If you are looking for adventure when visiting Croatia, why not try seeking out some of the hidden away abandoned places in Croatia? In this blog, we will reveal some of the more incredible buildings that have been left to crumble but are still an incredible sight to behold.
Petrova Gora Monument
One of the most magnificent abandoned places in Croatia was originally constructed to celebrate the memory of those brave Croatian partisans who lost their lives in the disaster that was World War II. Originally constructed in 1981, this 12-stories concrete and sheet metal giant stands atop the Petrova Gora mountain below which is a warren of secret tunnels and chambers.
Unfortunately, the Petrova Gora Monument has been allowed to fall into disrepair because it was constructed without the proper permits and legal documentation. This means some of its sheet-metal exteriors have been stripped away by opportunistic locals who see the monument as a cheap source of building materials.
Although the fate of the Petrova Gora Monument remains uncertain, many now see it as no longer representing Croatia’s past but as a symbol of the country’s future. It has recently however found a new use as a T-Mobile and Croatian Television mast.
Should You Visit?
Yes, this superb example of futurist brutalist art is easy to get to by road.
Officially known as Objekat 505, Željava Airbase is an underground airport abandoned after the start of the Yugoslavian civil war. Situated on the border between Bosnia and Croatia the now abandoned buildings were constructed to house military jets and a long-range radar system used for early warning defense in a time of war and other emergencies.
Željava Airbase was under construction for almost a decade and was completed in 1965. It cost a cool six billion dollars and is part of a much larger military complex consisting of other airfields and air defense radar systems. The bunker was built to withstand the explosion from a nuclear bomb of a similar size to the one that was dropped on Nagasaki. The base was designed to be hermetically sealed and carried a month’s worth of provisions for those operating the jets and radar systems.
The advent of civil war in 1991 meant doom for Objekat 505. Many of the pilots stationed at the military base decided they didn’t want to be involved in a war against their own people and decided to defect. Concerned that the buildings and facilities could fall into the hands of enemy factions, the Yugoslav National Army chose to make the base inoperable.
A set of explosive charges built into the design of the building were detonated. The job was later completed with the addition of 56 tons of high-explosives. The resulting explosion reverberated through the nearby town of Bihać.
Should You Visit?
A visit to the airbase is only for the adventurous. Caution needs to be exercised because there is still unexploded ordinance in and around the location. It is also important to get permission from the local police as an unauthorized visit could result in a fine.
The Abandoned Hotels Of Kupari
This complex consisting of five hotels was constructed in the 1960s as a high-class getaway for members of Yugoslavia’s military elite. Abandoned now for decades, the shells of these once magnificent hotels look out over the Adriatic coast. The rooms and villas are now overgrown with foliage, trees, and weeds.
Views Of The Adriatic Sea
The five hotels are Pelegrin, Goričina, Goričina II, Kupari and Grand. Once only available to VIPs – even President Josip Broz Tito owned property here – the buildings had a capacity of 1,600 guests. There was also a nearby campsite that could take a further 4,000 visitors. The Croatian War of Independence meant the end of the resort as a retreating Yugoslavian Army took the decision to loot the buildings before burning them down.
Should You Visit?
Although the hotels remain uninhabitable, the beaches they tower over remain a popular holiday destination with locals. Kupari is situated to the south of Dubrovnic and is easily accessible by road. If you do decide to visit remember to bring a torch and a sturdy pair of shoes as the hotel and villa floors are covered in debris and shattered glass.
The once-splendid Hotel Belvedere is situated just outside the city of Dubrovnic and boasts magnificent views over the sea into which it is now slowly crumbling. The hotel opened its doors in 1985 and had 200 rooms, a dock for boats and yachts, and a helipad.
Game Of Thrones
The Belvedere was abandoned after the start of hostilities in the Croatian War of Independence. Although it has since fallen into disrepair, the hotel was briefly given a new lease of life when producers on the hit television series Game of Thrones decided to use it for filming.
Should You Visit?
Hotel Belvedere is now the property of Russian magnate Viktor Vekselberg who paid 12 million euros at auction for the edifice. Although the rooms are not as impressive as they once were there are several cliff-top terraces commanding gorgeous views of Lokrum Island and Dubrovnic Old Town.
Other Abandoned Places In Croatia
If you are feeling adventurous there are a number of abandoned places worth visiting throughout Croatia including St. Nicholas Fortress, Villa Rebar, Brestovak Sanitorium, and the Abandoned Tunnels of Korčula.
Prepare Your Croatian With Ling App
Before visiting Croatia’s abandoned places why not download the Ling App at Play Store or App Store and bone up on a few words and phrases from the Croatian language? Exploring is always more interesting with a bit of the local language under your belt.