94 The Colosseum of Pula
Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
122Trip End Aug 28, 2013
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23 July 2013
After visiting the early morning market in Rijeka, to buy some bread and cheese and making breakfast on my seat while enjoying the look over Rijeka harbour, I got ready for my ride down the Istria Peninsula to view Pula and its Colosseum
Pula is not all that famous but should be. If you mention "the Colosseum" everyone immediately associated this with Rome. However the Colosseum in Pula is better preserved than the one in Rome.
The Rome Colosseum was built in 80 Ad and could hold a massive 50 to 80.000 spectators. The Pula Colosseum is still massive but “only” holds about 20- 25.000 people and was built between 27 BC and 68 AD. Most stadiums were used for “fight to the death” gladiator fights and were made of wood only to be preplaced by stone some years later.
The theatre measures 130m by 100 m which is still a fairly large size especially for such an old building.
Gladiator fights took place in the central arena, and the spectators could sit on the stone tiers or stands in the gallery. The theatre is still used today but for different performances and performers. Entertainers ranging from Sting to Pavarotti have performed in the stadium. The distance from where I stayed in Rijeka to Pula was not all that far, but it still took 1.5 hours to do the around 100 km. I knew what to expect so I made an early getaway. After all, it is a tourist site (and I am one of them) and to avoid the crowd it is better to start early.