Pula Off The Beaten Path

  • On our way to Brijuni by boat.
    On our way to Brijuni by boat.
    by Jerelis
  • The official ticket office in Fazana.
    The official ticket office in Fazana.
    by Jerelis
  • Leaving the harbour of Fazana.
    Leaving the harbour of Fazana.
    by Jerelis

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Pula

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Brijuni Islands – Guided tour by foot.

    by Jerelis Written Oct 31, 2014

    After the train tour we had about 30 minutes for a nice lunch. After the lunch we continued the guided tour by foot. Our first stop was the Tito Museum, where I thought the displays were fascinating. They had various personal items belonging to Tito and the whole place brimmed with photos of him meeting world leaders and movie stars. The world leaders brought exotic gifts – mainly animals from every continent. The animals were kept in the safari park and when they died, Tito had them stuffed and hung on the walls. They’re still there.

    After the Tito Museum we walked our way to the amazing little Church of St. Germain. It houses a permanent exhibition of copies of frescoes and Glagolitic writings from Istra. There is also a beautiful preserved mosaic floor. Finally the tour by foot lead us to the Mediterranean Garden of Brijuni. Right there we learned about autochthonous and allochthonous species cultivated in the garden and were informed about the valuable Brijuni vegetation, its distinctive features and its importance. So, our conclusion is that the excursion to the Brijuni Islands is definitely worth the visit.

    The amazing little Church of St. Germain. Picture of the Dutch queen at the Tito Museum. Entrance of the Tito Museum. The Mediterranean Garden of Brijuni. The very very old olive tree.
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    Brijuni Islands – Guided tour by train.

    by Jerelis Written Oct 31, 2014

    The boat trip from Fazana to the Veli Brijuni island is about 3,5 kilometers long and takes approximately 30 minutes. Once at the island we took the Brijuni National Park Tour and this begins at the harbour in front of the Hotel Neptun. It is quite simple, you will be able to choose a guide in English, Italian, German or Croatian. And the language you select will take you to a particular tourist train which will drive you all over the island. Time to explore it!

    We had a beautiful day and the sights were visible and clear. We learned that the order may vary, but by train we saw a nice safari park which has the following animals: zebra, Somali sheep, zebu (the holy east Indian humped ox), dromedary, Lamas and an elephant. Right in the middle of the safari we had a short stop. After the stop we continued to the remains of the Roman villa rustica from the 1st century BC in the bay of Verige. We passed the personal villa of Tito, the Roman quarries, a 1600 years old olive tree, beautiful golf course and a part of the swamp. The train tour took about one hour and we finally ended up back at the start in front of Hotel Neptun.

    Standing in front of the train at Brijuni. Enjoying the ride ... We spotted some deers, great! Having a look at a zebra at the safari park. Some beautiful Roman remnants.
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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Brijuni Islands – Watch out how to go!

    by Jerelis Written Oct 31, 2014

    First of all let me start with a warning. Do watch out where you buy your tickets to the Brijuni National Park! We stayed in Fazana for two weeks and visited the charming fishing village numerous times. We already had our mind set on going to the Brijuni Islands and every time we passed the marina of Fazana at least three sales men on the streets asked us if we wanted tickets to the islands. By the time we wanted tickets we decided to go to the official Brijuni National Park office. The sales men at the marina saw us going into the office building and reacted a bit aggressive! But afterwards we were very glad we bought ticket via the official office. The tickets are a little bit more expensive, but they will take you to the largest and most interesting island called Veli Brijun. The other sales men offer cheaper tickets, but only a tour around the island by boat. Quite a major difference.

    The tour via the official office includes the boat journey to the island, a sightseeing tour by train to see for example the Roman villa from the 1st century, the safari park with beautiful exotic animals and Roman quarries. Besides that an English speaking guide took us to the Church of St. Germain, a 1600 year old olive tree and the Tito Museum.

    On our way to Brijuni by boat. The official ticket office in Fazana. Leaving the harbour of Fazana. Approaching Brijuni by boat. The boat that took us to Brijuni.
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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Vodnjan

    by croisbeauty Updated Aug 26, 2012

    Small town of Vodnjan is situated only 10 kilometres north of Pula and worth of visiting. It has very interesting medieval structure which was restaurated in passed few years. The city centre is dominated by the structure which has very strong Venetian architectural influence. The local cathedral is in particularly interesting for its mumia.

    The City Hall the cathedral
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    Vizace - Nesactium

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 7, 2011

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    About ten km to the east of Pula, near the airport, is Vizace, one of the most significant archeological localities in Istria. A very important prehistorical settlement which in the Illyrian period became the main political and religious center of the Illyrian tribe Histri. Vizace was called Nesactium in that time.
    Within the fort-hill settlement a large Histrian necropolis of cremated burial remains have been discovered. The necropolis has been dated to the time from the 11th to the 4th century BC.
    Roman troops overran Nesactium after the decisive victory over the Histrians under the walls of the settlement in 177 BC. A Roman settlement (municipium)began developing on this site and numerous conserved remnants of this architecture are visible today. A capitol with three temples built in the 2nd century merits special attention.
    Nesactium was destroyed during the Slav-Avarian forays into Istria between 599-611 and was never restored.

    Nesactium
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  • tobhamor's Profile Photo

    The sculpture safari park

    by tobhamor Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Just out of Labin town, 35 mins walk from the bus station, you arrive at Dubrova, and the very strange sculpture park. This park on the edge of town seems mostly known to cyclists, joggers and people walking their dogs. It's overgrown and the sculptures are so far apart you get the impression you're supposed to drive through. Entrance is free. It's a strange but interesting place. If you're following the road out of Labin watch for the sign saying "Mediterannean sculpture symposium" and you're there.

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    The sculpture safari park

    by tobhamor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Just out of Labin town, 35 mins walk from the bus station, you arrive at Dubrova, and the very strange sculpture park. This park on the edge of town seems mostly known to cyclists, joggers and people walking their dogs. It's overgrown and the sculptures are so far apart you get the impression you're supposed to drive through. Entrance is free. It's a strange but interesting place. If you're following the road out of Labin watch for the sign saying "Mediterannean sculpture symposium" and you're there.

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  • Anita_Porec's Profile Photo

    BRIONI (aka Brijuni)

    by Anita_Porec Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Brioni National Park

    You must visit Brioni while in Istra, if you get a chance. please, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BATHING SUIT BEHIND as some of us stupids did!! The beaces are magnificent and you will not see such splendid clear water anywhere else. You just have to take a swim while here:)

    Now, this is where Josip Broz Tito used to reside and his museum is stacked with cool things and pictures sunsh as tons of pictures of cool peole that visited him in Brioni (incl. Sophia Loren, Castro, Josephine Baker...etc)

    Fore more info on Brioni you can check out my travelogue:)

    Us waving to Tito
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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Beram and Its Beautifu Frescoes

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 27, 2010

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    This hilltop village has only 250 people. Formation of a settlement dates back to early BC based on archaeological findings in the 1800's. The village once was surrounded by a defensive wall. A number of the houses are from 15-17th centuries. The center is anchored by the the church of St. Martin that was built in 1431. It has had a modernization, but the interior infrastructure remains, along with some frescoes from inception. The church is usually closed.
    The more important is the church of St. Mary (Sveta Marija na Skirlinah) from the Middle Ages. This was the church by the cemetery and in 1474 Vincent of Kastav painted frescoes of the life of Jesus and Mary, as well as the adornment of the of saints and poses of death nell for rulers and gentry in the middle of the Dance of Death painting. In the 18th century, the walls was mortared over, so preserved a lot of the frescoes, which were re-discovered in 1913. This is by far close to equal of Giotto frescoes in Padova chapel in Italy.
    You need to find the woman that opens the door to St. Mary by going to #38 house in the square, and she takes you down to the church; about 1/2 mile down the hill. Tip her for that is all she earns for this.
    Take autohighway A8 to Pazin and go through it for 6 more miles on way toward Motovun.

    Dance of Death frescoe Ceiling art of an arch angel St. Mary church entrance St. Martin church in the village Street of the Beram village
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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Motovun

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 11, 2010

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    This Medieval town is 886 feet high on the hilltop, and has houses stringing along the road up to the old main gate entry, which is from the 14th century. The newer gate dates to the 16th century, and the defense walls are from 12-13th centuries. The St. Stephen church is the main feature up at the top, and is said to be designed by Palladio in Renaissance style, and the church built early 1600's, but the belfry is form 13th century and is part of the first church on the site. It has paintings from 17th century and marble statues of old of St. Stephen and St. Laurence.
    Inside the old gate is/was a communal palace and Romanesque house that was built in 12th century, and updated in 16th and 17th centuries. Of great interest is the cemetery at the entrance that is back to early AD period. Today, there are grave laid just recently, though, and multiple family members in a plot.
    The town is pretty touristy and buses come her besides. That makes it one of those you wander to the top, maybe window shops, and leave. Parking is at the foot of the hill for $3 charge; a rip for 2 hour visit. You can take a set of steps of maybe 300 or so as an alternative.
    From Pula, take Auto highway 8, and go through Pazin for about 18 miles north

    Landscape view of the village St. Joseph church of 14th century St. Stephen church & belfry Outer gate Old cemetery plots
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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Pazan

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 11, 2010

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    This town had control of much territory in the region back in Medieval ages to about 1600. Feudal lords reigned the territory and used the other towns to support the Pazin economic needs. It sits about 400 feet on a hill and at the top is the old castle/fortress, called Castle of Pazin. It is first known to exist from writings in 983. Through about 1400 the castle was under control of local rulers, but then Austrians took over, and in 1506 Venetians took over, but destroyed much of the castle in fighting.
    On one side is the most magnificent hole/abyss Jama, a unique natural monument, that has an endless bottom not seen from top level. The Karst Cliffs are sheer and steep rough limestone rock and drop down of 100 meters to the base of the Pazincia river. That river runs into a cave that forms three lakes underground and under the castle hill. The exploration of the cave and lakes is ongoing today and so far they ventured about 600 feet. The abyss never runs dry, even is the worst drought weather.
    Besides the castle, which has a very fabulous and expansive ethnographic museum inside that got its start in 1955. The town also has church of St. Nicholas dating to 1266, but rebuitt in 15th and 18th centuries. The bell tower is from 1705.
    Take Auto highway A8 for about 30 miles north to Pazin

    Rounded defense of the castle/fortress Clock tower in the military quarters floor Weapons in Ethnograph museum Sheer Cliffs of the Pazincina river & abyss Bell tower of St. Nicholas church
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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Fazana-A fishing village-now tourism fishing

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 10, 2010

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    This is a coastal town and a drop off point to get to Brijuni Island, not far off the coast. The settlement dates back to Medieval times. Many ruling factions have controlled this town because of its strategic location for trading and defenses. They include Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Austrians for the major names. Fishermen still go out of this harbor daily for their small catches, but fresh daily. In the 19th century Brijuni Island came into being for its spa and seaside relaxing, so Fazana became the staging point, and tourism started then. A lot of structures are from the 18--19th centuries.
    Church St. Cosmo is the major church in the town, and the boardwalk stroll is nice to do.

    View of the harbor Main riva boulevard Old town alcove for sanctuary St. Cosmos & Damian patron saints of town
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    Vodnjan

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 10, 2010

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    The town is only 8 miles from Pula, and a nice place to see the churches and the streets with shops and everyday living. It became a military outpost for the Romans in early AD, then control was transferred territorial intruders until Venetian empire got possession in 1331. That lasted until 1797, when Austria then took over the rule.
    The town has many preserved old buildings from the 17th-19th centuries. Church St. Blaize is the iconic wonder of the town, and it has the the remains of St. Blaize there for viewing. There is a small museum besides with some treasury items and religious artifacts. Palazzo Bettica is the main square with many Gothic style buildings.

    St. Blaz church front Main nave of the church Town Hall building Palzzo Bettica Ornate building in main square
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    Barban-Little Village with Churches

    by BruceDunning Written Jun 10, 2010

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    This is a settlement from Medieval times. It has been under control of Pazin rulers, and Venetian, then Austrian for a few. The town gate is still intact from 1718. SAn Giocomo is from the 15th century but no access today. SAme goes for SAn Antonio at the end of town with its faded frescoes from 15th century. Today it is a working village for the locals from around the community to come to town to shop. There are three churches here to see--but all were closed, and maybe only one may be open for viewing at times. The others are getting close to state of disrepair. The reason we stopped here was to go into the churches. The village is still worth a quick one hour visit. Take Hwy 21 south from Rijeka for about 25 miles.

    SAn Giocomo Apostolo-closed for good SAn Antonio church from 15th century San Nicolo church Town gate from 1718 Old ruins of defense walls
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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Labin-A Wonderful Hilltop Setting

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 10, 2010

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    As you wind up the road toward the top of the hill , the impressive monuments stand out. This was one of the better villages to stop for a day or so and enjoy all the sites to tour, and the old architecture. The coal mining industry was what kept this town thriving and finally ceased operation in 1988. In the museum, they have a replicated mine underground (not for the claustrophobic). The museum is a great presentation of ethnographic items and artifacts of the town, in a setting of a beautiful palace. On the top if the Fortica-fortress remains. It has been controlled by Pazin rulers in 1300's. The town has done a splendid job of directing you to all the sites. Do not forget to go to the top of the tower for a view of the Adriatic and Rabac for only $2 fee.
    Take Hwy 66 that becomes Hwy 21 and go for 25 miles north.

    View of topt and winding streets Museum in Palace Battiala Listing of All the sites of the town Zvonik tower to go up Clock tower at the gate entry
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