In the shelter

Zagreb Travel Blog

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A fallout shelter in each schoolyard
I had noticed the fallout shelters around the suburbs. Vent pipes, little blast doors, earthen mounds scattered around schoolyards, parks, under housing towers.


They were mostly in disrepair, left over from the cold war days. Some had been converted to other uses, but the majority seemed to be intact, but abandoned. I had to apologize for having our nuclear missiles aimed at them back then...


Zvonka was nice enough to take me down for a quick look at the shelter under her building. Not a pleasant place, she had spent nights down there during the Serbian bombing in the early 90s when the shelters were pressed into service for the first time. Some of the men in the building had taken over the outer area as a place to smoke, watch football, and generally hide out from the wives.
Blast door
.. They were so proud of having built furniture out of scraps of wood, installed a TV, chess boards, microwave and everything else to make it a pretty pleasant place to hang out.


Heavy, airtight blast doors lead to a series of tunnels and spartan, built to hopefully never be used. The bunk lined rooms have a capacity to house the population of the 10-story towers. Air is supplied by big, hand-cranked pumps and filtered for radiation. Beds are submarine style, fold-down bunks stacked three high.


Not comfortable, but better than the alternative. Many bunks still had blankets, dolls and other personal items never retrieved after people finally left the shelter after the last air raid. I guess they just didn't want to ever go down there again.


The original builders probably never guessed that the shelters would be used from protection from other Yugoslavians some day.

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A fallout shelter in each schoolya…
A fallout shelter in each schooly…
Blast door
Blast door
Tunnel leads to the shelter
Tunnel leads to the shelter
Large sleeping rooms for the build…
Large sleeping rooms for the buil…
Into the bunk rooms
Into the bunk rooms
A dormitory with bunks and sandbags
A dormitory with bunks and sandbags
Blankets and dolls left behind dur…
Blankets and dolls left behind du…
Operating the big radiation filter…
Operating the big radiation filte…
Tools for digging out after the ra…
Tools for digging out after the r…
Tubes to the surface for testing
…
Tubes to the surface for testing …
Zvonka on the bunks she slept on d…
Zvonka on the bunks she slept on …
Some of the men from the building …
Some of the men from the building…
Theyre so proud of the room - the…
They're so proud of the room - th…
Zvonkas mom inspects the game room
Zvonka's mom inspects the game room
Zagreb
photo by: EmEm