The Historic Background of The Naval Heritage Collection
Located in a building that once was the mill workshop within one of the largest navy bases in the Adriatic, the collection features over 100 pieces of naval and industrial history, just a small selection of the 5000+ artifacts in storage on our site today, many of which relate directly to the former arsenal and the people of Tivat.
The arsenal was born as an Austro-Hungarian naval base built between 1889 and 1918 at the behest of Admiral Maximilian von Sterneck. Attracted to the unusually deep and protected waters, von Sterneck was looking for a strategic base in the southern Adriatic; he was also acutely aware of the valuable human resource offered by the local population of Tivat. Indeed, the town would go on to become the lifeblood of the arsenal, feeding it with generation after generation of skilled, loyal workers.
Two world wars only spurred on the development of Europe’s warship and submarine industry, ensuring continued growth for the arsenal despite the setback of further foreign occupation between 1941 – 1944.
The post-war era was a period of rapid change. The arsenal’s operations expanded in line with the increasing influence of President Tito on the world stage; at its peak over 1000 people were employed here in total.
Only in the 1990’s did fortunes take a turn for the worse with the break-up of Yugoslavia and the ensuing regional conflict having an inevitable impact on local industry. The arsenal eventually met with financial ruin and lay in disrepair for several years until Canadian businessman Peter Munk and a group of international investors began a redevelopment plan to turn it into a premium yacht marina.