The Pula Arena is the name of the amphitheatre located in Pula, Croatia. The Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers and with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved. It was constructed in 27 BC - 68 AD and is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the World. A rare example among the 200 Roman surviving amphitheatres of unique technological solutions. It is also the best preserved ancient monument in Croatia.
The exterior wall is constructed in limestone. The part facing the sea consists of three stories, while the other part has only two stories since the amphitheatre was built on a slope. The maximum height of the exterior wall is 29.40 m (96.5 ft). The first two floors have each 72 arches, while the top floor consists of 64 rectangular openings.
The axes of the elliptical amphitheatre are 132.45 and 105.10 m (434.5 and 344.8 ft) long, and the walls stand 32.45 m (106.5 ft) high. It could accommodate 23,000 spectators in the cavea, which had forty steps divided into two meniani. The seats rest directly on the sloping ground; The field for the games, the proper arena, measured 67.95 by 41.65 m (222.9 by 136.6 ft). The field was separated from the public by iron gates.
The arena had a total of 15 gates. A series of underground passageways were built underneath the arena along the main axis from which animals, ludi scenes and fighters could be released; stores and shops were located under the raked seating. The amphitheatre was part of the circuit of the gladiators.
Each of the four towers had two cisterns filled with perfumed water that fed a fountain or could be sprinkled on the spectators. The amphitheatre could be covered with velarii (large sails), protecting the spectators from sun or rain (as attested by rare construction elements).
This amphitheatre, through its remarkable conservation, has served as an excellent example for the study of ancient building techniques.
The arena is on the edge of the old town sites, and a nice place to start your walking tour. Price to enter the arena is $8, which seems awful expensive for what you see inside; nothing special you cannot see outside. The irony is some people go inside and stand there, kind of wondering why they did that to take a picture from there. WE did just fine in picture taking outside.
The arena was first under construction in 27BC, and it did not get its final completion until 60AD. Then shortly after, Claudius expanded the arena to have gladiator fights. The basic gladiator shows of fighting stopped around 400's, and no fighting took place after 681. In the 5th century, people began dismantling the arena and used stones for other sites to build in town. What remains are the outside walls since the inside stones were utilized elsewhere. The size is about 400x300 feet circular, and it has three levels of arched columns. It is said (not by me) that this is the 6th largest arean of Roman building era, and one of the best preserved (maybe outside facade). The seating was 23,000 at one time, and now is around 5,000. Events are still held here
Pula arena is from the 3rd century. I have read somewhere it's the last arena outside of Italy that is so well preserve and still stand fully. The place has a certain ambiance. It's hard to explain. The birds seem to know, since they hang around.
The arena hosted some fights. Lots of ruins to walk around and try to make sense. Also undergrounds are some remains of pottery and other artifacs out of this world.
* Arena – the Roman amphitheatre is really symbol of Pula. Situated in center of town and being one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters in the World - it is monument you just can’t miss and have to see.
While most arenas have a complex network of "vomitorium" that allow the audience to reach their seats, Pula's has four square towers (one on the right of the picture) that play this function. The "vomitorium", as their name says, allow also to leave fast the arena after a show !
What is different ? The arena had not changed much in 20 centuries, it has not changed neither in 30 years. What has changed is the amount of tourists. In 2004, in Summer, busses come, unload flocks of tourists, leave and come back later to upload them.
Advice : either come early in the morning or avoid 20th July till 20th August !
The arena was built at the beginning of the 1st century AD and the Flavius emperors added some parts in 69-96 AD. It is the 6th by it's size but on of the best preserved.
Its size is 132m x 105m. The outer wall has three levels of vaulted windows. The forth level has square windows.
This is how it looked in 1975.
My sister and I in 2001, my dad's Aunt lives in Pula and we went to visit her and of course had to stop here. When I was younger, we went inside the arena but that year we did not have much time so we just looked outside of it...still very nice
A very beautiful sight to see. In my opinion, its in way better shapr than the one in Rome for sure. Seems that no one really knows about the one in Croatia but everyone knows the Rome one. For a few Kunas u can get the chance to go inside the area and walk around and what not.
The third largest Amphitheatre in the world, Pula's Arena is a definite must see for anyone who decides to visit Pula, or Istra in general.
I sometimes try to imagine Pula without her Arena and well, it's better not to think about such things, might give me nightmares ;)
Just to the Arena for a movie or an Opera presentation
I saw 'TOP GUNS' - It was amazing
Succhero is coming August 02/2002