Skip to content

»The Sunken Secrets« – a narrative by Andrej Voje

On Friday, 7 February 2023, on the eve of the Day of Slovenian culture, a narrative was held by Andrej Voje, a brilliant underwater photographer and cameraman, in the Portorož Monfort Infocenter at the invitation of the Maritime Museum Piran. 
In the hall packed with attendees, Andrej Voje presented during his 100 minutes long and highly interesting narrative several Croatian archaeological sites, at which he participated as a cameraman. 


He acquainted the audience with the research carried out into the Byzantine shipwreck at the Tatinica - Maharac location on the seabed of Mljet Island, led by Igor Miholjek from the Department of Underwater Archaeology, Croatian Restoration Institute. The ship had transported a few types of Byzantine amphorae, as well as rich merchandise and trade equipment; parts of the ship's structure were also found.


Andrej Voje was one of the first to be given a chance to document about 600 surviving amphorae in situ in the Bay of Šimuni near Pag Island. He made some truly exceptional film clips.  


At a depth of 40 metres near St. Pavao in the vicinity of Mljet Island, fully preserved remains of an early-modern shipwreck were discovered as early as 2006, including eight bronze cannons and scattered fragments of ceramic vessels, glass and metal artefacts. The vessel was identified as a 16th century merchant ship transporting highly luxurious merchandise on a route between the Eastern Mediterranean trading ports and Venice. Several attendees had heard of this rich underwater site due to a good advertising campaign and the much talked about exhibition about this discovery, but Andrej Voje spoke so vividly about the techniques of archaeological documentation and presentation of the finds and site, as well as about his personal experiences that his narrative inspired everybody in the hall with enthusiasm.


Older shipwrecks apart, Andrej Voje presented more recent wrecks, specifically the wreck of the cargo steamer Teti near the islet of Mali Barjak west of Komiža, which is one of the most popular diving destinations and attractions. This is a 72 metres long ship built in 1883 in America; in 1930, when it hit an underwater rock due to a navigational error, it sailed under the Italian flag. At a depth of 34 meters, a view of the round stern and almost the entire ship opens up, along with the rudder covered with sponges as well as the ever present dark red grouper and congers.


In this context, Andrej Voje also presented the wreckage of the Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" (Sturzkampfflugzeug), a German World War II “stormtrooper plane”, sunken near the island of Žirje. This aircraft was part of the Italian air force; the Italians bought from the Germans. In April 1941, it was destroyed by the anti-aircraft defence of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Of the almost 6,000 built aircraft of this type, only few have survived, two of which are on display in London and Chicago. That is the reason why the discovery of this type of plane, which is almost completely intact (although without engine), lying at a depth of 28 metres in the Croatian sea, is truly remarkable.

Apart from his Andrej’s descriptions and indelible film clips, the attendees were also attracted by his witty way of storytelling, who furthermore shared his personal side with the audience and vividly described his powerful desire, enthusiasm and ingenuity to become part of the Croatian archaeological research team, which he certainly succeeded in doing. He also described his views as an experienced cameraman, personal thoughts regarding archaeological sites and peripeteias related to them, which could no doubt be well perceived and admired by people attending his narrative.

Sign up for e-News

Notification of news, etc.
More about the processing of personal data and your rights can be found here.