Located on the southern part of the Istrian Peninsula, Pula is Istria’s largest city and one of its most popular tourist destinations.
Pula first became a thriving centre during the time of the Roman conquest of Istria when it served as a military base for the Romans. The city’s second golden-age occurred during the 19th century, when it became an Austrian naval base.
The city’s most important tourist attraction is the elliptical Roman amphitheatre, built during the reign of Emperor Augustus, which, during its heyday, was capable of seating twenty-three thousand spectators.
The Gemina Gate, built during the 2nd century, was once part of the former city-wall; behind it is the Archaeological Museum, in the garden of which can be found the ruins of the one-time Roman Theatre. The Gate of Hercules was built in the middle of the 1st century.
The Podesta Mansion, which at one time served as the town-hall, was built in 1296 – today only its eastern side retains its original form. The small Temple of Augustus next to it was erected for Emperor Augustus at the edge of where the Forum used to be.
The Gothic style Franciscan church and monastery, perched on the sides of the hills, date from the 13th and 14th centuries.
From the hill overlooking the harbour, where formerly a Roman, then a Venetian, fortification once stood, an Austrian Citadel looks down now.
Pula’s beaches are to be found in the south-west quarter of the city.