Top Historic Sights in Piran, Slovenia

Explore the historic highlights of Piran

Church of Snowy Mary

The Church of Snowy Mary was first mentioned in the year 1404. A rich lady from Piran donated the money for its construction. A Baroque altar from the 17th century decorates the presbytery. There are many paintings on the walls, in wooden and fretted frames, made in the year 1666 by B. Marangoni from Mantova. On the east side, above the entrance, there is the main painting from the second half of the 17th century portray ...
Founded: c. 1404 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

Church of Our Lady of Consolation

The Church of Our Lady was initially dedicated to St. Michael. Its original form dates from the year 1439, and in the 17th century it was restored. Hence its exterior and interior are significantly baroque. Next to the central altar from the 18th century, there is a painting of Mary with the Child. The church is richly decorated with four paintings representing the stages in the life of St. Augustine. They were initially ...
Founded: 1439 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

Minorite Monastery Church

St. Francis Church is situated next to the Franciscan monastery. In front of it there is a small square, formerly used as a cemetery. The construction of the church and the monastery reaches back to the year 1301. Despite many restorations, traces of the period in which the church was built can still be seen in the presbytery. The present interior dates from the 17th century and the exterior from the 19th century. The le ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Piran, Slovenia

St. George's Cathedral

Above the compact Piran town centre reigns St. George"s Cathedral, which gives the city its special character. It was probably built in the 12th century, but no exact data in this regard exists. In the 14th century, it was built to its present size. In the year 1344, on the Day of St. George, the cathedral was consecrated by nine bishops from near and far. It acquired its present appearance after Baroque renovation ...
Founded: 1344 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

St. Stephen's Church

St. Stephen"s church is one of the oldest in Piran, and in the 13th and 14th centuries it was also one of the most important sacral buildings in the town. The seat of the order of the Brotherhood of a Happy Last Hour used to be in the church, where they prayed and kept relics in the main hall and in the attic. Inside the church there are statues of the St. Stephen and St. Lawrence, as well as paintings by Jakob and ...
Founded: 1270 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

St. Clement's Church

St. Clement church was first mentioned in the 13th century. It acquired its present-day appearance after numerous renovations in the year 1773 and extensive restoration in the year 1890. It was dedicated to one of the first Roman popes – St. Clement. Because of the dreaded plague that propagated throughout Istria in the 17th century, the church was renamed Our Lady of Health Church, as St. Mary was, together with S ...
Founded: 1773 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

Piran Town Walls

Significant parts of the city walls of Piran remain well-preserved. Piran"s three walls were built in response to the city"s expansion. The first wall was built in the 7th century, separating the town into four streets. The first wall can be seen in the old part of the town. The wall was moved south-west when new streets were built. The fortification wall, which was built along the southern coast of the town, ha ...
Founded: 1470-1538 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.