Ice Station Zebra - Italy, July 2018

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Jul 25, 2017
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46557301505_6d2bbb797f_b.jpgIce Station Zebra #01 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Our Italy road trip was nearly over when we found ourselves somewhere in the mountains one evening. The roads up to this cluster of defunct radar dishes aren't really suited for driving anymore because there are massive potholes everywhere. However, somehow we made it to the top and got instantly rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunsets we have ever experienced.

33596020588_527dd6669a_b.jpgStarchaser by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

After an exhausting day of urbex we decided to camp up here. Some obtrusive ringing bells have awakened us the next morning. But due to the extremely heavy fog we weren't able to say where it was coming from. Hell, we couldn’t even see those larges dishes right in front of us! But we guessed those bells had to do something with this massive pile of shit that was placed right next to our tents the night before. As it turned out horses are grazing on the remote compound by day! And some of them have those annoying bells hanging round their neck.

33596018958_2c209c165e_b.jpgHorses by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Four radar dishes in total are located on this 25.000 square meters big plot of land. They were part of an enormous early warning system of the NATO. In ten different EU countries those Troposcatter bases can be found. They all were constructed in the 1960s - so, at the climax of the Cold War. In case of an invasion by Soviet Russia, allies of the NATO could have been warned almost immediately.

47419746292_1a3da09201_b.jpgFrom Space by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Over 4.000 kilometer, from Norway to Turkey, were covered by the communications network. In the 1990s this site was shut down. On the one hand because the Cold War was over and on the other hand because satellite communications were displacing microwave radio. Until this point, 25 people in total were permanently stationed here.

33596020038_92173fa603_b.jpgIce Station Zebra #06 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

In 2005, the military granted civilians access to the property. An amateur radio club started to partly refurbish the outdated facility and installed new telecommunications equipment up here. This also explains the relatively good condition of the structures. Two of the four paraboloids with 20 meters in diameter are said to be working again.

46557298005_965777c0b3_b.jpgAscent by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

We think that this is a great opportunity to continue the legacy of this history-charged place. And what makes it even better in our opinion: Despite the property still belongs to the military, it is only used for civil purposes. It’s a museum, a real relic from the climax of the Cold War and from time to time even pasture area . And all of that with a picturesque backdrop. We couldn’t stop raving about this place. But we had to. It was time to strike camp and continue our journey through abandoned Italy.

33596020158_c2959599c4_b.jpgNext Morning by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

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Jun 7, 2014
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That is a superb way to spend a night brilliant vid & pics


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Apr 3, 2008
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'Oh. So where have you been today BWT?'
Nowhere really. Just to see the most awesome radar station on top of a mountain surrounded by running horses (with bells lol) and then saw a fantastic sunset and stars..

What an awesome location!!
The photos are stunning. Industrial structures that spell danger and yet surrounded by scenery and horses. The photos are superb.
Now normally I'd be begging to see the machinery that might still be in the huts but no - your photos for the location are spot on. Sometimes with explores the weather and conditions are just right. I have two distinct explore memories with perfect weather and conditions - they make explores that extra bit special.

I really like this post. Thanks for sharing.

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