Croatia Could Lose These Well-Known Cities In Less Than 100 Years

Known for its cascading waterfalls, serene islands, and – of course – Game of Thrones, Croatia has developed its reputation over the past decade to be one of Europe’s most beautiful holiday destinations. 

We might be biased, but it’s no wonder that two of its most renowned cities – Split and Dubrovnik – were ranked by Trip Advisor as two of the most popular European destinations either.

But the much-loved travel destination may not be how we know and love it in the next 100 years…

With climate change already causing a rise in sea levels around the world, it is likely that we can expect a catastrophic impact on countries globally and, in particular, on Croatia before the year 2100.

So, to highlight this, we decided to analyse the most at-risk coastal towns in Croatia and create a set of before and after images to visualise the impact that a rise in sea level will have on the country’s coastal communities.

You can view these devastating predictions using the scroll tools below.

Dubrovnik

Known for its prime location on the Dalamatia Coast, Dubrovnik is popular for its beautiful seafront location, historic old town, and – more recently – for being one of the most prominent Game of Thrones filming locations. The city draws in an estimated 60,000 tourists annually, filling Its limestone paved streets and admiring its breathtaking medieval architecture.

You may be surprised to hear, however, that by 2100 the entirety of the historic old town will be underwater. With a rise of 9m in sea level, even the city’s distinct terracotta roofs aren’t likely to be visible in less than 100 years, leaving one of the most historical destinations in Croatia seizing to exist. 

Below, you can see just how much of this iconic Croatian location will be left, and it isn’t much…

Dubrovnik Now Dubrovnik After Sea-Level Rise

 

Split

The second-largest city in the country and the largest city along Croatia’s coastline, Split is also one of the oldest cities in the region, renowned for its ancient centre and spectacular architecture. Its most famous sites include the Roman-era Diocletian Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its port, originally established for trading during the city’s era of Greek reign.

Although, in 100 years’ time, travellers can say goodbye to Split’s most iconic landmarks…

A 9m sea-level rise will leave parts of Split, including its port and the Diocletian Palace, fully submerged. A travesty for this historic Dalamatia coast destination that you can see for yourself in the images below…

Split Now Split After Sea-Level Rise

 

Zadar

Zadar is a symbol of Croatia’s ancient history. Home to Venetian and Roman ruins alongside archaeological masterpieces, the city is a window into medieval times, but its abundant history is not the only thing it brings to the table. 

With spectacular national parks and miles of white sand beaches, which you’ll find to be much less packed compared to other Dalmatia coast locations, the city offers a bit of everything when it comes to having an all-around memorable holiday experience. 

Unfortunately, Zadar won’t be what tourists know and love it to be in less than 100 years. With the majority of its seafront expected to be underwater, the city will almost be non-existant, as shown in the images below.


 

Rijeka

Rijeka is a blend of European influence and culture. Its Austro-Hungarian and Venetian, as well as the Roman influences in its harbours, stand to represent the rich history and cultural heritage that the city is so loved for.

Currently known as the gateway to Croatia’s islands, it seems that Rijeka won’t be much of a gateway to anywhere in 100 years. The iconic Trsat fortress overlooks the city and, in the near future, could be the only thing left of the city. 

With a 9m rise in sea levels, the fortress is expected to be all that is left of Rijeka as the rest of the city is doomed to exist only beneath the waves – see for yourself below.

Rijeka Now Rijeka After Sea-Level Rise

 

Trogir

Another embodiment of a fusion of European influence, Trogir’s romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque architecture makes it, arguably, one of the most picturesque locations in the country. 

The stunning Dalmatian town, within close proximity to Split, has gradually become more and more popular over recent years. Even named the best city-island in the world in 2015 by National Geographic, this ‘stone beauty’ is undoubtedly one of Europe’s best-preserved European cities. 

For tourists planning on visiting Trogir in the next 100 years, chances are that you won’t be in with a chance of seeing the city’s iconic architecture for which it is so well-known… unless you decide to don a diving suit and flippers to match! The entirety of the island-city will be underwater and will look starkly different, as shown below…

Trogir Now Trogir After Sea-Level Rise

Methodology

We sourced the data from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report on carbon choices determining US cities committed to futures below sea level, which was then applied to Croatia’s landscape. 

We chose 5 popular and well-known Croatian locations and estimated, based on the 9m sea-level rise, where the sea level could be in under 100 years’ time. 

This was then used to superimpose images of each location using Photoshop.