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Report - Industrial Complex – Obrovac, Croatia – Aug 2013

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by The Lone Ranger, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. The Lone Ranger

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    Industrial Complex – Obrovac, Croatia

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    Introduction

    Well you can’t beat a Sunday stroll while on holiday, an early start for me gave me 3 hours of pleasant strolling as the sun came up. Research heading to Croatia came up with very little or no information to where we knew we were heading, Locations for our second week was unknown so pointless even looking I thought so decided to just go with the flow and if I could get out I would, so at 5.30am I crept out of our accommodation and headed up to a huge derelict industrial zone I’d seen a few days before.

    There was a war in Yugoslavia in the early 90’s I saw it on the TV, the one thing that struck me while there was just how extensive this war was and how ferocious it was at the time. It seems nowhere was exempt from the fighting. Travelling around it soon became apparent that every town, district or village had a shrine to the people who had been killed. Once you left the popular tourist destinations many towns and villages were still riddled with bullet and shrapnel holes; many buildings being derelict. On top of this the government gave the locals money to rebuild their houses, this resulted in many building bigger houses but running out of money to finish building them thus adding to the abandoned looking skyline of many places.

    Croatia is stunning, the people are great and there are so many derelict and abandoned buildings, churches, industrial complexes and military sites to keep you busy for years. Alas my wife did read a bit about derelict buildings and the possibility of land mines and booby traps, hence my early start to the day.

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    They were present in the area we were staying, so didn’t stray too far.

    The area’s that are still mined are the area’s that would have to be gone over by hand and not machine.

    General advice is - It’s been more than 20 years since the end of the Serbo-Croatian war but as you travel around Croatia it’s hard not to notice the effects of the conflict. Some are lingering scars, like the bullet holes in city buildings. Other effects are ongoing, the unexploded land mines that still dot the countryside. Up to two million mines were laid by both the Croatians and Serbians during the war, leaving the country with one of the worst land mine problems in Europe.

    As of February 2011, the Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC) reports there are around 100 towns and districts still contaminated with unexploded mines - it’s estimated that land mine clearing efforts will continue until at least 2019. Mines were mostly laid in inland rural areas along the front lines. The worst affected areas were Eastern Slavonia, Brodsko-Posavska County, Karlovac County, areas around Zadar and more remote areas of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Suspected minefields are typically found in woodlands, forests, agricultural land, meadows and pastures. Hundreds of people were killed by land mines during and immediately after the war but this number has rapidly decreased in recent years.

    There is some debate online about the number of casualties among tourists and the accuracy of these figures given the potential impact on tourism, however there’s no doubt the number is very small. A Dutch tourist lost a leg in 2003 after stepping on a mine on the island of Vis but it’s believed he had crossed a warning sign on an old army base.

    For most travellers the risk presented by land mines is minimal – this is Croatia, not Call of Duty. If you stick to the main towns and cities along the coast you’re no more likely to encounter a land mine than you are walking down the main street of your home town. According to CROMAC, the road network, tourist destinations, public facilities and other commonly used areas have all been declared secure.

    History

    The site has been derelict since the early 90’s and the start of the Yugoslavian war, looking at previous photos of this site it was huge with many different companies and types of industry and manufacturing being based here.

    Some of the things that went on here according to the National Classification of data (NACE) area - Manufacture of machinery and includes:
    Proizodnja machinery for the production and use of mechanical power, except aircraft, vehicle and manufacture of engines and turbines, except aircraft, vehicle and manufacture of pumps and compressors, manufacture of taps and valves, manufacture of bearings, gears, gearing and driving elements, manufacture of other general-purpose machinery, manufacture of furnaces and furnace burners, manufacture of lifting and handling equipment, manufacture of cooling and ventilation equipment for household, manufacture of other general-purpose machinery, manufacture of agricultural and forestry, manufacture of agricultural tractors, Manufacture of other agricultural and forestry, manufacture of machine tools, manufacture of other special-purpose machinery, manufacture of machinery for metallurgy, manufacture of machinery for mining, quarrying and construction, manufacture of machinery for food, beverage and tobacco, manufacture of machinery for textile, apparel and leather, manufacture of machinery for paper and paperboard, manufacture of other special-purpose machinery, manufacture of weapons and ammunition, manufacture of domestic appliances, manufacture of electric domestic appliances and manufacture of non-electric domestic appliances.

    Alas after 23 years of emptiness all that remains are the odd room of documents from these companies, while I was on the site I couldn’t work out what went on here as every building seemed to have different debris and note heads in it, it now makes sense.

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    The local town of Obrovac had an interesting history during the war, and an unfinished building opposite the Police station I visited on my way back. The Wikipedia page even mentions this site.
    Obrovac is a town on the Zrmanja River some 11 km from the mouth of the river of the Novigrad sea. Above the town are the ruins of a fortified city About 2 km (1.24 mi) north-west of the town, along the road heading up to the mountains, lies a huge deserted industrial complex.

    The current ethnic majority are Croats with 65.72%, while 31.44% are Serbs. However, before the Croatian military operation Storm in 1995, 86% of population were Serbs. During Operation Storm, the entire population of Obrovac fled before the Croatian Army entered the town. When the Croatian military forces entered the town on the first day of the operation, they found a ghost town. This was recorded by the cameras of the Croatian Radiotelevision reporters, who found a single old man to talk to.

    In 2008, Obrovac unveiled a restored riviera, which was the biggest financial investment in the city since Croatian independence. In 2009, a mass grave from World War II was found in the area.

    My Visit

    An early start meant good light, cool temperatures and my wife unaware that I was out exploring places she had read might not be good to visit! I did leave a note and at the end of the day, but was home before any of them had woken up drinking coffee on the beach.

    We had driven past here a few days before, it looked huge and turned out to live up to it;s vastness.

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    Alas after 23 years of being derelict much of interest had gone, but still made a great stroll.

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    Great views over the mountains and the odd hare darting from under your feet to find somewhere else to hide.

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    Interesting graffiti of a monster eating a small village.

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    This was inside a small electrical substation.

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    Possibly the most interesting wall here, the old Yugoslav flag and the Croatian district flag under written with Jadralu who were a train manufacturer on this site.

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    A quick cameo pose on the way out of this building.

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    The building down this path must have been stunning before the windows were shot out, I made a couple of detours to other buildings before I made it to this building.

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    It’s evident that parts of the site have been demolished, footprints of the missing buildings remain and old photos of this site show at least 1 big chimney now gone.

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    Time to head over to what must have been an impressive structure in it’s time.

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    The walls in here were like Swiss cheese in places.

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    Looking back as I headed to a side area which looked more intact than most of the site.

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    Intact it was, and so were the locks on the doors. I would have persevered but for coming face to face with a wild looking dog, we both backed off and went on our ways. However the dog had friends who arrived for support, even though they kept well away I decided it was time to depart after a few more rooms.

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    I called into Obrovac on the way home to have a look at the huge unfinish building, it was going to be a supermarket, but has just sat there for the last 23 years. The top floor gave great views into the Police station opposite and was glad to see them hard at work!

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    Well that’s my holiday snaps and a very nice stroll.

    A stunning place is Croatia.

    Cheers

    TLR​
     
    #1 The Lone Ranger, Sep 5, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

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