Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Pula, Croatia
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Pula, Croatia

Pula (Italian Pola) is the largest city in Istria, Croatia, at the southern tip of that peninsula. Like the rest of the region, it is known for its mild climate, tame sea and unspoiled nature. The city has a long tradition of wine making, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism. Pula has also been Istria's administrative center since ancient Roman days.

Table of contents
1 Sights
2 History
3 Culture
4 Tourism
5 Transportation
6 Pula's nearby towns and villages
7 External links


The city is best known for its many surviving ancient Roman buildings, the most famous of which is its first century amphitheatre, sixth biggest in the world, locally called Arena. Arena is one of the best preserved amphitheaters from antiquity and is still in use today during summer film festivals. Two other notable and well preserved ancient Roman structures are the first century triumphal arch, the Sergius Arch, and temple to the god Apollo built in the honor of the first century A.D. Roman emperor Caeser Augustus. You can still walk through the city's old quarter of narrow streets, lined with Medieval and Renaissance buildings, on ancient Roman pavestones.

Pula's Ancient Roman Structures

Amphitheater Arena Apollo's Temple Triumphal Sergius Arch


The city's ealiest recorded permanent habitation dates back to the 5th century BC. Significant Roman settlement began in the first century AD. Subsequently, the city was under the rule of the Ostrogoths, Franks, and Venetians, as each succeeded the other in ruling the region. The history of the city continued to reflect its location and significance, like that of the region, in the redrawing of borders between European powers.

In 1848, Pula and Istria came under the rule of Austria and became a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During this period, Pula's large natural harbor became the site of Austria's main naval base and a major shipbuilding center. The island of Mali Lošinj; to the south of Pula became the summer vacation resort of Austria's Habsburg royal family. Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Pula along with all of Istria became a part of Italy. Italian rule lasted until the end of World War II. For a number of years following that war Pula was administerd by the United Nations, including U.S military forces, as Istria was partitioned into occupation zones until the region became largely united with the rest of Croatia within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Since the collapse of the SFRY, Pula and Istria have become part of modern Croatia.


As a result of its rich political history, Pula is a city with a cultural mix of people and languages from the Mediterranean and Central Europe, ancient and contemporary. Pula's architecture reflects these layers of history that have settled on the city. Residents are commonly fluent in foreign languages, especially Italian, often also German and English. For a period of time Irish writer James Joyce lived, worked and wrote here in 1904 and 1905. Also the famous physician Robert Koch worked on islands of Brijuni.


The natural beauty of Pula's surrounding countryside and turquoise blue water of the Adriatic have made the city an internationally popular summer vacation destination. The pearl nearby is National Park Brijuni visited by numerous world leaders since it was the summer residence of the late statesman Josip Broz. There are still undiscovered ruins of ancient Roman villas and temples burried among farm fields and along the shoreline of the dozens of surrounding fishing and farming villages. The coastal waters offer beaches, fishing, wreck dives to ancient Roman galleys and World War I warships, cliff diving, and sailing to unspoiled coves and islands large and small.

Pula is the end point of the EuroVelo 9 cycle route which runs from Gdansk on the Baltic Sea through Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

You can track the dinosaurus footprints on the nearby sea shores while the more important findings are on undisclosed location around Bale.


Pula has a local airport, but like the nearby Rijeka airport it is not a major international destination. Nearby international airports include Trieste in Italy and Zagreb, Croatia's capital.

Pula's nearby towns and villages

External links