Five hundred years have passed since the Venetian master painter Vittore Carpaccio made the famous altarpiece for the Diocese of Koper, which is proudly displayed in the Koper Cathedral. At the time when Spain believed that Columbus had discovered a western passage to India and when Copernicus was just coming to the conclusion that the Earth revolved around the Sun, Koper, called Caput Histriae at the time, ruled over the Istrian region and, owing to the high scientific and artistic development, earned the title “Istrian Athens”.
It was precisely at that time that Vittore Carpaccio came to Koper from Venice and dedicated his first work to the Koper Cathedral. It was the time of splendour and pride for the insular town, which was admired throughout the Republic of Venice and whose architecture and history of the golden era are still highly valued.
Begin your two or three-day trip where Istria presents itself in all its beauty. For an unforgettable experience follow our suggestions below or rearrange the proposed activities according to your wishes.
The narrow city streets, open squares and imposing buildings will reveal a number of stories from the past. Discover them all!
The route begins at the end of Kidrič Street where it opens onto the old harbour next to the former salt warehouse Taverna.
It stands on the eastern side of the renovated Carpaccio Square with the Carpaccio house (the reputed residence of the Venetian painter Vittore and his son Benedetto Carpaccio) and the pillar of St. Justina dedicated to the memory of the Koper galley which participated in the battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Take a few minutes to admire one of the three main squares of Koper. You can even stop for a coffee in one of the coffee shops in the area.
The route continues past the late 16th century Church of St. Nicholas (the brotherhood of sailors) and the Baroque Totto ex Gavardo Palace and leads up a gentle slope towards the small Museum Square. On the southern side of the square stands the mannerist Belgramoni-Tacco Palace. Today it is the home of the Koper Regional Museum.
Have a look at the interesting program of the Koper Regional Museum and participate in workshops, conferences, guided tours and other organised activities. Visit the museum website.
A few steps further there is the main town square with the most eminent public buildings: the Praetorian Palace, Armeria, Foresteria, Loggia, the Cathedral and the bell tower.
The Praetorian Palace is one of the most beautiful and mysterious town palaces. Book a guided tour and walk through the hall (Tourist information centre of Koper, firstname.lastname@example.org, +386 5 6646 403)
Do not forget to visit the Cathedral. The famous Carpaccio painting is displayed there.
Before you leave Tito Square, walk across the nearby Brolo Square. You can visit the beautiful St Francis of Assiss beautiful Protocol and event hall of St Francis d misterious and participate in workshops, conferences, si protocol and event hall , which is particularly impressing during evening concerts. Visit the Tourist information centre of Koper for tickets.
Back to Tito Square and walking under the Portico of the Praetorian Palace you are led onto the picturesque and most typical Koper street – Čevljarska Street (the Shoemakers’ Street) – which preserves the feeling of a medieval trade and craft district. The tour then continues along the lower part of Župančič Street passing the Baroque Carli Palace and leading to the spacious Prešeren Square with the quintessential da Ponte fountain (1666) and the Muda Gate on the southern side of the square.
The former tollgate was built in the Renaissance style (1576) and has a heraldic decoration with the outstanding city’s coat of-arms featuring a radiating sun. It is connected with the remains of the city walls. To get to Carpaccio Square (your starting point) take Pristaniška Street then pass the open-air market and the old harbour.