Former owner of the Islands

Paul Kupelwieser

“...the current owner of Brijuni Islands, Paul Kupelwieser, has used his autumn years to write about the memories of his life, not to offer a sensation for the world around him, but to keep them for himself.” Paul Kupelwieser
Former owner of the Brijuni Islands

Austrian industrialist and expert on steel

The fashionable summer and health resort of the European and global aristocracy

The Austrian industrialist and expert on steel who bought malaria-ridden Brijuni in 1893 and transformed them into a fashionable summer and health resort of the European and global aristocracy was a great visionary. 

He requested aid in dealing with the issue of malaria on the islands from the great German scientist Robert Koch, whose achievements laid the foundations in Austria for such research.

Islands transformed into a small paradise on Earth

It is important to note that Paul Kupelwieser too contracted malaria during his first visits to Brijuni Islands, and he was treated in London even though he did not know, at first, that he had contracted this tropical disease.

When he arrived on the island for the first time, in the port into which it was possible to sail only during high tide, there were only a few buildings, piles of stones from the quarry, and only a few cypress trees, laurel trees and several old olive trees and mulberries.

The Brijuni Islands were transformed from an overgrown maquis shrubland area into a veritable small paradise on Earth

With the help of Alois Zuffar (Alojz Čufar), a forester from Labin who was very popular with the Kupelwieser family, the Brijuni Islands were transformed from overgrown maquis shrubland to a veritable small paradise on Earth.

Fashionable summer and health resort of the European and global aristocracy

The time of Paul Kupelwieser

Hotel resort with five hotels

Some 20 years later, a hotel resort with five hotels, a swimming pool with heated sea water and all other amenities were built in the port. 

Remediation was performed, parks and forests, as well as archaeological sites, a zoo and ostrich farm were organized. There was also a modern agricultural holding on the island, producing dairy products and wine that could be purchased in Vienna as well.

The islands were connected not only with Pula (4 to 5 daily lines), but also with other Adriatic ports by good traffic connections, while the night train from Vienna brought guests all the way to the jetty where a boat for Brijuni was waiting for them.

Intersection of European and world elite

Brijuni have become the intersection of European and world elite, and the arrival of numerous guests, members of the aristocratic, cultural, scientific, industrial and economic elite was regularly published in the island newspapers (1910-1914).

The impressive work of Paul Kupelwieser has marked the Brijuni Islands, where he left an admirable, indelible mark.

Kupelwieser's eternal resting place

Although Paul Kupelwieser built a mausoleum for the whole family (Kupelwiesers' resting place), only the mother and son found their eternal resting place there, while Paul Kupelwieser died in Vienna. On the tombstone below his name, there is only the inscription of the name of his beloved island.

Get to know the Brijuni Islands as Paul Kupelwieser envisioned them and visit this little piece of paradise.
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