Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imagePula shipyard lights up at Visualia 2014 in Croatia Special

By Paul Bradbury     May 4, 2014 in Travel
Pula - A historic shipyard in Istria comes to life with the spectacular Visualia 2014 finale, as Pula gains another night attraction.
The Croatian city of Pula was bathed in light on May 4, 2014, as the climax of Visualia 2014 took its citizens and visiting tourists on a journey of heritage and innovative lighting displays through its historic streets, culminating in a spectacular show with the iconic cranes of Uljanik shipyard, which have now become the lastest tourist attraction in a destination becoming renowned for its tourism blend of heritage and contemporary events.
The Golden Gate turned all sorts of colours
The Golden Gate turned all sorts of colours
After hosting ice hockey and rock concerts in Pula Arena, the sixth oldest amphitheatre in the world, followed by the blueprint of festival tourism in an abandoned military fortress, the latest initiative was an attempt to turn the iconic cranes from Uljanik shipyard into a tourist attraction.
Blending technology with heritage: Visualia 2014 in Pula was a major success.
Blending technology with heritage: Visualia 2014 in Pula was a major success.
Visualia 2014
By day, the cranes are a prominent reminder of the city's once proud shipbuilding tradition. Built in 1856 under Austro-Hungarian rule, Uljanik was a major employer in the city, along with the military, but the presence of jobs in both these sectors has been severely reduced of late, leaving the reminder of past glories, but without any connection to attempts to reinvent the historic city as a tourist destination.
The different eras of Pula s history are reflected in the architecture behind the opening ceremony.
The different eras of Pula's history are reflected in the architecture behind the opening ceremony.
Award-winning lighting designer Dean Skira wanted to emphasise this recognisable symbol of the city and to highlight the industrial heritage of Pula through lighting design using the latest techniques, leaving the city with a new attraction on the skyline to match the imperious Roman amphitheatre across the harbour.
James Joyce looked on  but would he have approved?
James Joyce looked on, but would he have approved?
The lighting of the cranes was the final act of an impressive international contribution which began on Friday with the opening of "XYZT - Abstract landscapes" by Adrien Monet and Claire Bardainne from Lyon, an event already reported on by Digital Journal.
Lords of LightingUK from London electrified Forum square.
Lords of LightingUK from London electrified Forum square.
This evening's event had a very international feel, not only with the performers and sizable number of foreign tourists, but also in the route the event took through the historic streets of the city, highlighting the numerous foreign influences that the city has encountered over the centuries.
The festival streets of Pula were packed.
The festival streets of Pula were packed.
Designed as a walking tour of the city with performances along the way, the evening was opened by LED Drummers from Newcastle, who led the large crowd down to Forum, like some modern-day illuminated Pied Pipers.
Just as impressive was the setting of the start, by the Roman Gate, which was next to an Austro Hungarian building where James Joyce spent time in the city, itself next to an Italian-built kindergarten and a Yugoslav residential block - a snapshot of Pula's different eras and masters in one.
Each spectator carried a ring of light.
Each spectator carried a ring of light.
For many, the performance of Lords of LightingUK from London was the hightlight of the evening, as two combatants fenced with elecricity in a spectacular show. See the video at the top of this report for their magnificent performance.
From there, the crowd moved slowly to Kandler street for 3D video mapping by Jean Sambolec and Anja Ladavac, followed by Light installation by Igor Vasiljev and Visualia Group at Titov Park, before all eyes turned to the shipyard for the fantastic finale.
It was loud, it was colourful, and the majestic cranes resembled dancing horses, as they moved to the music with the impressive lighting effects. All participants were given a free ring with a light, which they held up in the air to enhance the lighting effect through audience participation.
And when the show was over, the cranes retreated a little, but not as much as before. Simple reds turned to orange and then to green, much more subtle after the majestic show, but strong enough to provide an alternative visual night attraction to the Roman amphitheatre.
The cranes after their amazing performance
The cranes after their amazing performance
There were plenty of tourists in the city, which is celebrating a creditable 20% rise in its April tourist arrivals over the corresponding period last year, and with the successful Outlook Festival once again confirmed for September, Pula's ability to extend its season at both ends through its innovative approach is a lesson for other destinations.
More about visualia 2014, Croatia, pula croata, lighting giants, uljanik
More news from
Latest News
Top News