On this day, the 8th of June 1936, one of the strangest and most tragic air accidents occurred in Dubrovnik. It was a sunny and clear morning, as most June days are in Dubrovnik, and at exactly 9:20am the residents of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik were awoken to the sounds of plane crashing into the heart of the city.
According to reports the military plane from the Air Force of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was flying low over the city when its right wing caught the highest point on the Old City Walls, the Minceta Fortress. The wings broke completely off the plane sending it crashing into the city, directly onto one of the most populated areas. The sight of the crash is today a popular spot for cafés and restaurants, the intersection of Prijeko and Žudioska streets.
Smoke billowed into the morning air, the crash had started a huge fire in the residential area, black smoke and flames erupted, fire sirens echoed off the stone façades. Both the pilot and the navigator were killed, and seven residents of the city also passed away due to the ensuing fire.
So why was a military plane flying so low over the ancient Old City? The answer could well be love! According to legend, the cause of the accident was the pilot's desire to impress a young teacher who was staying in Hotel Gradac. Supposedly this young lady, who was a teacher, had met the handsome pilot at a dance a few days before in Dubrovnik.
It could well be that the pilot was flying low over the Old City to impress his love. It was even reported that he would sometimes fly low over the city and drop messages and even bouquets down to her. This flight, however, ended tragically.