Visitor Center "Underground Secrets of Paklenica"

April - October -  from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p. m. 

Please be free to contact us via e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: +385 23 369 202 for information on the working hours out of the main visiting season.

Hidden in the Velika Paklenica canyon, there are underground tunnels, popularly called “Bunkers”. They were built by the Yugoslav Army between 1950 and 1953, amid a tense political climate between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union (USSR). What was hidden behind the bricked shafts of the Velika Paklenica canyon was a well-kept secret until the beginning of the Homeland War in 1991, when the Croatian army started to use the 1,500 m2 facility as storage. After the end of the Homeland War, Public Institution “Paklenica National Park” was given the right to permanently use the Bunkers. Having recognized the great potential of the facility, back in 2000, the Park Administration commenced the works of reconstructing it into a visitor center. In August 2016, the Visitor Centre “Underground Secrets of Paklenica” officially opened its doors to visitors, who were given the opportunity to see the fruits of years-long labor. In July 2022, the Visitor Center was entirely finished and equipped to provide more educational and interpretative content to visitors.  
The Light tunnel, in which, based on the movements of visitors, light and sound effects change as they walk through, is located at the entrance to the Center. This provides an introduction to the story of the Mountain and it is followed by illustrations of the origin of the Velebit Mountain, Hall 1 "Natural features of Velebit", illustrations of the arrival of the first inhabitants on the Velebit Mountain, and Hall 2 "Cultural heritage and inhabitants of the Velebit Mountain". In a fun and interactive way, visitors are presented with the main theme of the Center:  exploration, learning, and experiencing the natural and cultural richness of Velebit Mountain and Paklenica National Park
Visitors can enjoy the “Little Climbing Centre”, situated in the multifunctional hall that also houses an artificial climbing wall inviting them to make their first climbing steps. Visitors can also learn about climbing in a fun and interactive way, by means of screens on the walls of the hall, which include the presentations “Short Dictionary of Climbing”, “Short History of Climbing”, and “School of Knot Tying”. Additionally, they learn about the most memorable moments of climbing history in Paklenica from some of the best climbers.
In addition, visitors are given the opportunity to learn about the work of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service by listening to the interesting stories of its members. The premises of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service are located nearby as they care about the safety of visitors during the season. In the last part of the Center, the “Backpack” exhibition provides visitors with information on how to prepare for climbing and how to make sure they have all the necessary equipment before they start exploring the hiking trails.