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The Renewal of Roofs from War Destructions
The Renewal of Roofs from War Destructions

The main threat of maintaining life in the City during the war destructions were damages on the roofs. Permanently exposed to direct shelling those soft structures of timber and tiles received enormous damages. Over 70% of the city roofs were damaged in the bombardments.

During the first estimates when it was impossible to come close to damaged roofs, only damages on the coverings were taken into consideration. Soon after it was evident that in over 50% cases the roof's construction was damaged. It required serious constructive works and more financial means from the estimated. At the very beginning of renewal, when the roofs were opened, the fact was confirmed. The roofs are the most important among the renewal priorities, not only to protect buildings from further deterioration but also to establish normal life as the attics in Dubrovnik are the places where its residents create intensive living.

Thanks to earlier experiences, the renovation started during the war destroying in spite of small finances. The existing institutions did not wait with protection and renovation activities that were possible in the conditions of war dangers. Now, after a certain time period it is possible to realize the great importance of those urgent improvised protections performed on the city roofs.

The renewal from war destructions is a very complex task as they caused incalculable damages and disordered the constructive state of the buildings. Soon after the worst ravages of war in 1991/92 the Institute for Protection of Monuments in Dubrovnik made the evidence of damages on 594 objects inside the city walls.

Traditional covering of Dubrovnik's roofs are the special tiles called 'kupe'. In the past they were made near the city in the village Kupari. These tiles with their shape, colour and structure should fulfil strict requirements and it was necessary to organize their production in one of the existing brickworks in Croatia, called "Zagorka" in Bedekovčina, today "Tondach" d.d.

Until some years ago the Institute for Restoration approved roof tiles to the owners of damaged roofs in the broader historically protected area without compensation if they wanted to do the repairs themselves. This way many damaged roofs have been repaired.

Through he Institute for Restoration in the period from 1997 till 2008 about 35.349 square metres of roof surface was repaired which makes 35% of the total surface of damaged roofs. A great number of roofs are repaired by their owners but there is still a significant number of damaged roofs. There are individual cases that need repairs and if it is estimated they do not have registered war damages but those that might endanger lives of passers-by, these cases are registered in the annual restoration programme if the owners agree to be registered by mortgaged right in the following twenty years.