Monday, 25 September 2017


We faced our afternoon in Pula with more than a little trepidation. After a week of glorious sunshine we hit a real rainstorm. Poor Thibault was left peering through a windscreen which was being recovered in water faster than the windscreen wipers were clearing it. But with amazing good fortune,  all that had cleared by the time we drove into Pula and tried to find a parking spot. First tip, don't expect to park in the middle of Pula. With the aid of sat nav we managed to find somewhere topark on a street about 10 minutes walk away from the centre, and jolly happy we were to find it after working our way through the centre of town.

Now I think its fair to say that we had different reasons for looking around Pula, and my reason was better satisfied. For me the attraction was the Roman remains; for Thibault its the fact that Pula was the naval port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Of the two, the Romans seem better preserved.

So, starting with the Roman stuff, the obvious place to head is the Town Square, which was once the Roman Forum. And a miraculous preservation from that period is the Temple of Augustus. As you will see from the photo below, this is no romantic ruin. It is, sort of, in tact. It has in fact had a torrid history with numerous restorations, including after taking a direct hit in World War II.

 Anyway, first things first. Lunchtime and another pizza stop at a well-rated pizzeria called Jupiter. The guys claimed to be hungry and ordered the mega size. I pointed out that given it was twice the price of the next size down, and had the word "mega" in the title, that these would be unfeasibly huge for one person. They were indeed the size of cartwheels.

 After being sated, and in the case of Thibault and Ted, more than sated, we headed off to Pula's main attraction, the Roman Amphitheatre. Outside there is a helpful 3D model of the city.

 As you can see, the amphitheatre is well preserved, although it had a number of near misses in the past in terms of people wanting to dismantle it to re-use the stonework. Indeed the seating was all robbed out, although some was reinstated in the last century.

Boys will be boys

Me looking every bit the sophisticated ancient scholar. No?

Maybe not so impressed

 Ok so much for Rome, now to the Austro-Hungarians. They built tunnels under the city to allow safe passage under bombardment, so we duly visited Zerostrasse. How disappointing! Truly a missed opportunity. A few more story boards of the history of the place and we would have been satisfied.

 At least by taking the right exit we ended up in the main square again.

And this gave me the opportunity to go into the Temple of Augustus. To be fair there isn't a lot in the way of good exhibits inside, but it is interesting just to see the construction of the place.


 Then back to somewhere more modern, the 17th century Venetian fortress. Worth it more for the views than the exhibitions contained therein.

One point to make about Pula is that it is still very much a working port, not a twee tourist town.

Marshall Tito. I think one needs one image of him in a set of photos from pat of old Yugoslavia

1 comment:

  1. Think I need to brush up on my history... more great pics