Would you visit a building destroyed by war?
Serbian Forces bombed the Belvedere Hotel during the Croatian War of Independence in 1991. The ruins of this hotel remain today, undeveloped, and overtaken partially by nature. We had a local show us around the structure, and what we found inside is beyond words. All windows are broken, and the inside was clean of any carpeting. The elevator shafts are completely blown out and graffiti lines many of the walls inside. Debris is scattered everywhere, and some areas are barely passable. What a crazy place to see!
A local we met through Couchsurfing showed us around. She was there when the bombings took place, and told us about hiding underground and in tunnels to avoid getting killed. Our friend brought some glass for us to throw at the walls of this place. She did it to release her anger at many of the problems in this world. Most of us can’t imagine ever living through a war, but some of us will in our lifetime. Beware that you are not supposed to enter this property as it is considered dangerous.
Going inside this building is educational and shows us humanity at its worst. Luckily no one was inside the building when the bombs came as the country was at war for months when it was struck.
As we walked through the building, we had to crawl through metal frames where walls used to exist. We entered prior hotel rooms that you could barely tell were rooms at all. The outdoor decks were about the only indication. Electrical cables were strewn about and broken glass was all over the place.
This empty pool area was one of the first places we witnessed before going into the building itself. It felt very apocalyptical. Nearby this circular area was used in Game of Thrones for the scene where the Mountain brutally crushed the skull of Oberyn with his bare hands.
Over the years, anything of value in this building has since disappeared. Bathtubs are lined up on the concrete shell of what was once a luxury hotel. We’ve heard there is another similar hotel to the south of Dubrovnik that was also destroyed in Kupari.
We watched this video showing the worst days of bombings that took place after the Belvedere Hotel, but it is enlightening, especially for those who have been there. An old car remains outside, mostly stripped of anything useful.
On the bright side, there were plenty of street cats hanging around outside the building, oblivious to what happened here. They are more focused on their next meal.
This is the most eye-opening experience we had in Croatia and it will be unforgettable. We hope to never have to live through anything like this.
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