Squatting in Croatia

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Entrance to Attack, venue at AKC Medika
Entrance to Attack, venue at AKC Medika
Social centre Karlo Rojc, 2005 in Pula
Social centre Karlo Rojc, 2005

Squatting in Croatia has existed as a phenomenon since the decline of the Roman Empire. In the 1960s much private housing in major cities was illegally constructed or expanded and since the 1990s squatting is used as a tactic by feminists, punks and anarchists. Well-known (and mostly legalized) self-managed social centres such as the cultural centre Karlo Rojc [sh; hr] in Pula, Nigdjezemska in Zadar and (AKC) Medika in Zagreb.


At the end of the Roman Empire, when the city of Salona was sacked in 614 AD, its inhabitants fled to Diocletian's Palace nearby beside the sea. They squatted in the compound and their descendants have lived there ever since, resisting attacks from Pannonian Avars, Goths, Slavs, Tartars and the Ottoman Empire. The city of Split grew up around the palace.[1] During the Croatian War of Independence (1991-1995), the peace movement was composed of squatters as well as anarchists, environmentalists and feminists.[2]

In the 1960s, 39.5 per cent of all private housing in Zagreb was squatted, 49.3 per cent in Split and 66.8 per cent in Osijek.[3] Squatting is criminalized by Articles 20-27 of the Croatian Ownership and other Proprietary Rights Act, and has become a form of subcultural activism in cities such as Zagreb from the 1990s onwards.[4]

In 1989, feminists organized through the Women's Group Tresnjevka squatted an apartment in Zagreb to shelter women escaping domestic violence.[5][6]

Social centres[edit]

AKC Medika in Zagreb is a social centre that has a bar, a music venue, galleries and office space for radical groups.[7][8] The venue is called Attack and there is also a bicycle repair workshop, an infoshop and a film studio.[9] There is also the illegal and mixed use squat known as Vila Kiseljak [sh] or Squat on Knežija.[10]

In front of Nigdjezemska, 2021
In front of Nigdjezemska, 2021

Nigdjezemska (Nowhereland) is a self-managed social centre in the part of the former military complex Stjepan Radić in Zadar. In 2019, the centre and the Menza skate park were threatened with eviction.[11][12]

In Pula, the self-managed cultural centre Karlo Rojc [sh; hr] is located in the former Military facilities Karlo Rojc. It was initially squatted by punks and then legalized. It provides rooms and ateliers for over 100 groups and has a hacklab and a music venue.[13][14] Since 1999, Rojc has hosted the annual Monteparadiso punk music festival which began seven years earlier in the squatted Fort Casoni Vecchi [hr; sh].[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zaknic, Ivan (April 1983). "Split at the Critical Point: Diocletian's Palace, Excavation vs. Conservation". Journal of Architectural Education. 36 (3): 20–26. doi:10.1080/10464883.1983.10758315.
  2. ^ Bilić, Bojan (2012). ""Movementising" the Margina. Recruitment to the Anti-War Campaign of Croatia". Narodna umjetnost – Hrvatski časopis za etnologiju i folkloristiku. 49 (1): 41–59. ISSN 0547-2504. Archived from the original on 2021-01-20. Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  3. ^ Patton, Carl V. (1988). Spontaneous Shelter: International Perspectives and Prospects. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-0-87722-507-2. Archived from the original on 2021-12-07. Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  4. ^ Drofenik, Maša. "Intra-team Comparison Report for CROATIA, SERBIA, SLOVENIA". TENLAW: Tenancy Law and Housing Policy in Multi-level Europe.
  5. ^ Renne, Tanya (2018). Ana's land: Sisterhood in Eastern Europe. New York. ISBN 9780429502293.
  6. ^ Czegledy, Nina (1995). "Bread and roses in Zagreb". Canadian Woman Studies. 16 (1): 98–101. ProQuest 217458635. Archived from the original on 2021-12-08. Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  7. ^ McDonnell, Justin; Time Out contributors. "The best venues for live music in Zagreb | Live music in Zagreb: concerts, gigs and clubs". Time Out Croatia. Archived from the original on 7 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021. {{cite news}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ Devčić, Ivana Isadora (6 July 2015). "An insider's guide to Zagreb: Greenery, Germanisms and suburban punk". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Početak jesenskog ciklusa edukacija u Medici". H-Alter (in Croatian). 5 September 2021. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  10. ^ "04 megazine za hakiranje stvarnosti". 2007-03-10. Archived from the original on 10 March 2007. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  11. ^ Tešić, Aleksandar (21 June 2019). "Prenamjena: Zadarski alternativci ne daju Nigdjezemsku za sastanke županijskih skupštinara i spremaju kampanju za obranu". TRIS portal - Šibenik (in Croatian). Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Nigdjezemska". Time Out Croatia. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Culture centre Rojc Pula". Pula Croatia. Archived from the original on 8 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  14. ^ Perasović, Benjamin (16 November 2012). "Pogo on the terraces:Perspectives from Croatia". Punk & Post Punk. 1 (3): 285–303. doi:10.1386/punk.1.3.285_1.
  15. ^ Gasson, Dave (8 August 2007). "Pula: Punks Party for Monte Paradiso!". www.total-croatia-news.com. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2021.