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Željava Air Base/Objekat 505, Croatia

Coming towards the end of a trip covering a handful of countries in central europe and the balkans, we ended up here.

Code named ‘Objekat 505’ or also known as Bihac Air Base, ZAB was one of the largest and most expensive construction projects of its time, covering a twenty year build span complete with a six billion dollar spend. Every piece of information surrounding the base is heavy weight – ‘built to sustain a direct hit from a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb’ and ‘protected by 100-ton pressurised doors’. No messing.

After grabbing a couple of snaps of the Douglas C-47 ditched out front, we drove out to the tunnels and runways passing signs urging us not to enter the wooded areas – Ne Prilazite (Do Not Proceed), Mines!

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photo – panaramio

 early model MiG-21s being serviced in the Željava tunnels in the 1970s – photo, wiki

If you’re driving in the area and find some of the roads are a bit rough, you have this place to thank. They rinsed their road infrastructure funds to build the base. End.

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