Pula Amphitheatre (Pula Arena)
The City of Pula hosts the most famous and significant monument, the Pula Amphitheatre. The Pula Amphitheatre, or Pula Arena is a structure in which gladiator fights were held. It was built in the 1st century, during the period of the rule of Emperor Vespasian, at the same time as the Coliseum in Rome.
It is elliptical in shape, with the longer axis 130 meters in length and the shorter axis of 100 meters. In the center is a flat region - the fighting ground, while spectators sat on the stone steps or stood in the galleries. It was constructed of local limestone.
It is thought that the Pula Amphitheatre could hold up to 20,000 spectators.
In the Middle Ages, the Arena was used for knights’ tournaments and fairs. Today it is the venue for summer performances - the Film Festival, Opera Season, Equestrian Festival, concerts, and other events which can seat about 5,000 spectators.
The underground passages, once used by the gladiators, nowadays host a regular exhibition of viticulture and olive growing in Istria in ancient times. The exhibits include reconstructions of machines once used for the production of olive oil and wine (mills, presses, vessels) and amphorae used for storing and transporting olive oil and wine.
The Amphitheater is situated outside the old city walls because of its size and geographical configuration. The road that leads to the center was constructed during Emperor Vespasian, after whom it was named - Via Flavia. Even today it represents one of the main city roads.
There are over 10 campsites in or around the city of Pula. Find campsites in Pula.
Check the other historic cities of Croatia.