Na otok vozi relativno mala brodica na koju stane oko stotinjak ljudi. Ako nisi "morski vuk" onda ti preporucam da budeš meðu prvima u redu za ulazak na brod kako bi mogao osigurati sjedece mjesto.
Ako si photo-freak, zauzmi poziciju na provi ili još bolje na krmi i prepusti svojoj kameri da puca do mile volje. Na moru uvijek ima bezbroj atraktivnih objekata za snimanje.
Ovo što vidiš je snimak odlaska s Brijuna.
Prvo što zaokuplja pozornost nakon uplovljavanja broda u luku je ova neobicna zgrada na vodi. Nema nikakvih podataka o namjeni te zgrade, ali sudeci prema konstrukciji koja je napravljena tako da camci mogu uplovllavati u prizemlje, to mora da je bila nekakva stražarnica.
Da bi posjetio NP Brijune, moraš stici u Fažanu, malo ribarsko mjesto koje se nalazi na oko 5 km od Pule i oko 15 km od Rovinja.
Tocno nasuprot ovog mola, s kojeg vozi brod na Brijune, nalazi se ured Nacionalnog Parka u kojem se moraš predbilježiti i kupiti kartu. Cijena karte je 70 kuna, što i nije pretjerano s obzirom na doživljaj koji se nudi.
Osim programa koji nudi Nacionalni Park, postoji mogucnost round-toura s nekoliko taxi-brodica ali samo za obilazak Brijunskog arhipelaga.
As it stands by the cluster of newer buildings a step away from the port, it's hard to miss it - the church of Saint German from 1481. Year of construction is engraved at its frontal facade and it is building modest in scale and ornament.
For centuries painted with Gothic frescoes before they were destroyed in fire in 1894 together with its wooden furnishing and there's nothing left of the paint to make reconstruction, nor was documented in other form to reveal a view of the art.
Yet, the stone remained and today you see it elegantly renewed in sensible way: its spacious single nave displays full scale replicas of frescoes of significant Istrian churches (remarkable Danse Macabre of Beram and other) and Croatian 'glagoljica', the ancient writing system of Croats now seeing revival.
One original ancient feature comes in form of a Roman mosaic once adorning villas in Verige gulf - being brought from its original location to the church in begining of 20ieth century during mayor reconstruction works after big fire and therefore being saved from further atmospheric influences of open skies.
And then you arrive to ruins of Byzantine castrum – an ancient fortified settlement rising above the sea of a quiet Madona gulf, whose impressive remains paint the view of once orderly organized society. The nature of that time controlled the way settlements were built: using local material, houses tiny with thick walls within narrow distances from each other, within orthogonal system of ‘streets’ and squares, its borders compact. The inhabitants of this castrum were farmers and fishermen, at some stages they also produced salt and were skilled craftmen whose used great quality of local stone from the sea shore. As the most significant building, there was ‘villa rustica’ built between 129 and 79 BC which had several rooms and central heating – and in rooms separated from the owner, slave and animals lived. Yet another villa was found at the southern part of the village.
Archeological findings suggested great importance of wine production for the settlements and the largest cell was to keep the wine while smaller ones kept grains, oil, honey and fish. Enclosure with 5 gates was built in 6th century after Byzantine-Goth war to prevent from invaders whom may return; nevertheless the Frankish Charles the Great conquested entire Istria in 788 AD and them introduced systemathic changes to the society and the urban structure of previous settlement. Altogether, the ‘castrum’ was inhabited until 14th century, also by Slavonic tribes.
Take a little side step from the main course (near the green house and church of st. German) and here you'll discover pleasant path leading through a small shaded quarry, now being overgrown with ivy - it's called dr. Koch's path, upon a Nobel prize for Medicine winning scientist dr. Robert Koch whom during his visit to islands at the turn of the century conducted thorough studies of local mosquitos and eventually made this area malaria-free.
As a gesture of gratitude, the owner of the island at that time whom has invited him for research, industrialist Austrian Paul Kupelwieser, had ordered a stone relief of Koch's head, a work executed by Viennese sculpturor Jozef Englehart in 1905 in fine Secessionist style.
Indeed, yet another important man who has left his significant traces both in the world's history and history of Brioni.
Great deal of attentnion goes to the permanent photo exhibition with Tito and his guests in one of the buildings next to the port: it is historic fact that many men and women of world's politics, crowned heads, people of art and entertainment in 20ieth century came to Brijuni to meet with him, hold sessions and make decisions more or less revealed to a commoner.
Himself had spent great deal of his life time on the islands since 1947 when he set foot on Brijuni for first time and almost until death - apart of offical meeting and work, he had a residency here and was growing wines and fruit in one of the smaller island Vanga in a quiet spot with fertile land. He continually returned to Brijuni for relaxing, hunting, fishing, farming and spending time with his friends and guests as well as with some locals... well, immagine the rest. To keep it short: many photos embody his hedonistic approach to life - while other show him standing by side with some of todays still living dictators, with unforgettable Unlisted and/or UN leaders, presidents and glamourous film stars.
All in all... a complex exhibition of one man's (sunny side of) life.
One of the humoruous photos of him holding captured muflon holds title: 'Tito was a passionate hunter and his love for hunting and animals made made him really care for the wildlife (see first photo)'. Well if there isn't some degree of irony in 'being animal lover' and love hunting rare species, then taking picture with you and caught muflon or small leopard on a string like a pet!
In the North East of Veli Brijun there's another interesting site to consider (and to most it's a 'must'): the safari kind of park with exotic and local animals, most eye catching being a group of zebra. It takes some 9 hectare of land and was established in 1978.
The area is accessible via large wooden gates after some time cycling, behind there're spacious meadows grazed with numbers of fauna and sea gulls resting amongst them in peaceful coexistence. Few other species were Istrian ox - their local name is 'boškarin', oystrich, lamma, Indian cows (gift of Nehru), goats, horses, antilope... a handsome company! Laters if you take a coffee break by its lower end, you may also see donated (to Tito by Indira Gandhi in 1970 when elephants were two years old) elephant Lanka - hers partner Sony died recently. Quite old she is now and her conditions were improved but still I wish I'd see her in a nicer place, because fenced enclosure is little small for an elephant.
Safari had also 8 giraffes - unfortunatelly they all died by salmonella in 1981.
And if you continue a bit further from zebra pasture towards the coast you'll come to phenomenal foot print of a dinosaur. A proof that the place has been visited many millions years ago, at that time not as an island but still as part of continent.
Almost entire Veli Brijun feels like a giant landscape park: here are its spacious lawns, ancient ruins and architecture embedded in its tissue; solitary trees, native forest, pond and few tree lines. Views revealed and hidden when walking many of paths. Parts of it were carefully designed to feel 'natural' in sophisticated way while other ment to embrace immagination with its bold appearance. I thought pine alley from early 20ieth century days is one of the most impressive landscape elements here - as you come your way under thier huge canopies, a size of man is insignificant. Here's the proof - you can hardly see a cyclist on the photo. It reminded me to a cathedral - both in its scale and aesthetic with branches completed into fine lace covering its vault. And it scents good!
Cycle about 5 minutes (or walk - it's not far) from the port to eastern side of an island towards ancient olive tree direction. You'll notice the tree line from a great distance, directions are well marked, nevertheless. If you joined the guided tour, it's part of the sightseeing program though I didn't see the tour tractor (so called 'train') actually stopped. Pity. If you want to take a nice photo and feel its dimension, you certainly need to get off the bike - or 'train'.
An oldest tree on the island manifests itself in form of a living sculpture: that is olive tree whose age is estimated about 1690 years. More or less! Therefore... it makes it worth a visit briefly though it is modest plant a little by the side of a large meadow whose edges are marked by monumental pine alley mentioned before.
It still bears the fruit which is pressed to oil at time of picking. Altogether on Brijuni there are some 550 olive trees older than hundred years and yet this one ripe the greatest attention. Certainly - it is one of most interesting living 'things' here whom rightfully becomes object of inspiration and wondering. They were good at protecting it and letting it grow as she wants.
You can easily miss that siginficant ruin of a St. Mary church if you rush; it's little hidden behind bushes and trees of a forest upon Madona bay on the western side of Big Brijun. Given its present shape - one reads the story of a man’s worship and its battle with time: being built on a short distance from Byzantine castrum it served religious purposes of dwellers - here they conducted prayers and buried dead in its cemetery. The church was built in 5th century as a three nave basilica with sanctuary facing east ; the measures of building reflected the element of ‘harmony’ and the inner space was divided with two rows of columns.
The columns and walls survived till today in quite original state as both were built with local stone while floor and immediate surroundings of the church are now consist of gentle grass and the roof is down: and while the observer easily view (and imagine) the churches shape and ratio, closer look will reveal details still adorning the edges and columns; decorations at that time included circles, Greek cross, medallions, ivy, vines and vegetables… some more, some less eroded. A detailed study was published recently in a paper (of Begovic Dvorzak and others) addressed The Church of St. Mary nearby castellum in Madona bay, Brijuni Late Roman and Byzantine period. So now you are pointed to direction to read all measures and discoveries related to it if you’re interesting.
But to most... I guess a brief visit to a site will do to enjoy the moments with the ruin. After all, you don't need to be professional art historian or archeologist to find its significance and sublime aura.
He had chosen as his home the Brioni Isles, one of the most picturesque spots in the northern Adriatic.
Tito, however, found in time that Brioni was getting more crowded by the day, whether because his presence there had made it Yugoslavia's unofficial capital or because it was located near the busy port of Pula. Therefore, he silently moved to Vanga, which virtually touches it. Tito transformed Vanga into a garden paradise and built himself a small house there. Its most attractive feature was the cellar, which housed a wine press. Tito personally supervised the making of the wine, which he aged for years in ancient casks. He labeled the bottles with his own hand, using special symbols to indicate the years in which the grapes had produced the finest flavour and body.
Also, Brioni were the favourite summer resort of all the Austro-Hungarian emperors, the playground of beauty, power and splendour.
The most stratified archaeological site of Brijuni is the fortification ....castrum- located on the western coast of the island...
This is where my picture (front) was taken! We had very little time to walk around this area which is too bad ...since there was a few great spots to take pictures.