President of the former Yugoslavia

Josip Broz Tito

The Brijuni Islands are known for long standing activity of Josip Broz Tito, the president of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Tito first visited Brijuni in 1947, and the Bijela vila (“White villa”) became his official residence in 1953. His last stay on Brijuni was recorded in 1979. Tito spent four months on Brijuni on average, and Veliki Brijun and Vanga were his favorite residences.  

Tito was a distinguished statesman and one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. The former president of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia hosted numerous heads of state and party leaders on Brijuni. Brijuni were one of the influential centers of global politics.


Tito governed the state, the Party and the Army from Brijuni

As a nature lover, animal enthusiast and a figure with knowledge of historical and cultural values, Tito has advocated for the protection of forests, landscaping of parks, breeding and settlement of animals, research and preservation of monuments and organizing hotel facilities. Thanks to this choice, Brijuni have been preserved and they have become appealing to domestic and foreign tourists. 

Tito and Istria

Josip Broz Tito maintained cordial relations with his neighbors, received representatives of social and political organizations and communities. He met the people of Istria by staying on their peninsula; he often visited working organizations, schools, hospitals, attended cultural events and national assemblies.  
Tito first visited the island Vanga in 1952, rowing in a canoe. After that, the process of grubbing out the island had started, soon enough different facilities and common areas were formed: straw gazebo, Indonesian fisherman's salon, Slovene room, kitchen with pantry and other amenities. Untouched vegetation dominated by bamboo and two gardens surround  an office near a workshop and a photographic laboratory. The southern part of the island  is characterized by Mediterranean vegetation, where you can find a garden, an orchard, grape vines and tangerines, and the old and new basement.

Tito on Brijuni

Tito liked to improve Brijuni.  Immediately after his arrival, an intensive renovation and development of the islands began. The consequences of the bombing were repaired, stolen inventory was replaced, new water pipeline and Fažana-Brijuni electric cables were placed, hotels and villas were renovated, forests were cleaned and parks landscaped, barren land was afforested, cultural monuments were protected and zoos included new animals. Bombing damaged hotels “Neptune I“ and “Neptune II”, which were completely destroyed. In 1961, hotel “Istra” was built on the foundations of “Neptune II”. & nbsp;
On Brijuni, Tito was not only a host and an interlocutor to statesmen, politicians and diplomats, but to many public and cultural figures (Valentina Tereshkova, Che Guevara, Alberto Moravia, Mario del Monaco, Sofia Loren, Carlo Ponti, Gina Lollobrigida, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and many people from Yugoslavia and abroad).  

Tito married three times. He had three children with his first wife Pelagija Belousova: Žarko, and Zlatica and Hinko who died young. In the second marriage with  Herta Haas  his son Mišo was born, and he had no children with Jovanka Budisavljević. Altogether, Tito had two sons, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.  

Tito in his free time

In the meantime between his Visits of peace, congresses and sessions, President Tito used his free time for activities that broadened his horizons and deepened his knowledge. The lights were on well into the night. He liked photography. He often photographed and developed his own photographs in the photographic laboratory on Vanga island, for which part of the equipment was a gift to him by US President Kennedy.  
He showed his love for animals on Brijuni by breeding and protecting the animal world. In addition to indigenous animal species, there were many species of animals, gifts from different parts of the world, in the zoo and Safari Park. 
Tito often walked on Brijuni, worked in the orchard and the vineyard, took care of every tree, cultural monument, natural rarity, art and other values. The "Tito tangerines" are widely known since he gave them as gifts throughout the former state, as well as excavations on the locality "Byzantine Kastrum", which completed the history of Brijuni from the 2nd century BC to the 14th century AD.

Tito and statesmen

On Brijuni,  Tito performed a significant part of his state and political activities. During ninety meetings he spoke with presidents, kings and tzars of sixty states, and met with the presidents of  governments and ministers of around a hundred countries of the world. On Brijuni, Tito received over two hundred and fifty state and parliamentary,  party, trade union, military, scientific-technical and other foreign delegations and twice as many delegations from the territory of former Yugoslavia. He talked with more than 300 chiefs of domestic diplomatic missions and ambassadors accredited to the territory of the former Yugoslavia. 

Statesmen and party leaders from the East and West, Africa and Asia and other continents came to Brijuni to exchange advice and start an international initiative with Tito. Among them were Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, Houari Boumédiène, President of Algeria, Kenneth Kaunda, President of Zambia, Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana, Habib Bourguiba, President of Tunisia, Ahmed Sukarno, President of Indonesia, Hua Guofeng, President of China, Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, Ho Chi Minh, President of Vietnam and Urho Kekkonen, President of Finland. 

Tito’s guests on Brijuni were the statesmen and political leaders of the Eastern European countries Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev and Nikolai Podgorny, then Nicolae Ceausescu, Janos Kadar, Edward Gierek, Walter Ulbricht and Yumjaagiyn Tsedenbal. 

Tito hosted a large number of monarchs on Brijuni: apart from Haile Selassie, he received Paul, King of Greece, Sihanouk, Prince of Cambodia, Zahir, King of Afghanistan, Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Olaf, King of Norway, Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Juliana, Queen of Holland, Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, Birendra, King of Nepal, Margaret, Queen of Denmark and Hussein, King of Jordan.

Tito and the Non-Aligned

The Brijuni Islands became known as “the islands of peace” and the “meeting point of the Non-Aligned” thanks to the Tito-Naser-Nehru meeting in 1956, which set foundations for the Non-Aligned politics, as well as to the “Brijuni Declaration”. 

Tito left Brijuni for the last time on 29 August 1979 and went to the 6th  Conference of Heads of State and Government of Non-Aligned Countries  in Havana.