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The Abandoned Hospital at the Amiantos Mines, Troodos

THE ABANDONED HOSPITAL AT THE AMIANTOS MINES, TROODOS

So we were on a drive up to the mountains to get away from the heat (it didn’t work), when we saw from afar a bright blue lake, and had to stop to see what it was. Once we got out of the car, we noticed a creepy looking roof which we thought was a house, we saw a walk way and decided to go check it out, as we got closer we noticed that it was the abandoned hospital and we just had to go inside and explore!

We also went further up the road to explore the abandoned village of Amiantos, which had empty houses and an abandoned church which seemed deserted from the outside, but was in perfect condition inside which was very strange.

The History

The Cyprus Asbestos Mine is situated right in the heart of Troodos forest. Following a continuous operation of 84 years, the mine came to a sudden closure in 1988, leaving behind large volumes of waste tips, a badly designed mine pit and an unacceptable environmental scar to an otherwise heavily forested natural beauty area. It also left behind a hospital, which now stands abandoned on the other side of the valley. While environmental steps have been taken to turn the area near the mines into a nature park, the hospital has been let to nature. Though a fair journey from Paphos, it makes an excellent day trip. The nature park has a lovely picnic area and the hospital is accessible from the main road, so you don’t need a 4×4 to explore.

Most people employed at the mine originated from the surrounding villages, there were however people from every corner of the island, in particular people coming from poor areas. The community provided a large and fully equipped hospital, a school, a police station, a cinema, grocery shops, a butchery, coffee shops and in general all commodities found in every small town.

As the years went by, business began to become increasingly mechanized until 1949—50 when a large-scale mechanization in the mining and processing of asbestos was implemented. The annual production of asbestos fibers ranged between 20 000 to 40 000 tons. The number of employees began to decrease and many houses and in particular the temporary ones, were dismantled. Until the end of the operation of the mine, in 1988, mining of asbestos was carried out in an area covering 220 hectares or 2 200 decares. In this stretch the forest was cleared, the soil was removed and every form of natural life was destroyed.

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