Colloquium headquarters

The XII International Colloquium on Roman Provincial Art will be held at the headquarters of the Italian Community in Pula:

Comunità Nazionale Italiana Pola
Carrara 1 / Via Carrara 1
(entrance through the Gate of Hercules), right next to the Archaeological Museum of Istria.

About the museum

The core of the collections of Archaeological Museum of Istria was formed by Napoleon’s Marshal Marmont during the short period of the so-called Illyric provinces. The first lapidarium, consisting of a collection of stone monuments (inscriptions, reliefs and sculptures), was originally housed in the Temple of Roma and Augustus. Work on systematic collection of monuments, as well as archaeological sites, their documentation and publishing started in the Austrian period (from 1816 onwards). Conservation Service, of which the regional centre for Istria (branch office) was located in Pula, was founded in Vienna. In 1884, the Istrian Society for Archaeology and Local History (“Società Istriana di Archeologia e Storia Patria”) was formed in Poreč. It organised systematic archaeological excavations of Nesactium, the most important Histrian hill fort. The discovery of extraordinary Iron Age and Roman finds in Nesactium was the basis for founding the Pula Municipal Museum (“Museo Civico”) in 1902. The seat of the Museum was in a building that no longer exists, in the historic core of Pula on Uspon sv. Stjepana. In the immediate vicinity of this building were the Arch of the Sergii and the city walls. Besides the Museum, the lapidarium was located in the amphitheatre as well. After World War I, during Italian administration, the Royal Archaeological Museum (“Regio museo archeologico”) was founded in 1921. The Museum was opened at the present site in the edifice that housed the onetime Austrian Secondary School (erected in 1890). The collections of the stone monuments in the Temple of Roma and Augustus and the amphitheatre, archaeological artefacts from Nesactium, Pula, Barbariga and Dvigrad, and those from the territory of Poreč (until then situated in the Istrian assembly hall building) were joined. In 1930, the Museum was opened to the public as the Royal Museum of Istria (“Regio Museo dell’Istria”). One segment of the lapidarium was arranged in the park around the Museum building. The position in the historic core of the city, in archaeologically extraordinary preserved city area that includes a part of the city walls with the Roman Double Gate on the east and the remains of the Small Roman Theatre on the west side, gives the Museum historical and aesthetic value. After the end of World War II, when Istria was assigned to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the administrative documentation, inventory books and all archaeological material except stone monuments were taken from the Museum and transported to Italy. In 1962, the major part of the archaeological material was returned to the Museum, but the inventory books. In 1947, the Museum was re-named as the Archaeological Museum of Istria, and has been functioning from these same premises continuously to the present day. It houses approximately 300,000 archaeological objects that were discovered on the territory of the County of Istria. The present-day permanent exhibition was reopened to the public in 1973, representing the development of material culture in the region of Istria with archaeological finds from the period of prehistory (Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age and the Histri) through the period of the Roman rule and early Christian period, to the Preromanesque. The Museum halls are constantly being extended; supplemented with new finds from archaeological sites and objects from the Romanesque and Gothic periods, and the Modern Age. Besides the collections in the main building, the Museum has several permanent exhibitions in other protected cultural monuments (the Arena, Temple of Augustus, Franciscan monastery, and Nesactium). At the present, Museum activities include protection, documentation, scientific analysis and presentation of material culture discovered in archaeological excavations. The Museum carries out systematic and rescue archaeological excavations, directly cares for the cultural monuments of the city and several archaeological sites, arranges exhibitions, scientific colloquiums and lectures for the public, and issues annual and periodical publications. The Museum employees also perform significant educational activity with younger generations and introduce visitors to the rich cultural heritage of Istria.