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Pula – Dance, Music, Lightshows… and Centuries-Old Scenography

We’re talking about the main Imperial and Royal War Navy port of Habsburg Monarchy.

Luckily, now Pula has been living quite a different life.

What would you do, faced with the man who is destined to end your life? – King Pelias asked young Jason, the righteous King of Thessaly.

I would order him to bring me the Golden Fleece that is forever guarded by the dragon who never sleeps. – answered young Jason.

Then be it – King Pelias agreed – bring me the Golden Fleece, and I will give you the crown.

And so begins the legendof Jason and the Argonauts.

And in some way – this is also how the story of Pula begins.

Colosseum in Pula
Colosseum in Pula

Polai – the City of Fugitives

King Pelais was not stupid. He looked at Jason mockingly, convinced that the quest was truly impossible. But, brave Jason accomplished it nevertheless. His trusty crew of Argonauts followed him on an epic journey to Colchis. They fought against angry gods, cheated women, the harpies, the nymphs… and finally – the dragon.

But the real troubles for Jason and the Argonauts started on a way back because the Colchians chased them. The thing was that besides the fleece, Jason also took away their beloved princess Medeia. Though, he did it at her request.

It was the chase across half of the then-known world. Over the seas and down the rivers. Across the mountains and through the valleys. From the Black Sea, all the way to the coasts of the Istrian peninsula.

That’s where Colchians finally gave up, in despair and exhaustion, because Jason’s mistress Medeia killed their beloved leader, her own brother, Apsyrtus.

Coclhians were ashamed. They knew what’s waiting for them back home. They’d be mocked at and made fun. Dreadful destiny for brave soldiers and heroes.
So, they stayed here, in Istria, and started a new life.

They’ve built the city and named it after how they felt at the moment:

Alone and deserted in a faraway land, to die as a foreigner, to never again see the flagships of their homeland.

Polai, the City of Fugitives.

3.000 Years Later, the City Still Lies There.

With a history in streets that far surpassed even the mythology.

Pula from Above
Pula from Above

There are not many cities in the world who changed so many governors over the centuries. The position of Pula in the northern Adriatic has established it as the main port of great importance whoever ruled the city.

An empire, the monarchy, the republic – you name it, Pula outlived it.

The city has been ruined and re-built several times, over and over again. It has seen the battleships, the pirates, the great conquerors.

Let’s Go Culture! Pula has turned its military history upside down. The city invented a brand new image of itself. It is now devoted to art, music, culture, and tourism. The famous Roman amphitheater – the 6th largest in the world – is now lighted with a colorful light show and stages the concerts of big stars such as Foo Fighters, Massive Attack, and Grace Jones. The fortification complex of 20 fortresses built in the 19th century to defend the city, is now a festival venue for diverse musical styles like Dimensions Festival, Outlook Festival or Seasplash Festival. Each stone that survived the turbulent history of the city, is now given a new life. And each building speaks of a certain period in a history of western civilization.
Festivals in Pula
Festivals in Pula

Personally, Pula is my favorite getaway town.

No matter how many times I traveled to Pula, the first impression is always the same:
I am lost!

And I like it.

There is something irresistibly charming in the illogicality of the layout of the streets of Pula. Just when you think you know where you’re going, you end up somewhere you were least expecting yourself to end up going. You can never be sure which direction you are heading to.
Enjoying Pula with a Glass of Wine with the sea view
Enjoying Pula with a Glass of Wine with the sea view

So, when I want to go somewhere to get completely lost in the time & space continuum, I definitely choose Pula.

Your CTC Team, S.J.

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