Pula is located in Croatia, on the Istrian
peninsula. Istria, with its 1100 square miles,
and 200,000+ inhabitants is the largest
peninsula in Croatia, situated in the northern
Adriatic (a smaller northwestern part of Istria
is in Slovenia). Istria is known for its gently
rolling scenery, pleasant climate, good wines,
coastal tourist resorts, and beautiful beaches.
Its main economic center is Pula, a city of
70,000+ people, situated on its south-western
shore, around one of the most beautiful bays
in the Adriatic.
The geographical setting was certainly a big factor in Istria's historical development.
This is a place where Slavic, Romanic, and Germanic cultures touch each other, from
the times they first 'met', some time between the late antique period, and the
beginning of the middle ages.
The oldest traces of human life (about 1 million B.C) in this part of Europe were
discovered in the cave Sandalj near Pula. There are many discoveries from neolithic
times (6000-2000 B.C.), best documented through remains of pottery from that period.
The first mention of the name Pula, in its plural form as 'Polai', occurred in the III
century B.C., in the work of Greek poets Callimachus and Lycophron in the
mythological story of Jason and Medea. Jason, of course, stole the golden fleece, and
with the help of Medea run away. Colchis were chasing them, but could not catch
Jason, a very skilled sea traveler. They didn't dare to return without the golden fleece,
so they settled in the upper Adriatic, where the Illiric tribe lived, and named the city -
The City of Refuges, in their language - Polai. Centuries later greek pottery was
found, as well as parts of a statue representing Apollo, and some other traces of