An Austrian ice hockey team will get to become gladiators when matches are played inside one of the best preserved Roman arenas in the world later this month.
The ice pitch will be placed inside the ancient Roman Arena in the western Croatian town of Pula to host Croatian champions Medvescak Zagreb as well as their foreign opponents Vienna Capitals from Austria – and Telemach Olimpija from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
Laying down the ice pitch has already started inside the historical walls of the Arena where gladiators were once entertaining the crowd while fighting for their lives. This time the Arena will be used for the ice-hockey spectacles on 14 and 16 September when Medvescak will first host Telemach Olimpija – and then two days later Vienna Capitals.
The action is launched with the aim to promote ice-hockey in the region.
The arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers and with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved. It was constructed in 27 BC – 68 AD and is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the World. A rare example among the 200 Roman surviving amphitheatres, it is also the best preserved ancient monument in Croatia.