The Grand Hotel – Kupari, Croatia


Abandoned – The Grand Hotel – Kupari, Croatia

The Grand Hotel – Kupari, Croatia

History of The Grand Hotel – Kupari, Croatia

Located in Croatia’s Dubrovnik Riviera, the village of Kupari was once an idyllic summer getaway for the high-ranking military officers of the Yugoslav People’s Army. Today, the tourist complex lay in ruins, shell-scarred from attacks during the Croatian War of Independence in the early 1990s.

One of the massive hotels, the Grand Hotel, was built in 1920, according to the Zupa Duborvocka Tourist Board. It housed 139 beds and featured an indoor swimming pool and luxurious rooms with stunning ocean views. Photographer Ben Fredericson captured the images of the ruins of the hotel, now covered in graffiti and crumbling in disrepair.

The Grand Hotel – Kupari, Croatia

The Grand Hotel – Kupari, Croatia

The Rise and Fall of The Grand Hotel

outside view of The Grand Hotel image
By The original uploader was Bracodbk at Croatian Wikipedia Transferred from hrwikipedia to Commons CC BY SA 30 httpscommonswikimediaorgwindexphpcurid=3491297

Many people love to explore abandoned places with significant historical marks as it becomes a magnificent trip back to the past. Visiting Kupari will provide a blast of history as it’s a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the busy Dubrovnik Old Town while providing a rich knowledge of one of the prime hotels back in the day. The first hotel, the Grand, was built here in 1920 by Czechoslovak entrepreneurs with a tile factory nearby. They recognized the great tourism potential of the area and decided to build a hotel. 

In the 1960s, a resort with five hotels, a campground, and many villas was built on the sandy beach. Kupari was one of the top places in Dubrovnik’s tourism industry. The hotel was built with luxurious rooms dedicated to the Yugoslav People’s Army officers and their families, as well as Yugoslav national civil servants. Even the head of state Josip Broz Tito owned his private villa in Kupari. A hotel with a grand name and a grand nature was the epitome of elegance. Around this centerpiece, added four more hotels, which were less attractive but more functional. With its long sandy beach and natural comforts, the resort was popular from the 1960s until Homeland War broke out in 1991, and the Yugoslav army bombarded and burned their former holiday spot. In the early 1990s, when the Yugoslav army left, the place was almost unrecognizable. Nearly all valuables were looted from five hotels, and phosphorus bombs were systematically burned floor by floor in the hotel.

outside view of the Kupari Beach, building structures built along the shorelines of the beach image
By Gzzz Own work CC BY SA 40 httpscommonswikimediaorgwindexphpcurid=45428736

During the Balkan Wars in the 1990s, the Kupari hotel complex was severely damaged. It was first attacked from the sea and then occupied by Serbian forces. After the war, the hotel was already dilapidated but still used by the Croatian army. When the Croatian military established a base in the hotel town in 1998, they stayed in three hotels. In 2001 they left the resort, and the process of privatization began. The hotel shell of this once-great resort remains a monument to the Dark Ages. Everything became a ghostly reminder of how wars never leave beautiful memories. 

Over time, nature crawled back to this once prominent structure. Weeds grew in the cavernous halls where glitzy balls were once held, and the former reception area is overgrown with trees. One of the old hotels is now used as a battlefield for the local paintball club. Bright-colored flashes are visible between shrapnel wounds. Although ruins will welcome tourists, Kupari’s beach in front of the former hotel draws people back to The Grand Hotel. Floating in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea, with a show filled with shrapnel and rocket hotel, The Grand Hotels stands as an indelible mark of the ruins of wars.   

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