Fort Monte Ghiro – San Giorgio

Guide to Pula Fort San Giorgio also known as Fort Monte Ghiro

Top Highlights

  • Stunning Austrian Empire Architecture
  • Unique Circular Design with a Diameter of 35 meters
  • Enriched Historical Roots spanning over the 19th century
  • Optimal Location in Sector I of Pula’s Coastal Region

About the Fort Monte Ghiro

For those embarking on a journey to Pula, the Pula Fort San Giorgio or better known to many as the Pula Fort Monte Ghiro, stands as a testament to time and Austrian Empire craftsmanship. When you set foot inside, you’re not just walking on ancient grounds, but tracing back an era of naval supremacy and strategic fortifications.

Nestled atop Pula hill, Pula Fort San Giorgio, commonly referred to as Pula Fort Monte Ghiro, remains an emblem of the region’s vibrant history and architectural prowess. When you venture into this historical monument, it’s not merely the stony grounds you tread on; it’s a journey back in time, tracing an epoch of naval domination and meticulously planned fortifications.

A brainchild of the Austrian Empire’s defense strategy, the fort’s establishment dates back to the 19th century. Its prime objective was to ensure the safeguarding of the empire’s principal naval port. Every brick and parapet stands as a silent witness to the shifting sands of time and the narratives of those who once patrolled its corridors.

Location & Design: The fort’s strategic placement in Sector I of Pula’s coastal region was no mere accident. It was carefully selected to offer a commanding view of the sea and potential threats, ensuring a swift response when required. With its distinctive circular design stretching approximately 35 meters in diameter, the fort is an architectural marvel. Made from carefully hewn stones, its design complements the surrounding landscapes while presenting a daunting visage to potential adversaries.

Interior Structure: The fort’s internals are as intriguing as its external façade. At its heart lies a round courtyard, meticulously maintained over the centuries. The central cistern is an ode to the ingenious planning of those times, ensuring a regular water supply in times of siege. The entrance, guarded by a protected vestibule, ensures a layered defense mechanism, challenging any intruders attempting to gain unauthorized entry.

Later Uses: Over the centuries, the fort’s primary function evolved in tandem with the changing geopolitical scenarios. It found use as a tank till 1914, post which it donned the role of a storehouse and barracks for its neighboring artillery battalion. By 1918, it witnessed a brief period of abandonment, only to be repurposed as barracks until 1947. Its subsequent transformation into a military storehouse saw the removal of much of its carpentry and installations, leaving behind only the entrance door. Interestingly, in 1991, the fort’s historic walls reverberated with the sounds of movie scenes being shot, adding another layer to its multifaceted existence.

For every traveler, historian, or architectural enthusiast visiting Pula, the Pula Fort Monte Ghiro is not just a tourist spot. It’s a time capsule, waiting to share its tales with those eager to listen.

Historical Journey

The fort’s roots are deeply interwoven with the Austrian Empire’s naval prowess. Constructed in phases from 1852-1854, 1854-1856, and 1860, it aimed to safeguard the empire’s primary naval port. As you wander through its rounded corridors, each stone and turret echo tales from centuries past.

Historical Facts

  • Austrian Architecture: Fort San Giorgio, also known as Fort Monte Ghiro, was constructed by the Austrian Empire. This reflects the period when the Austrians had significant influence in the region, showcasing their architectural and strategic military prowess.
  • Phases of Construction: The fort was built in multiple phases during the 19th century. The first phase commenced in 1852 and concluded in 1854. This was followed by a subsequent phase from 1854 to 1856, with the final significant construction activity recorded in 1860.
  • Strategic Importance: The primary purpose of the fort was to protect the main port of the Austrian navy. Its strategic location on the Pula hill made it a vantage point, overseeing potential maritime threats.
  • Unique Design: The fort has a distinctive circular design, spanning about 35 meters in diameter. Such a design was not only architecturally unique but also served to enhance its defensive capabilities.
  • Utility and Transformation: The fort’s usage evolved with the changing times. Initially, it was used as a tank until 1914. It then served as a storehouse and barracks for an artillery battalion until 1918. By 1947, the fort was repurposed as a military storehouse.
  • Cinematic Role: The fort’s historic walls witnessed the magic of cinema in 1991 when it became a filming location for movie scenes, marking its footprint in the world of entertainment.
  • Historical Significance: Classified as a “fortress tower” or “castle” in German terminology, Fort San Giorgio played a crucial role in the region’s defense strategies. Its presence in Sector I of Pula’s coastal region signifies its paramount importance in military planning.
  • Preservation: Despite the removal of most of its carpentry and installations in the mid-20th century, the fort’s primary entrance door stands intact. This is a testament to the preservation efforts and the resilience of the structure against the test of time.

These facts highlight the rich tapestry of history associated with Fort Monte Ghiro – San Giorgio, making it an essential destination for history buffs and travelers interested in exploring Europe’s military and architectural heritage.

When to Visit

While the Pula Fort stands magnificent throughout the year, the best time to visit would be during spring or fall. These periods promise temperate weather, making your exploration both comfortable and delightful.

What Is There to See

Apart from its architectural beauty, the fort features a central cistern, a secured entrance vestibule, and numerous vantage points offering panoramic views of the city and sea. Each of these elements boasts stories of their own, awaiting the eager ears of history enthusiasts and travel aficionados alike.

How Long Does a Visit Take

Typically, a thorough exploration of the Pula Fort Monte Ghiro would take about 1 to 2 hours. This includes some moments of pause to truly soak in its grandeur and possibly capture some memories with your camera.

Local Tips & Tricks

  • Begin your journey early in the morning to avoid larger crowds and enjoy a serene atmosphere.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. The fort’s ancient flooring, though a beauty, may not always align with modern comfort standards.
  • Engage with local guides. Their tales are often laced with personal anecdotes that aren’t found in written histories.

Opening Hours

In 2023, the fortress was opened to visitors.

Contact Info

  • Address: Near Ul. Braće Levak, 52100, Pula

How to Get Here

  • Located atop the hill at Šijana.
  • It’s recommended to go by car. Using a navigation system is the easiest way to locate it.

Where to park

  • Parking is free.
  • Conveniently situated close to Fort Monte Ghiro.


How accessible is the fort for those with mobility issues?
The fort has some areas accessible to those with mobility issues, but due to its historical design, not all areas might be easy to navigate.
Can I bring my own food and beverages?
While there’s no strict restriction against it, visitors are encouraged to respect the premises and ensure they leave no trace behind.
Are guided tours available?
Yes, guided tours are available, often led by locals who are well-versed in the fort’s history and lore.
Is photography allowed inside the fort?
Absolutely! However, for professional shoots or drone usage, prior permission might be required.
Are there any special events or exhibitions held at the fort?
No, the fortress is closed to the public.