Bus tours to palaces and ruins of socialist holiday architecture at the Croatian Adriatic Sea

Part of the research and education program in addition to the book and exhibition were guided architectural excursions driving with a coach into the field of research. The first 4-day bus tour was conceived by Michael Zinganel for the HDA Graz in May 2013. Further excursions followed for the Az W in May 2014, for the Bund deutscher Architekten (BDA) Cologne in October 2014 and for the TU Munich in May 2016. Furthermore one-day bus tours for the Croatian public were organized in the context of the exhibitions in the Museum of Modern Art (MMSU) Rijeka and the Minicipal Museum Trogir in 2015.

The destinations of the 4-day trips were selected modern large-scale holiday architectures in the north of the Croatian Adriatic coast between Poreč and Krk: we visited highlights of post-war socialist modernism, ranging from simple bungalow complexes to huge stacked brutalist fair-faced concrete structures, alo equiped with modern art works, reflecting the international trends of the 1960s to 1970s when they were built as part of Yugoslavia’s modernisation programme and as showcases for communicating the success of Yugoslavia’s third way politcs.

After the collapse of the tourism industry in 1991 due to the war and the delayed privatization, these buildings today, depending on the financial potential and commitment of their new owners as well as their relationship to local authorities, present themselves in very different physical states: from isolated new 5-star design hotels, moderately renovated adaptations of the existing buildings, to decaying ruins of late modernism and melancholic monuments that remind us of the great ambitions of the Third Way in former Yugoslavia.

A detailed auto-ethnography of this travel practice can be found in the following article:

Michael Zinganel: Recalling the ruins of the socialist modernity: Touring lost places in Yugoslavia between private search of identity and cultural heritage tourism, in: S. Owsianowska and M. Banaszkiewicz (eds) Anthropology of tourism in Central and Eastern Europe. Bridging the Worlds, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books 2018, pp. 201-293.


Vienna – Graz – Poreč: Plava Laguna, Poreč; Valamar Riviera Hotels, Brulo Poreč; Accommodation: Hotel Crystal, Poreč, Architect: Julije de Luca 1970

Poreč – Rovinj: Zelena Laguna, “Internacional klub”, Poreč; Hotel Pical, Poreč; Hotel Eden and Design Hotel Lone Maistra, Rovinj; Accommodation: Design Hotel Lone Maistra, Rovinj, Architects: 3LHD, 2011

Rovinj – Rabac – Opatja – Rijeka: Apartment complex Polari / Villas Rubin, Rovinj; Hotelsko naselje Maslinica, Hotel Apollo, Rabac; Hotels Adriatic II and Ambassador, Opatija; Ruine Motel Panorama, formerly Motel Slieme, Rijeka; Accommodation: Hotel Neboder, Rijeka, Architect: Josip Pičman, 1929-1939

Rijeka – Krk – Graz – Vienna: Hotel Uvala Scott, Kraljevica; Ruin Haludovo, Malinska / Krk.