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Report - Katarina Navy Base, Pula, Croatia - September 2016

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Bertie Bollockbrains, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    A huge navy base in the town of Pula, northern Croatia, abandoned at the time of the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. This is a huge site with hundreds of derelict buildings to explore. Fortunately it was possible to drive a car onto the site and explore by motor. I only really scratched the surface of this site, despite driving 7 km inside the base. I would say it is easily possible to spend a whole day or two here, despite every building being stripped and pillaged. The boiler house has a huge chimney with a ladder on the outside and out on a island connected to the mainland by a pontoon bridge are the underground fuel storage tanks. Neither was done in the short time available.

    HISTORY

    Confusing to work out the history for this place since Pula (and the Istria peninsula it stands on) is a place that regularly changes its nationality. In the last couple of hundred years Pula has been part of the Habsburg Empire, the Austrian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the French Empire (briefly), Italy and Yugoslavia. Right now Pula stands in Croatia.

    The Pula Naval Base was established in 1859. At the time Pula was part of the Austrian Empire (but called Pola at the time). Anyways in that year Pula's large natural harbour was chosen to become Austria's main naval base by Hans Birch Dahlerup (1790-1872), a Danish admiral in the service of Austria.

    Pula became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867 and in World War One was the main port for the Austro-Hungarian dreadnoughts and other naval forces. From Pula, the fleet bombarded the eastern Italian coast between Venice and Barletta.

    Pula Naval Dockyard c.1890
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    Austro-Hungarian Dreadnoughts at Pula during World War One
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    At the end of World War One, with the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Pula became part of Italy and the port was used as a base for German U-Boats in World War Two. Consequently the port was heavily bombed by Allied forces during the war.

    Pula was absorbed into the newly created Yugoslavia in 1947, and the navy base remained functioning until the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The naval base has stood empty since the independence of Croatia (declared 1991 and diplomatically recognised from 1992).

    An aerial view of the base
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    REPORT

    Entry was simply driving through these gates. Not sure if my hire car would still have been insured whilst on site.
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    A pillbox next to the gates
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    And a sentry tower
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    Assumed to be an accommodation block
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    Stripped inside and vandalised
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    Notice how, no matter where you are in the world, given a blank canvas somebody will always come along and draw a cock
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    Assumed to be the main admin building
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    On the top floor we found original murals, showing images of communist Partisan fighters during the Second World War
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    A pillbox on the wharf
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    And the obligatory boot
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    Another admin building
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    Random views around the site
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    And then by order of the wife, it was time to leave and head to the beach which for her was much more fun. Before I go, here's a quick word of advice from Uncle Bertie to our younger members: Never fall asleep on a nudist beach. I might be able to sit again on my red raw bum in about 2 weeks time.
     
    mw0sec, MrGlasses, Alessio1st and 5 others like this.

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  2. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    Fantastic! Love these sort of places. Those old commiee murals are ace...
     
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  3. kingrat

    kingrat 28DL Regular User
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    Nice one!! Those murals were quite the surprise eh?
    From your pictures wea5el and I may have missed a bit :(
    Did you get out onto the 'island'?

    Nice set btw.
     
  4. JemCymru

    JemCymru 28DL Full Member
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  5. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    @kingrat The wife only granted me 2 hours to do this, so I barely scratched the surface of what's here. Didn't get to the island. Many of the photos above were taken in a separate section that was discovered by driving most of the way back to the main road leading into Pula and spotting another gate. I think some parts of the complex are still live and used by commercial fishing boats.

    @JemCymru back home now, but heading to Nepal in just a couple of weeks for the entire post monsoon climbing season :D (just jacked in my depressing soul destroying civil service job you see)
     
  6. kingrat

    kingrat 28DL Regular User
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    Ah, yes I reread your OP and then realised I had just opened my mouth without thinking, apologies. All the same you did well for a two hour "temporary leave of absence" (hope that doesn't sound condescending) .
    We didn't think to drive through that gate, just headed bull in a china shop straight at what we could see in front of us :)
     
  7. Syme

    Syme 28DL Full Member
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    Hmm you need to control your woman better...
    Anyway thanks for that. I missed doing that when I was in Pula. I did do a Kaserne down south that the army had abandoned but I can't remember it's name. But around Pula are a stunning number of Austrian fortresses that are worth checking out. I'm going back next year.

    The island in your pic was used to train marines.
     
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