If you visited Istria or Dalmatia you probably noticed many dry stone walls and small stone houses. These structures are made only of natural stone, without any mortar.
In history, because of the stingy rocky land, if people wanted to plant sth, they first had to clear and prepare the place by removing all the stones. That’s why somewhere you can see loads of stones at the end of the field. But in most cases this material was used for building walls around parcels, vineyards and olives.
It’s impressive that walls built hundreds of years ago without any construction binder are still standing. Well, not all of them… depends of the builder’s skills. It takes time to find perfect peaces that fit together to make a solid and long-lasting structure some of our ancestors managed to construct.
Kazun (Ital. “Casita”) is a mainly round shape field shelter made of natural flat stone, built in drywall technique. It’s a one room building without windows with most often conical roof. People used it as a storeroom for tools or as a shelter when bad weather. The construction is about 150 cm (4 ft) high and the doors are often facing west.
In Istria the biggest number of kazuns are located in the area of Vodnjan (2000 – 3000), small town near Pula. Every year in May the local people organize lectures about it’s construction and practical part – reconstruction one of this small stone houses using the same old technique.
If you want to learn more about Istrian architecture and dry wall technique I recommend you to visit the Park of Kazuns near Vodnjan… the place is magical!