This tiny but lovely town is located in Slovenia. It is the kind of place you can visit to do a little sightseeing, take cruises along the Adriatic coast, enjoy the nearby beaches and enjoy great seafood. It is home to the country’s finest square, Tartini Square. There is a spectacular church that overlooks the town and the sea and other delights to enjoy in Piran.
Over the ages the Piran town walls have been rebuilt and go around the entire peninsula. Finally completed toward the end of the 15th century you can see the best preserved section on Morgoron Hill where there are some of the best views of the town. There are seven well-preserved gates in different architectural styles still in existence. One is Marciana Gate on Bratstva Trg. Featuring the winged lion of St. Mark holding an open book as a peace symbol.
The large St. George Cathedral was built in dedication to Piran’s patron Saint George, who was a dragon slaying knight from Capadoccia, Turkey. Legend has it that when this cathedral fell into disrepair Saint George himself showed up to see that it got renovated even blinding a skeptical mayor to be sure that everyone knew he meant business. Once the cathedral was repaired a 50 meter bell tower was added. This bell tower is a copy of the San Marco Campanile in Venice, Italy. All around the cathedral are wonderful views of the town and the Adriatic Sea.
The Sergej Masera Maritime Museum was named after a young sailor from Gorica, who was killed in WW II and later declared a national hero. In this museum visitors can learn about the maritime history of the north Adriatic. There are detailed exhibitions of Slovenia’s naval history and of the local fishing trade. The museum is located in the 19th century Gabrielli Palace on the inner harbor near Tartini Square.
A most impressive square Tartini Square has become a pedestrian only zone. There are many outdoor cafes here. You will see an statue of a well dressed gentleman. This was the local composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini. The square is oval shaped and paved with marble. On the east side is the Church of St. Peter containing the wonderful 14th century Piran Crucifix. On the opposite side from the church is Tartini House which was once the composer’s home and is now a popular concert venue. You’ll see the Court House with two doors dating from the 17th century and the 19th century porticoed Municipal Hall. There are two flagpoles from the 15th century at the entrance to the square. These flagpoles bear Latin inscriptions that praise Piran. The town’s coat of arms, a relief of St. George to the left and to the right one of St. Mark with the lion symbol.
The old square 1st May Square was the center of Piran until the Middle Ages and at that time was called Old Square. It is surrounded by street with pastel-colored overhanging houses, vaulted passages and arcaded courtyards. All around the square are Baroque-style buildings among them the former town pharmacy on the north side which is now the Fontana Restaurant. In the center of this square is a large Baroque cistern that was built in the late 18th century for storing fresh water. Rainwater would flow down from the surrounding roofs into this cistern through the fish borne by the stone putti cherubs in two corners.
The historical point of Piran is Punta and it still has a lighthouse. Today this lighthouse is small and modern. Attached to it is the round, serrated tower of the Church of St. Clement that was originally built in the 13th century. Inside the lighthouse is a lovely stuccoed ceiling.