Pula, Croatia – Day 2

Pula Castle Kaštel Croatia

ZigZagging Our Way Through Europe

While wrapped in ancient Roman antiquity, Pula has a more recent history as well. The largest city on the Istrian peninsula and seventh largest city in Croatia, Pula has been a major seaport, both commercially and militarily, since 1859.

Walking along Istarska ulica, we came to the Pula Green Market, a modern marketplace with its origins dating from 1902.

Fish Market in Pula, Croatia
Pula’s Green Market

The Indoor Market houses a Fish Market

Pula Fish Market
Pula Fish Market

A Butcher Shop

Pula Green Market, Croatia
Pula Green Market Butcher Shop

and an Outdoor Framer’s Market with vendors offering fresh produce and flowers.

Pula Green Market, Croatia
Pula Outdoor Farmer’s Market

Open seven days a week, the Market is understandably a favorite of locals.

As we continue our walk, we find a flea market with local vendors offering everything from vinyl records, books to antiques and old Yugoslavian relics.

Street Flea Market in Pula, Croatia
Pula Flea Market

Just past the Roman Twin Gates, we enter a series of underground tunnels created during World War I as shelters for the citizens of Pula. They were again used during the bombings of World War II and could accommodate up to 50,000 people, virtually the town’s entire population.

Pula Underground Tunnels
Pula Underground Tunnels

The underground system is so expansive that it stretches underneath the entire town of Pula and consists of two levels with four entrances. Underground corridors lead to a massive space in the middle.

Underground Tunnels in Pula, Croatia

The entrances are designed in a way that the air distribution throughout the tunnel system keeps temperatures between 14° and 18° C year round assuring the occupants remained comfortable even while the city was being bombed.

Directly above the tunnels is the Pula Castle “Kaštel”, a fortress constructed between 1630 and 1633. Since Pula was always a significant seaport, the fortress was used to defend the city and bay. After World War I, it lost its significance and is now a major tourist attraction providing amazing views of the city below.

Pula Castle “Kaštel”, Croatia
Pula Castle “Kaštel”

Leaving the Castle, we again walk along the streets of Pula shaded by towering trees providing relief from the sun and heat. People casually sit at all times of the day enjoying their espresso, a beer or gelato at any number of sidewalk cafes along the park like streets lined with banks and retail stores.

A stark contrast to the hectic lifestyle we have been used to seeing at home.

Like so much of Croatia, ample green space can be found throughout Pula.

Continue along the marina, we come to Tito’s Park with its impressive monument commemorating Croatia’s fallen solders as well as busts representing national heroes.

Tito’s Park in Pula, Croatia
Tito’s Park

Besides being a memorial park, it is a gathering place favored by locals and tourists alike especially during the evening when temperatures cool.

We were fortunate that the park was hosting the Pula Wine City Festival with some twenty winemakers representing all regions of Croatia. Vendors also offered a variety of cheese as well as an assortment of local beers.

Entrance to the festival was free of charge; all we needed to do to enjoy the evening was to “borrow” a wine glass at the entrance for 30 Kn (€ 4), exchange some additional kunas for “wine money” – the special currency of the Wine City – and let the adventure can begin!

Leaving the festival and as the sun begins to set over the marina …

Pula Marina, Croatia
Pula Marina

We are reminded that Pula, once a thriving commercial seaport bustling with cargo ships, was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Port of Pula, Croatia
Seaport of Pula

While ferries continue to operate and cruise liners bring tourists into the city, we are told the container terminal, closed during the pandemic shutdown, never reopened.  Employing several thousand workers, today it sits empty with the exception of one rusting cargo ship.

Container Terminal in Pula, Croatia
Pula’s Container Terminal

Yet, Pula remains a vibrant, fun city. Tomorrow, we leave Pula by boat for a new adventure. We hope you will join us!

Have you been to Pula? Tell us about it!

Follow Us As We Continue To ZigZag Our Way Through Europe

 

 

 

 

Published by Capturing The Art Of Living

Capturing The Art Of Living® is both a travel and photographic blog. We are a pair of international filmmakers who love to travel extensively and, just as important, love to share our experiences with the hope of encouraging others to learn more about our world. We invite you to follow with us and enjoy original photography, read about our travel experiences and find recommendations for awesome places to visit, what to see, where to stay and eat.

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