Pula Arena
© Istrian Tourist Board

Watch modern-day gladiator fights in the ancient Roman amphitheatre of Pula

The event is on weekly, through the end of September!

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Written by
Lara Rasin
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Channel your inner ancient Roman at the Pula Arena (a Roman amphitheatre from the 1st century), sit in the historic stone stands, and watch a show as spectators did so many years ago.

About the event

The Tourist Board of Istria explains the event: "The Arena in Pula is the sixth biggest edifice among the similar preserved buildings in the world, and it could have accepted approximately 23 000 viewers. In the Roman Empire, such buildings were erected for entertainment in watching the cruel gladiator games and fighting with wild beasts.

The bought gladiators were usually criminals, war prisoners and slaves trained for fights whose only purpose was to amuse the audience, not to beat the enemy right away. The entrance of the gladiators was a magnificent show of golden armour, cloaks with a colour that resembled red wine and the fourhorse carriage decorated with pheasant plumage, accompanied by the sounds of trumpets. Their look, with metal armour and the helmets at their heads, was intimidating, and in that way they celebrated the power and the fearless appearance.

When a gladiator proved himself by multiple victories, he could gain the wooden sword of freedom. Such gladiators enjoyed a great fame by the emperors and the people. They could either continue fighting or train the new gladiators.

Spectacvla Antiqva takes place in Pula's amphitheatre once a week, from the end of June to the beginning of September, except during the Pula Film Festival. In the evening hours the Arena becomes the site of gladiator fights, workshops, visitors have a chance to see ancient Roman clothing and hairstyles while a narrator explains everything to them.

In addition to presenting the tradition and heritage, Roman history and civilization come alive in the Arena. All those interested can even enjoy gladiator fights with real weapons. Visitors can buy original souvenirs, replicas of ancient Roman pottery and mosaics."

Tickets

Tickets start at 80 kunas per person for adults and 40 for children.

Tickets can be bought on the official event website - but keep in mind an EU Digital COVID Certificate is mandatory for attendance.

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