Houston we have a problem! The abandoned airport near Plitvice is a mysterious but also dangerous adventure

Advent in Croatia

Abandoned airport Desire to be near the Plitvice Lakes, although dilapidated and neglected for years, is a mysterious tourist attraction visited by many tourists. The incredible complex spans 7 million square meters and consists of a former military facility, a runway and tunnels. Visitors eager to explore the mystical object roam the neglected runways in search of the biggest attraction, with an old Douglas C-47 plane which you will easily recognize because of Instagram. This particular plane is the star of social networks.

Photo: Instagram – Kristijan Čolak (@chriscolak)

This plane, which is a bait for exploring the abandoned Željava, was originally used to transport paratroopers. Allegedly, Tito received it as a gift after the end of World War II. World War. You will find it right at the entrance to Željava, and visitors like to look around the interior of the plane to take a perfect selfie.

Photo: Instagram @cara.pasta

"Houston we have a problem" - a documentary responsible for the interest in Željava

Slovenian director Žiga Virac's documentary film "Huston we have a problem!", which deals with space program of the former state, was created in the tunnels of Željava and is responsible for the popularity of this place.

The desire for a code name "Klek Object 505" which is the name of the underground part of the airport, is one of the most expensive projects of the former state. It was built for 13 years from 1955 to 1968.

Željava Airport near Plitvice Lakes
Photo: Dorian Dražić-Karalić

The facility could accommodate 120 planes, and consists of five runways and a network of tunnels over three kilometers long. There are 4 entrances to the tunnels, and they were built in the shape of a MIG 21 airplane and you will often find pictures of the entrances on social networks. The tunnels are dark and large, so most tourists stay only at the entrances and do not go exploring the 3 and a half kilometer network of Željava tunnels.

The military fort was designed to withstand an atomic bomb. There were also huge supplies of food and drink here, so that in the event of a disaster, the soldiers could survive for a month.

During the Homeland War, the building was mined and destroyed by the JNA. Today, the external facilities are completely destroyed, the runways are overgrown with weeds, and the tunnels are perfect backdrop for horror movies. However, although a somewhat creepy and dangerous place, it is often the destination of excursionists in search of a mystical experience.

Although you will find photos that entice you to explore on all social networks, it is important to know that the tunnels are in extremely bad condition. In fact, it should be emphasized how it is the entrance is dangerous because there is a danger of a complete collapse. Also, the air could be contaminated with dangerous and toxic compounds, so think carefully before heading out to explore this abandoned facility.

When we say that this trip is a dangerous adventure, this is also evidenced by the information, which is often found on the Internet, that it is still possible as the area around the base is mined. That is why movement is safe only on concrete and asphalt surfaces. Very often you will be met here by the police as this is a border area and an established migrant route.

Cover photo: Dorian Dražić-Karalić


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