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Region of Istria County - City/Town of Pula


City/Town of Pula

City/Town : Pula (Pola)
Region : Istria County
Country : Croatia
Continent : Europe
Population : 57,460
Area : 51.65 sq km
Latitude : 44°52′N
Longitude : 13°51′E
Visiting Pula

Pula (Italian: Pola, Slovene: Pulj) is a nice town at the tip of the Istrian peninsula, Croatia. Its history started about 3000 years ago when it was built by Illyrians. Romans occupied Istria in 177 B.C. After destruction of Western Roman empire, Istrian peninsula was devastated by Ostrogoths. Slavs came in Istria during migration period in 7th century but mostly lived on countryside. At that time Pula was still inhabited mostly by Italians. Landlords in Pula changed quite frequently in middle ages from republic of Venice to Genoa to Illyrian Provinces to Austria–Hungary and many others. Pula was a principal port of the Austro-Hungarian navy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between 1918 and 1947, the town was part of Italy and since the end of the Second World War it has been part of Croatia. After the war, many autochthonous Italians were forced to flee and seeked refuge in Italy and Croats began moving into the town. Although most of the population still consists of Croats, there are large minorities such as Italians, Serbs, Bosniaks and Slovenes.
Most tourists visit in the summer months, with most tourist trips and restaurants closing between October and May.
The Irish writer James Joyce lived in Pula with his wife Nora in 1904. He taught languages to Austro-Hungarian naval officers at the local Berlitz school. The Joyces lived in Pula for only one year before moving north to Trieste. Like Umago, Pola too is officially bilingual - Italian is also spoken by part of the population, while road signs are in both languages.
  • The Arena, the 6th largest surviving Roman amphitheatre. Towering over the nearby buildings this huge structure was barely saved from destruction several times during its life, mostly by various Venetians with plans to take it to Venice stone by stone as demonstration of the might of the Venetian empire. Many stones were taken to build houses and other structures around Pula, but fortunately this practice was stopped before the whole structure was destroyed. Entry (20 kn) gives you access to wander the inside of the Colosseum and visit the caverns beneath. The audio tour is very worthwhile.
  • The Forum is the main square in the center of the city. The square is built on the place of the ancient Roman forum. On the square there is city hall that was built in 10th century (parts of an old temple were used for the building as it can be seen on the rear side of the hall) and the Temple of August, from the first century.
  • Archeology Museum .
  • Zlatna vrata (Triumphal arch, 1st century BC), Dvojna vrata (Twin gate, 2-3rd century), Herkulova vrata (Hercules gate, 1st century BC).
  • St. Francis church and monastery, 14th century
  • Orthodox church, 6th century
  • Kaštel, a Castle from the 17th century features Istrian history museum
  • Malo rimsko kazalište, Little Roman theatre behind the Archeology museum
  • Mornaričko groblje, Sailors' cemetery (1866. - about 150 000 soldiers of Austro-Hungarian nations were buried there) and Mornarička crkva, Sailors' Church
  • Karlo Rojc, former military school, and later barracks, built by Austro-Hungarians (1870.) They are used since 1998. as a cultural and social center.  Many non-government organizations have their offices here, also there are music studios and venues, and art colonies. It is worth to go and walk inside this building, because over the years walls were painted with murals and art installations.
  • Visit Brijuni. Group of islands famous for their scenic beauty. They are a holiday resort and a Croatian National Park. They were also setlement in roman times and were part of Republic of Venice. There is also now famous Tito (leader of former Yugoslavia) residence. Boats go from small town near Pula named Fažana.
  • Go on Fish picnic. You can take a walk through local marina and check out timetables and prices. Prices are usually around 30€ (250hrk)per person.
  • Visit Pula Film Festival takes place in Arena and lasts from 13th to 27 july.
  • Walk down the Sergijevaca street where are many small shops, souvenir shops, bars and even sweet shops.
  • Spend a whole day on beaches of Kamenjak, near Premantura (8km from Pula). This peninsula is southernmost point of Istria, and features stunning landscapes and protected nature. Outside the summer season, it is very popular both with locals and visitors as a destination for hiking and mountain-biking.
  • Discover abandoned Austro-hungarian fortresses, constructed just before WWI, when Pula was the most fortified city in Europe. Some of those fortresses are hidden in the forests, and some are now occupied by Pula residents for different purposes, including Punta Christo, which operates as a summer club and music festival venue