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at the town hall
Two eyecatching, historic buildings are neighbour to each other at Forum and compete for audience: Augustus temple and Communal palace or Town hall which was built on a site of former Diana's temple. Temples were three in Pula and Augustus is the only one staying while Diana's temple only remain is the wall incorporated into structure of a town hall.
From end of 13th century until today, the house has been a site for decision drawing - and given its lengthy history, it had changed facade several times yet still serving the public purpose. It had only 'replaced' earlier temple, which itself was being used as a town hall in its last century or two.
One closer look at the building will reveal plenty of story telling detail, now fragmentally decorating the frontal facade - those are the local coat of arms in stone, among them one representing Istria, while somehow strategically placed at corners, there were few other notable things to look at: a relief of a siren, a knight, a telamon and several inscriptions in stone.
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This is next to the Temple of Augustus in the Forum. It is an administrative building for the city and entry is prohibited. The building was built over a previous Roman temple that flanked the other one. Nothing is left today, except maybe they theorize some stones in the rear may be form the temple. This is from the Middle Ages and the arcade with columns has decoration, as well as the stone plaques and archaeological pieces of carved figures and crests. Two serpentine dragons ornate the top above the arches.
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It should be unsurprising to any visitor to the Town Hall, which is located right beside the Temple of Augustus, that the building was originally a Temple of Diana built by the Romans. Undoubtedly there was much more left to the Forum and other Roman sites during the Middle Ages, so the people of Pula decided to upgrade the Temple in the thirteenth century and make it into their Gradska vijecnica or Town Hall. The building was once again renovated in the Renaissance. You can see from the orange snow fencing (or so we call it in Canada) the extent of the construction on the Forum in June 2006. Hopefully the city authorities have finished and the entire area is much more enjoyable than it was.
The Town Hall
The City Palace (Town-hall) was built in the Middle Ages on the north side of the Forum, in the space where the central temple and the temple of Diana once stood.
In the time of the free city commune, it was the symbol of communal autonomy, while later ut was the seat of the Venetian proveditor. It has been the seat of the city administration from 19th century until today.
It was altered on several occasions, and various levels can be observed; from the Romanesque and all the way to Baroque. It recived the greatest part of the present-day dimensions with a thorough reconstruction in 1296.
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The Town hall, detail
High on the right of the front of the Town hall (Gradska palaca), if you look carefully, you will find this bas-relief representing a knight galloping on horseback, holding his spear and his shield adorned with a salamander, ready for the fight.
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