The Roman Amphitheatre (commonly called Arena) in Pula is the world's sixth largest preserved amphitheater ...
The first tourist excursions to Pula were recorded at the beginning of the 19th century. Giovanni Carrara, a conservator of antiquities in Pula, guided the sightseeing tours for distinguished personalities and organized groups in 1828. In 1832 Pula was visited by the Austrian emperor Ferdinand I.
The first tourist guide on Pula (Cenni al forestiero che visita Pola - Tips for a Foreigner Visiting Pula), published by the Austrian Lloyd from Trieste, compiled by Pietro Kandler, was printed in 1845. The first public beach, Bagno Polese, for the citizens and tourists, located between the islet of Uljanik and the administration building on the coastal promenade, was opened in 1885. After that, two other beaches were constructed, "Sakor dana" and the marine officers' beach on the islet of St. Peter, where men and women could swim at different times of the day. Tourism in Pula experiences its peak in the 1960s, when on the beautiful, well-indented and green coast south of Pula the construction of modern tourist resorts was initiated (Zlatne Stijene, Ribarska Koliba, Verudela).
Today Pula offers a variety of excellent opportunities for tourists. Together with well-equipped hotels and other types of accommodation facilities, the tourist offer includes many sports grounds, recreational facilities and entertainment programs, terraces with live music, discotheques, casinos, inns and restaurants, as well as diverse excursions. The town disposes of two marinas, so that yachting tourism is increasingly developing. Pula is also a well-known congress centre (the large congress hall in Hotel Histria). The town can be reached by various means of transport, and there is an airport in the immediate vicinity of Pula (6 km), constructed to meet the requirements of international air traffic.
Developed out of a hill-fort (18th to 10th c. BC); the name Pola is of Illyrian origin. The end of the 1st century BC marked the beginning of the Roman colonization; around 43 BC. Pula attained the status of a Roman colony. In the early Middle Ages it was included in the Ravenna exarchate, and from AD 788 it was under the Frankonian rule. After having changed several sovereigns, it fell under the rule of the Aquileian patriarch in 1230, and after 1331 under the protection of Venice all up to the collapse of Venice (1797), when it came under the Austrian rule. Except for a short period of the French rule (1805-1813), Pula was part of Austria, i.e. the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (until 1918). The construction of the large shipyard in 1886 made Pula the major Austrian military port; the economic boom, in particular in the field of trade, occurred at the end of the 19th century. Pula saw the end of the First World War occupied by Italy (1918). According to the Treaty of Rapallo (1920), Pula was ceded to Italy, and after the fall of Italy in 1943, the German troops occupied the town. At the end of the Second World War Pula was in the hands of the Allied Forces; annexed to the parent country, Croatia, in 1947.
The Roman Amphitheatre (commonly called Arena), from the 1st and 2nd centuries, occupies a dominant position above the harbour. It has an elliptic ground-plan (132.45 x 105.10 m), the walls are 30.45 m high; it could seat 23,000 spectators. It is the world's sixth largest preserved amphitheatre. The legend has it that it was built by Emperor Vespasian on the initiative of his Pula-born girlfriend Cenida.
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