Fort San Giorgio is just one of countless fortifications along the Croatian coastline, built in the latter part of the 19th century when the city of Pula became the main Naval base and port for the Austrian empire. This relatively small fortification is situated on top of a hill near the centre of Pula and the local Cemetery. There’s also plenty of other places to explore nearby, the fort is only a few minutes walk from the stunning 2000 year old amphitheatre, Augustov Hram Temple, and inside another nearby fortress, the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria.
In common with many of the Austrian fortifications, Fort San Giorgio has a round structure, some 35 metres across, built around a central courtyard with a cistern in the centre. A caponnier projects outwards at the entrance and two towers rise from within the courtyard, one for a spiral staircase and one presumably for a shell hoist. A small ditch surrounds the circular fort. Rumours have it that all the Austrian forts were connected by underground tunnels but there’s no evidence to support that here.
Today, the steel gate at the entrance lies wide open, inviting visitors to explore the fort, which is quite accessible inside. Most of the building appears to be in good structural condition, despite there being no first floor to stand on. If you carry on to the top of the staircase there are some pleasant, panoramic views of Pula to be enjoyed from the roof.