On to the coast – Pula

After leaving Ljublianja we stopped at a massive cave, it is called the Postoyna Cave and it was super impressive. I have no photos, because I have taken and shared plenty of photos from other caves around the world, so take my word for it, and on to the coast. We spent two nights in Opatia, which was nice, but it rained, a lot, so no photos from there either. Lucky for us, our day trip was sunny, so lets go to Pula.

All bathrooms are pay bathrooms. This is at a gas station, so if you use the bathroom, you do get credit to buy something in the store. If you can walk through this barrier, you don’t have to pay.

Is this what we went to see? A defunct industrial port? No, not at all.

We went to see the incredible Roman Amphitheater. It is not as large as the Forum in Rome, but unlike others I have visited, like in Israel or Spain, this one has all it’s walls basically intact.

The sun came out as soon as we arrived. How nice. Of course to the right of the Roman structure we have a much more modern church.

It took a few minutes for the rain to stop, we weren’t the only group standing out in the rain.

The walls remain standing, but the seats were rebuilt. How do I know? because look at the huge stones used for the walls, and the small ones used for the seats. Of course during the two millennia many stones were removed for other building projects in the city, so when it came time to reconstruct the seats – all they could use were much smaller stones. And yes, these days they do have wonderful live performances here.

Roman performances were like football today, but much much bloodier. It was gladiators against animals and sometimes prisoners. No, it was rare to a gladiator to be killed – they were superstars. I’m sure it happened, and I’m sure that the prisoners were often killed, but the crowds had their favorites and didn’t want them dead each time they went to see the spectacle.

It truly is impressive seeing these old walls.

One of the main reasons why this is still standing is the famous arch. An arch, if well built is an incredible strong structural element. In the case of the Romans – it’s the Roman key, that center stone in the arch that balanced the weight on both sides and allows for a massive contraction above it as well. In Split we saw the remains of the Aqueduct – that too is built completely from arches.

The basement, that used to hold the pens for the animals and prisoners is now a museum. I’m sure finding these clay jars is like finding graffiti these days. I’m wondering if many of these are actually Greek. One problem I have with studying history is that we learn that the Romans replaced the Greeks. What we don’t learn is the two cultures actually lived side by side for many years.

Many of those Amphora held olive oil, so here we see a recreation of an olive press. The stones are original, the metal is not, it would have been made of wood.

Back out on the street, a wonderful building from the Hapsburg period, and then on to the cutest seaside town, Rovinj.


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