Spiral Staircase – City Post Office, Pula, Croatia
In a more modern part of the city we chanced across a pleasant little square with a water fountain and lined with nineteenth century buildings that had once been the bourgeois commercial centre at the height of the Austrian Empire. In this square was the City Post Office which was a much later twentieth century addition built in 1933 and although unremarkable from the outside had hidden inside a magnificent Gaudi like spiral staircase which rose majestically from the ground floor to the top of the building in an extravagant scarlet sweep that oozed style and grandeur.
The building was designed by Angiolo Mazzoni del Grande who was the chief architect for the Ministry of Communications and for the State Railways under the Mussolini regime in Italy. He was one of the most outstanding Italian architects of the modern period and was responsible for the design of many public buildings and railway stations across Italy that were characteristic of the Fascist building boom. It was an unusual discovery and it would be much better housed in a more important building but this was a hidden gem of Pula and I am glad that we found it.