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Ropoto: Inside Greece’s Sinking Ghost Town

Ropoto village in Greece
The church of Ropoto has moved more than two hundred meters. Credit: AP – Greek Reporter

Ropoto was once a thriving village near Trikala in Greece’s Thessaly and home to three hundred families, but a landslide in 2012 turned the village into a ghost town.

Today, forgotten by people and authorities, Ropoto’s terrain is still sinking, slowly moving the half-standing structures. The few people who decided to remain live in shacks and huts that they have built themselves.

In the 1960s, cracks started to appear in the land surrounding the village, leading to plans to abandon the settlement. However, by the early 1980s, this decision was being ignored and building was occurring apace.

But on April 12, 2012, a major movement event occurred, and three hundred families had to evacuate the village at very short notice. The damage to Ropoto is now so serious that it cannot be restored.

Flimsy foundations and steep inclines have been blamed for the disaster, which was first initiated by the village being unable to push rainwater out to the surrounding stream.

Our twelve-minute documentary portrays homes and communal properties sitting askew on the hills, rendered uninhabitable.

Documentary on Sinking Ghost Town of Ropoto, Greece

The documentary is presented by the former Ropoto Council President, who was born in Ropoto.

During the course of an exploration of the site, he points out all of the buildings that no longer exist in the village. The village lies fifteen miles away from Trikala.

These buildings included a haphazard hotel, a crumbling school, land where the village’s tavern used to stand, and even his old dilapidated home.

According to the former inhabitant, the state has not assessed the damage, and no help was offered by the authorities to those forced out of their homes.

Worse still are the claims in the video that some of the residents had to pay property tax despite not being able to set foot in their homes.

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