PUMed – ancient cities of the Mediterranean: Pula – Pola

Country: Croatia
Year: 2022
Release Date: 11 Jul 2022
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Cancelation Postmarks
First Day Cover/Philatelic
Press Release
PUMed – ancient cities of the Mediterranean: Pula – Pola on a new postage stamp
Croatian Post issued a new commemorative postage stamp in cooperation with PUMed
- Postal Union for the Mediterranean
Zagreb, 8 July 2022 - On 11 July 2022, Croatian Post will put into circulation a new commemorative postage stamp from the "PUMed" series. This time the theme of the issue is ancient cities of the Mediterranean, and our postage stamp shows Pula's amphitheater. The author of the issue is Dean Roksandi?, a designer from Zagreb. The postage stamp was printed in a quantity of 30,000 copies, in a 16-stamp sheet, and the nominal value is HRK 12.30. Croatian Post has also issued a First Day Cover (FDC).
The text on the occasion of the release of the new commemorative postage stamp was written by Aska Šopar, Curator Archaeological Museum of Istria, Antiquity Collection
The Roman colony of Pola (Colonia Pietas Iulia Pola) was founded in the middle of the 1st century BCE at the site of a Histrian hillfort situated on a hilltop. The land configuration determined the arrangement of streets, public and private buildings, the position of the forum and the city walls, making the ancient Pula – Pola an exceptional example of Roman urban planning. The builders adapted to the slope of the hill, so instead of having a network of streets intersecting at right angles, Pula – Pola has a pattern of a “spider web”.
Pula - Pola was surrounded by walls with twelve gates to enter the city. The walls from the Golden Gate to the Twin Gate have been preserved and reconstructed to this day. Its oldest gate is the Gate of Hercules, which dates back to the founding of the colony. Its importance lies in the inscription on its arch, which bears the names of two duoviri – the Roman officials who were entrusted by the Senate with the duty to found the colony. The Twin Gate, built at the end of the 2nd century on the remains of an earlier gate, has also been preserved. The remaining city gates were torn down along with a larger part of the city walls, however, one of the most beautiful ancient monuments in Pula – the Triumphal Arch of the Sergii – has been preserved. It was erected at the end of the 1st century BCE on the inside of the Golden Gate. Through a city street, the triumphal arch was directly connected to the Forum situated at the western foot of the city hill.
The Forum was the nucleus of ancient Pula, a space for public gatherings and political activities, and also had a significant religious role in the life of the colony. There were three temples located at the Forum in ancient times, and to this day only the temple dedicated to Augustus and Roma has survived, built at the end of the 1st century BCE and the beginning of the 1st century CE, and the back wall of the eastern temple, dedicated to the goddess Diana.
Ancient Pula – Pola, with the full name Colonia Iulia Pola Pollentia Herculanea, is also important because had two theaters and an amphitheater, although it is believed that the city had about 5,000 inhabitants. Theater performances and gladiator fights attracted inhabitants from the surrounding area, but also from further afield. Located within the city walls, on the eastern slope of the central hill, is the small Roman theater dating back to the 1st century CE, while the large theater and the amphitheater are situated outside the city walls. All three structures were adapted to fit the land configuration, considering that they are located on the slopes of the hills.
The large theater was heavily damaged following the ancient times and was eventually used as a building material for the construction of a Venetian fortress on the central hill of the city. Fortunately, the amphitheater did not meet the same fate, although there were several such attempts.
The amphitheater of Pula was constructed with a monumental technique in stone and remains one of the oldest stone amphitheaters of the Roman Empire. It is the largest, most popular and one of the best preserved monuments of ancient architecture in Croatia. It is considered one of the larger amphitheaters of the Roman Empire and it is estimated it could accommodate 23,000 spectators. Today, the amphitheater has become a prominent landmark of Pula – Pola, serving as stage for various music and film events every summer.
The rich ancient heritage of Pula – Pola is reflected in the modern urban structure in which it is embedded.
Value: 12.30 HRK
Author: Dean Roksandi?, designer from Zagreb
Size: 48.28 x 29.82 mm
Paper: white, 102 g, gummed
Comb perforation: 14
Technique: Multicolor Offset Printing
Printed by: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Quantity: 30,000
Date of issue: 11/7/2022
Motif: Pula's amphitheater
The stamp was issued in a 16-stamp sheet, and Croatian Post has also issued a First Day Cover (FDC).