Gradina on Brijuni Islands
Gradina is the Bronze Age settlement consisting of the central plateau encircled by three walls. Entrances were set up in the labyrinth form so as make the entrance into the settlement more difficult.
Veliki BrijunFind on the map
Brijuni is a group of 14 islands, declared the national park in 1983. Its specific historical conditions facilitated the preservation of numerous historical and archaeological remains which led to the emergence of the largest archaeological park in Istria. Picturesque islands were inhabited from the prehistoric times to the Antiquity. In the early 20th century, German industrialist Paul Kupelwieser set up a fashionable summer resort there. The good condition of the defensive walls of the Bronze Age settlement of Histri on the top of the hills in the midst of Veli and Mali Brijun is surprising. One of them is the Gradina, a Bronze Age settlement with preserved walls and the necropolis located north from the Verige Bay on the namesake hill. It consists of a central platform surrounded by triple concentric walls, suited for the hill and its terrain configuration and built by a dry wall technique from large stone blocks. Each wall was built from two sides, and its interior filled with small stones. In view of the large and important role bestowed on the Gradina entrance construction, there were several additions. We can name the example of the west so-called Gnirs entrance, which initial three meter width was reduced to one to prevent the enemy from breaking in. Entrances were set up as a labyrinth, which also slowed the enemy down. Boulders used in defence were also found on the walls. Rare Bronze Age findings include the top of the spear and a knife, which was a part of the burial gift. The already mentioned necropolis was located along the settlement walls. Next to individual burial sites, fenced family tombs were also found. Gradina inhabitants buried their deceased into stone plate coffins laid underneath stone piles. Such graves with a shrivelled skeleton from the 14th century BC were found on the surrounding hills of Ciprovac, Antunovac and Rankun.