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Pula

Arena

Pazin

Beram - Frescoes

Beram - The confraternity church "St. Mary on Škriljinah". The chapel lies about 600m from the village. The frescoes were painted in 1474 by Vincent of Kastav and his assistants. Above: "Dance of the Death".

 

Poreč

Poreč - The Euphrasian Basilica

The Euphrasian Basilica (Croatian: Eufrazijeva bazilika) is a basilica in Poreč, Croatia. The episcopal complex, including, apart the basilica itself, a sacristy, a baptistery and the bell tower of the nearby archbishop's palace, is one of the best examples of early Byzantine art in the region. Because of its exceptional value, it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.

The basilica is part of a complex with a 6th-century octagonal baptistery, an adjacent 16th-century bell tower, a colonnaded atrium with tombstone slabs and archaeological medieval finds, an episcopal 6th-century residence and a votive chapel.

The two aisles are separated from the nave by 18 elegant Greek marble colonnades with richly sculpted Byzantine and Romanesque capitals, decorated with depictions of animals. They all carry the monogram of Saint Euphrasius. The arches between the capitals are decorated with stucco work.

The church houses also precious holy objects and other artworks from the Palaeo-Christian, Byzantine and Middle Ages periods. A votive chapel, next to the sacristy, holds the relics of Saint Maurus and Saint Eleutherius.

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Pula

Pula - The Arena

Arena is the name of the amphitheatre located in Pula. The Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheater to have four side towers and with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved. It is the sixth largest surviving Roman arena and a rare example, among the 200 Roman surviving amphitheatres, of unique technological solutions. It is also the best preserved ancient monument in Croatia.

Description
The exterior wall is constructed in limestone. The part facing the sea consists of three stories, while the other part has only two stories since the amphitheatre was built on a slope. The maximum height of the exterior wall is 29.40 m. The first two floors have each 72 arches, while the top floor consists of 64 rectangular openings. The axes of the elliptical amphitheater are 132.45 and 105.10 meters long, and the walls stand 32.45 m high. It could accommodate 23,000 spectators in the cavea, which had forty steps divided into two meniani. The seats rest directly on the sloping ground; The field for the games, the proper arena, measured 67.95 × 41.65 meters. The field was separated from the public by iron gates. The arena had a total of 15 gates. A series of underground passageways were built underneath the arena along the main axis from which animals, ludi scenes and fighters could be released; stores and shops were located under the raked seating. The amphitheatre was part of the circuit of the gladiators. Each of the four towers had two cisterns filled with perfumed water that fed a fountain or could be sprinkled on the spectators. The amphitheatre could be covered with velarii (large sails) , protecting the spectators from sun or rain (as attested by rare construction elements). This amphitheatre, through its remarkable conservation, has served as an excellent example for the study of ancient building techniques.

History
Arena was built in the 1st century AD, as the city of Pula became a regional center of Roman rule, called Pietas Julia. The name was derived from the sand that, since antiquity, covered the inner space. It was built outside the town walls along the Via Flavia, the road from Pula to Aquileia and Rome. The amphitheatre was first built in timber during the reign of Augustus (2-14 AD). It was replaced by a small stone amphitheatre during the reign of emperor Claudius. In 79 AD it was enlarged to accommodate gladiator fights by Vespasian and to be completed in 81 AD under emperor Titus. This was confirmed by the discovery of a Vespasian coin in the malting. St. Germanus was martyred here in the year 284. The amphitheatre remained in use until the 5th century, when emperor Honorius prohibited gladiatorial combats. It was not until 681 that combat between convicts, particularly those sentenced to death, and wild animals was forbidden. In the 5th century the amphitheatre began to see its stone plundered by the local populace. By the 13th century, the patriarch of Aquileia forbade further removal from the Arena. In the Middle Ages the interior of the Arena was used for grazing, tournaments by the Knights of Malta and fairs. In 1583 the Venetian Senate proposed dismantling the Arena and rebuilding it within Venice. The proposals did not come to fruition and today, a headstone celebrating the Venetian senator Gabriele Emo opposition to the plan is currently visible on the second tower. The last time the Arena was used as a source of stone was in 1709 for the foundations of the belfry of the city's Cathedral. General Marmont, the French governor of the Illyrian Provinces started the restoration of the arena. This was continued in 1816 by the Ticinese architect Pietro Nobile, commissioned by the emperor Francis I of Austria. In 1932, it was adapted for theatre productions, military ceremonies and public meetings. In its present state it still seats some 5,000 spectators.

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Pula - Arch of the Sergii

Arch of the Sergii is an Ancient Roman triumphal arch located in Pula, Croatia. The arch commemorates three brothers of the Sergii family, specifically Lucius Sergius Lepidus, a tribune serving in the twenty-ninth legion that participated in the Battle of Actium and disbanded in 27 BC. This suggests an approximate date of construction : 29-27 BC. The arch stood behind the original naval gate of the early Roman colony. The Sergii were a powerful family of officials in the colony and retained their power for centuries.

The honorary triumphal arch, originally a city gate, was erected as a symbol of the victory at Actium. It was paid for by the wife of Lepidus, Salvia Postuma Sergia, sister of the three brothers. Both of their names are carved in the stone along with Lucius Sergius and Gaius Sergius, the honoree's father and uncle respectively. In its original form, statues of the two elders flanked Lepidus on both sides on the top of the arch. On either side of the inscription, a frieze depicts cupids, garlands and bucrania

This small arch with pairs of crenelated Corinthian columns and winged victories in the spandrels, was built on the facade of a gate (Porta Aurea) in the walls, so the part, visible from the town-side, was decorated. The decoration is late hellenistic, with major oriental influences. The low relief on the frieze represents a scene with a war chariot drawn by horses. This arch has attracted the attention of many artists, even Michelangelo.

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Pula - Temple of Augustus

The Temple of Augustus (Croatian: Augustov hram) is a well-preserved Roman temple in the city of Pula, Croatia (known in Roman times as Pola). Dedicated to the first Roman emperor, Augustus, it was probably built during the emperor's lifetime at some point between 2 BC and his death in AD 14. It was built on a podium with a tetrastyle prostyle porch of Corinthian columns and measures about 8 m (26 ft) by 17.3 m (57 ft). The richly decorated frieze is similar to that of a somewhat larger and older temple, the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, France.
The temple's dedication originally consisted of bronze letters attached to the portico. Only the attachment holes now remain and much of the text has been destroyed over time. However, it consisted of a standard dedication also found on other Augustan temples, which read:
ROMAE · ET · AUGUSTO · CAESARI · DIVI · F · PATRI · PATRIAE
Roma and Augustus Caesar, son of the deity, father of the fatherland

This indicates that the temple was originally also co-dedicated to the goddess Roma, the personification of the city of Rome. Unlike later temples, such as the Temple of Divus Augustus in Rome, the temple was not dedicated to divus (the deified) Augustus - a title only given to the emperor after his death. This, and the temple's architectural style, have allowed archaeologists to date the temple to the late Augustan period, prior to Augustus' death in AD 14. The temple was part of a triad consisting of three temples. The Temple of Augustus stood at the left side of the central temple, and the similar temple of the goddess Diana stood on the other side of the main temple. Although the larger central temple has not survived, the whole back side of the Temple of Diana is still clearly visible due to its incorporation into the Communal Palace, built in 1296. Under Byzantine rule, the temple was converted into a church, accounting for its survival to modern times, and was later used as a granary. It was struck by a bomb during an Allied air raid in 1944, almost totally destroying it, but was reconstructed in 1947. It is today used as a lapidarium to display items of Roman sculpture.

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