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Spring is ideal time to visit Plitvice region and it was just a weekend before Easter that we headed north to do some exploring. One of the places we wanted to see for a while now was Tito’s villa Izvor within Plitvice National Park.

Tito's Villa Izvor within Plitvice National Park
Tito’s Villa Izvor within Plitvice National Park
At the very entrance of Villa Izvor
At the very entrance of Villa Izvor

Reaching the Villa

Easy! Just follow the signs to Fenomen Plitvice newly built hotel and then continue straight to the end of the road. Some 5-10 minutes or so. You cannot miss it. It is the only road and barely anyone on the road… This used to be heavily guarded place although Tito stayed here three times only. There is another set of supporting buildings nearby which was, according to some sources, connected by an 80 meters long underground tunel to the villa in case of an attack. We did not look for the tunel this time as villa itself is still stunning and well worth exploring.

At the doors of Villa Plitvice
At the doors of Villa Plitvice

History

Villa was built between 1948. and 1953. by several hundreds of war prisoners left after WWII. Second name of this villa is Object 99 and someone is saying that that specific name comes from 99 people who died while building it but there was never a proof for that. Some sources are saying that it was 99 people who were building it and this the name. I don’t know.
The architects responsible were Rikard Marasović and Zvonimir Marohnić.

Apparently, even before the WWII – in 1928., the government of the Kingdom of SHS, had plans to build 3-4 castles in the area imitating Swiss and local architecture.

Tito’s Time

As mentioned, Tito rarely visited. He was more interested in Brijuni National Park and hunting in Bosnia and Baranja. So, this villa was left as government building for use by local politicians all the way till 1980s when it was used by Plitvice National Park.

Here are some images from the official NP Plitvice web site:
https://np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/kulturna-bastina/

Tito and Jovanka with pioniri
Tito and Jovanka with pioniri
Some politicians at the Villa
Some politicians at the Villa
Inside Villa
Inside Villa
Nothing without lamb on a spit!
Nothing without lamb on a spit!

Recent history

The destruction came with Homeland war of the 90s. Plitvice area was one of the first areas to be hit by the military actions of rebel Serbs and they used this villa as their headquarters.

The destruction came after the war.

Entering the villa
Entering the villa
In the big hall of Villa Izvor
In the big hall of Villa Izvor
In the big hall of Villa Izvor
In the big hall of Villa Izvor
In the big hall of Villa Izvor
In the big hall of Villa Izvor

Most of the objects were stolen after the war as the villa was not guided. Just like hundreds of objects left from Yugoslav times. Almost all military installations that were left abandoned were scraped by gypsies or locals of everything valuable. I had few stories in the past and here is one of them:
https://secretcroatia.blog/2017/07/23/shadows-and-graffiti-of-sepurine-military-base/
Nothing was sacred and nothing was left untouched. No one can understand why the government left all these valuable objects to get destroyed. After all, all this belongs to Croatian people and can be put to great use. Not any more.

Inside the halls of Villa Izvor
Inside the halls of Villa Izvor
Inside the halls of Villa Izvor
Inside the halls of Villa Izvor
Inside the halls of Villa Izvor
Inside the halls of Villa Izvor

Villa is great for us who love abandoned buildings and it is easy to explore. However, one has to be careful and some parts of the building are collapsing.

Collapsing ceilings
Collapsing ceilings

And someone even tried to take stone off the steps…

Ruined marble steps
Ruined marble steps

Rooms are also scraped of everything valuable long time ago and even some wooden material is taken. Complete devastation.

Inside the room of Villa Izvor
Inside the room
Inside the room of Villa Izvor
Inside the room of Villa Izvor
Inside the room of Villa Izvor
Inside the room
Inside the room of Villa Izvor
Inside the room

I also went to see the kitchen installations on the ground floor that were the most interesting parts of the building for me.

Ground floor of Villa Izvor
Ground floor of Villa Izvor
Ground floor of Villa Izvor
Old window

Ground floor of Villa Izvor
Ground floor

Exterior

And then we stepped outside to check out the inner courtyard. There are A LOT of some brown mice running around hiding in the construction of the building.

Ruined exterior of Villa Izvor
Outside the villa
Ruined exterior of Villa Izvor
Ruined exterior of Villa Izvor
Ruined exterior of Villa Izvor
Ruined exterior
Ruined exterior of Villa Izvor
Ruined exterior
Ruined exterior of Villa Izvor
In the courtyard

And one can get to the wonderful panorama point overlooking a stream way bellow the cliff. Woods are everywhere.

The stream under the villa Izvor
The stream under the villa

This villa is just another monument of Croatian negligence for its heritage. Apparently, Chinese investors have purchased the villa and will turn it into a 5* hotel. When we don’t know, there is someone who does.

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