Photo 1. Pretorska palača/Palazzo Pretorio (Praetor's Palace) is the symbol of Koper. It is situated in the center of the old city on the south side of Glavni trg (Main Square), It was built in the 15th century and is a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The photo was taken in 1989. The Palace needed some cosmetic care.
Photo 2. The Palace underwent during 10 years important renovation, finished in 2001. In 2009, the front of the Palace was perfect, but unfortunately, when I took the photo, the light was not good!
Photo 3 shows that a dozen various statues adorn the front of Praetor’s Palace. I will better show the most prominent in next tip.
Presernov trg is named after the famous Slovenian poet France Prešernov (1800-1849). It’s located in the southern end of the Old Town and lies directly behind Muda Gate when entering from the south. The main features of the square are the 17th century Da Ponte well which was erected by an Italian family and the 16th century St Basso church. Locals used to come to the well in the square for water until 1898. The square was repaved in 1990 and the well was also renovated.
This building dominates the southern end of Titov trg with its Venetian Gothic and Renaissance styles. It was built in the 15th century on the site of two older houses from the 13th century that were connected by a loggia. It was the former palace of the mayor, who was appointed by the doge in Venice, council and other city administrators. The façade features a whole host of heraldic shields and coats-of-arms. There is a lovely archway which leads into the small pedestrian street of Cevljarska ulica (Cobbler’s Street). Today, the building houses the Tourist Information Office.
The Loggia stands at the northern end of the central square (Titov trg). It was built in 1463 as a single storey building although its present appearance dates from the 17th century when the five arches were added facing the square and four more were added facing Verdi Street. A terra-cotta statue of Mary was erected above the corner in 1555. In 1698 another storey was added to the loggia and two arches from the west side were moved on the ground floor. It was used as a debate club for all the townsmen and today houses a posh coffee shop which I sat and had a drink in.
To the north of the cathedral lies this circular Romanesque rotunda which is the cathedral’s baptistery and is also known as the Carmine Rotunda. It dates from the second half of the 12th century making it one of the oldest buildings in Koper and features precious 14th century frescoes. Today, it is the Chapel of St Mary of Carmel.
This entrance gate at the southern end of the Old Town was built in 1516 and is the last of a dozen such entrances to remain standing. Modelled after an ancient triumphal arch, the gate was built by Koper resident Sebastiano Contarini. It used to be a tollhouse station and all the visitors to the city who had arrived along the embankment from the land had to walk through it. The stone outer frame of the entrance is Renaissance, from the Venetian workshop of the Lombardi’s. The entrance features symbolic lion heads and higher up is a face of a youth in sunburst which is the symbol of the city.
This well stands at the northern end of Presernov trg and was built in the shape of a bridge (the Rialto in Venice) in 1666 after being commissioned by Italian Lorenzo da Ponte. Water cascades out from two lions mouths into an octagonal water basin. The water was routed to the well from the mainland, where there was a cistern, and wooden pipes led from it to the town. The pool and the well are secured by fifteen boundary stones positioned in a circle. On the top of them stand stone baskets, pines and balls, and by the sides are the coat-of-arms of secondary donators who paid for the construction of the well. A hanging chain was affixed between the boundary stones so that livestock did not use to be able to come to the well. There are only two accesses to the well, protected by two revolving crosses.
The interior of the cathedral was renovated in Baroque style during the 18th century. The cathedral has many wonderful treasures such as: the big altar painting of Madonna with Child on the Throne and Saints, painted by Vittore Carpaccio in 1516; a decorative stone sarcophagus of Koper’s patron saint, St Nazarius, (a 6th century bishop), that dates from the 14th century; numerous quality paintings by Venetian artists such as Liberi, Celesti, Beltrame, Zanchi and Gianelli; and the organ that is decorated by Carpaccio’s paintings - The Presentation in the Temple and The Slaughter of the Innocents. More pictures can be found in one of my travelogues.
Photo 1. On Kidriceva ulica, in front of Totto ex Gavardo Palace stands an eye catching house. It is a medieval house, one of the oldest in the city, which is known as house “a gheffo”, with a protruding first floor. Actually, “casa a gheffo” or “casa a gueffo” means corbelled house.
Photo 2. The front of the house is adorned with a strange drawing. At first, I thought it was made with bricks of various colors but actually, it seems to be a painted decor.
Socerb castle stands on the Karst ridge which comes here closest to the sea. This castle with a magnificent view of the Gulf of Trieste lies some 300 m above the valley on steep cliffs. Only the eastern side is surrounded by a defensive wall. Socerb was an Illyrian fortress, while nearby is the 'Holy Cave' where according to legend, the martyr St. Socerb of Trieste lived before execution in 284.
This very pleasant central square (well it's actually a triangle) on the south side of the cathedral is the centre of medieval Koper. It is surrounded by palaces such as the mighty Brutti Palace, Gravisi-Barbabianca Palace and Diocese Palace as well as the former grainhouse known as the Fontico and the 14th century St Jacob’s church. The square features two late 15th century fountains which supplied the townsmen with rainwater.
These buildings were built in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Foresteria (on the left) formerly known as Albergo nuovo, was used as reception and accommodation.
The Armeria (on the right), was used for weapon storage till 1.550. Later on, it was changed into a savings bank for the poors (former Monte di Pieta).
This church and monastery were built in the 15th century and until the 16th century the church was dedicated to St Mary of the Angels before being renamed to the Church of St Anne. Until the Second World War it had a rich library and a collection of paintings by famous masters such as Benedetto Carpaccio, Girolamo Santacroce, Vivarini and Palma Jr which were displayed in the monastery church. Today, the most attractive features are its late Gothic benches from the end of the 15th century and a Baroque organ.
This fantastic museum is house is Koper’s grandest palace – the Belgramoni-Tacco Palace – which was built in the early 17th century. The museum, founded in 1911, charts the history of the town and surrounding area with artefacts from Pre-Roman tribes, Roman remains from the conquest of Istra in 178/177BC, medieval history such as statues and stone sculptures to paintings dating from the 16th-18th centuries. There is also a new building at the back in the courtyard which charts the struggle of the local population in the 19th and 20th century when the area passed into many hands before finally being part of Yugoslavia and then as an independent nation. The building has a vast collection that includes uniforms, stamps, money, photos etc. There are leaflets in English to explain everything as the info is in Slovenian and Italian. More pictures can be found in my travelogues.
Open: Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat & Sun 9am-1pm. Closed Mondays. Admission: 400SIT.
The photo shows Praetorian Palace situated in Titov trg. This is the centre of Old Koper.
It has many interesting buildings in this area & it's closed to trafiic as much of the Old Town in Koper.
The Praetorian Palace has a mixture of Gothic & Renaissance styles dating from the 15th century.
This is the symbol of Koper.