The Old Medieval Town of Piran, Slovenia
Typical of many Adriatic Sea coastal towns, Piran, Slovenia, was build adjacent to its harbor within stone city walls. The Cathedral was built in the 12th Century, atop the hill within the city walls. The Cathedral’s campanile dominates the skyline in the center of town.
Tartini Square, actually more oval than rectangular, is the location of Piran’s most notable buildings. In the 13th Century the area was the local harbor for the fishing boat fleet. Much later, that harbor was filled and named after the most illustrious citizen of Piran: the violinist, composer and music theoretician Giuseppe Tartini.
The Venetian House, built in the 15th Century, is one of the town’s most beautiful examples of Venetian Gothic architecture. For more than 500 years, the Venetians controlled the eastern Adriatic Sea towns and cities (including Piran), extracting rents and taxes to help fund the Empire.
The Venetian House currently is the retail store for the Solni salt production company. Note that nearly 40% of the area around the town is dedicated to salt ponds where Adriatic Sea water is dried and the salt harvested.
Hiking up the streets and stone steps to the Cathedral afforded excellent views of the town (and the roofs of the homes and stores) along with the harbor and bay.
St. George Cathedral sits high above most of Piran and is one of the town’s finest architectural highlights. It was first built in the 12th Century and then renovated and re-opened on the Feast of St. George in 1344. The present Baroque style of the interior dates back to the second major renovation in 1637.
Wandering around the small squares we found a nice fresh seafood restaurant full of locals, Fontana.
Many of the homes in Piran are painted a variety of pastel colors. It’s interesting to see the layers of varied colors when the top layer of stucco/paint flakes off (see photo, below).
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