In 17th century, Dalmatia was threatened by strong armies of Ottoman Empire. Serving literally as Europe’s first line of defense against the invaders, the region was full of military compounds. One of these was the renowned Fort Gripe, located on the hill of the same name in the vicinity of Split. Even today, about 300 years later, historians have unanswered questions about this locality.
One of the things puzzling the experts is a tunnel below the fort’s bastion. It is unknown why the builders have constructed it, and whether it had some kind of special usage. The system of halls was connecting various parts of the fort, but it seems it was more than just a simple tunnel.
Doctor Josko Kalinic, a notable expert on Fort Gripe, shared his ideas about this mysterious feature. He immediately noted that no historian can be perfectly sure about the tunnel’s nature, and that only high-ranking officers of former times were truly introduced to its prime usage. “From what I know, the tunnel could have been used as a mean to quickly maneuver the armies entering or exiting the fort,” Kalinic explained to LC source. “It was probably used for supplying the barracks as well.”
In 20th century, the mysterious tunnel could have been easily used as bombardment shelter or ammunition storage. Finally, Kalinic believes it was used as a place for keeping prisoners of war. “A lot of armies were residing in the fort during centuries, and it is possible each of them had a different use of that tunnel,” the history expert concluded.
At this time, the tunnel is off limits to outside visitors. Conservator team handling the structure is still determining the state of the indoors, and no official statement has been made. However, Kalinic believes that tunnel will become a unique tourist attraction one day. The secrets of Fort Gripe may yet be shown to the outside world.