Croatia's hidden village

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Croatia's hidden village

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Kruscica is where 70-year-old Mate Balenovic once called home.

But his village in Croatia’s central Lika region no longer exists.

It was swallowed up by a man-made lake 44 years ago when authorities gave the go-ahead to build a hydro electric power station closeby.

Every ten years, the lake is emptied out to reveal where Mate used to live before it is flooded again two weeks later.

When the power station went up, Kruscica’s 387 residents had to make their homes elsewhere.

Very little remains of the village these days, although some ruins still stand.

Mate points out where the local shopkeeper used to live and where he kept his shop.

The Kruscica plant now supplies electricity to the Lika region.

“I’m seventy years old now,” says Mate. “I’m still alive in ten years time perhaps I’ll come back again.”