Abandoned elite Yugoslav-era resort to be revived

13 September 2017

Situated a stone’s throw away from the bustling old city of Dubrovnik, Kupari stands in ruins. The formerly opulent military resort was the playground of the Yugoslav People’s Army, and often played host to Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito himself. Now a luxury hotel group looks set to bring a new lease of life to the abandoned resort.

According to a report by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Croatia’s State Property Ministry affirmed that “a first-class hotel chain” would be involved with the redevelopment of Kupari. Meanwhile, the Vienna-based construction and real estate company Avenue Group, which won a deal to develop the resort in 2015, declined to answer BIRN’s enquiries over fears of breaking confidentiality agreements with potential partners.

Severely shelled and heavily looted during the Croatian War (particularly from 1991 — 2), Kupari was made up of a number of grand hotels. Indeed, the first to be built in 1920 was the Hotel Grand, which was followed between the 1960s and 80s by the Hotel Goričina I, Hotel Goričina II, Hotel Pelegrin, Hotel Galeb and Hotel Kupari. The complex also encompassed two private villas, used most frequently by Yugoslav President Tito and his wife, Jovanka.

Last month, plans by the Avenue Group to demolish all the hotels bar the Hotel Grand sparked outrage among a group of Croatian architects, who wrote to Croatian Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek to protest the demolition of the Hotel Pelegrin on the basis that it represents a valuable example of modernist architecture. Their efforts were to no avail, with the ministry responding that the architects should have spoken out earlier.

Source: Balkan Insight