Sunday 25 August 2013

Brijuni Islands and Tito

During my holiday in Istria (Croatia) I have visited the Brijuni Islands, also known as Tito's Brijuni. The visit to the islands is really a worth spending a day trip. Beside the natural beauty of this national park you can sense Ancient Roman history and some vintage ex-Yugoslavia nostalgia.

The Brijuni Islands are a group of fourteen small islands in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea, separated from the west coast of the Istrian peninsula by the narrow Fažana Strait.

Yugoslavian president Marshal Josip Broz Tito made the Brijuni Islands his personal State Summer Residence. Almost 100 foreign heads of state visited Tito on his islands, along with film stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti, and Gina Lollobrigida. Tito died in 1980, and by 1983 the islands were declared a National Park of Yugoslavia.
One of the main sights is the 'stuck in time' Tito's museum. This is really a fascinating exhibition, where it literally feels like the time has stopped. The photo exhibition Josip Broz Tito on Brioni, which was opened in 1984 visually presents the activities of the Yugoslav president on the island from June 20, 1947 when he first arrived here until the very last day of his stay, August 29, 1979 when he left the Brijuni wharf to participate in the 6th Summit of nonaligned countries in Havana.
On the island there is also a Safari Park, it is home to a variety of exotic animals which were given to the park as gifts from diplomatic partners. The Nilgai, Zebu and Asian Elephant were donated as a gift from India (by Indira Gandhi), Plains Zebra and Mountain Zebra were given by Ahmed Sékou Touré from Guinea, Waterbuck came from Ethiopia.
But the most memorable encounter is with the legendary Koki, the well-known Tito’s parrot; one of the rare exemplars of yellow-crested cockatooes which live up to 100 years and belong to big species of parrots. It is a very intelligent, sociable and gendle species of bird which likes bathing. Koki was a gift that Josip Broz Tito made to his granddaughter Aleksandra – Saša Broz for her 9th birthday.

The Islands are a strange combination of history, heritage and stunning nature but very fascinating.

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