The Maker intended to shape a part of the Earth to the image of Heaven. That is how Istria came into being, like a garden covered with magnificent trees and vast meadows, washed by the deep blue sea, appealing people to a happier life. But the jealous devil destroyed his work by tearing the bag in which the angel was carrying the unused stones. Thousands of rocks scattered around the Istrian land making it a land of contrasts, gentle and rough, fertile and barren, sunny and cloudy. The desolated angels gathered the pieces of Heaven remaining among the scattered rocks and protected them by the sea waves and created Brijuni.
Brijuni are a group of fourteen small islands in the Croatian part of the northern Adriatic Sea, separated from the west coast of the Istrian peninsula by the narrow Fažana Strait. The largest island, Veliki Brijun Island (also known as Italian: Brioni Grande or Croatian: Veli Brijun), (5.6 km2), lies 2 kilometres (1 mile) off the coast. The second largest island is Mali Brijun with an area of 1.07 km², and twelve much smaller islands. Famous for their scenic beauty, the islands are a holiday resort and a Croatian National Park.
On the Brijuni there are several archaeological and cultural sites. At four sites on Veliki Brijun Island over 200 dinosaur footprints have been discovered, which can be traced to the Cretaceous Period from where Brijuni Cretaceous Park gets its name. There are also several archeological sites worth seeing. There is the 13th century AD St. Mary's Church which was built by the Knights Templar. There are also two ancient Roman villa remains, from the 2nd Century BC and remains of a Byzantine palace. The last remain is Hill-fort which indicates a Bronze Age settlement on the island dating back to 14th century BC. Several exhibitions including natural history and art exhibitions, and archaeological collections are also present in the NP Brijuni.