There are many abandoned villages in Dalmatia. Sadly, enough, but people started abandoning those villages after the second World War. Hard rock and scarce soil barely made the living possible. So in search of better existence, people started leaving villages and building houses at the foot of the mountain, along the main road. Instead of virgin nature and humble but peaceful life they confronted all the difficulties of urban life and the exhausting work at the factories.
Ever since the old stone houses have been fighting weeds, ivy and hundred years old oak branches. Roofs and walls gradually give in and it won't be long before every trace of some of these unique houses will be lost for ever.

There is one place I like most. That is Zeljevici, a god - forsaken village dating back to early 19th century, situated on the slope of a mountain overlooking the see, about 10 kilometres away from the place where I live.

In this village, free from crowd, rumour of voices, of children laughing, one man nevertheless wishes to preserve and bring back to life his grandfather's house. He keeps returning to do a thing or two, but mostly to bring food to the village's only inhabitants: a dog and her puppies.

Sometimes, when the sun is low in horizon, a look over the vast sea area downhill, shining like gold, can revive the sensation of all the beauty and serenity that permeated life in this place so many, many years ago.

Who knows, perhaps one day soon people will start abandoning cities and returning to the places like this - to their natural sources.
A huge forest fire swept through Zeljeviće in summer of 2001. Human negligence or intention, all the same. The roofless house was left without its old shutters as well.

As I watch these lonely houses
in the nameless bays of Central Dalmatia...
All those forgotten and burned down
mills and palaces of the more modest landlords,
the remnants of which are nothing but a stone
and the weak blood of the climbing plant
dripping upon it.
There isn’t even a single memory left
as if driven away..."

Arsen Dedić

One year later...
...One more year later...
Duće, Old Village
The village of Zeljevići is unfortunately not the only one.People abandoned many other Dalmatian villages as well.There is nothing left but memories,glimpses of the unexpected passers-by, old windows and the time relentlessly passing by.
Lubenice, a small town situated on the cliffs of the western coast of the Island of Cres, is one of the special locations of the Croatian Adriatic which is hard to forget once you visit it.

A cluster of densely lined up stone houses, with a bell tower and the gothic Church of St.Antony, has a great view of the open sea and the Kvarner Bay. The town has only 15 inhabitants – the lucky ones. When I arrived there, driving up a narrow road bordered by the dry stone walls, it was already sunset.

There is a chapel of St. Nicholas at the very entrance to the settlement which was opened and a candle was burning in a wall niche. One could choose either to pray in the silence of the chapel, or to enjoy the special light the setting sun spilled over the house walls and the surrounding landscape. I felt happy. As if that place knew I was coming and welcomed me in the best possible way.

The life returns slowly to the hamlet Podume in Tugare near Omiš. This is one of the renovated houses in the vicinity of the chapel of Saint Roch which offers a great view of the slopes of the Mosor Mountain.

Not abandoned kid from Kučiće village.