Slovenia. Castles and not only. Part 9. Piran
Every journey has a beginning and an end. So my journey through Slovenia has come to an end. There were bright impressions from trips to Bled and Postojna, I have visited some cities and castles of Slovenia. But at the end of the trip I wanted to see something fundamentally different from what I have seen. And there is such a place in Slovenia. After all, this small and beautiful country has also access to the sea. Seashore of Slovenia is very small – just 47 kilometers. But this small coastline was enough for it to find room for the port city of Koper and three resort cities: Portoroz, Piran and Izola. And I really wanted to see the sea on the last day of my trip. My choice fell on Piran, which is rightly called the pearl of the Slovenian coast. All I had to do was to type the name of this city in any search engine and click on “pictures”. Two or three pictures were enough to understand that it really is a beautiful city. So I wanted to see the city with my own eyes, especially from above (half of the photos that can be seen in search engines, the city is shown as a top). I will not bore everyone with a dry text of the story, just show you how the city looks from one of the points (as it turned out to see the city from above, you can not just from one place). No one has canceled the well-known rule: better to see once than hear a hundred times. The central square of Piran looks like this from the observation deck of St. George’s church bell tower
To get to Piran by public transport is not difficult – between Ljubljana and Piran runs a relatively frequent bus (distance – 140 kilometers, travel time – just over two and a half hours, the fare – 12 euros). This is the same bus that I took to Postojna. From the bus window you can admire the Slovenian nature, so the road will not be tedious. And at 10:40 am I was already at the bus station in Piran. The bus station is located directly on the coast, right near the entrance to the historic part of town. The distance between the bus station and the central square is exactly half a kilometer. After getting off the bus, I took out my tablet to look at a map of the city and discovered that I had forgotten to load the map. I had to correct this oversight – maps should always be handy. It was no problem – there’s a cafe with free Wi-Fi next to the bus station. I went into the cafe, took a freshly squeezed orange juice, asked for the password to the Wi-Fi, and downloaded the map to my tablet. So to speak, I combined the pleasant (I love this kind of juice) with the useful. Leaving the cafe, immediately you find yourself at the yacht port of Piran (or as they are called – the marina).
I admired the clear water of the Adriatic Sea, small fish and other marine life… and headed towards the center. After walking a little more than a hundred meters from the beginning of the marina, I saw this diver
It turned out that this diver was standing near the entrance to the Submariners’ Museum (4.5 euros), which I visited. Frankly speaking, I was glad when I saw this museum. The thing is that in Piran there is a Maritime Museum and I love these museums… But the thing is that I was in Piran on Monday and the Maritime Museum, to my great regret, was closed on that day. And here I saw the Submarine Museum and, of course, I was glad to be able to visit it. But… the museum turned out to be a little too “no fanaticism.” That’s what I call museums that take an hour and a half to visit. It took me no more than fifteen minutes to see the Submarine Museum. And then, after the museum, again, after walking a little over a hundred meters towards the central square, I saw this sign with the name of the street.
Yes, yes… Lenin Street. True, the street is an overstatement, the length of the street is a little less than sixty meters. I immediately noticed that all street names are written in two languages – Slovenian and Italian. In the district of Piran, the Italian language is officially equalized with the Slovenian language. In the architecture of Piran immediately catches the eye the architecture of the Venetian Republic. By the way, there is one point that I still do not understand … Some sources clearly indicate – the city was ruled by the Venetian Republic for 500 years, since the XIII century. Other sources say that it was never part of the Venetian Republic, but was a partner of Venice and was the main supplier of salt to the Republic. Salt was extracted from the salt lakes nearby. In any case, those who have been in Venice or in the Croatian cities on the Istrian peninsula will immediately see similar architecture. The same buildings, the same square bell towers of churches, the same narrow streets… But this does not mean that just visit one of these cities, and it is not worth visiting other ones. Anyway, despite some similarity, each of these cities has its own unique flavor. By the way, it should be mentioned that Piran is located on the northernmost part of the peninsula of Istria. From Piran you can easily reach Italian Trieste and Croatian cities of Istria. And after walking a couple of hundred meters, you find yourself on the central square of Piran – Tartini Square (Tartinijev trg).
In fact, Tartini square was not the central square of Piran before. It was not a square either. There was a lagoon, which was filled up in 1894 because of an unbearable smell. Ships used to call at the lagoon but the water in the closed lagoon did not circulate and went stale. A monument to the Italian composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770), who was born in Piran, was erected practically in the center of the square.
In his honor is named this square of Pirana. Today in Piazza Tartini you can see buildings of different eras. These are the court buildings and the municipality, built during the Habsburg era
In the 19th century Piran was already part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Piran Municipality building looks especially beautiful
I had seen so much of the winged Venetian lions in Croatia, that I did not even take a picture of it on the building of the municipality. Now I regret… It’s a quality sculpture. Something I absolutely did not pay my attention then to the red building, which is slightly visible in this photo
And, in fact, it turns out to be one of the most attractive Gothic palaces of the Venetian Republic – the so-called “Venetian”. According to legend, this house was bought and given to a beautiful girl by a rich Venetian merchant. But I immediately realized where those beautiful views of the city from above were made. This is the church of St. George, on the observation deck of which, I saw people
And before climbing the bell tower myself, I decided to go to the very cape of the peninsula on which Piran is located. But I did not go out on the promenade, but walked first through the inner streets of Piran. At one point I came upon a small square with two sculptures
As I found out later, it was the Old Square or Prvomajski trg. It used to be the main square of the town. And I, according to my plan, walked through the city streets to the promenade and headed to the promontory, called Cape Madonna. To be honest, I wouldn’t call this promenade beautiful.