Above The Ground Fort “A-18”

Coast of King Petar Krešimir 4th, Zadar, Zadar County, Croatia
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Year of build:
Original name:
Past and Present Ownership of the Building/Site:

Past: Italian army; Present: private

Typology and Style

Military object – bunker/fort.

Degree of preservation and status of protection

The fort is well preserved but is full of rubbish, and a lot of metal parts are missing. It is not protected.

Architectural Description

The exact time of the construction of the fort is unknown, but it is most likely in the 1930s, probably after the enactment of Circular 200 from the 1931. The fort was built to control the road leading from Zadar to the village of Diklo, which was located in Yugoslavia. During the construction of the fort, concrete, bricks and stones were used, and the entire structure, except the water tank, is above the ground. The interior of the fort was entered through a large double metal door, and consisted of an uncovered courtyard, crew accommodation, three one floor tower with an open roof and with combat positions or loopholes that had no metal flaps. The loopholes are also found on the ground floor walls, but with metal shutters.

History and Historical Context

With the end of the First World War and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Zadar belonged to the Kingdom of Italy. However, encircled with the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia Zadar represented the enclave on the eastern Adriatic coast. Learned from the end of the war and growing mistrust, all European countries began defining borders and building bunkers. Italy starts off construction of the fortifications in 1931, shortly after the issuance of circular no. 200. Zadar gained particular importance as an enclave in addition to the defensive functions it also served as a springboard for new conquests.

The fort was used by the Italian Army during the short so-called April war (attack of the Axis powers on the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 6th April 1941 to 17th April 1941) and probably by the German Army in the years 1943 - 1944. After the end of World War II, the fort was abandoned and left to decay and devastation. But in the second half of the 1990s, it served as a gathering place for punk music listeners.

Values of the Building

There is historical and architectural value as part of the Italian fortification ring that developed around Zadar in the period between the two world wars.

Description of the Urban Context and Development

Near the road that connects Zadar with the suburban village of Diklo, north of the hotel complex and near the family houses, there is an above-ground fortress that in its appearance is reminiscent of the fortifications of French legionaries in North Africa. This fort is one of six identical forts built along the roads connecting Zadar to the hinterland. Since the fort is located in an urbanized area, it is very accessible.

New Cultural Tourist Offer Focused on Selected Building/Site

The fort is not currently operational. But there is great potential for its revitalization, especially since it is large and suitable for gathering more people So, it can be used for concerts, open air cinema or as a tourist attraction.