The Pula Bridge Festival: Where Competition and Beauty Converge
The Pula Bridge Festival is an eagerly anticipated event that takes place every September in the picturesque Croatian town of Pula. This prestigious festival is renowned as one of the largest bridge games in Europe, attracting players from around the world. Join us as we explore the captivating blend of history, nature, and thrilling bridge competitions that make the Pula Bridge Festival a truly memorable experience.
Croatia and Pula
Nestled on the stunning Adriatic coast, Pula is a vibrant Croatian city with a population of around 50,000 residents. In addition to its role as the newest member of the European Union, Croatia recently adopted the Euro as its national currency. This charming city offers an array of attractions and activities that cater to all interests.
A Glimpse into the Past
One of Pula’s most iconic landmarks is the ancient Roman amphitheater, known as the Arena. Dating back to the 1st century, this well-preserved amphitheater is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Its grandeur sets the stage for the renowned Pula Film Festival each year in July. Alongside the Arena, visitors can explore historic structures such as the old city gates, arches, monasteries, a Byzantine chapel, a Venetian fortress, and the Forum – Pula’s bustling central square, surrounded by Roman architecture and temples.
Pula’s natural beauty is equally captivating, with rolling countryside and sun-kissed beaches offering endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Just a stone’s throw away, Brijuni National Park and nearby farming villages invite visitors to immerse themselves in Croatia’s enchanting landscapes. The crystal-clear coastal waters provide the perfect backdrop for fishing, sailing, swimming, snorkeling, and diving adventures, replete with ancient vessels and remnants of World War I warships.
A Bridge Legacy
Since its inaugural event in 1961, the Pula Bridge Festival has grown into a cornerstone of the bridge game in Europe. This esteemed festival has seen the steady stewardship of three main organizers throughout its history. Dr. Jurica Tomljenovic, the festival’s founder, established a strong foundation for the event. Following his passing in the early 70s, Miljenko “Brk” Brkljačić continued the festival’s success until 2011. Today, his daughter Tihana carries on the legacy, serving as the head organizer.
A Global Gathering of Expertise
The Pula Bridge Festival boasts a formidable field of players, attracting top-notch bridge experts from across Europe. Adding an international flair, guest stars from the United States, Australia, and Asia join in, further raising the level of competition.
Exciting Events Await
At the heart of the festival are two main events: Open Teams and Open Pairs (60 boards, matchpoints scoring). The Open Teams event consists of qualification rounds (96 boards), followed by finals for the top-performing teams. For those seeking additional challenges, there are other thrilling competitions to enjoy, including BAM Teams, Mixed Pairs, and IMPs Pairs.
Save the Dates
Make sure to mark your calendar for the main events, scheduled from September 9th to 16th. But the bridge excitement doesn’t stop there! Before and after these dates, warm-up and cool-down events offer participants even more chances to showcase their skills and create unforgettable memories.
There are direct flights to Pula from different European capitals. Get ready to experience the magic of Pula, where bridge enthusiasts gather to celebrate the game they love against the backdrop of Croatia’s breathtaking landscapes. For more information about the Pula Bridge Festival, please visit the official website at www.pulabridgefestival.com