The harmony of natural and anthropogenic influences
Brijuni can be reached by boat from Fažana. After landing on the island of Veliki Brijun, the sightseeing begins, it is a combination of walking and riding a tourist train. The amount and variety of content is really rich and it is hard to imagine a science that could not find its testing ground in this park. Biologists, geographers, historians, archaeologists, geologists, they all come to Brijuni… The harmony of natural and anthropogenic influences is what makes Brijuni specific. By clearing part of the forest areas and turning them into parks with large open lawns, a landscape has been created that is unique on our Adriatic coast. Holm oak forests are also important, as well as some species of endangered Mediterranean plants that thrive on the Brijuni Islands. The most famous plant of the park is an old olive tree whose age, by the method of carbon analysis, was estimated at an incredible 1600 years, so its growth began during the Roman Empire. The mentioned harmony of nature and human influences is also visible in the fauna of the park.
Namely, indigenous species on the island and allochthonous, brought species both live along each other. Both plants and animals, which can be found in the safari park. African, South American and Asian herbivores such as zebras, llamas and zebues live in excellent conditions. One of the most interesting inhabitants of the island is the Istrian cattle, boškarin.
Malaria on the Brijuni Islands
Archaeological remains such as the hillfort and the Bronze Age remains fit perfectly into the natural environment, but the most significant remains are buildings from the time of ancient Rome. Two buildings stand out, a Roman villa in the bay of Verige and a castrum, the largest ancient complex on the Brijuni Islands. For today’s appearance of the archipelago, the most important person is Paul Kupelwieser, an Austrian industrialist who bought the Brijuni Islands in 1893. Then islands were full of wetlands.
As malaria was a big problem on the island, Robert Koch, a Nobel laureate, the discoverer of the causes of many diseases, was called in to help. Upon arrival on Brijuni, he determines that the causative agent is a species of mosquito that lie larvae in the wetland area. The problem of malaria has been solved by draining the swamps.
After Brijuni we return to Fažana and take a short drive to Pula, a city that belongs to those with the best quality of life in our country. Like any city of that size on our coast, Pula is full of curiosities and content, but we single out two things. The first is, of course, buildings from the time of the Roman Empire, with an roman amphitheatre as a trademark of the city, and the second is the Pula Aquarium. Construction of the amphitheatre began in 27 BC and took about 40 years. Although it arouses admiration with its dimensions, by insight into its original purpose, it become frightening. A great historical monument, a theme from postcards and panoramic shots, the pride of our coast and heritage was just a torture site for people and animals.
The Pula Aquarium is located in the unique ambience of the Verudela Fortress on the peninsula of the same name. Hundreds of marine organisms from the Adriatic and the world seas are located in about 60 aquariums. If you visit Brijuni and Pula in the warm part of the year, suitable for swimming, be sure to visit Cape Kamenjak. The cape has the shape of a fishbone on which bays and capes alternate, and each bay is adorned with a beach, it is the most beautiful bathing location in the Pula area.