Underground City XXI Labin

Is a project for the protection and cultural regeneration of the former coal mines in Labin and Raša (region of Istria, Republic of Croatia). In recent years parts of this unique industrial and architectural heritage, have already been recognised as a national cultural monuments and been redeveloped . In 2021 restoration of the iconic winding tower (known as the "Schacht" or "Šoht" in Croatian) was completed, and in 2022-3 a new lift will be installed in it. When complete, this will take visitors down into a tunnel through which they will be able to walk or cycle to the nearby coastal resort of Rabac. Like the other tunnels in the network, this lies 160 meters below the surface.

This will form the first part of the planned construction of a futuristic underground city, with streets, bars, galleries, swimming pool, shops, restaurants, children's play-grounds, a museum of coal mining, as well as all other elements any modern city needs, including its own government, statutes, mayor, police, laws and regulations, etc. The project relies on the historical precedent of the "Republic of Labin", created by rebellious miners in spring 1921.

The leading idea of the project is to provide a full and true testimony to the almost 400 year old tradition of mining, transforming historical patterns and industrial heritage into an avant-garde art project with a strong economic and social impact (by becoming a national/regional cultural and tourist attraction and generator of future local development. The first underground city in the world will be constructed as a living work of art in the underground galleries and tunnels which connect Labin with Raša, Plomin and Rabac, showing how spatial exploitation can be treated as environmental preservation. In total there are 10 km of tunnels, approximately 40 000 square meters of space available.

The city will be built in collaboration with and for the benefit of the local community and an innovative 3D version of the Labin-Rabac tunnel will allow them to explore it and make their own suggestions for it.


© L.A.E. XXI, 2014
Project UNDERGROUND CITY / PODZEMNI GRAD, with extensions: LABIN - ISTRIA - XXI, is the registered intellectual property of Labin Art Express XXI.