Torpedo Launch Station – Rijeka, Croatia - Atlas Obscura
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Rijeka, Croatia

Torpedo Launch Station

Now abandoned, the world's first torpedo factory is crumbling into the sea. 

It may look like this abandoned structure could buckle and tumble into the water at any moment, but don’t be fooled by its drab appearance. This decaying launch station was once an absolute powerhouse for the advancement of maritime weaponry. 

Rijeka, Croatia was where the first torpedoes were assembled and tested. The original launch station that stood atop the site was built in the 1860s. It allowed the city to become a key spot for manufacturing and testing the self-propelled underwater missiles.

It was here that Robert Whitehead, working off Giovanni Luppis’ prototypes, created and launched the first successful torpedo. His fish-like machine revolutionized maritime military defenses.

For 100 years, the factory churned out more than 30 different models. The launch station that stands today was constructed in the 1930s and was only in use for just over 30 years. The factory closed in 1966, putting an end to the site’s weaponry glory days.

Now, the great launch station is basically falling apart; a shell of its former self.No longer a testing hub, its only visitors are the occasional urban explorer or fisherman. It looks like the type of feature you’d expect to stumble across in an apocalyptic wasteland. The rotting structure bears little hints of its great historical importance and looks like it could crumble into the sea. 

Know Before You Go

The site is hidden away in an industrial area and not easy to find.