Venture only a short journey from the hustle and bustle of the crowds in Old Town, Dubrovnik and you’ll find yourself faced with a very different scene all together.
Located by Mlini only 6 miles from old town you will find Kupari Tourist Complex. Formerly a luxury holiday destination this resort was home to several large hotels where the military would often stay. This place was severely damaged during the Croatian War of Independence and now stands alone, abandoned and completely open for thrill seekers to wander its halls.
Of course, being a traveller fascinated by history and gems off the beaten track I needed to go explore this place for myself.
There are various buildings you can walk through all vandalised with graffiti and looted of all furniture and anything of value. It is not 100% safe but no empty building riddled with broken glass and human faeces ever is.
We started with The Grand Hotel. It’s likely the one you’ll notice first as it stands alone in the middle facing the car park where many pull up to visit the beach for the day. You can’t miss it because it stands out from the rest being the oldest hotel on the complex.
This one really grabbed my attention as the most fascinating. Every room had various artwork on the walls in graffiti form and the amount of damage to the interior had my imagination working overtime. I tried to enter each room because who knew what you would find and every turn lead to a different sight.
When we first entered this building I must admit I felt scared. The fear of the unknown and the fact it wasn’t really safe to be in as i’m sure it could collapse at any moment. At first I wasn’t going to head up the stairs but after a little while of wandering around we got used to it and decided to brave it.
The hotel is what you should expect from a hotel. Long corridors leading to guest room after room. Rooms looking out to the views of the beach and beautiful surroundings. The only difference is that nothing is what it used to be. Utterly destroyed and a place that now makes you shudder.
I remember the feeling that it was like looking out on to Heaven from Hell.
The roof had collapsed in multiple places and glass lined the floor so we really had to be careful where we were stepping and watch out for obstacles around every corner.
Next up was Hotel Goricina I & II. From the outside you can see just how much damage has occurred to the rooms by looking up at the exterior. Each balcony was lined with graffiti and the fire damage showed as the walls blackened.
This hotel had a more immediate presence with the fact that it was obviously home to ‘lurkers’ as they call themselves. The words were written all around the lobby of the hotel and rubbish bags were everywhere. The whole hotel was lined with litter and there had obviously been people living in the hotel.
We attempted to reach the roof of the hotel but the stairs weren’t particularly safe. After climbing a few flights and seeing the lack of banister for safety we decided to call it a day and head back down. Not sure I really wanted to risk my life for the case of a few photographs! It was creepy seeing the elevators out of use and you could look right down the shaft. Really reminded me of the original Silent Hill video games.
We ventured through the hotel into Goricina II that lead us to the other side of the hotel. Here we could see what would have been a beautiful glass conservatory now nothing but broken glass. We entered the old ballroom that was now broken seating spaces complete with graffiti.
Finally we crossed to the other side of the resort and headed for Hotel Kupari. This one towers over the rest and looks out across the beach. I imagine this would have been quite pricey in its prime time with the far reaching views and private balconies.
As we climbed the steps to the entrance we noticed the spacious courtyard now overgrown with various plants and vines stretching across the walls.
The hotel was similar to the others only the views were much more prominent. I imagine this hotel was one of the more luxurious as every room provided a balcony looking out on a sea view. We headed out on to the terrace to admire the view and it really dawned on me just what it might have been like to stay here once upon a time.
The hotel looks out on to the beach and in the distance you can see Hotel Goricina. From afar it almost looks like the hotel has been untouched and is just another luxurious hotel looking out on to a beach but it’s definitely not the case any longer.
We then crossed through the corridor that joins on to the Pelegrin. This was our most adventurous moment as we attempted to reach the roof of the hotel. We climbed several flights of stairs before feeling like we’d possibly made a mistake. As soon as we reached the top we had a bit of a chicken moment where the prospect of the floor collapsing at any moment started to take its toll. Falling down what felt like 100 storeys would definitely not end well.
But we braved it for a brief moment to wander the roof and look out on the beautiful surroundings one last time. Didn’t quite make it up the ladder though!
Finished the day with a cold brew, burger and a dip in the sea.
Surprising that just a stones throw from a popular beach full of tourists is a collection of neglected ruins just desperate for attention.
It won’t be long before it gets snapped up by investors so if you want to explore this unique piece of history now is your chance.
This isn’t the first time I’ve explored dark tourism but I am always interested in visiting fascinating places.
If you have any recommendations or enjoyed reading please leave me a comment. I really appreciate it.
All photographs on this blog were taken by myself in August 2018.