this photo though – a reminder that traveling isn’t always just about seeing or sharing what is scenic.

4 Debbie 09.29.08 at 8:27 pm

We haven’t visited Cyprus yet, but this brought back memories of our trip to Battanbang, Cambodia. Our guides (two industrious moto drivers with great English language skills) took us up to see a hilltop temple that had been used as a defense point during the Khmer Rouge regime. The ground was still littered with empty shells and of course the walls were scarred with bullet holes.

I know that a lot of tourists take those empty shells home from Cambodia with them, but to us it seemed important to leave them as a reminder of what had happened.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: