From the fall of Venice in 1797, a short period of the first Austrian domination and Napolens rule followed, and then over a century of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, mostly under the rule of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Protected by the Brijuni Islands and specific longitudinal position, many times in the past the Fažana Channel offered sailors shelter from rough seas and witnessed battles for the supremacy over land and sea.
With the development of Pula harbor into the main naval port of the Austro-Hungarian Navy (K.u.k. Kriegsmarine), the Fažana Channel became the auxiliary naval anchorage, a continuation of Pula Bay, protected by batteries on Veli Brijun, Cape Christo at the southern passage, whereas the northern passage was protected by the fleet itself. Owning to such characteristics, anchoring in the Fažana Channel enusered the naval fleet greater mobility and provided greater protection from enemy blockade than in Pula harbor.
During the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, with the construction of the Shypyard and Arsenal, Pula became the main naval base opf the Empire, watching over the entire Adriatic region from Trieste to Boka. Pula was also the port of departure for many ships sailing around the world. During the Austrian period the fleet under the command of Wilhelm von Tegettoff left from Fažana Channel towards Vis Island. That is where the famous Vis naval battle took place in 1866 with the victory of Tegettoffs fleet.
Owning to the efforts and great care of the new owner of Brijuni, the Viennese industiralist Paul Kupelwieser – who came to the Islands for the first time in 1893 – the badly neglected archipelago experienced a revival. Kupelwieser brought back the splendor of Antiquity to Veliki Brijun, the largest of the 14 islands, and even surpassed it. After the famed scientist and doctor, Nobel Prize winner Robert Koch had sanitized Brijuni and completely destroyed malarial mosquitoes at the beginning of the 20th century; the Islands began to develop into a health resort and fashionable retreat for the elite. In 1900 the first hotel “Brioni” was built. Fažana also prospered as an embarkation point for Brijuni so that in 1912 there were as many as 1034 registered moorings.