Brestovac Sanatorium – Zagreb, Croatia - Atlas Obscura

Brestovac Sanatorium

Once a state-of-the-art tuberculosis treatment spa, these ruins are now ruled by paintball players. 


Hidden in the woods of Zagreb, Croatia, the remains of an old tuberculosis hospital have crumbled away into a haunting ruin. From sanatorium to military hospital to paintball arena, the Brestovac Sanatorium has lived a number of lives.

First built in 1909, at the time of its creation, the hospital was one of the finest tuberculosis care facilities in all of Europe. Nestled in the calming mountain woods, it gave its patients a beautiful spot in which to relax and recuperate. But it was not just the scenery that led to the creation of the sanatorium. As the story goes it was actually love that led to the founding of the Brestovac facility.

As the tale goes, Croatian doctor Milivoj Dezman fell in love with a beautiful theater actress known as Lady Sram. Dezman lived for his lady love, so when she came down with tuberculosis, he convinced the city founders to build a hospital to treat the disease, making sure that it was one of the best to accommodate his lover, who was one of the first patients. Sadly Lady Sram is said to have died in 1913, leaving Dezman to operate the hospital for years after.

The sanitarium was used as a military hospital in both of the World Wars, but 1968, the facility had fallen into disrepair, and eventually it was simply abandoned, leaving the main building and a number of other structures to slowly decay into haunting ruins.

Today the site is open for any explorers who want to check out the mouldering hospital remains, but they seem to be used pretty frequently by paintballers who are indiscriminate in their targets, so watch your back.   

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