Fažana general information
City: Fažana (tal. Fasana)
County: Istria County
Area: 13 km2
Time zone: CET (UTC+1)
Postal code: 52212
Area code: 52
Fažana is a small fishing and touristic settlement located by the sea in the western coast of Istria, 8 km from Pula and 6 km from Vodnjan. Because of its mild Mediterranean climate and natural resources, Fažana was famous from ancient times for its production of amphorae, wine and olive oil and as a main harbor for their export. People from Fažana were always fishermen, and one of the biggest sardine factories on the Adriatic was located there, along with its impressive 47 boat fleet and a shipyard. Because of the fishing tradition, every August there is a manifestation dedicated to the sardines (Fešta od srdela) in which the guests are offered only with sardine specialties. You can also actively participate in the School of sardine salting by the traditional recipes.
Today, Fažana is known as a main harbor and a starting point for the boats that sail to National Park Brijuni Islands. The boats set sail several times a day, and reach the National Park in 20 minutes. Next to Fažana’s beautiful boardwalk, there is an old part of town, where you can see some amazing sites, such as the Church of St Elysees from the 6th century and the Church of St Mary from Karmel from the 14th century. You can feel the soul of the town by walking on the boardwalk, and well-maintained Fažana boardwalk is ideal for walks or bike rides towards Valbandon by the sea. With its natural beauties, clean sea and well-maintained beaches, Fažana is becoming an important touristic center with its rich fishing tradition and hospitality of the hosts which attracts the people from all around the world. There are two well-maintained beaches in Fažana: Bi Val Beach and Children’s Playground Beach. Bi Val Beach has been awarded with a Blue Flag which confirms the cleanliness of the sea and maintenance of the beach. During the summer, there are numerous manifestations in Fažana, such as: “Fažanski tanac” (folklore and folk dances from Istria), “More na stolu” (fishing and gastro fiesta), “Zvizde, sviće i ferali” (audio-visual event).
According to 2011 census, Fažana had a population of 2009, while Valbandon with its 1626 residents also belong to Fažana Municipality. Thus the municipality has a population of 3635. The residents are mostly Croats with a significant number of the Italian minority. In Fažana, bilingualism was introduced in 2004.
Fažana has all the characteristics of a Mediterranean climate. The average temperature of the sea during the summer is between 22 and 24°C, and there is over 2400 sunny hours per year. During the winter, temperatures rarely drop below zero in the coastal area. Average annual temperatures in the January are 5,3°C and in July 23,2°C.
Average number of cold days in a year (with temperature reaching below zero) is 22.2. Average number of warm days (with highs over 25˘C) is 89.2. July (27.8) and August (26.6) has the most of warmest days. The temperature can drop below zero in the period from November to April. Warm summer and rainy winters are typical for this climate. Driest part of the year is in the early spring (March) and the summer. Rainy season is at its side-maximum in May and June, and a maximum in the autumn (October and November). The data shows the uniformity of the fall in the winter and spring, with more of the precipitation in the autumn, and almost none in July. There are no dominant winds during the day, and the most common are northeast (Bora), southeast (Jugo) and southwest (garbinada or lebić). Western and eastern winds are also common. At night, northeast (Bora) is the most dominant which is relatively dry and cold (falling) wind which flows in strokes from the land onto the sea.
Fažana area (Vodnjan, Barbariga, Valbandon, and Peroj) was noted for its wine and olive oil production in the Roman times. Fažana is known from the Antiquity as an important center of ceramic production (amphorae). The ruling of Emperor Augustus is linked with the amphorae production in Fažana. Underneath the modern settlement, there are remains of Roman rural complex. This is confirmed by the oil and wine presses (found by A. Gnirs in the beginning of the 20th century), but also large number of ceramic material from the amphorae workshop of Gaius Lecanius Basus (the name is known by his stamps on the amphorae). This was probably the central part of his estates that was probably expanded on Brijuni Islands. Archeological findings were probably ruined by the construction of the later settlement on the same place. Only visible archeological remain is a stone block of an oil/wine press with Roman inscription built into a corner of one of the old houses in the old part of town.
Fažana was also a transit port at a time which were used for the transport of the olive oil to other areas of the Roman Empire. That’s why it’s not surprising that many remains of oil refineries were found in this area. The name Fažana derived from ancient: Phasiana and Vasianum, and is often linked with the name of the bird pheasant (fazan). During the Middle Ages, and particularly during the ruling of the Venice Republic, Fažana was one of the most developed areas of Istria. Agriculture, farming, fishing, wine and olive oil production were some of the most developed activities. It is interesting to note that in 1741, Fažana had 503 residents, while Pula had only 700. Fažana is mentioned in 1150 as an ancient parish which was given in 1150 to the bishops of Pula. Afterwards it was divided among many noble families. In 1379, there was a famous sea battle in the Fažana water area between Venice and Genoa, which involved over 250 ships. Genoa had won.
With the fall of Venice in 1797, Fažana was under short ruling of the Austrians and Napoleon. Afterwards, a 100-year old ruling of the Austrian-Hungarian ruling occurred. By the decree of the Emperor Francis, Pula has become a main naval port of the Austrian Empire, and the Fažana Channel was a secondary anchorage which enabled the war fleet higher mobility and security from potential blocking of Pula harbor. The Fažana Channel was protected by the forts from Veli Brijun and Punta Christo. In the time of Old Austria in 1886, from the Fažana Channel a fleet set sailed under the command of Wilhelm von Tegettoff, which were a part of victorious Battle of Lissa.
After World War I, Fažana and whole of Istria were part of Italy. In the time between the two ward, Fažana was very prosperous. There is a development of tourism, and Fažana area at the time had two hotels, 13 restaurants, a garage and gas stations. Fažana had to privilege to have one of the largest fish factories in the Adriatic, a liquor factory, a shipyard and many other industries. Filling of the shore in the beginning of the 20th century (1900, 1911 and 1945) caused the blueprint of one part of the city.
After the end of World War II, Fažana became a part of Yugoslavia, and in 1983, Brijuni Islands had become a National Park. With the fall of Yugoslavia, Fažana became an integral part of Republic of Croatia, and in 2001, a head of municipality. Tourism is now developing and is becoming a crucial part of the town’s economy.
Photo credit: Infofažana
Fažana historical and cultural attractions
The parish church of St Kuzma and Damjan
The church is located on a wide square on the shore. It is a gothic structure with baroque elements, built with rectangular apse and the sacristy. The facades were built with regularly placed stone blocks, while smaller details in the bordering part of the facade points to the reconstructed height of the church. Read more
Photo credit: Booking.com
The church of Holy Mary of Karmel
It is located on the south entrance from the direction of Pula, on a former edge of the old town. It was built in the 14th century. It is a one nave structure with small size and height, with finely decorated facades and regularly shaped and positioned stone blocks. Read more
Photo credit: SwirlBloger
The church of St John the Apostle
It is located at the local cemetery. It is a one nave structure without apse with covered entrance (lopica). The facade is divided with symmetric rectangular entrance and smaller windows framed with stone ertas. All the facades are plastered. The interior is very simple, and is equipped with three altars. Read more
Photo credit: SwirlBloger
The church of St Elysees
Located north from the old part of Fažana, it was built on the remains of the object from late Antiquity in the other half of the 6th century. Sacred building of small size and height with polygonal apse which has a stone transenna on its arch windows. Read more
Photo credit: SwirlBloger
Fažana traffic connection
Fažana is well connected to the major traffic routes of Istria County. A9 Highway is in the vicinity which links it to the rest of Croatia and Europe. ŽC5115 County road passes through the town center, and connects Fažana to Pula in the south and Peroj, Barbariga and Rovinj in the north. For the bus traffic with Pula there is a line with Pula Bus station.
Roads and harbors in Fažana area:
- There are no state roads in this area
- ŽC5115, ŽC5192 County roads
- LC50158, LC50161, LC50162 Local roads
- There are two harbors in Fažana area: Fažana and Brijuni.
Both of them deal mainly with local traffic (regular ferry line Fažana – Brijuni) and excursion trips, and in lesser extent with smaller boats. Besides, Fažana harbor has registered fishing boats, considering the fact that local fishermen fit the requirements to register their boats as passenger boats. In Fažana area there are no fuel tanks for the boats, and the infrastructure of the harbor is only suitable for smaller boats, that is for local needs only.
Other parts of the naval infrastructure in Fažana are:
- sports harbor in Valbandon, which has only local small boat traffic
- the dock in the touristic settlement Bi Village which is used for short-term excursions and visits, mainly for the sailors going to the other destinations.
There are no air traffic in Fažana area. The closest airport is Pula International Airport, which is about 10 kilometers away.
The closest train station is in Pula.
Fažana economy and tourism
Due to general socio-economic circumstances caused by the war and transitional changes not only industry but economy in general have stagnated in the past decade in Fažana. It have begun to recover over the past few years when the tourism began to develop. From a slow-paced touristic destination (with a limited circle of returning customers), which Fažana was for a long period of time, it developed into an attractive destination with a great offer of the accommodation of various quality. Excursion tourism is mostly related to the visits to National Park Brijuni Islands, which is a special kind of touristic offer of Fažana, which is constantly growing. Economic initiatives in the field of trade, commerce, personal services, crafts and similar activities enabled Fažana to have a relatively balanced state of production and demand. Craft, industrial commerce and other activities, are located outside the coastal zone, mostly close to the main, Pula – Fažana road. With lots of private accommodation, there are 3 hotels, 1 hostel, 1 resort and 2 camps in Fažana area.