Pula Arena, Pula, CroatiaEveryone knows about the Colosseum in Rome, but one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world is located in Croatia. Moreover, this is also the sixth-largest Roman amphitheater still standing and the only one to retain its four side towers. While back in history, brutal shows were held, these days the area is used for more tame events.
After it was restored in the early 19th century, and from the 1930s, the Pula Arena is used for theater productions, concerts, and even ice hockey games. Moreover, every summer, the arena hosts the Pula Film Festival.
Veliki Tabor Castle, Hum KosnickiWhile there are many fortresses in Croatia, Veliki Tabor Castle is one of the most impressive in the whole country. Construction on the castle began in the mid-15th century and has a fascinating legend relating to the structure. While it looks a truly pretty place, set in the countryside, legend says the land surrounding the castle was once ruled by Count Herman II of Celje. His son, Fridrik, apparently fell in love with a local girl named Veronika. When the count wouldn’t approve of the romance, Fridrik and his lady escaped to Slovenia, where they secretly married.
Regrettably, the count found out about his son’s marriage and imprisoned Fridrik in the Celje Tower, where he was held for more than four years. In the meantime, Veronika escaped but was eventually found. The count accused her of being a witch, saying she had cast a spell over his son and while her trial proved her innocent, the count ordered his soldiers to kill Veronika. She was drowned in the castle’s courtyard and legend says that her body was built into one of the castle’s walls. Nowadays, some claim that during the night, you could still hear Veronika’s cries over the hills in the area.
Luckily, nowadays, Veliki Tabor features an interesting museum and hosts events such as falconry and knight tournaments and art exhibitions. Each year in July, the Tabor Film Festival is held in the castle.
Plitvice Lakes, Plitvicka Jezera, CroatiaCroatia has many beautiful national parks, one of which is the amazing UNESCO-recognized Plitvice Lakes. Located in the inland Lika region of Croatia and surrounded by the Dinaric Alps, this is a wondrous place to visit. Plitvice features a chain of 16 mountain lakes, each with beautiful turquoise water and set with convenient pathways to aid visitors to stroll from the 12 Upper Lakes (Gornja Jezera) and four Lower Lakes (Donja Jezera), while surrounded by beautiful, lush vegetation. While this is a lovely place to explore, visitors are urged to stick to the pathways. It seems Plitvice saw the first skirmish between Serbia and Croatia back in the Balkan Wars and landmines were planted throughout the park. While Plitvice was certified mine-free in 1988, it is thought that there might be a few landmines missed in the more remote areas of the park.
Head inland on your next visit to Croatia, to visit these and other fascinating sites, just waiting to be discovered.