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Boštjan Burger

Pula (Pola)

Burger Landmarks

The Roman amphitheatre

The Arena in Pula was built in the 1st century AD during the reign of Emperor Vespasian (69-79), at the same time as the magnificent Coliseum in Rome.
The Amphitheatre in Pula was the sixth largest building of it s kind in the antic Rome
Pula was with the population of 5.000 citizens in the time of Ancient Rome. Because of it size the amphitheatre was set out of the town, just levelled into the slope nearby the coastline. The highest wall on the west side of the amphitheatre is 32.45 m high. .
The amphitheatre was built from the cut limestone nearby Pula. The limestone blocks were with the volume up to 2 m3 and the total volume of more than 8000 m3. The ground plan of the amphitheatre is elliptical, the longer axis in direction south-north measuring 132.5 m and the shorter one in direction east-west 105 m.  The spectators could sit on the stone tiers or stand in the gallery. The Amphitheatre could seat about 20,000 spectators in a time of the use of the building for the gladiator fights.

The Temple of Augustus
is a well-preserved Roman which was dedicated to the first Roman emperor, Augustus. The temple was probably built during the emperor's lifetime at some point between 2 BC and his death in AD 14.
It was built on a podium with a tetra style restyle porch of Corinthian columns and measures about 8 m by 17.3 m. The richly decorated frieze is similar to that of a somewhat larger and older temple, the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, France.

The temple was part of a triad consisting of three temples. The Temple of Augustus stood at the left side of the central temple, and the similar temple of the goddess Diana stood on the other side of the main temple. Although the larger central temple has not survived, the whole back side of the Temple of Diana is still clearly visible due to its incorporation into the Communal Palace, built in 1296.

Under Byzantine rule, the temple was converted into a church, accounting for its survival to modern times, and was later used as a granary. It was struck by a bomb during an Allied air raid in 1944, almost totally destroying it, but was reconstructed in 1947. It is today used as a lapidarian to display items of Roman sculpture.

The temple's dedication originally consisted of bronze letters attached to the portico. Only the attachment holes now remain and much of the text has been destroyed over time. However, it consisted of a standard dedication also found on other Augustan temples, which read:
“ROMAE • ET • AUGUSTO • CAESARI • DIVI • F • PATRI • PATRIAE”
This indicates that the temple was originally also co-dedicated to the goddess Roma, the personification of the city of Rome. Unlike later temples, such as the Temple of Divus Augustus in Rome, the temple was not dedicated to divus (the deified) Augustus - a title only given to the emperor after his death. This, and the temple's architectural style, have allowed archaeologists to date the temple to the late Augustan period, prior to Augustus' death in AD 14.

Triumphal Arch of the Sergi - Golden Gate

The “Golden Gate” was erected between the years 29 and 27 BC by the Sergi family, in honor of three members of the family who held important positions in Pula at that time. This triumphal arch leaned against the city gate Porta Aurea thus called because of its richly ornamented arch or gilded elements. The gate and wall were pulled down in the beginning of the 19th century as a result of the city expansion outside the city walls.
The Arch was constructed in Corinthian style with strong Hellenistic and Asia Minor influences both in the method and ornaments. As the eastern side was not visible it has remained for the most part uncarved, while the western, town side is richly decorated. Today numerous cultural performances, theatrical and musical, are held on the square next to the Arch. The adjacent street is a shopping area.

 

Literature:
PULA+, http://www.pulainfo.hr, retrieved May 8th 2015
R. Radovinovic , 1999, The Croatian Adriatic, Naprijed, pages. 48-49 pages.
Š. Lahar, Amfiteatar u Puli, Arheološki muzej Istre / Pula. Pula 1996, 48 pages.

Uvod - Prologue

(c) Boštjan Burger, (1993) 1996-2018