Published in Balkans
Published in Balkans



Communist Yugoslavia was a major destination for tourists from Western Europe and the US. Slovenia had offered tourist attraction since the 19th Century.

Here is an extract from a film, commissioned by the Yugoslav National Tourism Office in 1975. With some marvellous sequences from Slovenia!

Did you or your family spend your holiday in Yugoslavia? We'd love to hear from you. Share your memories.

Converted from 16 mm film.

U bivšoj Jugoslaviji 1978 godine

Published in Balkans

Yugoslavia 1926

In the mid-1920s the prominent German photographer Kurt Hielscher was invited by the government in Belgrade to travel to Yugoslavia and create a book with images of the state, founded only a few years earlier. Kurt Hielscher had already published similar and very successful books about Italy, Spain and Germany, so he took up the invitation with enthusiasm.

In Belgrade he got an interpreter, letters of introduction to all local authorities and cars were at his disposal. Hielscher gratefully acknowledges all help in this endeavour.  He also thanks the Zeiss-Ikon and Agfa factories for their outstanding cameras, lenses and photo plates.

The journey - from the Alps to Novo Mesto towards Bulgaria - produced 1200 photographs, from which he chose 191. In Hielscher's words, those were the few "which would try to show the attractive, diverse character of the landscape, the architecture, and way of life of the Yugoslavs... I didn't want to create a collection of postcards".

The result is a stunning and often moving collection, published in a book in 1926 in Berlin by Ernst Wassmuth AG.

On Agfa Chromo Isorapid plates.

Published in Photo Gallery Balkans


Trieste has always been a bridge between East and West, a buzzing cosmopolitan city – for centuries the major port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its most important centre after Vienna, Budapest and Prague – an Imperial Free City till 1918, when it transferred to Italy.

A centre of Slav life for centuries - the Triestine Serb merchants and ship owners, brought here by Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century, built their church of St Spyridon, which still adorns the city today. Trieste is home to a large Slovenian community.

A divided area between East and West after 1945, Trieste was firmly integrated into the Italian Republic after 1954, but with a disputed eastern border way into the 1970s.

During the Cold War Trieste was a real hub. People from all over Yugoslavia would travel overnight to reach its markets at dawn –jeans, records and other precious Western goods were then laden onto buses and small Fiats and shipped east, to Bulgaria and further on, where their value multiplied and they offered high status. In its turn, Trieste offered shelter and passage further West to Eastern Europeans on the run from Communism.


Amateur footage, transferred from Kodachrome Standard 8 mm Film.

Published in Balkans

Yugoslavia on Kodachrome

A rare Kodachrome film for Pan Am Airways, 1964.

Yugoslavia was the only Communist-controlled country in today's Eastern Europe Pan Am flew to during the Cold War – showing how important the country was at that time.

A cultural icon of the XX Century, Pan American World Airways, or Pan Am, was the largest international air carrier in the US from 1927 until its collapse its 1991.

Pan-Am is remembered by many for its routes to divided Berlin - Tempelhof and Tegel.

Did you fly on Pan Am to Yugoslavia or West Berlin? Did you visit Yugoslavia's Adriatic coast, or perhaps Ohrid?

Share your memories.

Converted from 16 mm film.

All rights to use purchased.

This Kodachrome film is just a beautiful and non-political piece of history. More on the seemingly still open question whether Yugoslavia was a Communist society despite its relatively open borders, was it dogmatic...did it ever try do deal with events of the recent past, like Bleiburg or the fate of its ethnic Germans, Istria... is available on: 

Tito in Moscow 1972

Communist Nostalgia

Published in Balkans