Former concentration camp is being turned into a luxury resort
The government of Montenegro has given the go-ahead to turn a site once used as a concentration camp into a luxury holiday resort.
Plans to convert a former concentration camp island fortress into a luxury high-end resort in Montenegro have been approved this week angering families of locals imprisoned there during WWII. Despite protests, Parliament this week has given the go ahead for development of the Mamula Island Re
sort to begin immediately.
At the very entrance to the magnificent Boka Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world near Montenegro, is a foreboding, uninhabited island with a fortress. The island is called Lastavica, but is popularly known as Mamula. The monumental fortress was built by Austrian Admiral, Lazar Mamula at the end of the 19th century. At first sight, the fort looks terrifying, but once entered, visitors are amazed by the ruins left stranded in time surrounded by beauty.
For years, Mamula has had many purposes. Due to its isolated position, it was used as a concentration camp in both World Wars and the fort has also served as a prison. The main reason for building Mamula was to stop enemy ships from entering the Boka Bay. However, the fortress never served its purpose, since there was never a military attack.
For years Mamula has been one of the most popular tourist attractions of Herceg Novi. The fortress was well preserved and even includes the old prison cells that held concentration camp prisoners.
While making the project proposal for the reconstruction and development, the investors complied with conservation conditions, from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments. “We will create a museum with the best restaurant and the best hotel on the Mediterranean,” Samih Saviris, president of Orascom, promised when he was recently awarded parliamentary approval.
The fortress on Mamula Island, located in the Adriatic sea off the coast of Montenegro, was used as a concentration camp when occupied by Mussolini’s Italian forces during World War II.
Italian military documents have suggested that more than 100 people were killed, and 2,000 imprisoned at the camp, according to Balkan Insight.
The Orascom Company, the development firm behind the project, is said to be investing around €15 million into the transformation, according to local real estate website, Montenegro Prospects.