The Abandoned Hotels of Kupari, Croatia
Just a short 20 minute ferry ride from the heavily tourist-populated city of Dubrovnik is a tiny seaside village that will make you feel like you have stepped into a post-apocalyptic world.In the early 1990s, during the Croatian War of Independence, the Yugoslav army looted and then destroyed their own former holiday resorts. The shell of these buildings still remain as a reminder of the effects of the war. Click To Tweet
Originally built in the 1960s, these beachside hotels were frequented by the Yugoslav military and their families. Set in a sandy bay, the resort town included five hotels, a campsite and many villas which at its height could accommodate around 4,000 guests. Save for the campsite, it became an exclusive and upmarket resort with long waiting lists and without the right connections, it was very difficult to get in.
In the early 1990s, during the Croatian War of Independence, the Yugoslav army looted and then destroyed their own former holiday resorts. The shell of these buildings still remain as a reminder of the effects of the war.
Gaining entry was no great feat. You’re able to walk straight in from the front of the building through holes in the walls where doors or windows would have once blocked your path. There are no signs warning of the dangers of the debris and glass, no fences, gates, boards or tape to attempt to restrict your entry.
The skeletons of these buildings were a reminder of the war which caused so much destruction and also the deaths of around 20,000 people. It’s no wonder that messages like “No more war” were scrawled on the walls.
The graffiti throughout the buildings represented a mix of humour and powerful messages. We wondered, “Who wrote this?”, “When did they write this?”, “Was it during or after the war?”
With two elevators, a huge indoor pool and such large open spaces, you got the picture that this would have been a grand hotel back in its heyday. Now, looking down to the pool area with its caved in roof and fallen air conditioner vents, the guys commented to each other, “This reminds me of that scene in Call of Duty!”
We wandered through the buildings floor by floor and into what would have once been the guest rooms picturing, imagining what would have once been. A bedroom. The closet. A bathroom.
No longer having the luxury of working elevators, we carefully walked up each floor, avoiding the rubble and recognising that there was no handrail or anything to break your fall if you slipped and fell through the middle gap. The views continued to wow us on each level as we again imagined what it would be like to wake up in that hotel and look out your window at this little paradise cove.
In parts, nature has begun to reclaim what was once theirs; vines wrapping around columns and crawling up through cables and ceiling beams. But for how much longer? The land which these hotels are on have been privately owned since 2001 and after having a look online, it appears that a few well known hotel chains have expressed their interest in bringing this resort town back to life.
My recommendation; visit the crumbling, abandoned hotels sooner rather than later before they are demolished and the new hotels are built in their place with the effects of the war only visible in the minds and memories of those that remain.