What to experience in Koper
CITY OF HISTORY, RECREATION AND NATURE
In the paragraphs below, you will learn what to experience in Koper. Check the info about what to experience in Koper more closely. The city has a modern park by the sea, the largest recreational areas in surroundings, natural cultural and historical heritage. You will be inspired by the historical sights and natural features of the city and its surroundings. In summer, we warmly recommend jumping into the water after a cycling trip from the city beach or nearby town Žusterna.
Sunny spring and autumn days, when the rest of Slovenia is in cold, clouds or fog, the Slovenian Istria attract crowds of cyclists searching trips and discoveries in seaside towns. The perfect experience on the Slovenian coast is provided by the favorable temperatures, varied terrains with beautiful views, seafood, salt, olives, and last but not least, the possibility of visiting neighboring countries, Italy and Croatia.
After the First World War in 1975, the city of Koper developed a port infrastructure that enables the landing of the largest ships sailing the world’s seas. It is one of the northernmost ports in central Europe.
From the town square you can enjoy a beautiful sea view to the port or take the main cliff to Tito Square, the main square in the city with a loggia, the Cathedral and the Praetorian Palace.
From the town square a panoramic elevator leads to the coast and the city beach.
If you are lucky, you can admire the cruise ships of famous shipowners, of which over 100 arrive in Koper every year.
The central city square, formerly Platea comunis, now Titov trg – “Tito Square”, is considered one of the most beautiful and harmonious town squares in the former Venetian territory
They have created the most important architectural monuments on it, which surround it and give it a special stamp. In the square, the center of the old town, there are many buildings that are an important part of the city’s history and cultural heritage.
One of them is the town “Loggia”, built in the typical Venetian Gothic style. It stands opposite the Praetorian Palace and next to the cathedral. The facade of the lodge is adorned with a Venetian lion, the coats of arms of the podestas and images showing the influence of Venice.
Today it is one of the oldest cafes in the city, a corner for relaxation and a view of the most beautiful city square in Koper.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, from the 12th century, forms the eastern side of Tito Square with a bell tower.
The exterior is adorned with a Gothic ground floor and a Renaissance floor. In the cathedral is the marble sarcophagus of St. Nazarius, a relief of a saint holding a model of the city around 1350.
The cathedral is connected to the bell tower, which was originally an independent Romanesque city tower. It also preserves a bell from 1333. You can climb the tower and experience an exceptional panoramic view.
On the other side of the square stands the Praetorian Palace, from the middle of the 13th century. Its spacious facade has a series of windows like bifor, trifor and quadrifor, a staircase and a balcony above a semicircular portal and two pillars. At the corner of the facade is a lion-shaped relief that was used for anonymous messages to Koper’s administrators during the Venetian period,
After the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, the Praetorian Palace lost its significance. During the Austrian rule, all the functions performed in it were moved to the neighboring building Armeria (now, the seat of the University of Primorska). The palace was neglected until 2001, when it was restored and the town hall returned to it.
Prešeren Square, where the fountain stands, was sometimes named after the fountain – Da Ponte Square. It is mentioned as early as the 14th century when water was transported from the mainland to the island. In 1666, the old well was replaced by today’s well, which is made in the shape of a bridge. The bridge symbolically illustrates the name of the mayor da Ponte who had it built.
It was usable as a drinking water catchment until 1898. The water basin is in the shape of an octagon. It is surrounded by 15 pilasters bearing the insignia of Koper’s noble families who contributed money for its construction.
Today, the Muda Gate is the only preserved city gate from the former twelve city gates of Koper, built in 1516 in the Renaissance style and boasting many decorations, among which stands out the sun, which symbolizes the city coat of arms.
The gate was used to open the passage through the walls to Prešeren Square. They connected the city with a bridge, and later with an embankment to the mainland.
All visitors to the city who traveled along the embankment from the mainland had to pass through it and pay a toll on the “Italian muto”, hence the name of the gate.
If you have nothing to experience in Koper, this experience is 100% for you.
The coastal promenade is the central promenade and is the liveliest area of Koper. You will find it on the map as Pristaniška Street. At the end of the street there is a small parking lot and a city beach. there is also the harbour “Mandrač” taken from the Italian word Mandracchio, which means city port.
On the pleasant Koper promenade, which is surrounded by palm trees and modern night lighting, there is Mandrač – the city harbour and the Tavern. The building was once a salt warehouse, but today is a venue for events and concerts. Next to the Tavern there is also Carpaccio Square with Carpaccio House, and nearby there are many bars, pastry shops, restaurants and the town market .
On the town market and Taverna we find public toilets that are nicely arranged, clean and free.
The park with Mediterranean vegetation in Koper got its place along the Semedelska promenade near the town market. The outdoor area is directly connected to the city promenade and the sea. Outdoor public areas are intended to strengthen a variety of leisure activities.
The basic foundations of the new green urban area are relaxedly designed, monolithic, wavy urban elements that form spectator stands, a children’s polygon, climbing walls, a concert port, a children’s playground, a reading corner, an open-air cinema and a vantage point.
The design of the park provides greater peace, remoteness and intimacy by protecting against the views and noise of the surroundings.
Access by bike is possible along the bike path that leads from Koper to Semedela or Žusterna in the direction of the coastal road to Izola.
The Bonfika Sports Center is intended for school sports education, sports training of local sports clubs, for children and youth, sports games, national or league competitions in football and athletics.
The 52-hectare center includes a football stadium with grandstands, a large and small football field with artificial grass and lighting, an auxiliary grass football field, 9 sandy and 4 paved tennis courts, an athletic stadium, 2 outdoor five-a-side football, basketball and and very popular free trim track that is illuminated at night.
Tip: The park is fenced and does not allow cycling. Bring locks with you so you can leave the bikes on safe.
Škocjanski zatok nature reserve near Koper represents the rest of the sea that once surrounded the city.
The formation of today’s nature reserve has a long history. In the 13th century, due to the needs of salt production, the sea began to be filled up and the island of Koper was gradually merged with the mainland. With the further backfilling and development of the city and port of Koper, only a small part remained in the area of the former bay – Škocjanski zatok nature reserve.
It is one of the most important nesting grounds for herons, muskrats, crayfish, reed warblers, terns, terns and terns in Slovenia. With the revival of Istrian cattle – Boškarin” and horse grazing, cow herons settled in the freshwater part of the reserve shitheads and scarabs.
After many years of efforts by coastal municipalities, in March 2017 they closed traffic along the coastal road between Izola and Koper.
In 2018, on these 7 km of the coast they made areas for cyclists, pedestrians and bathers. There were insalled toilets, showers and drinking fountains. They also plan to arrange public lighting and better access to the sea.
This part of the coastal strip is now used for recreation, swimming and leisure activities. From here, in good weather, you can see the coast of neighboring Italy to the Alps. We set off on the coastal road from the center of Koper towards Žusterna along the marked cycling path.