Mamula (island)

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Mamula (colloquial name for Lastavica) is an uninhabited islet in the Adriatic Sea, within the southwestern Montenegrin municipality of Herceg Novi.

Mamula is located between Prevlaka and Luštica peninsulas at the entrance to the Boka Kotorska bay. This small islet is of circular shape, and has 200m in diameter. It is 3.4 nautical miles (6.3 km) away from Herceg Novi.


During the period of the Venetian Republic rule, the island was known as Rondina.

The island has a fort, built in 1853 by Austro-Hungarian general Lazar Mamula. The fort takes up about 90% of the island's surface area. Along with the fortification on Prevlaka's Cape Oštro as well as Arza fortification on Luštica's Cape Arza, both of which were erected at the same time also on suggestion by general Lazar Mamula, fort Mamula was part of the Austro-Hungarian Army's contingency plans of preventing the enemy entrance into Boka Kotorska.

Concentration camp in World War II[edit]

During World War II, from 30 May 1942 onwards, the fascist forces of Benito Mussolini's Kingdom of Italy converted the Mamula fort into a concentration camp. The concentration camp was known for torture and cruelty to prisoners. Most of the camp's prisoners came from the neighboring area.[1]

Luxury resort redevelopment[edit]

In early January 2016 the government of Montenegro, over the objections of those who were once imprisoned on the island, approved a plan to convert the site of this former concentration camp into a luxury beach resort by Switzerland-based Orascom Development Holding AG under a 49-year lease deal.[2] Former United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali had previously written the Montenegrin Parliament expressing surprise that the "only solution for preserving and using the fort is a mere business arrangement and privatisation agreement.”[3]

In popular culture[edit]

The 1959 Yugoslav movie Campo Mamula starring Ljuba Tadić, Pavle Vuisić, and Dragan Laković, produced by Avala Film and directed by Velimir Stojanović depicts and dramatizes the World War II events at the island that got converted into concentration camp during this period.

In autumn 2013, a Serbian film Mamula was announced.[4] Later retitled Killer Mermaid for overseas release, it was shot on location and incorporates the island's history, featuring an ex-German soldier living on the island killing people to feed to a mermaid.[5]

Coordinates: 42°23′43″N 18°33′30″E / 42.39528°N 18.55833°E / 42.39528; 18.55833


  1. ^ 1[permanent dead link];p.88
  2. ^ Kitching, Chris. World War II concentration camp where prisoners were tortured and starved is to be transformed into luxury beach resort with a nightclub and spa, despite protests from locals. The Daily Mail, January 15, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2016
  3. ^ Brennan, Christopher. Montenegro concentration camp island to be turned into luxury resort with nightclub. New York Daily News January 15, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Počinje snimanje domaćeg filma "Mamula";Blic, 6 September 2013
  5. ^ IMDb page for "Mamula", 31 August 2014