The city of Pula represents a very fine combination of the old and modern city where many famous writers and composers have found inspiration for their masterpieces. Many cultural and historical monuments dominate its panorama and represent today the unique setting of various cultural and artistic events.
Tourist facilities are located outside the town in woods close to the sea.
Beaches stretch along 100 km of beautifully and indented coast.
The area of Pula is magnificent, with country stone houses and buildings of modern architecture.
Pula is situated at the southeast end of the Istrian peninsula and has been in existence since 3 thousand years.
During the Roman reign, the colony was named "Pietas Iulia", and later Colonia Iulia Polentia Herculanea, under the protection of legendary Hercules. The town, situated on the main hill, started to expand around the bay and developed into a cultural and entertainment nucleus for Roman emperors, renaissance poets and painters, Venetian senators, French generals. Pula's history was influenced by the Roman Empire, the Eastern Goths, and later by Byzantium. The Franks, Venetians, Austrians, Hungarians, Italians and Slavs acclaimed the town.
In the 13th century new political forces emerged. Over a century Venetians have gradually taken the western part of the Istrian peninsula.
Thus Pula remained bound to the Venetian economical and political aims for the next centuries. During the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries Pula was being attacked and conquered by Genoa, Croatian-Hungarian and Habsburg armies, causing the devastation of numerous medieval villages and towns. Besides the war calamity, the population of Pula and Istria was reduced by the numerous plague, malaria, typhoid and chicken pox epidemics. In those past centuries, Pula became a typical medieval town, in Romanesque-Gothic style.
During World War II, under the fascist rule, Pula was known as an antifascist town that organized its battle for the future while experiencing bomb raids, devastation, as well as repressions over the defeated. After the War against the German occupation Pula came under the Anglo-American administration. In 1947 Pula finally turned to its natural hinterland - Croatia (according to the 1943 Resolution), and therefore Yugoslavia. This caused still another exodus of the malcontent Italian citizens. That was the beginning of a new period in the history of Pula that lasted till Croatia gained independence.
Pula Sights, sightseeing, culture:
Actually, the city palace is Romanesque-Gothic- Renaissance, built on the remains of a Roman temple of the goddess Diana, which speaks most eloquently of the passage of time and changing influences. Many famous artists of their time visited Pula and left traces of the town in their work, to name the most famous: Michelangelo and Dante.
The Arena or Amphitheatre - the building where in ancient Rome gladiatorial fights were held - was built in the 1st century AD during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian, at the same time as the Colosseum in Rome. It is oval in shape, about 130 meters long and about 100 meters wide. In the middle there is an even part - the arena, while the spectators could sit on the stone stairs-benches or stand in the gallery. It is believed the Amphitheatre could seat 20.000 spectators.
The Golden Gate was erected between the years 29 and 27 BC by the Sergians, in honour of the three members of the family who held important official duties in Pula. This triumphal arch leaned against the city gate Porta Aurea thus called because of its richly ornamented arch or because of the gilded elements.
In ancient and medieval times walls surrounded the whole town and the passage was made possible by ten gates. The walls had become old and unnecessary so they were pulled down at the beginning of the 19th century. Parts of the walls have been preserved between the Twin Gate and the square Giardini. The Twin Gate, thus called because of the two arches through which you enter the inner garden which was once the entrance to the same city, was constructed between the 2nd and 3rd century. It leads to the Archaeological Museum and the Castle.
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