The most famous and important monument, the starting and ending point of every sightseeing tour is the Amphitheater, popularly called the Arena of Pula, which was once the site of gladiator fights.
The most famous and important monument, the starting and ending point of every sightseeing tour is the Amphitheater, popularly called the Arena of Pula, which was once the site of gladiator fights. It was built in the 1st century AD during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, at the same time as the magnificent Colosseum in Rome.
The ground plan is elliptical, the longer axis measuring about 130 m and the shorter one about 100 m. Gladiator fights took place in the central flat area called the arena, while the spectators could sit on the stone tiers or stand in the gallery. It is believed that the Amphitheater could seat about 20,000 spectators. Local limestone was used for its construction. In the Middle Ages it was the site of knights tournaments and fairs.
Today it is the venue for summer performances – the Film Festival, Opera Season, Equestrian Festival, concerts, … which can seat about 5,000 spectators. The underground passages, once used by the gladiators, nowadays host a regular exhibition of viticulture and olive growing in Istria in ancient times. The exhibits include reconstructions of machines once used for the production of olive oil and wine (mills, presses, vessels) and amphorae used for storing and transporting olive oil and wine.
The Amphitheater is situated outside the old city walls because of its size and geographical configuration. The road that leads to the center was constructed during Emperor Vespasian, after whom it was named – Via Flavia. Even today it represents one of the main city roads.
Temple of Augustus
The Temple, situated in the Forum, is dedicated to goddess Roma and Emperor Augustus. It was constructed between the year 2 BC and AD 14 when the Emperor died. According to its shape it follows the typical pattern of temples.
The function of the Temple changed through the years: with the ending of the pagan ancient era its original pagan function ceased and the temple was afterwards used as a church, granary, and in the beginning of the 19th century it was a museum for stone monuments.
In 1944 it was hit by a bomb and completely destroyed. It was reconstructed between the years 1945 and 1947 and nowadays it houses a collection of ancient stone and bronze sculptures.
The other twin temple, of which only the back wall is preserved, is believed to have been constructed at the same time and in the same style and was called the Temple of Diana.
At one of the most beautiful spots in Pula, Monte Zaro Park, you will find the Pula Observatory which offers not only the great view of the sky and stars but also of the town centre and the Pula Bay.
The Pula Observatory was founded as early as 1869 as a part of the Imperial and Royal Hydrographic Institute of the Navy (K. und K. Hidrographisches Amt) and is the oldest observatory in Croatia from which 28 planetoids were discovered, three of which were named “Polana”, “Adria” and “Istria”.
You can take a look at the sky above Pula if you call 091/533 0 304. We were told by the astronomers that the best time to look at the stars is in the evening.
Aquarium Pula is situated in the 122-year-old Austro-Hungarian coastal fort Verudela, in the holiday camp Verudela in Pula.
What is there in the Aquarium?
– well-preserved parts of the fort on 2 floors, a tunnel and a ditch around the fort
– on the area of 1200m2, in about 40 sea-water pools there are representatives of the Adriatic flora and fauna, protected and venomous sea organisms
– a recovery center for sea-turtles
– chemistry and biology practicum
– summer terrace ‘Ribnjak’ in the ditch of the fort and K.u.K. canteen on the 1st floor of the fort offering Mediterranean and Austro- Hungarian dishes on a daily basis
– exhibitions: ’Old fishermen tools’, ‘Photographs of the forts of Pula and items from the K.u.K. Monarchy’
– sea theatre for children and rooms for birthday celebration (‘The Pirate’ and ‘The Princess’)
– a souvenir shop
Educational and amusement programs:
– interactive games suitable for all ages, inside and in front of the Aquarium, theatrical plays, birthday and holiday celebrations as well as celebrating the important events from the eco-calendar, book promotions…
– demonstrations of waste recycling, soap making (on the basis of algae essences/extracts), herbarium making in chemistry and biology practicums (included in the ticket price, every day- Monday to Friday, 11.00 to 12.00a.m.)
– scientific marine workshop for children, for your creative holiday (Monday to Friday, 10.00 to 12.00a.m., attractive exercises and experiments. Early bookings at the entrance required!
– ‘Blue School’ – combined ticket (a guided aquarium tour, lunch/evening meal and tourist program on a ship where you can get an insight into the basics of oceanography and fishing, lasting about 4 hours, with the possibility of free diving- every day from 9.00a.m. to 1.00p.m. and 2.00 to 6.00p.m.). For children under 3 the entrance is free. Early bookings at the entrance required!
– marine biology sea camp for children (every day, Monday to Friday, 8.00a.m. to 4.00p.m.).
Brijuni – true paradise near Pula
The Brijuni Islands or Brijuni archipelago are today one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Croatia. This archipelago consists of a group of islands off the western coast of Istria, which together with the surrounding waters was proclaimed a national park in 1983. The islands are only 6 km from Pula and separated from the mainland by Fažana Channel, with a regular daily boat service from the nearby Fažana port. The Brijuni Islands comprise two larger islands – Veliki and Mali Brijun, as well as 12 smaller and exceptionally indented islands that have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Brijuni are well known for their mild Mediterranean climate with plenty of sun and humidity, which is ideal for the lush vegetation and pleasant stay on the islands. In winter, the average air temperature is 5.9o, in spring 12.2o, in summer 23.2o, and in autumn 14.8o Celsius. In summer the sea temperature is between 22o and 25o, whereas the air temperature is about 23o Celsius. The vegetation on the Brijuni is extremely luxuriant and the national park area is full of tropical plants that form specially maintained tree-lined lanes, parks and gardens.
Brijuni are the ideal choice for guests seeking accommodation of the highest category and the best offer of additional facilities.
And much more.
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