Culture

Kažun theme park


The traditional Istrian dry stone field hut has for centuries been a structural element of the rural area of Vodnjan. The development of the town brought about cultivation of land previously cleared by farmers. Our ancestors diligently and patiently removed all stones from the soil onto the edges of the fields, piling them with geometrical precision, interlocking them by small pieces of stone into dry stone structures. They appeared as masiere, fields surrounded by dry stone walls, groumasi, huge piles of stone, and casite, kažuni. By their shape and construction they perfectly fit into the Mediterranean landscape and blend with the dry stone wall used as boundaries in fields, vineyards and olive groves.

Even when Vodnjan grew larger and groups of new houses were built close to one another, in the corners of fields or in the center, and sometimes within a large pile of stones, a kažunof characteristic shape was built, with a conical roof, masterly designed, almost all of them round and of different size. 

The kažun was a safe shelter from sudden rain, but also from the sun in time of midday rest. If work was not finished by the end of the day, this is where farmers would often spend the night. Often, it was also good protection against thieves during harvest. Not only did it serve for people, but it provided shelter for cattle as well, especially sheep. The kažun has always been part of our ancestors' lives.Nowadays, these structures are gradually losing their function due to the development of mechanization and modern ways of land cultivation. Nevertheless, this does not affect its peculiarity and importance in this region.

Kažun theme park opened in 2012. In the area of Vodnjan there are roughly 3.000 kažun. In order to gain a better appreciation, the four stages of erecting a kažun are illustrated, together with other kažun shapes and forms in our area.

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