A town over three thousand years old. It settled on a hill Kaštel (Castle) where the first fortress Histra was formed.
Pula is a town of over 3000 years old and has developed on top of a hill Kastel (Castle) where the first town settlement was formed, the Histra fortress.
The official name of the town was Colonia Pietas Iulia Pola and it had all functions and buildings typical for an Ancient Roman settlement and the true town history begins with the Ancient Romans.
Today Pula is the biggest town in the Istrian region. It’s a town of cultural and linguistic diversity bringing together people and languages of the Mediterranean with those of Eastern Europe. The natural beauty of the surrounding areas and the turquoise blue colour of the Adriatic Sea make the town an internationally renowned popular summer vacation target.
Historical and cultural heritage
During the Migration Period, Pula and the surrounding areas were inhabited by Croats and Slavic tribes. Afterwards, during the Venetian ruling, there was no significant economic development because the Venetian Republic didn’t have much interest in the area and the town was considered to be only a transit harbour point on the way from Venice to the Adriatic East Coast harbours.
Starting from the 14th century plague epidemics began to spread, together with malaria and other, at the time deadly diseases, which have almost exterminated the local population so that by the end of 17th century there were only around 600 people inhabiting Pula.
However, during the Humanism and Renaissance period, Pula was becoming increasingly of interest to other european cultural circles due to its antique monuments: the Amphitheatre, the Arch of the Sergii, the Augustus Temple and other.
Artists and builders were coming to Pula in the period from the 16th to the 18th century in order to stay in the city and draw, paint and describe the roman buildings that remained a model to architects throughout Renaissance up until the Classic Period.
Brijuni National Park
The Brijuni Islands have been formed by the separation of parts of land from the Istrian mainland thus forming a beautiful archipelagos with plenty of pine tress, laurel, and lustrous tree tops, some up to 20 m wide. The Brijuni Islands have been further enriched by human cultivation which resulted in profusion of animal and plant world.
Due ti its unseen beauty, the Brijuni Islands have often been visited by by high state officials, actors, musicians, scientists and artists. This made the archipelagos famous and renown as a pleasant holiday and excursion site.
Brijuni, of a completely different appearance at the time, have been inhabited as early as Prehistoric Era. When the ancient Romans discovered and conquered the place, they worshipped it and planted olive trees and grape vines. There are many findings testifying about the Roman presence so for example in the Varige cove, there are remnants of a three terrace Roman villa, temples, pathways, spas, fish pond etc.
It is because of all the mentioned amenities that this specific Villa became the royal residence during the Emperor Vespasian ruling period
The Forum in Pula
The Pula Forum is the central town square and has been such since the roman colony founding of Pula. Located between the sea coast and the Western town hill slopes, the ancient Forum lies where later the Kaštel has been built. In the beginning, the Forum was comprised of three temples while today only the Augustus Temple remains.
A part of the second temple, the Diana’s Temple, was used to create the City Hall. Remains of the original Diana’s Temple can still be seen at the back of the City Hall. The remains of the third temple are, unfortunately, no longer there.
Throughout a very long history, the Forum was used for many different purposes. It had been used for religious ceremonies but also as a wheat storing place, however, the most ample use of Forum was that of a court house and judicial centre.
Over two thousand years of hosting many of the highly important functions have given this site a special value and meaning.
Today the Forum is an extremely dynamic site. A centre of administration but also abounding in tourist offer, it is a scene for many different concerts and other cultural and art performances. Visiting the Forum and the Augustus Temple is an inevitable part of Pula sightseeing.
The Central Information Point of Pula Tourist Board is located on the square itself and is a great spot to get plenty of useful information.