blue house in cyprus history?

can anyone shed any information on this house in northern cyprus?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    08, October 2005 - Cypress Mirror - Author Unknown

    Pavlides's Mavi Köşk

    "Such is the stuff of which fairy stories are constructed, and the history of Cyprus is made up of myths and legends."

    WHEN I first researched the subject of the Blue House (Mavi Köşk) in Çamlıbel five years ago, accurate information proved elusive and I have relied heavily on those residents of the expat brigade who were present at the time of the Turkish intervention of July 1974 — particularly those who were living in the Anthos enclave, situated very close to the Blue House, and in the village of Myrtou/Çamlıbel. I believe that what follows is accurate.

    Before July 1974, the owner of the property, Byron Pavlides, was a prominent business entrepreneur in the Greek Cypriot community and came from a widely respected family involved in the motor trade with offices in Gazi Mağusa, Lamaca, Paphos and Girne; he was the main agent for General Motors, Vauxhall Motors, Adam Opel, and the British Tyre and Rubber Co Ltd. The existing members of the family still have car franchises in South Cyprus.

    Byron Pavlides was responsible for building the Blue House, and also the White House on the road to St Hilarion Castle. He was a man of eccentricities, so in addition to the White House, and a little further up the mountain, he built a folly that resembles a mediaeval lookout tower and can be seen to the right on the crest of the mountain road as the twin peaks on which the castle is built come into view.

    A flamboyant man known for his eccentricities, Mr Pavlides built his houses in remote areas to ensure his privacy and was resident in the White House in 1963, when the persecution and oppression of the Turkish Cypriots was renewed after the brief period of calm that followed independence in 1960. The Turkish Cypriots took refuge in the mountains and in so doing took over the White House. It has been in the hands of the Turkish community ever since and is now an officers' mess of the Turkish Army.

    Much is made of the building of the Blue House, and the dates given for the construction — as told by the Turkish Army guide, should you visit it — are totally wrong. There is also the fabrication that there are so many secret passages and underground chambers built to hide contraband and smuggled arms that Pavlides had all the building workers and the architect shot upon completion of the task!

    Such is the stuff of which fairy stories are constructed, and the history of Cyprus is made up of myths and legends.

    I have it on good authority that Pavlides was far too gentle to ever be a gun runner, no matter what the army guide says.

    Completed in 1973, The Blue bathrooms can only lead the visitor to suppose that someone must have been under the influence of one of those psychedelic drugs so popular in the 1970s . . . and please note the inclusion of bidets — very much '70s fashion.

    Some of the paintings are 1974 originals and may well have been commissioned for the opening of the house — most of them are tasteful and pleasing but there are obvious exceptions. Attached to a cupboard door on one of the landings is a photograph of Pavlides. It has been rather crassly altered by the addition of what is obviously a fake cigarette in order to make the image look more "gangster-like" and does no credit to whoever disfigured the image. It is best ignored.

    The views from the upstairs rooms are over a splendidly uncluttered vista and it is from these that one can appreciate Pavlides's reason for choosing such a wonderfully remote location. What is described as the main bedroom has the supposed "escape hatch" through which Pavlides is said to have got away in 1974 and there is, according to the guide, an 800 metre tunnel leading to . . . no-one knows!

    The air-conditioning is highly sophisticated and run by a central system that cooled the whole house, with individual controls in all of the rooms. There was also an enormous boiler to provide hot water. Given the number of bathrooms, they would have needed it. The swimming pool and garden design are beautiful, though the latter is somewhat neglected. There are various viewpoints and a belvedere that has a strange echo if one stands on a certain spot. Several fountains and quiet, secluded, shady places for gazing into space and contemplating nature complete the idyllic setting.

    One of my sources told me that he had dinner at the Blue House with Byron Pavlides only a few weeks before July 20, 1974 and a very convivial party was enjoyed by all those present. However the fun would not last long, with once again Pavlides finding himself forced to flee as the Turkish Army took control of his hilltop retreat, In—1974 a Turkish General took up residence in the house and tenure by military personnel continued until relatively recently when the house was vacated and turned into a museum by the Turkish Army.

    Any hope that Pavlides may have had that one day he would regain his property must have vanished with the division of the island and, according to my informant, he died disillusioned and broken-hearted.

    The Blue House is open to visitors for a small entrance fee, and some form of identification is essential.

  • 7 years ago

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    blue house cyprus history

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    5 years ago

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  • vivet
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    you have great explanation already, but it is worth seeing late Mr Pavlides house :

    http://travel.webshots.com/photo/25150914900473695...

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