Military cemetery Pula

Top Highlights

  • A historic place reflecting rich Pula history and maritime heritage.
  • A tranquil environment offering peace and solace amidst tombs of fallen heroes.
  • Home to the final resting place of members of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, WWI & WWII victims, and several admirals.

Exploring Pula’s Rich Cultural Heritage: A Journey Through the Naval Cemetery

About the Naval Cemetery

If you’re looking to dive deep into Pula’s multifaceted history, there’s a hidden gem you won’t want to miss: the Naval Cemetery at Stoja. Popular walking spot for locals—this cemetery is much more than a final resting place; it’s a living museum, rich with stories of bygone eras. Aside from its role as a cemetery, the area serves as a historical site, protected under the Hague Convention, where visitors can pay their respects and learn about Pula’s rich maritime and military history.

Historical Journey

Originally founded in 1862 as an Austro-Hungarian cemetery, the Naval Cemetery at Stoja sprawls across a vast 22,000 square meters today, housing approximately 150,000 souls. You won’t just find tombs here; each grave is a portal to an individual story, a piece of the puzzle that makes up Pula’s rich history.

Historical Facts You Didn’t Know

  • Origins: The Naval Cemetery at Stoja was originally established in 1862 as an Austro-Hungarian cemetery known as K.u.k Marinefriedhof.
  • Expansion: Initially covering just 4,000 square meters, the cemetery has dramatically expanded to cover over 22,000 square meters today.
  • Multi-National Resting Place: The cemetery is not just for the Austro-Hungarian navy but also includes graves of Italian and German soldiers from WWI and WWII, as well as one Turkish admiral.
  • Baron Gautsch Tragedy: Among those interred here are victims of the Baron Gautsch maritime disaster during WWI. The Baron Gautsch was a passenger ship that sank after hitting a mine, leading to a significant loss of life.
  • Protected Status: The cemetery holds such historical significance that it is protected under international law by the Hague Convention.
  • Renovations: In 1990, the cemetery underwent significant renovations thanks to the efforts of the Austrian Red Cross and a German national association dedicated to the care of war graves.
  • Unique Naval Graves: The cemetery is the final resting place of 12 Austro-Hungarian admirals, making it a unique site in terms of naval history.
  • Living History: The cemetery serves as an outdoor museum of sorts, offering an intimate look at the complex military and maritime history of Pula and the broader region.

Naval Graveyard: Austro-Hungarian Heritage

The cemetery is the final resting place for members of the navy from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including 12 admirals and even one Turkish admiral. These historical figures lend the cemetery an aura of naval grandeur that you won’t find elsewhere.

WWI and WWII Memorials

The cemetery holds special significance as it is the last resting place for those killed aboard the Baron Gautsch steamship during WW1. It also hosts graves of German and Italian soldiers from WWII. These memorials are silent yet poignant reminders of the human cost of conflicts that shaped modern Europe.

A Peaceful Respite

Walking through the Naval Cemetery is akin to strolling through a beautifully designed park. Thanks to renovations carried out in 1990 by the Austrian Red Cross and the German national association dedicated to war graves, the place exudes a serene, almost poetic atmosphere.

How Long Does a Visit Take

Plan to spend around 1-2 hours here, depending on your interest level.

When to Visit

The best times to visit are during the mornings or late afternoons to avoid the heat and crowds.

Opening Hours

The cemetery is open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Local Tips & Tricks

  • Carry a bottle of water, especially during hot months.
  • Consider taking a guided tour to gain deep insights into the history of the cemetery and Pula.
  • The area near Valkane Cove is great for a post-visit stroll.

Contact Info

  • Address: Stoja 14, 52100, Pula
  • Phone: +385 52 542 877

How to Get There

  • The Military Cemetery in Pula is situated on Stoja, adjacent to the Max City Shopping Centre. When driving from the centre of Pula, follow signs directing you towards Veruda/Stoja until you reach the Max City Shopping Centre. As you approach Max City, the cemetery will be on your right.

Where to Park

  • There are a few parking options available. You can choose to park within the forested area next to the cemetery. Alternatively, you can look for street parking spaces surrounding the cemetery.

Location

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Is the Naval Cemetery at Stoja free to visit?
Yes, the cemetery is open to the public and free to visit.

Are guided tours available?
Yes, guided tours can be arranged to offer a more comprehensive understanding of the cemetery’s historical significance.

Can I take photos at the cemetery?
While photography is generally allowed, please be respectful of the site and its significance.

Is it suitable for children?
While not a traditional children’s destination, it’s a good educational opportunity for older kids interested in history.

Are there restroom facilities available?
No, there are no restroom facilities within the cemetery, so plan your visit accordingly.

Is the cemetery accessible for those with mobility issues?
The grounds are mostly flat, but there are no specific accessibility features.

What else is nearby that I can visit?
Valkane Cove is a nearby scenic area great for a leisurely walk or picnic.

How do I respect the site?
Keep your voice low, stay on marked paths, and respect the graves and memorials.