Rijeka – Alpine Wall


A treaty was signed in Rapallo, Italy, between the Italian and Yugoslav kingdoms in November 1920, to regulate the border between the two. In 1931, fascist Italy began the construction of an approximately 1850-kilometre long line of defence called Vallo Alpino. It bordered France to the west via Switzerland and Austria down to the eastern border with Yugoslavia. It reminded us a lot of other lines of defence built around Europe at a time when all states were preparing for war. When the war then broke out in September 1939 and lasted until May 1945, the line of defense came to play an insignificant role. Only at a few places were battles of little importance fought. On a hill above Rijeka in present-day Croatia, ruins remain of the line of defense. At the time of the construction of the line of defense, this area belonged to Italy. After the war, Rijeka and Istria came to Yugoslavia and this part of the line of defence thus lost its purpose.

Current status: Partly preserved/demolished (2023).

Location: 45°20'37.78" N, 14°26'58.26" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

It can be a little tricky to find there because the GPS does not necessarily take the easiest route or the most navigable route. But once you arrive you can park your car and follow one of the paths that go into the forest and lead to several bunkers, some with majestic views of the valley eastwards.

Follow up in books: Pavlowitch, Steven: Hitler’s New Disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia (2008).