The Cold War was quite hot in the Balkans, as Yugoslav leader even had to make his own secret haven in Paklenica. Now, over half of the century later, Tito’s underground hideout has been opened to public. It is believed the site will become a renowned tourist attraction, especially to visitors interested in history and post World War II era.
The story begins in the year 1950. The Europe was still recovering from the horrors of Hitler’s armies, yet political tensions between former allies have never been more apparent. Soviet Union’s influence has been increasing in the East, sometimes even due to militaristic interventions. Yet, historians agree that one country dared to decline Stalin’s regime, and opted to pursue its own fate. It was Yugoslavia, a federation of Slavic nations under leadership of controversial leader, Josip Broz Tito.
A lot of ink has been spilled over Tito’s role in 20th century, but one thing is certain. At one point in time, the Yugoslav leader was ready to risk war with the Soviets, as Stalin even begun to train troops for the upcoming conflict. In order to prepare for invasion, Tito begun a series of top-secret projects, one of which was the construction of underground system of tunnels in Paklenica.
In case of an attack, Tito would retreat in this safe haven, and even lead the country’s military potentials against the Union’s troops. Tito’s Underground Hideout was very secured, and could sustain even the nuclear explosion.
The balance of power has shifted at one moment, and Stalin had to deal with other problems. Yugoslavia has remained safe from war, and managed to stay independent from direct influence of Kremlin regime. However, the country has collapsed in early 90’s, about one decade after Tito’s death. Modern Croatia has emerged as one of the states following the traumatic breakdown, which involved strong military conflicts.
Tito’s Underground Hideout has been a top secret for numerous decades, known only to a few ranked officials. However, with its recent opening, it will certainly become popular on the global scale. Visit this hidden piece of history the next time you come to Paklenica. The tunnels have been, in order to increase their tourist potential, upgraded with cultural and entertaining features.
For a short introduction, check out the images in our gallery: