Zagreb – Villa Rebar

On a forest slope just north of Zagreb, the Croatian dictator Ante Pavelic built a luxurious villa in 1932. Pavelic was the leader of the ultra-nationalist fascist party Ustasha between 1929 and 1945. Between 1941 and 1945 he was the leader of the independent Croatian state that had been formed in the wake of the German invasion of Yugoslavia in april 1941. Croatia and Pavelic were in reality a puppet to Nazi Germany and, to some extent, fascist Italy. Between 1941 and 1945, Ustasha carried out what can be regarded as genocide against Serbs, Jews and Roma who were murdered or imprisoned.

Adjacent to Villa Rebar was built an extensive tunnel system that connected the villa with military facilities built into the mountain. After the war, Pavelic fled via Austria to Argentina and worked as a security adviser to Juan Peron. In 1957, a Serbian nationalist attempted to kill Pavelic, although Pavelic sustained injuries he survived the attempt on his life. But he did not feel safe in Argentina and therefore, first fled to Chile, and later to Franco’s fascist Spain where he stayed for the rest of his life. He died in 1959 out of the wounds he had sustained when he was subjected to the assassination attempt. He was buried in a cemetery in Madrid. Villa Rebar was rebuilt after the war into a hotel but in 1979 the hotel burned down and has since been a ruin.

Current status: Demolished (2023).

Location: 45°51' 48.20" N 15°58' 44.79" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The villa may be burned down with only stone construction preserved but is really interesting to visit. Graffitti and doodles characterize the ruins but it does not take away the ruins of its historical attraction. The tunnels adjacent to the villa are also preserved and can be visited. Ruins like this are always interesting to visit.

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