Apart from its beauty, the Ombla River near Dubrovnik, Croatia has a useful purpose or two. Until 1960, the water was used to power a flour and pasta factory––but the building, intriguingly, was actually built by a now-famous German architect in the 16th century. Explore this beautiful abandoned building through the photographs below, submitted by Untapped reader Thomas Löbig, who previously explored the abandoned 5 star resort in Dubrovnik.
The timeless structure may look hard to place, and you might not guess from a cursory glance that this building is over 500 years old. Its architect, the German designer Paskoje Mihov, is notable for being the chief architect of what was then the Ragusa Republic. We know it today as the city of Dubrovnik.
Stopping by the nearby Dubrovnik itself, you can see more famous examples of Mihov’s work. He not only built the city’s defensive stone walls and the stone bridge between the Gothic arches at the Gate of Pila, but also (and perhaps most notably) the Sponza Palace. The Palace originally functioned as the Ragusa Republic’s customs house, mint, bank, treasury, and armory. It now houses an impressively extensive collection of state archives and has aged gracefully over the past five centuries.
Even within this old Ombla factory, Mihov’s original stone walls and wooden rafters have remained remarkably intact––if sporadically graffitied––despite almost 500 years of exposure to the elements.
The factory was actually in regular use until the 1960, when it closed just before the army of the Social Federalist Republic of Yugoslavia burned large sections of the structure. Today, the empty stone building provides an exceptionally lovely open-air space with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and the jade-green Ombla River.
If you have a penchant for abandoned Croatian buildings, take a look at what is left of Dubrovnik’s Hotel Belvedere. This lovely hotel has a few remarkably well-preserved secrets inside its crumbling walls, including––supposedly––undetonated grenades and a mythic wine cellar.