1/12 Kayakoy, Anatolia, Turkey


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    In 1923, the Greco-Turkish war had ended, at that time nearly a million Greeks were living in Turkey. Upon the conclusion of the war, all of them were sent back to their homeland. Because of this, it forced towns like Kayakoy (a town of roughly 2,000 Greeks) to be completely abandoned. The remains of the village have been preserved as a historical site and even to this day, many tourist go and visit the area.

Via review on TripAdvisor - "Nestled in a valley behind Fethiye, perched on the slopes on the Anatolian hills, is the ghost town of Kayakoy. Originally a Greek village called Levissi, it was abandoned after the 1923 population exchange between Turkey and Greece. Time eventually took its course and over eighty years, all that have remained are the frames of dilapidated houses, stripped of doors and rafters, only chimneys and doorsteads enduring in the rubble.
    
The town has a desolate, ghostly feel and taking a walk through it, especially in the early hours of dawn, is most enchanting. As we trundled through two thousand odd hovels, a helpful hand-made map in hand, we soaked in the silence of the streets and the wall-less houses, each identically marred with an air of flawed beauty.

The settlement boasts a number of historic sites, of which we sadly only had time to see two - the Lower and Upper churches, in various stages of poetic decay. The churches were small and built in a seventeenth century gothic style. They served a Greek Orthodox parish and have been unused for the better part of a century.

The Upper Church, set on the highest hill, is older and has lost most of its murals, though the mosaic courtyard adjacent to it is still in pristine condition. Sunbeams stream through the network of beams and rafters and illuminate the interiors in an eerie yet peaceful light.

    The Lower Church, visible from the Upper, is a short climb down to the other end of the village. It is much better preserved and still has the vestiges of an ornate blue and gilded altar. Built in the same style, it made quite an impression, leaving us wondering what the churches must have been like in their heyday.

Kayakoy also has a fountain in the middle of the town and a large Greek mask on a wall somewhere but we hadn't the time to explore the place to our full content. We'd love to go back some day, and for future travellers, I have only this advice: give yourself a full two hours to do justice to the place."