Stone quarries near Pula

The quarries of Pula

A contemporary witness to history
The city of Pula, known for its ancient amphitheatre and its picturesque location on the Adriatic coast, hides another historical gem: the impressive Pula quarries. These quarries, which are deeply embedded in the history of the region, have contributed significantly to the architectural development of the city and far beyond.

History of the quarries

The quarries of Pula have their origins in Roman times. As early as the 1st century BC, the Romans recognised the quality of the limestone and began quarrying it. The light-coloured limestone from the quarries of Pula, also known as ‘Pietra d’Istria’, was particularly popular due to its durability and aesthetic value. It was not only used for local buildings, but found its way into monumental buildings throughout Europe, including Venice, Rome and even St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.

Significance for Pula

In Pula itself, the influence of the quarries is omnipresent. The amphitheatre of Pula, one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, was built mainly from stone from these quarries. This imposing structure, which could once accommodate up to 23,000 spectators, bears witness to the architectural masterpiece of antiquity and the valuable contribution of the quarries.

In addition to the amphitheatre, there are numerous other buildings and monuments in Pula that are made of the same limestone. The city walls, temples and arches all tell of the inseparable connection between Pula and its quarries.

The Cave Romane quarry

One particularly remarkable quarry in Pula is the Cave Romane. This historic quarry was in operation for centuries and is now a fascinating open-air museum. Visitors can learn about the ancient quarrying techniques of the Romans and see the impressive traces of the labour of past generations. The Cave Romane is often used for cultural events, including theatre performances and concerts, making it a vibrant part of today’s culture in Pula.

Modern utilisation and conservation

Today, many of the historic quarries have been decommissioned, but their importance remains. Some have been converted into parks and recreational areas, while others are still protected as cultural heritage. Although quarrying is restricted, the fascination with Pula’s high-quality limestone remains. Some local craftsmen still use the stone for special restoration projects and small construction projects.

Visit to the quarries

The Pula quarries are an absolute must for tourists and history buffs. Guided tours of the quarries offer a deep insight into the history and hard work that went into quarrying the stone. The majestic views of the Adriatic coast and the historical atmosphere make the visit an unforgettable experience.

Our summary

The quarries of Pula are not only a testimony to the impressive ancient architecture, but also a symbol of the inseparable connection between the city and its natural wealth. They tell the story of human ingenuity and hard labour and invite visitors to immerse themselves in the region’s past. Discover the quarries of Pula and be enchanted by their historical and cultural significance.

Sightseeing in Istria

The most popular sights in Istria

Discover the highlights of the Croatian peninsula.

Istria, the largest peninsula in the Adriatic, is a fascinating destination in Croatia that impresses with its rich history, breathtaking nature and charming coastal towns. In this article, we present the top sights that you should not miss when visiting Istria.

1. The amphitheatre of Pula

The Roman amphitheatre in Pula is one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in the world and an absolute must-see for every visitor. The imposing structure, which was built in the 1st century AD, can accommodate up to 23,000 spectators and was once the venue for gladiator fights. Today, concerts and festivals take place here, utilising the impressive atmosphere of this historical monument.

2. Rovinj

Rovinj, often referred to as the most romantic town in Croatia, enchants visitors with its narrow streets, colourful houses and picturesque harbour. A highlight is the Church of St Euphemia, which is enthroned on a hill and offers a breathtaking view of the town and the sea. The church’s bell tower is the highest point in Rovinj and a popular photo motif.

3. Brijuni National Park

The Brijuni Islands, an archipelago of 14 islands, are a national park and a paradise for nature lovers. With its diverse flora and fauna, including many exotic animal species, and historical sites such as Roman villas and Byzantine fortresses, the Brijuni Islands offer a unique experience. A guided tour by electric car or bicycle is the best way to discover the beauty of this national park.

4. Poreč and the Euphrasian Basilica

Poreč is known for its well-preserved old town centre and the Euphrasian Basilica, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Byzantine basilica from the 6th century impresses with its mosaics and is an outstanding example of early Christian architecture. A walk through the historic centre of Poreč, with its Roman and medieval traces, is a journey through time.

5. Motovun

The medieval town of Motovun is perched on a hill and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding vineyards and forests. Motovun is famous for its annual film festival and its truffles, which are considered a delicacy. A visit to one of the many truffle restaurants and a wine tasting at one of the local wineries should not be missed on your itinerary.

6. The cave of Baredine

The Baredine Cave is an underground natural wonder and offers a fascinating world of stalactites and stalagmites. During a guided tour, visitors can explore five underground halls and an underground lake. The cave is also home to the cave olm, a rare amphibious species.

7. Lim-Fjord

The Lim Fjord, a narrow inlet that juts deep inland, is a nature reserve and is known for its breathtaking scenery. Boat tours are a popular way to experience the beauty of the fjord, and the surrounding restaurants offer fresh seafood straight from the fjord. The Lim Fjord is also a great place for snorkelling and diving.

8. Pazin and the Pazin Cave

Pazin, located in the heart of Istria, is known for its castle and the Pazin Cave below it. Pazin Castle, perched on a rock above the deep gorge, houses a museum dedicated to the region’s history. An adventure for the brave is a guided tour through the Pazin Cave, which leads through underground passages and rivers.

9. Cape Kamenjak

Cape Kamenjak, at the southernmost tip of Istria, is a nature park with an impressive coastal landscape. The unspoilt beaches and crystal clear waters make it a perfect place for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. The cape is also known for its rich flora and fauna, including many rare plant species and butterflies.

Our summary

Istria offers a wealth of sights and experiences for every taste. Whether historical sites, picturesque villages, spectacular nature or culinary highlights – this Croatian peninsula has it all. Plan your trip with us and discover the many treasures of Istria!