Bunker Vežica 2

Vežica, overlooking the Draška Valley and Martinšćica Bay, Rijeka, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia
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Year of build:
after 1941
Original name:
Military architecture
Past and Present Ownership of the Building/Site:

Public (Republika Hrvatska)

Typology and Style

This World War II military fortification facility was built after 1941, after Sušak fell under Italian rule. These fortifications were built according to the guidelines given in 1938 in the so-called „Circular 7000“. According to the same, it can be concluded that these fortifications were built as simpler and more economical than those preceding them, and were positioned at the locations of the main lines of enemy attacks, probably to further protect the main military stronghold and to expand the line of defence.

Degree of preservation and status of protection

From a construction point of view, the bunker is well preserved. The environment is full of rubbish, which disrupts the extremely beautiful landscape and distracts from the carefully crafted and camouflaged bunker sheath. Inside, it would appear that suspicious groups of people have stayed here for a long period of time, so the bunker was used as their "living room" for a while. In order to deny access, the entrance was filled with concrete and the space was cleared. It has no status as cultural heritage.

Architectural Description

Vežica 2 is similar to Vežica 1 in all architectural and design characteristics, but it is slightly larger. The above-ground reinforced concrete bunker was armed with heavy machine guns and anti-tank gun. The central area was accessed via a tunnel controlled from an embrasure. The combat blocks were accessed from the central space of about 60 square metres (the crew quarters), which was once divided by partition walls. There were toilets right at the entrance, as well as a water tank and rooms for the NCO. Aside from the toilets that are still separated, the other partitions have been demolished and now it is a unique space.

History and Historical Context

Treaties of Rome dated 1941. redefine the border of Rijeka and its surroundings once again. According to mentioned treaties, Italy gained possession over the parts of Croatian littoral (including Sušak), parts of Gorski kotar, as well as parts of Dalmatia.

"From the moment of the Italian occupation of the town of Sušak, and its formal annexation to Rijeka within the “Provincia di Fiume”, this town was included among the Italian fortification plans. Authorities from former Yugoslavia did not build any significant fortifications in the town of Sušak, since the main stronghold in the so-called Sector II of the “Rupnik Line” (Yugoslav Defence System of the Western Borders) was Kamenjak above the Grobnik Field, and therefore only a few smaller machine bunkers were built in Sušak.

Unlike the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Italian army envisaged the construction of underground and above ground fortifications in different locations like Trsat and the Sveti Križ hill above Vežica, as well as on the western slopes of Martinšćica Bay.”

The construction of fortifications on the eastern side of the town is linked to the guidelines issued in 1938, "Circular 7000".

From: TONIĆ V., Tragom „Alpskog bedema“ u Rijeci i Hrvatskoj, Rijeka: Slobodna Država Rijeka, 2011

Values of the Building

Cultural-historical and architectural. Another example of the skilful camouflage of the massive above-ground bunkers.

Description of the Urban Context and Development

At the very end of the inhabited residential area of Vežica. It is accessed from a paved side road, along which tall family houses were built. There is a children's park nearby and the bunker itself has the function of a lookout post.


The archival documentation for the construction of tunnels and bunkers was not found in the State Archives, which is logical given the fact that the construction of these facilities was a very well-kept secret at the time. It is not possible to exclude the possibility of archival documentation on the Rijeka fortifications in the military archive in Rome however, although for this it would be necessary to have a longer period of time for research. The documentation found was collected from private collections from various forums or archives of the Heritage Museum of Drenova.

Vežica 1 Approximate Floor Plan