Arena Pula, Arena Pula, Arena Pula, Arena Pula
The Arena Pula is the biggest, most impressive and the most preserved monument of antic masonry in all of Croatia. If you compare it to the remaining 200 Roman amphitheaters, its walls are the most preserved ones out of all of them and as such, they provide an invaluable insight into building techniques and technological advancements of the once glorious Roman Empire. It was built in various stages during the 1st century. However, it has been speculated that there was a wooden construction that stood in its place even going back to the days of Emperor August. The construction of the amphitheater was undertaken under the reign of the Flavian lineage of Roman Emperor, and at the same time, the monumental Coliseum was being built in Rome.
It is the 6th largest amphitheater in the world and is the only Roman amphitheater in the entire world that has its three architectural rows completely preserved. It is incredibly well respected and famous around the world, and is often put side by side with the Coliseum in Rome, the Arena from Verona, amphitheaters from Pompei, Nimes and Arles – the most impressive Roman constructions from the antic time period. The amphitheater was built using stone blocks which were manufactured in quarries located around Pula. Stones were shipped to Pula using boats.
The whole arena is geometrically incredibly well designed and built, it has an elliptic shape and it stands over 132 meters in length, over 105 meters in width and over 32 meters in height. The eastern part of the amphitheater is two stories high and placed on a natural uplift in order to provide added stability to the whole construction, while the western part of the amphitheater is three stories high, and it is facing the sea.
The middle part of the amphitheater is 67 meters long and 41 meters wide, and it is separated from the spectator area by a 1-meter wide ditch, that is covered by stone panels. This middle part is called the arena, and it was the site of bloody battles between gladiators and other spectacles which were designed to satisfy the bloodlust of the spectators. The spectator area is raising above the arena and is shaped like a funnel, with stairwells acting as connections between floors. The capacity of the amphitheater was around 23000 back in the Roman days.
Today, the Arena is one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Croatia, not just Pula. It is used for various occasions, with the accent being on concerts, ranging from operatic performances from world famous tenors such as Pavarotti and Carreras, and other various famous musicians like Joe Cocker, Eros Ramazzotti, Norah Jones, Elton John, Michael Bolton and many others. In addition to concerts, it hosts various art shows, fights, film festivals and many other spectacles.
Arena opening hours:
- 25th October – March: 9 AM to 5 PM
- April: 08 AM do 8 PM
- May, September: 8 AM to 9 PM
- June: 8 AM to 9:30 PM
- July, August: 8 AM to Midnight
- 1st to 24th October: 9 AM to 7 PM
- Adults 40 kunas – 5€ or 6$
- Students 20 kunas – 2.6€ or 2.9$