The ancient Istrians were probably dwarfs, if we are to judge their height by the size of kazuni houses. These small stone shelters without windows are quite abundant in Istria, although other coastal regions have them as well. Despite the fact that several people could fit inside them (in a very uncomfortable way), not a single one of them could stand up straight due to the low roof.
Kazuni were used by local shepherds as shelter from the rain, or as storage for agricultural equipment used in the field. Some were also used as secondary stables. There are around 5000 registered kazuni houses in Istria today, suggesting that their number was much higher in the past (around 20,000). Today, they usually serve as the backdrop to nice photographs, or a small attraction for tourists that explore their interiors. However, once the rain starts falling, one may use them for their original purpose.
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Photo: Goran Sebelic / Hanza Media