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Croatia has a number of large cities that have their own unique flair and style, but none of them compare to what Pula has to offer.
With the abundance of Roman architecture in this community, there are a number of historical attractions that are complimented by a small-town friendliness that is difficult to replicate. Add in the fact that there are beaches close by and a protected nature park to explore on a fun day trip from the city and it’s easy to see why Pula is becoming a growing destination for those who need a holiday!
If your plans have you coming to Pula in the near future, then here is a glimpse of what you can expect with your upcoming visit.
What Exactly Is Pula’s Most Famous Sight ?
Created in the 1st Century, the Roman amphitheatre in Pula is a very imposing sight. It overlooks the harbor in the northeast portion of the old town and was built entirely from locally sourced limsetone. It was actually designed to hose gladiatorial contests and could seat up to 20,000 people in the 1st century quite easily. Rainwater was collected on the top of the walls. It’s the starting point and the ending point of any Pula tour and if you time your trip right, you can enjoy a concert at the venue as well.
For a more modern marvel of engineering, the Zerostrasse offers an underground system of tunnels that were created to provide the local population with protection from the events of the first world war. It also doubled as a place to store ammunition during the war. Today you can go through several of the tunnels and then find yourself in the central exhibition that shows exhibits about the era from the city’s perspective.
A final stop should be at the Temple of Agustus, which is the only remaining visible remnant of the ancient Roman forum. It was built some time before 14 AD and offers one of the best preserved temples to the Roman emperor that was also treated as the head of the approved religion. You’ll need to pay a fee for photos, but it’s well worth it.
What Else Does Pula Have To Offer
The next stop on your journey through Pula must be Konoba Batelina, which is a little family-run tavern. You’ll find it in Banjole Village, which is just a little southeast of Pula. The seafood is fresh and local, making it a very popular destination. If you don’t make reservations before you find yourself in Pula, you won’t be able to make it for a meal.
You may also want to put in the sweat equity to find Farabuto, which is in the southwest part of the city in a residential area. It features some wonderful Mediterranean menu items that have a bit of a Croatian twist to them. The wine list is pretty good as well and you can’t beat the affordability of the house wine!
The beaches in Pula are great for unwinding and enjoying the sunshine and are just a short distance outside the city and can be reached by car or by bus. They are made of sand and shingle and the waters of the Adriatic are clear and tranquil, perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The promenades along the beaches are perfect for romantic evening strolls. The city itself has a number of ancient buildings and monuments dating back thousands of years such as the amphitheatre and the remains of the ancient city walls.
The city is home to a wide range of cafés and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat during the day. If you want to sample some of the local cuisine, then try out the food in one of the local taverns, serving traditional dishes, the seafood is especially good. For a drink and a bit of a flutter you can spend the evening in the casino, where you can also get some dinner.
What does Pula have in store for you? Although it is rooted in ancient history, this community offers a modern appeal that will let you enjoy a holiday of any length. If you’re ready to have a permanent smile on your face, then plan your trip here today and you won’t be disappointed with the results!
Travel to Pula, Croatia
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Sightseeing and Tours
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Map and distances
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When you are visiting the city, make use of the local tourist information where you can get free and professional assistance in planning what to see and do during your vacation. At the tourist information you can also get a wide range of brochures and maps of the city and the region for free.
In the following section you can find more local information about the city.
Pula Tourist Information
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Best of Pula
What to do and see in Pula ?
The Roman Amphitheatre is one of the city’s cultural highlights; the theatre is one of the largest of its kind still remaining and in the summer houses the city’s film festival. The market hall is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings exhibiting some fantastic architecture where you can buy local produce and souvenirs. There are also plenty of museums in the city celebrating Pula’s heritage and culture.
The most famous of the buildings in Pula is its 1st-century amphitheatre, which is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world and locally known as the Arena. This is one of the best preserved amphitheatres from antiquity and is still in use today during summer film festivals.
Arch of the Sergii
Temple of Augustus
Augustus’ temple dedicated to goddess Roma and Emperor Augustus
The Twin Gates (Porta Gemina)
One of the few remaining gates after the city walls were pulled down at the beginning of the 19th century. It dates from the mid-2nd century, replacing an earlier gate. It consists of two arches, columns, a plain architrave and a decorated frieze.
The Gate of Hercules
Dates from the 1st century. At the top of the single arch one can see the bearded head of Hercules, carved in high-relief, and his club on the adjoining voussoir. A damaged inscription, close to the club, contains the names of Lucius Calpurnius Piso and Gaius Cassius Longinus who were entrusted by the Roman senate to found a colony at the site of Pula.
Cathedral of the Assumption
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in the 6th century, when Pula became the seat of a bishopry, over the remains over the original site where the Christians used to gather and pray in Roman times. It was enlarged in the 10th century.
Chapel of St. Mary Formosa
The Byzantine chapel of St. Mary Formosa was built in the 6th century (before 546) in the form of a Greek cross, resembling the churches in Ravenna. It was built by deacon Maximilian, who became later Archbishop of Ravenna. It was, together with another chapel, part of a Benedictine abbey that was demolished in the 16th century. The floors and the walls are decorated with 6th-century mosaics.
Church of St. Nicholas
The Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas with its Ravenna-style polygonal apse, originally dates from the 6th century, but was partially rebuilt in the 10th century. In 1583 it was assigned to the Orthodox community of Pula, mainly immigrants from Cyprus and Nauplion. The church owns several icons from the 15th and the 16th century and an iconostasis from the Greek artists Tomios Batos from the 18th century.
Church of St. Francis
The Church of St. Francis dates from the end of the 13th century. It was built in 1314 in late Romanesque style with Gothic additions such as the rose window. The church consists of a single nave with three apses. An unusual feature of this church is the double pulpit, with one part projecting into the street.
Historical Museum of Istria
The star-shaped castle with four bastions is situated on top of the central hill of the old city. It was built, over the remains of the Roman capitolium, by the Venetians in the 17th century, following the plans of the French military architect Antoine de Ville.
The Aquarium Pula is the biggest aquarium in Croatia, located in the Austro-Hungarian fortress Verudela, which was built in 1886 on the peninsula 3 km (2 mi) from the centre of the city of Pula. Transforming the fortress into the aquarium has been in progress since 2002. The installation encompasses about 60 tanks on the ground floor, the moat, and the first floor of the fortress.
Pula Film Festival
The oldest Croatian film festival
Festival, Days of Antique
On the way of life and culture of the old Rome
Excursions from Pula
Excursions around the nearby islands are popular as well as through the mountains that surround the city covered in pine trees and cypresses.
Panoramic flights around the region are also a fantastic way to view the spectacular scenery of the Istrian Peninsula.
When is the best time to travel ?
The best time to visit Pula and Croatia is May, June, September and October. The weather in these months are very nice. July and August are peak season with peak prices and furthermore it can be very hot, especially in the afternoon.
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