Square as a Stage

architects Mario Smilović, Mirjana Prebeg-Kanjer
project Reconstruction of Portarata Square, Pula, Croatia
written by Attilio Krizmanić


Pula is a rare example of a European town whose historic core has preserved considerable remains of edifices from Roman times and is, at the same time, itself a very rare preserved example of the unorthogonal planning of Roman towns, which originates from the prehistoric castellier – the protourban settlement, the Histrian gradina (hill-fort settlement), which was adapted to the exceptionally steep slope of the natural hill. This urban concept, the town’s plan, begun in ancient times, has been preserved and has existed, with a few minor changes, up to the present day in the form of existing street directions and empty areas within the historic core which have defined city life in Pula for more than two millennia.