Pleasant promenades at all seasons

Quarries

The Brijuni Islands are made of horizontal or slightly inclined layers of limestone. Such formations made it easier to exploit because the stone layers can be easily separated from the rocks.

The Brijuni stone was used in prehistoric times when the inhabitants of the islands built their settlements on hills, the so-called gradina, by building them in the drystone wall technique. 
Apart from good quality stone, the advantage of exploitation on Brijuni were very favorable conditions for its transportation. The Romans set up quarries along the sea shore, allowing for easier loading of stone blocks on boats and their transportation to the final destination, while the well-protected Brijuni ports made it easier for them to load the cargo. 
With the arrival of the Venetians to the islands in 1331, the exploitation of stone resources intensified to such an extent that the extraction of stone became the main economic activity. The need for building materials in the Republic of Venice was great, and the quality stone was needed for the construction of numerous houses, palaces, churches, bridges.

 

The stone from the island was exported to Venice, Udine, Ancona, Formigine, etc.

During the Austro-Hungarian Empire, stone was exported to Vienna, Trieste, Aquila, Berlin. At the end of the 19th century, when the Austrian industrialist Paul Kupelwieser (1843-1919) purchased the islands, there were numerous abandoned quarries in Brijuni, which witnessed long-term exploitation. As part of extraordinary island landscaping conducted by Kupelwieser’s administrator, forester Alojz Čufar, the old quarries were converted into pleasant promenades. The waste stone scattered all over the island was removed and the land was turned into meadows, fields, vineyards. This  stone was used for the construction of numerous island paths, promenades as well as for the backfilling of the main Brijuni port. The material from the quarries was used by Kupelwieser in the construction of numerous new buildings on the island, hotels, villas, and farm buildings. 

Koch's quarry

Another quarry served as a place to express gratitude to another important person on Brijuni, Dr. Robert Koch (1843-1910). In this quarry, the Kupelwieser family had a memorial plaque erected for this scientist, bacteriologist and Nobel prize laureate who, at the beginning of the 20th century, helped eradicate malaria on the island.

Memorial plaque with an inscription in the quarry

The marble memorial plaque is the work of the Viennese sculptor and painter Josef Engelhart, one of the founders of the Vienna Secession. The relief embedded in the rock in 1908 depicts a young girl placing a laurel wreath on Koch’s head.

There used to be a little lake in front of the marble memorial plaque. It was a reminder of the former appearance of Brijuni, the numerous marshes and ponds that were on the island and were an ideal place for mosquitoes that transmit malaria.

Čufar's quarry

One of the five Brijuni quarries, landscaped and turned into a park at the beginning of the 20th century, was dedicated to Alojz Čufar (1852-1907), forester and Brijuni administrator, responsible for island landscaping and cultivation of quarries. The waste stone from the quarry has been used for the construction of numerous island paths, promenades as well as for the backfilling of the main Brijuni port. Waste stone also served to create numerous artificial hills that are harmoniously blended with the surrounding landscape.

A memorial plaque in honor of contributions to the development of the island

The Kupelwieser family placed a memorial plaque to Alojz Čufar in honor and as gratitude for his contribution to the development of the island. The bronze plaque was erected in 1909 and was made by a Viennese artist, sculptor and painter Josef Engelhart.

Alojz Čufar was the Brijuni administrator until his death in 1907, when he succumbed to malaria.

Quarry under the hill Straža

Quarry turned into a summer movie theater

Some of the quarries have a certain function today, so this one became a place for organizing  summer movie nights. Namely, the area was rearranged to a summer cinema in the middle of the previous century, while in the 1930s, there was a tennis court. Next to this same quarry and near the cinema, there was also a children's playground with a sandbox, swings and seesaws in the fifties, because at that time, Brijuni were still a real small town with a kindergarten and an elementary school. Today, there are only traces of what was once a children's playground.

Quarry under the hill Gradina

The quarry near Gradina is one of the five quarries that were converted into promenades at the beginning of the 20th century. In this horticulturally decorated quarry, various plants and trees have been planted, of which palm trees still exist today. Before it also had concrete benches for rest and contemplation. These promenades, protected from the summer heat and sheltered from cold winter winds, became a favorite destination for health resort guests.