Between the sparkling waters of Croatia lie the eerie-looking ruins of a luxury hotel complex that was once teeming with tourists.
But the resort now provides an eerie backdrop for sunbathers and even movies, as its bullet-riddled walls collapse and contain nothing more than debris and graffiti.
Scarred by Croatia’s wartime history, the ghost complex is located in the village of Kupari – just a stone’s throw from Dubrovnik’s bustling beaches.
The ruins have not only been admired by tourists, but also used for the filming of the upcoming biopic “Lee” about the well-known World War II Vogue journalist Lee Miller.
According to local reports, it was one of several locations in Croatia where Kate Winslet and Jude Law filmed scenes last September.
With the Grand Hotel as the crowning jewel, the locationSeveral other hotels – Pelegrin, Goricine I, Goricine II, Kupari and Galeb – can accommodate thousands of guests.
The Grand Hotel opened in 1919 after a forward-thinking Czech investor saw the area’s tourism potential.
In the 1960s to 1980s, several other hotels were built nearby, mostly funded by the military.
Then it became a major attraction for the Yugoslav military elite and their families – and the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito even had his private villa there.
It was becoming increasingly difficult for ordinary vacationers to find a place in the hotel– with rooms often preferred for those with military connections.
But when the Balkan conflict broke out in the 1990s, the Yugoslav people weredramatically bombed their own precious holiday project to evict the Croatian soldiers.
They then ravaged the once luxurious hotels, setting off phosphorus bombs and looting the rooms.
After the destruction, the Croatian army used the complex as a base before it was finally abandoned at the beginning of the new millennium.
The few remaining relics were then removed by the locals and the site has stood empty ever since, never to be restored to its former glory.
Once a revolving door for senior officers, the only visitors today are curious explorers.
However, there is still hope for the stagnant property as it is on prime tourist terrain and many investors and project developers appear interested in acquiring the property.
In recent months it has been reported that Kupari has signed a contractHotels are to renovate the site, now nicknamed the “Bay of Abandoned Hotels.”
It is understood that the Grand Hotel will remain as the centrepiece, but the other hotels will be demolished to make way for new construction.
State Property Minister Branko Bacic said Poslovni: “According to the Dubrovnik Region Plan, there is a period of 12 months during which the investor is obliged to obtain a valid building permit and within a further period of four years to implement the project.”