Weather isn’t so great today after a bit of a storm, but decided to venture out and try and get my bearings by myself (up until now I’ve been relying on local friends for directions) and find my way to the tunnels below Pula, also known as the Zerostrauss.
These tunnels go all the way below the city and link up the port, city halls and other former strategic military installations from the days when Pula was the key port for the Austro-Hungarian empire. While they were not used when they were built (WWI) they were an important shelter for civilians during the allied bombardment in the Second World War.
The Zerostrauss tunnels are approximately 4km of tunnels, with approximately 1km open to the public. In their heyday these tunnels could shelter approximately 6,000 civilians, with other tunnels in the city sheltering up to 50,000 civilian and military personell.
Currently the tunnels are home to a photography exhibition showcasing Pula’s early aviation history, but have also played host to concerts, and movies apparently. I’d love to use the place as a venue for a gig, as I think the caverns would have amazing acoustics.
Above the tunnels is the Archeological Museum of Istria which focuses on ancient/classical history of the region, with displays of funeral vases, iron/copper age tools, sculpture etc, well worth checking out for the cheap price of 20kn for adults.
As I was walking along the top floor I looked out of the window and realized that at the rear of the museum was a massive fortification, which I’d guess would be Roman era or similar. So I set off to investigate, and the further I climbed I realized it was not one, but two fortresses.
Once I was around the top I spotted the entrance to this – the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria, which is a former Venetian fortress. At 10kn entry I wasn’t going to say no! Inside were exhibitions on glassware, chemists and apothecaries and the local navy. And a massive tower, which I can only guess housed a load of cannon judging by the portholes in it.
After that missioned back into the township, past the infinite amount of tourist shops all of which sold fake snapbacks, monster gear and knockoff Dr Dre Beats headphones that almost every 18 year old tourist has been proudly wearing, regardless of the sound quality. And headed off to the local restaurant I’ve been going to the last week or so..