A ghost town in Cyprus, untouched by humans for 37 years

In 1974, the Cypriot capital of Nicosia was divided in two by a U.N. Buffer Zone designed to quell violence between the island's Greek and Turkish populations. Those living in the Zone quickly evacuated the area, creating an urban time capsule that's been devoid of residents for nearly 40 years.

These photos were taken by Welsh Army photographer Sergeant Ian Forsyth, who is part of the UN peacekeeping force that overseas the 134-square-mile Zone. According to those who patrol this eerie area, it's as if the past 37 years had never happened:

"The people had to leave their homes and shops pretty quickly, leaving everything behind. There's children's clothing, boxes of unused shoes. Of course, all this stuff still belongs to the people who left it." [said Corporal Kelvin Roberts]

Some of the things lying in vacant blocks also include brand new cars made in 1974 that have been left in hollow shopping centres.

"There's a Toyota Corolla 1974 which has 38 miles on the clock," said Kelvin. "When you open the doors you get hit with a fresh smell of untouched leather and the plastic wrapping remains on the inside of the doors. Its a bit spooky."

The buffer zone extends to 7km in some parts of the island and shrinks to just over three metres in other parts, such as Spear Alley.

Kelvin said: "It's called that because the two armies would attach knives to poles and stretch across to attack each other they were that close.

You can see more photos over at Wales Online.

[Spotted on BLDGBLOG]

A ghost town in Cyprus, untouched by humans for 37 years

A ghost town in Cyprus, untouched by humans for 37 years

A ghost town in Cyprus, untouched by humans for 37 years

A ghost town in Cyprus, untouched by humans for 37 years