Pula is a small resort town with interesting sights, located in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. Most locals here work in the tourism business, fishing, winemaking, shipbuilding, etc.
Top 10 attractions in Pula
The city was founded by the ancient Greeks as a Greek colony on the Adriatic. After the Greeks, the ancient Romans came here, and they gave Pula its name Pola in Latin. It was under Ancient Rome that the city truly flourished.
In the middle of the 12th century Pula belonged to Venice. Since then, the city has preserved many historical and cultural monuments, architectural masterpieces, for which Venice is so famous.
After six centuries of Venetian rule, Pula came under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then returned to Italy, and after World War II became part of Yugoslavia. Today Pula is part of independent Croatia.
It is one of the most famous monuments of ancient Roman architecture in Croatia. The amphitheater is located in the historical part of Pula, it was built in the 1st century AD. and is capable of holding nearly 25,000 spectators. Gladiators used to fight here.
And today the amphitheater of Pula is used for its direct purpose – festivals, performances, concerts are regularly held there. The structure is well-preserved, but requires cladding, the previous in the past 2 millennia was used for other buildings.
In the underground part of the amphitheater is a museum, where you can examine the various archaeological objects found here during the excavations: ancient amphorae, stone tablets with inscriptions in Latin and so on.
Temple of Augustus
This temple is dedicated to the Roman Emperor Augustus and was also erected in the 1st century AD, but no further information about it has survived. Archaeologists believe that the temple was originally dedicated to the goddess Roma, the patroness of Rome.
During World War II, this church was badly damaged by Hitler’s bombing, but soon after the war it was reconstructed and restored. Next to the Temple of Augustus are the ruins of another, similar temple dedicated to Diana.
Fort Punta Christo
This fort was erected in the late 19th century by Austria-Hungary to protect the naval port of that state, located in Pula. The fort offers the most beautiful view of the city bay and the popular local Brioni Park.
Today the fortress is in disrepair, but its undeniable historical value is recognized by almost everyone. According to legend, all the city forts are interconnected by tunnels, but so far these tunnels have not been found.
Around the fortress dug a moat, inside there is a large dungeon, as well as almost 300 rooms.
Nowadays in the High Season there is a lot of entertainment every night.
This gate is located in the center of historic Pula and is part of the ancient city walls. It is interesting that in Roman times Hercules himself was appointed the protector of Pula, and this gate is dedicated to him.
The gate does not look too stunning, although it is one of the best preserved ancient monuments on the Adriatic. They were built of stone blocks, and in the center there is a relief depicting a powerful man with a beard.
There is another opinion: Hercules Gate is much older, it was built and became a symbol of Pula in the 3-2 centuries BC, because Hercules is an ancient Greek hero. Also, historians believe that Rome was building a military base in Pula, in which Hercules is associated.
The Church of St. John the Baptist. Nicholas
This early Christian church was built in Pula at the end of the 6th century. It is a traditional Byzantine basilica. The church was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but in the Early Middle Ages it was defeated by barbarians.
The temple was not rebuilt until the early 13th century, and did not become Orthodox until the 18th century. At this time it was re-consecrated in honor of St. John the Baptist. It is a local church of St. Nicholas, and today belongs to the local Serbian community.
In this temple there is an iconostasis made in the 18th century by the famous icon painter Thomas Batos from Greece. There are also many ancient icons from the 15th-16th centuries of considerable artistic value.
This museum was created in the early 20th century and was originally called the Museum of Antiquities. First there was a large collection of ancient stone monuments as well as clay and metal artifacts.
Then another significant archaeological collection was moved from the city of Poreč to the Pula Archaeological Museum, necessitating an expansion of museum space. After World War II, some of the museum’s treasures were taken to Italy.
Only in the sixties of the last century was it possible to return the exported exhibits. Today, there are artifacts created by man in prehistoric caves, ancient necropolises, widely represented early Christian art, etc.
This historical and architectural monument is not far from the archaeological museum. The double gate was built in the 1st century AD. and served as a portal to the Roman theater. It is most likely that an even older gate stood in its place.
On this gate, which was part of the city wall, there is an ancient plate made of marble, on which it is written that a certain Lucius donated a lot of money to Poole for the construction of the city’s water supply system.
There was a necropolis near the Double Gate in Roman times. But it was looted during the Middle Ages, and the tombstones were used for building and repairing homes. Archaeologists discovered the remains of an ancient mausoleum at the gate.
It is the oldest city park in Pula, built in the 60s of the 19th century. There are tropical trees and flowers, and the flowerbeds are surrounded by paths sprinkled with sand. The park is decorated with sculptures. In place of the fountains today are playgrounds.
The marine park has remained almost unchanged, only the number of tropical plants has increased. Their first seedlings from all over the world were brought in by Austro-Hungarian naval officers.
Church of the Sea
This Catholic church was erected in Pula at the end of the 19th century in a predominantly neo-Romantic style. It is built of red and white stone quarried at Brioni. The church has a beautiful exterior and delightful interiors.
Near the church was built a bell tower with a height of almost 30 meters. At its top is a bronze statue of an angel with open wings. There are five bells in the bell tower. The construction was financed by the Emperor of Austria-Hungary himself.
This small fortress was built in Pula at the end of the 19th century. The Austrians needed the fort to protect their military fleet from the enemy. For this purpose, there are several other forts on the coast near the city.
This fortress was built of stone blocks, and the barracks and outbuildings inside it were made of brick and concrete. The fortress even had an elevator to deliver ammunition, it was possible to use new kinds of weapons for those times.