Kupari, Kroatia

A stone throw from the busy road that ferries millions of tourists from the Dubrovnik Airport to the city of Dubrovnik every year is a tiny seaside village that still bears the scars of the darker times in Croatia’s history.

Kupari is a former military resort built for the elite of the then Yugoslav army. In its prime the resort in the borough of Zupa was busy with thousands upon thousands of officers and their families, those heady times are long gone. It is now a resort in ruins.

In the 1960s the resort was constructed, including five hotels, a camp site and many villas. Kupari was one of the pioneers of Dubrovnik’s tourism industry. Between the two world wars the Grand Hotel was constructed by a Czech investor.

The resort with its long sandy beach and pleasing nature was a hit from the 1960s onwards, up until 1991 when the Homeland War broke out and the Yugoslav army bombarded and burned their former holiday spot. In the early 1990s, when the Yugoslav army left the resort was almost unrecognisable. Almost all of the valuables from the five hotels were looted and then phosphorous bombs were used to systematically burn the hotels, floor by floor.

The beach, stretching out in front of the former hotels, has brought people back to Kupari. Swimming in the crystal clear Adriatic Sea with a background of facades peppered with shrapnel and missile holes

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