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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
And someone even tried to take stone off the steps…
Rooms are also scraped of everything valuable long time ago and even some wooden material is taken. Complete devastation.
I also went to see the kitchen installations on the ground floor that were the most interesting parts of the building for me.
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.
And one can get to the wonderful panorama point overlooking a stream way bellow the cliff. Woods are everywhere.
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.