Pula / Pola

Located at the Southern tip of of the Istrian peninsula, Pula sits at a location highly appreciated by ancient civilizations. It is a town of extraordinary beauty and culture with a three thousand year long history. This important Istrian port boasts a rich and varied cultural heritage that has attracted visitors for centuries.

Coordinates: 44° 52′ 0″ N, 13° 51′ 0″ E

Pula

Pula was originally founded as a fortified settlement of the Histri, the pre-Roman inhabitants of Istria after whom the peninsula is named. In the Illyrian period, until the arrival of the Romans in 177 BC, Pola was no more than the surroundings of nearby Nesactium, the political, administrative, military and religious centre and capital of the Histri. As a result of intensive colonization, trade routes, as well as the importance of its military position, Pola took over the leading position. Numerous trades developed in that period: agriculture, viticulture, olive-growing, fishing and pottery for the transport of olive-oil, wine, wheat and fish.

Pola was elevated to colonial rank between 46–45 BC under Julius Caesar as the tenth region of the Roman Empire. During that time the town grew and peaked at about a population of about 30,000. During the civil war that followed Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, Pola took the side of Cassius, since the town had been founded by Cassius Longinus, brother of Cassius. After Octavian’s victory, the town was demolished. It was soon rebuilt at the request of Augustus’ daughter Iulia and was then named Colonia Pietas Iulia Pola Pollentia Herculanea. Pola was transformed into an imperial city where some of the best examples of Roman architecture were built.

Pula is well known for its many surviving ancient Roman buildings, the most famous of which is its 1st-century amphitheatre, one of the best preserved from antiquity. Two other notable and well-preserved ancient Roman structures are the 1st-century AD Arch of the Sergii and the Temple of Rome and Augustus.

PORtFOLIO

The Pula Arena, one of the best preserved amphitheatres of the Roman world. It was completed during the reign of Vespasian and could hold about 20,000 spectators.
The amphitheatre of Pula was built outside the city walls along the Via Flavia, the road from Pula to Aquileia and Rome.
The amphitheatre at Pula is unique as it features four rectangular towers that had been included into the outer wall mantle. Each of them held a wooden staircase leading to the top rows and to a water reservoir. The reservoirs were filled with rainwater that feed a fountain used to refresh the spectators.
The amphitheatre at Pula is unique as it features four rectangular towers that had been included into the outer wall mantle. Each of them held a wooden staircase leading to the top rows and to a water reservoir. The reservoirs were filled with rainwater that feed a fountain used to refresh the spectators in the heat.
The Temple of Augustus, situated in the Forum, was dedicated to the goddess Roma and the Emperor Augustus. It was constructed between the year 2 BC and AD 14
The Temple of Augustus, situated in the Forum, was dedicated to the goddess Roma and the Emperor Augustus. It was constructed between the year 2 BC and AD 14.
The temple of Augustus was built on a podium with a tetrastyle portico of Corinthian columns. It is 17.65 m long, 8.5 m wide and 13.17 high.
The temple of Augustus was built on a podium with a tetrastyle portico of Corinthian columns. It is one of the most beautiful examples of early Roman imperial temple architecture.
The back of the Temple of Augustus.
The back of the Temple of Augustus.
The temple of Augustus was part of a triad consisting of three temples. The Temple of Augustus stood at the left side of the central temple, and the similar temple of the goddess Diana stood on the other side of the main temple.
The temple of Augustus was part of a triad consisting of three temples. The Temple of Augustus stood at the left side of the central temple whilst the similar Temple of Diana stood on the other side.
The Gate of Hercules, the oldest surviving Roman structure in Pula. A carving of the head of Hercules and his club is clearly visible at the top of the arch.
The Gate of Hercules, the oldest surviving Roman structure in Pula. A carving of the head of Hercules and his club is clearly visible at the top of the arch.
The Gate of Hercules with head of Hercules and his club.
The Gate of Hercules with head of Hercules and his club.
The Arch of the Sergii, a famous patrician family in ancient Rome. It was built at the end of the 1st century BC (around 29 and 27 BC) by Salvia Postuma Sergii with her own money, in honour of the three members of her family who took part in the battle of Actium.
The Arch of the Sergii, a famous patrician family in ancient Rome. It was built at the end of the 1st century BC (around 29 and 27 BC) by Salvia Postuma Sergii with her own money, in honour of the three members of her family who took part in the battle of Actium.
Detail of the Arch of the Sergii. Standing 8 meters high, the arch was constructed in Corinthian style with strong Hellenistic influences. It is richly adorned with relief decorations of grapevines while its centre depicts a scene of an eagle fighting a snake. Two winged victories stand between the inner half columns.
Detail of the Arch of the Sergii. Standing 8 meters high, the arch was constructed in Corinthian style with strong Hellenistic influences. It is richly adorned with relief decorations of grapevines. Two winged victories stand between the inner half columns.
Detail of the Arch of the Sergii. Central arch relief depicting a scene of an eagle fighting a snake.
Detail of the Arch of the Sergii. Central arch relief depicting a scene of an eagle fighting a snake.
The Porta Gemina, built between the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd century AD. was once the entrance to the city. Its road led to the Arena and further to Nesactium.
The Porta Gemina built between the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd century AD. It was once the entrance to the city.
The Roman Theatre
The Roman Theatre built in the 2nd century AD. The remains of the scene, semicircular orchestra and cavea have been partly reconstructed.
The Roman Theatre.
The Roman Theatre.
The Punishment of Dirce mosaic discovered after the bombing of World War II. It is preserved in-situ.
The Punishment of Dirce mosaic discovered after the bombing of World War II. It is preserved in-situ.
The mosaic covered the floor of a central room of a Roman house, probably from the 3rd century.
Central panel of the mosaic of Dirce. The mosaic covered the floor of a central room of a Roman house, probably from the 3rd century.

See more images of Pula on Flickr

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