Brijuni

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Brijuni National Park

One of the tasks of the “KAMEN-MOST” project is to create a digital catalogue which will document, map and evaluate the quarries of the Briuni National Park.

The Brijuni Islands were granted national park status in 1983. Today, the park is managed by the “Brijuni National Park” Public Institution, which is responsible for the protection and preservation of the flora and fauna of the archipelago, habitats, ecosystems, geological and geomorphological formations, water resources, soil and landscape, cultural and historical heritage and other attractions. The main activity of the Institute is the protection, conservation and promotion of the Brijuni National Park.
The Brijuni National Park consists of 14 islands and islets, which form a unique archipelago of exceptional natural, cultural, historic and scenic value. Human activity from the recent and distant past has left its mark on the landscape of the islands and is evidenced by the remains of the numerous quarries in this area. While the traces of stone extraction are visible on all the islands of the Park, it was the quarries on the islands of Veliki Brijun and Mali Brijun and on Jerolim that were the most significant. Throughout history, the landscape of the Brijuni Islands has undergone constant change. The archipelago and especially Veliki Brijun as its largest island took on its present appearance in the late 19th and the early 20th century when ownership of the Brijuni was transferred to Austrian industrialist Paul Kupelwieser. He horticulturally reshaped the neglected landscape and transformed the quarries of the Veliki Brijun island into pleasant walkways.

To further accentuate the significance of stone to the Brijuni Islands, the project also aims to create an educational trail on the island of Mali Brijun that will lead from the main port to the quarry on Cape Glavina. The trail will be furnished with interpretive panels that will provide information on the history of the quarry, the method of stone extraction and export, as well as some background information on the geology of this area. With its preserved elements of the quarrying work process, such as the remains of supporting buildings, tunnels, rail spurs and carts for transporting stone, the quarry on Cape Glavina is a true open-air museum. The educational interpretive trail will also run through the tunnel connected to the quarry, leading to the north coast of the island of Mali Brijun, where the positions for four cannons from the Austro-Hungarian era are located.

Inextricably linked to the quarries is the construction of fortifications. There are several Austro-Hungarian military-defense buildings still preserved on the islands. Among them, Fort Brioni Minor dominating the island of Mali Brijun, represents the largest fort in the maritime defense system of the Pula region. This impressive building is partly carved into solid rock. The workshop “Fortifications and Stone Construction”, which is to be held in the Brijuni National Park, will be dedicated to this topic and will contribute to a better understanding of this aspect of the cultural heritage of the islands.

Dry stone walling of the Brijuni Islands has not yet been subject to systematic research, but what is visible through the shrubbery indicates that in this area the dry stone walling was indeed very diverse and atypical. Dry stone walls of the archipelago span different time periods – from dry stone constructions of prehistoric fortified settlements, fences and houses of former residents of Brijuni, to the military defensive walls of the modern age. The landscape of the Brijuni Islands has also been sculpted by embankments constructed of rock debris and by dry stone rock mounds created in the process of working the old quarries.

The project also aims to produce an exhaustive study on the construction of dry stone walls of the archipelago, the main goal of which is to identify, document, explore and evaluate this hidden and to date unexplored heritage of the islands.