Today, Croatia is a modern European State, with strong cultural identity and international renown for its beauty. Yet 25 years ago, it was suffering a very tragic war, perfectly symbolized in the sight of Vukovar water tower.
As Yugoslavian state fell apart, its constituting nations begun a strong military conflict, paved upon decades of political tensions. In the first years of battling, the town of Vukovar had an important role. Situated on the far east of Croatia, it was constantly under threat of occupation from the remains of Yugoslav army, mostly stationed in Serbia.
On November 18th 1991, after a long and tiring attempt to secure Vukovar’s perimeter, the Croatian army was forced to surrender the town to their enemies. The aftermath was a number of atrocities and war crimes committed against local civil population, as well as massive refugee crisis. However, Croatia managed to survive those dire days. After a number of military victories and successful campaigns, Vukovar was returned peacefully to Croats in 1997.
One of Vukovar’s most popular landmarks is a large water tower, which was heavily shelled during the fighting. However, despite the damage it sustained, the structure didn’t collapse, becoming a symbol of Croatian determination to keep Vukovar free.
Today, precisely one quarter of century later, people of Croatia remember Vukovar and sacrifice it endured to secure the rest of the country’s soil. The enemy army was so tired and decimated in order to conquer the town, that it lacked the leverage to continue the invasion. In order to commemorate this, Vukovar Water Tower is planned to be transformed into a memorial center.
Local photo-reporters visited the building, which although stable still didn’t see much of reconstruction. They made a few photos, each of them suggesting that the site will have a stunning view of surrounding land, and inspire visitors to learn more about Croatia’s early days as a modern country. Check out the gallery below, courtesy of Town Vukovar.