Piran - Pearl of the Mediterranean
Piran is a centre of
culture and arts, a town of numerous events, concerts and art galleries. Let
yourselves be captured by the pearl of the Mediterranean, come and get to know the
history, culture and stories of hidden
Piran is a fascinating medieval
seaside town, in the
past home to fishermen and saltpan workers, a town set within a genuine
Mediterranean environment that the visitors rarely come across elsewhere. The town is situated on a peninsula that ends in the
promontory Punta Madonna, which used to be populated already in pre-Roman
times. The first
written accounts of Piran are papers from the 7th century. The origin of its name derives from the Greek word PYR
(fire) for there was always a fire
burning on the promontory to warn sailors at sea.
Piran’s architectural design is medieval with narrow streets and houses built
one against another, which gives the town a typical Mediterranean touch and a
particular charm. On top of the hill is majestically located the baroque church
of St. George with its 48.7-metre high tower bell upon which is set St.
Michael’s statue. Today’s appearance of the church is from 1637. The church’s
interior is decorated with artistic works, but one can admire also the many
treasures on display at the parish museum, as well as the archaeological
findings deriving from excavations below the church’s building. Between 1912
and 1953 the inhabitants of Piran used to travel by electric tram, which
connected Piran and Portorož to Sveta Lucija, where the railway station was
located, one of the stops along the narrow-gauge railway line Parenzana that
could take you from Trieste to Poreč (Parenzo) and back.
Contemporary Piran is an administrative and tourist centre, during weekends it
turns into a favourite destination for national and foreign visitors. The main
attractions in Piran are the monument to the violinist virtuoso Giuseppe
Tartini, and Tartini House, his birthplace, Tartini Square,
which is named after him and used to be an inner dock only 100 years ago, the
Palace of Justice and the Municipal palace dating from the period of the
Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the newly restored Venitian palace, the
oldest and most beautifully preserved Venitian gothic building on Tartini
Square, the pair of stone pillars of the flag posts, the 1st of May Square, known
as the Old Square, the seven entrance gates of the town walls, the
oldest parts of the ramparts dating back to the 7th century, and the fortified
part of the walls on Mogoron hill with eight defensive towers, near a dozen
churches as well as the Minorite monastery with the vaulted alleys. Do
not miss a visit to the Maritime Museum, the Aquarium (established in
1964 and renovated, managed by the Grammar, Electrotechnics and Maritime
Secondary School Piran), discoverthe Aquatic Diving Museum, the Magical
world of shells (Čarobni svet školjk ), the Coastal galleries (Obalne galerije)
etc. Along the seaside, the promenade leads you past the many restaurants
and inns with an inviting offer of genuine local dishes and local wines. At every step we are reminded that architectural elements, paintings and
sculpted works are omnipresent, thus making culture accessible and artistic
jewels on display not only in museums or galleries, but actually suggestively
decorating the town’s streets and buildings.
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The fascinating medieval town of Piran is located at the furthest,
southwestern point of Slovenia. It lies in close proximity of the Croatian
border, while the borderline with Italy is set at sea. The climate is
submediterranean, which means there are many sunny days throughout the year and a low level of rainfall. Slovenian
Istria has typically mild winters with favourable climate conditions. This
is the reason why guests keep coming back throughout the year. Should you want
to check the weather forecast before leaving for the coast, click on weather (link) or watch live
stream – webcam.
Resort Salinera, Salinera Beach, Strunjan
outskirts of the Natural landscape park Strunjan, at an idyllic location
where you can regenerate your strength within the Bioenergetic Park Salinera,
is located Salinera Resort offering not only hotel and apartment
accomodation facilities, but also a wonderful beach boasting spacious green
areas with lots of natural shade, two freshwater pools and a well-maintained
Fornače is a larger area located along the road
leading to the older part of Piran, in proximity of Bernardin. The location
boasts a spacious, newly reconstructed beach with in-built wooden chaise
lounges and a neatly paved promenade (opened in 2016). A free-of-charge bus
shuttle is available for visitors to shorten the distance between Fornače and
Tartini Square. From Fornače a paved walking track leads towards Piran or
towards Bernardin resort.
Fiesa is a small bay, located between Piran and Strunjan. It is interesting for its two freshwater lakes, of which it is smaller natural and larger artificial. Over the last decades the bay has turned into a popular holiday resort with camping sites, hotels, holiday homes and villas.
Beach below St. George’s hill
The beach below
St. George’s hill is known to be a wild beach, a favourite naturist seaside
spot. It is less accessible and off the beaten track, and most suitable for
Things to do
There is a wide range of choices,
just pick a suitable one for you.You can choose from activity options for families,
couples, seniors, groups of friends or athletes. During your stay in Piran,
when you get to know the good humoured and friendly locals, or while you
experience culinary delicacies,you can also spend your time actively. There is
a vast range of choices:
|Sailing||Volleyball ||Cycling ||Discovering cultural sights|
The town of Piran – Pearl of Slovenian Istria – offers you a complete range of holiday
services. Visitors can choose among numerous hotels, apartments and hostels.
Culinary specialities can be tasted in the best restaurants offering a wide
choice of local food delicacies, while you enjoy the mystical atmosphere of
this medieval coastal town. Spending time on the beach or enjoying in your
favourite activity to make your day memorable.
Things to experience
1. St. George’s Bell Tower
St. George’s Bell Tower is
considered one of the most important monuments in Piran. The Bell Tower,
situated on top of the hill, is the perfect spot to admire the beauty of the
old town centre, surrounded by impressive medieval walls and full of monuments
that offer a vivid portrayal of Piran’s rich and interesting past. The first
church was built as early as the 9th century, a bigger one was later on built
in the 12th century and underwent several developments, while the current
appearance of St. George’s church dates from 1637. The construction works of
the Bell Tower were finished in 1608 and it is interesting to know that Piran’s
tower is a miniature version of the
15-century Campanile on St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
2. Piran’s town walls
The oldest part of the town
centre was surrounded by the walls as early as the 7th century. Seven town
gates out of eight, which served as entrances to town, managed to survive
throughout the centuries.As the town expanded towards south-east, new
walls were built to encircle and fortify new quarters of the town. The oldest
part of the walls that protected the old town core in the Punta quarter has
preserved its original shape, although undergoing numerous and thorough
restorations throughout the centuries. The construction of the ramparts with
eight defensive towers on Mogoron hill was completed during the period between
1470 to 1534. The exterior side of the walls has a distinctive angle of
inclination, a characteristic feature of enhanced defence. The walls reach
considerable heights. The defensive towers were renovated a few years ago and
staircases were added to link and make the towers accessible to the public.
3. Tartini Square with a unique touch of music
Square is the largest square in the centre of Piran. Today’s square was a town
port in the past, an inner dock for galleys and fishing boats. It was turned
into a square at the end of 19th century and named after Piran’s famous
violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini. Giuseppe
Tartini, a violinist virtuoso of worldly fame, was born in
Piran, where he spent his youth years. His legacy is perceived everywhere in
town. The monument to his memory stands on the main square, within proximity of
his birthplace, and is open to visitors who can admire the maestro’s original
violin on display. To honour the virtuoso, some years ago the town of Piran began
to organize the Tartini Music Festival every summer. The event takes place at
the vaulted alleys of the Minorite monastery.
4. Cultural heritage of saltpan workers and farmers
The genuine level of
a country’s culture is reflected not only in the works of painters, musicians
and architects, but is also molded by its inhabitants. At Lera, the
northern part of the Sečovlje saltpans, salt is still harvested to these days
by using the same method as 700 years ago, completely manually. In the southern
part, called Fontanigge, production ceased years ago, but old buildings have
been turned into what is today known as the Saltmaking museum. Visitors can have a look at the renovated interior
of saltpan workers’ houses in order to learn about life in the saltpans
throughout the centuries.
In the village of Sveti Peter (St. Peter’s) that is
gently nestled within inland hills behind Piran, Tona’s house - a renovated
farmhouse - is the perfect visiting spot for you to get
acquainted with life in the hinterland, most particularly with the life and
work of olive growers.
5. Cultural treasures of Piran
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