Pula sits beneath seven hills on the inside part of a broad gulf. This gulf is a naturally well-protected port with a depth up to 38 meters opening to the northwest. Also, it has twin entrances from the sea, creating easy access for all sizes of the yacht.
This is the largest city in the Istria County of Croatia. It lies at the southern tip of the Mediterranean Istria Peninsula. It’s known for its many ancient Roman buildings, the most famous being the Pula Arena. This arena is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the Mediterranean. Additionally, the city has a long tradition of winemaking, shipbuilding, fishing, and tourism.
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Evidence of Homo erectus, over a million years ago, has been found in a cave called Šandalja near Pula. Archaeologists also found pottery from the Neolithic period (6000–2000 BC), indicating human settlement. Further findings include many late Bronze Age bone objects, such as drilling tools, sewing needles, and spiral bronze pendants.
Greek tradition associated the foundation of Polar to the Colchians. The story of ¨Jason and the Argonauts and the stolen golden fleece¨ features this very town. According to the legend, the Colchians chased Jason across the Mediterranean into the northern Adriatic but could not catch him. Consequently, Jason settled in a city called Polai, which means “City of Refuge”.
The great amphitheatre
Pula Arena’s construction was between 27 BC–68 AD, yet much of it is still standing to this day. The Romans created a water supply and built a sewage system for the city. They fortified the city with ten gates built into the city walls. A few of these gates remain standing today, including the famous Twin Gates. The Gate of Hercules has the names of the founders of the city engraved on it. Additionally, this town is the site of Crispus Caesar’s execution in 326 AD.
Following the collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Pula and most of Istria passed to Italy. Subsequently, Pula became the capital of the Mediterranean District of Pula. The population declined after World War II. Basically, this was due to economic difficulties caused by the Austro-Hungarian military’s withdrawal and the decline of the shipyard. This caused the dismissal of shipyard workers, creating hardship locally. Benito Mussolini´s fascist government persecuted all non-Italians. Many people left the city and went back home to the newly formed Yugoslavia. After the collapse of fascist Italy in 1943, the town was occupied by the German Wehrmacht and became a base for U-boats. As a consequence, the Allies repeatedly bombed the city from 1942–1944. These were very dark days for the region.
The modern era of Pula
For two years after 1945, the Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories (AMG) administered Pula. With British prime minister Churchill’s help, Pula formed an enclave within south Istria, occupied by Yugoslavia from 1945. A British battalion of the 24th Guards Brigade was based in the area. However, the region became officially reunited with the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 15 September 1947.
Today the city of Pula is bilingual. Hence both Pola or Pula are official names, depending on which language you use. After the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991, Pula-Pola became part of Croatia’s newly created Mediterranean Republic.
The average Mediterranean temperature is a very pleasant 24 C during August. Summers are usually warm during the day, becoming more chilled in the evening, although strange heat wave patterns also occur, such as light snow in winter and extremely hot spells in high season.