hidden europe 50

Socialist Architecture in Yugoslavia

by hidden europe


In Tito's Yugoslavia, architects offered an ideological space between East and West - aligned neither to Soviet-style communism nor to the capitalist tradition. The result was some assertively different architecture, not all of it memorably beautiful.

The story of Kupari, just like the architecture of the resort, captures something of the entire Yugoslav experience. This is a country which like Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic has slipped from the map of Europe. Yugoslavia inherited much from the Habsburg world including the distinctive style of the Grand Hotel in Kupari.

In the third quarter of the last century, under Tito’s leadership, Yugoslavia defied the division of Europe into East and West, pursuing its own socialist path independent of Soviet influence. In that period — and thereafter until the eventual dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s — the country developed its own very distinctive (and sometimes highly eccentric) architectural style.

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