Inventing Tourism in the Naval Port: The Case of the Brijuni Islands during the Habsburg Empire


  • Natasa Urosević Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Interdisciplinary Study Programme of Culture and Tourism


The present paper presents the results of the archival and field research conducted in the framework of the author’s research project ‘Valorisation of the common European heritage of Pula as the former main Austrian naval port and Brijuni Islands as an elite resort’ in Austrian archives, with the focus on the Kupelwieser Collection kept in the Austrian National Library. The research aimed to offer a new perspective in the elaboration of the key initial phases of the development ofmodern tourismon the Brijuni Islands, by analysing their important function as an aristocratic residence near the main naval port in a comparative and transnational framework. The main research question was whether Brijuni followed a European model of development of an aristocratic resort near a major port. Combining archival and field research, the author has explored and compared some of the well-known island aristocratic residences in Europe and theMediterranean,which developed as popular seaside resorts in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the Isle ofWight, Mallorca, Corfu, and Brijuni. An overview of the available recent theoretical literature provided comparative insights into the search for such a model of the successful symbiosis of resorts and ports. As a case study, the author analysed the development of tourism on the Brijuni Islands in the most dynamic and dramatic periods before, during, and after the First World War, bearing in mind their importance as an elite resort in close proximity to Pula as the former main Austrian (Austro-Hungarian) naval port.

Keywords: aristocratic residences, resorts, ports, Brijuni, Pula, tourism history


Balota, M. (2005). Puna je Pula. Pula, Croatia: Amforapress.

Baskar, B. (2010). Southbound, to the Austrian riviera: The Habsburg patronage of tourism in the Eastern Adriatic. Anthropological Notebooks, 16(1), 9–22.

Begović, V., & Schrunk, I. (2007). The Brioni Islands: Past, architecture and cultural heritage. Zagreb, Croatia: Golden marketing-Tehnička knjiga.

Blom, P. (2008). The vertigo years: Change and culture in the West, 1900-1914. New York, ny: Basic Books.

Borsay, P., & Furnée, J. H. (Eds.) (2015). Leisure cultures in urban Europe, c. 1700–1870: A transnational perspective. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press.

Borsay, P., & Walton, J. K. (Eds.) (2011). Resorts and ports: European seaside towns since 1700. Bristol, England: Channel View Publications.

Brockhausen, K. (N.d.) Brioni: Ein Kulturmärchen aus unseren Tagen. Sammlung Kupelwieser (Cod. Ser. n. 53114), Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria.

Gnirs, A. (1910). Führer durch Brioni. Vienna, Austria: Kunstdruckerei Frish.

Kupelwieser, P. (1917). Aus den Erinnerungen eines alten Österreichers [Manuscript]. Sammlung Kupelwieser (Cod. Ser. n. 53025/1–4), Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria.

Kupelwieser, P. (1918). Aus den Erinnerungen eines altes Österreichers. Vienna, Austria: Gerold.

Kupelwieser, L. (1919). Die Aktiengesellschaft Brioni: Im Auftrag des Familienverwaltungsratses. Sammlung Kupelwieser (Cod. Ser. n. 53034), Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria.

Lenz, O. (1926). Spaziergänge auf Brioni. Vienna, Austria: Trupp.

Lenz, O. (1930). Die Bedeutung der Insel Brioni als hervorragender Climatischer Kurort der Nordadria. Vienna, Austria: Trupp.

Mautner Markhof, M. (1960, 17 October). Nach 25 Jahren Wiedersehen mit Brioni. Sammlung Kupelwieser (Cod. Ser. n. 53050), Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria.

Nikitsch-Boulles, P. (1925). Vor dem Sturm. Erinnerungen an Erzherzog Thronfolger Franz Ferdinand. Berlin, Germany: Verlag fuer Kulturpolitik.

Steiner-Wischenbarth, J. (N.d.). Nachlass, Sein Leben un Wirken (K.3, H.13). Landesarchiv Graz, Graz, Austria.

Steward, J. (2000). The spa towns of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the growth of tourist culture: 1860–1914. In P. Borsay, G. Hirschfelder, & R.-E. Mohrmann (Eds.), New directions in urban history: Aspects of European art, health, tourism and leisure since the enlightenment (pp. 117–120). ünster, Germany: Waxmann Verlag.

Urošević, N. (2014). The Brijuni Islands – Recreating paradise: media representations of an elite Mediterranean resort in the first tourist magazines. Journal of Tourism History, 6(2–3), 122–139.

Von Brosch-Aerenau, A. (1910, 16 March). [Letter to Franz Ferdinand]. Sammlung Kupelwieser (Cod. Ser. n. 53172), Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria.

Voss, R. (1914). Die grüne Insel: Ein homerisches Eiland in der Adria; Aus meinem Reisebuch. Vienna, Austria: Helios.

Walton, J. K. (Ed.). (2005). Histories of tourism, representation, identity and conflict. Clevedon, England; Buffalo, ny; Toronto, Canada: Channel View Publications.

Woerl, L. (1899). Erzherzog Ludwig Salvator aus den österreichischen Kaiserhause als Forscher des Mittelmeeres. Leipzig, Germany.

Zuelow, G. E. (Ed.). (2011). Touring beyond the nation: A transnational approach to European tourism history. Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing.




How to Cite

Urosević, N. (2019). Inventing Tourism in the Naval Port: The Case of the Brijuni Islands during the Habsburg Empire. Academica Turistica - Tourism and Innovation Journal, 12(1). Retrieved from