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The story of Arena in Pula

 

Pula Arena is the most significant monument from the Roman period in Istria, but it is also one of the best-preserved amphitheatres in the world.

The construction of the Pula amphitheatre, Arena, began during the reign of Emperor Augustus, at the beginning of the 1st century, while during the reign of the Flavian dynasty it was expanded and could accommodate as many as 23,000 spectators.

Built of local Tuscan-style limestone, the amphitheatre consists of four floors with a maximum height of 33 meters. Because it is built on the slope of a hill, the eastern part, which is on a naturally elevated terrain, rises to only two upper floors. The full profile consisted of 72 semicircular arcades, while the top floor had 64 square windows, and in case of bad weather, there was also the possibility of covering the auditorium with canvas and masts.

The amphitheatre was also the subject of interest of all those who in the past, accidentally or intentionally, came to Pula, many and only because the boats in the port of Pula sometimes had to wait for a favourable wind to continue the journey. Nevertheless, even such casual visitors spread the news about the existence of the magnificent ancient monuments of Pula, among which the Arena, due to its size and preservation, certainly had the status of an almost trademark.

Today, the Arena is a first-class tourist attraction in Pula, but also in the whole of Croatia. The arena is visited by about 300,000 visitors a year and is also known as a concert hall where some of the world-class artists performed.