Verudela Fortress

Pula, Croatia

The Verudela Fortress is one of the best preserved fortresses. When its control over Pula commenced, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy decided to transform the town into the Monarchy's maritime centre, which meant the construction of not only numerous newly-built structures such as the arsenal, hospital or the Hydrographic Institute, but also its defensive system. Thus, a magnificent fortification system was erected, which included not only Pula but also some of its neighbouring villages such as Medulin or Fažana.

In the period from 1881 until 1918, 31 structure was erected along the area of Pula and its near surrounding, including artillery batteries and other necessary structures. The Punta Christo fortress, which is the biggest Austro-Hungarian fortress, was built in Štinjan, on the namesake Kristo peninsula. Erected in the late 19th century, it spread across more than ten thousand square meters and had as many as 270 rooms.

The fortress had an excellent geographic position with a view of the entrance into the Pula Bay and the jetty from one, and of Muzil and the Brijuni islands from the other sea side. A trench was dug up around it, separating it, while the passage was possible only through one of the three entrances.

The interior yards of the Punta Christo fortress provide the access to its underground premises. The fortress was abandoned after the WW2. Having been neglected, abandoned and dilapidated for a number of years, it was finally cleared. Today it is used as a site for organizing concerts, exhibitions, and other cultural events.



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Verudela 11, Pula, Croatia
See all sites in Pula


Founded: 1866-1881
Category: Castles and fortifications in Croatia

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Inna Drouz (2 years ago)
Very nice setup: a 19 century Austrian fortress with aquarium inside. Kids enjoy watching fishes, parents - old fort history.
PartyTimeBH B (2 years ago)
Fabulous place, exceeded our expectations. We were planning on spending 1-2 hours there and ended up spending solid 3 hours. The staff is very sweet, approachable, helpful. The animals are very well taken care of. Lots to learn and the set up is very educational. The whole layout and the aquariums are well thought out. All in all, highly recommend visiting.
Jordan Quinn (2 years ago)
Definitely a nice Aquarium. I've seen several in the United States and the Aquarium in Pula stacks up against them all. There are three levels to the Aquarium that are just absolutely full of all sorts of aquatic displays. From sea turtles and sharks to sting rays and sea horses, the Pula Aquarium has a lot to see. We spend two hours wandering around (and if our 7 month old son hadn't been with us we probably would have staid even longer). If you have a couple of hours to burn, we highly suggest that you check it out!
Ahmad Malik (2 years ago)
Great aquarium in an old fort. Unusual building. Great displays. Love the sea turtle rescue service. Overall kids and adults loved it
Dewald du preez (2 years ago)
Great place to visit and spent 4-6 hours. Lots to see and learn. Great layout and easy to navigate around. All animals are healthy and happy. Staff is friendly and always willing to help. Shop to buy gifts and place to eat and enjoy the day. Walk away from shopping places and hotels. Beach is a walk distance and bicycle friendly around the place. Free parking at the aquarium.
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Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".