P u l a
Pula is about three thousand years old. It is a city with pre-ancient traces collected in the legend of the seafarers Argonauts who arrived here from the distant shores of the Black Sea carrying with them the stolen Golden Fleece. The people of Colchis, wearied by their pursuit and hopeless because of the unreturned Golden Fleece decided to found Pula.
The greatest number of preserved monuments in Pula date from the Roman times, such as the magnificent Gate of Hercules, Temple of Augustus, Triumphal Arch of the Sergi (Golden Gate), Twin Gate… The most imposing monument – sixth by size, and by shape certainly the most beautiful in the world – is the Pula amphitheater, popularly called the Arena, dating from the 1st century BC. The Arena, which was once the site of gladiator fights, place where the first Christians were tortured, among them St. German, today is the venue for concerts and programs of the Pula Film Festival.
With a population of just over sixty thousand, Pula is the largest city in Istria and one of the leading tourist centers in Croatia. Other interesting sights in Pula are the Archaeological Museum of Istria and the Historical Museum of Istria, Istrian National Theater, University and City Library, Naval Library, galleries and cultural institutions. Shipyard “Uljanik” is known worldwide, the imperial Shipyard and Arsenal were opened in 1856, whereas the first ship “Kaiser” was launched in 1858.
The Austro-Hungarian fortress Fort Verudella, one of the many fortifications preserved in the city and its surroundings, is an interesting sight because of the Pula Aquarium. It is a very special place to relax and explore the north Adriatic marine life.