Vrysi – Northern Cyprus Heritage (3)

vrysi Vrysi 

This piece was written July 2011. For update after visit December 2018, see below.

The neolithic site of Vrysi (ca. 4000BC) is an important site where many artefacts were found – to be seen in Girne’s museum. It is located inside the Acapulco Resort close to Catalköy, between the new restaurant and the sea and can only be reached via a ‘staff only’ backpath along the kitchens. However, all of the staff will be happy to help you out for a visit (just don’t ask for Vrysi cause they wouldn’t know but for ‘old houses’ and ‘history’) and with the purpose of visiting Vrysi, one has free entrance (checked that 🙂 to the Acapulco resort where every other thing has its price.

Vrysi is in a very bad state, apparently nobody is looking after this site. Of course it is difficult (see this book page) to preserve a site built of rubble and mud. Well, as far as I can see neither the Acapulco resort nor the Turkish Cypriot government give it even a try.
vrysi   vrysi   vrysi
Some walls crumble down, others are invaded by the anemons that won’t do them any good, for sure. Maybe it is the site’s luck and survival that so few people visit Vrysi that Acapulco just built a new restaurant in front of it and that the staff doesn’t even know it’s name. However if this situation lasts another ten years, Vrysi might be lost.

Update after visit December 2018
I tried to visit the Vrysi site again through the backpath along the kitchens. A member of the kitchen staff stopped me in a rather intimidating way, an unusual way. There were no historical remains there, he shouted, there had never been a site like I described: ‘did I understand or what?’


terrace view

I left surprised but decided not to be sent off just like that. I entered the restaurant and spoke to two staff members who also denied the existence of a neolithic site. One of them called the manager. That manager was absolutely not happy but he did know what I talked about and said he would show me the remains of Vrysi. We went to the terrace outside where men were working to renew the terrace. From this spot I could take some pictures. Then the manager led me outside and waited until I left. He was polite and very unfriendly in the same time. 


vrysi beach view

Acapulco is developing on all sides (hotel, casino, spa, beach, restaurant) and it is a beautiful place. Nothing wrong with this complex, their only bad luck is that they have Vrysi on their site that possibly hampers their ambitions. On the other hand, they could do something for it. Acapulco clearly thrives; why not spend a little bit of money and care to neolithic heritage? Think of the way Hotel Derlon in Maastricht has integrated Roman findings in their concept.

Other blogs about prehistoric findings you may like:
Gay caveman in Czech Republic
Museum of Art and Archaeology of the Périgord
Travels with Herodotus