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Koper – Capodistria

Warning: all shots taken with iPhone and edited with Snapseed!

Koper is the biggest and most industrialised of the three Slovenian coast cities (other two being Izola and Piran). Luckily, as with the most of the medieval cities, it was difficult to ruin it’s old city centre which overlooks Luka Koper (Port of Koper), the biggest port in the region.

 

Koper, the oldest town in Slovenia, developed on a rocky island with the Roman name Capris.It underwent a lot of  changes of various reigns and states, all of which marked the city with their specific traits and names. Koper was called Capris in Roman times, in the times of the pope Gregory I (599) Insula Capraria (“goat island”), Iustinopolis under the Byzantine Empire (between mid 6th and 8th centuries) and Caput Histriae (‘head of Istria’) by the Aquileia Patriarchs. The Venetians rendered that name into the Italian form, Capodistria.

The longest reign over the city was that of the Venetian Republic (1279-1797), when Koper experienced economic (trade, salt production) and cultural prosperity (painting, music). The Venetian period is still echoed by the city architecture; despite numerous modern interventions, it has preserved its medieval character, with the city of Koper being a member of the European Association of Medieval Cities. In the Middle Ages, Koper was an island surrounded by walls and connected with the mainland with a wood bridge in the direction of Škocjan. It was protected by a mighty fortress – Lion Castle, and surrounded by vast saltpans. Koper’s importance began to diminish in the 18th century, when Trieste was proclaimed a free port, and ultimately ended with the downfall of the Venetian Republic.

The main square, Titov trg, is located on the top of the small hill and with it’s surrounding buildings represents an architecture jewell. Despite Koper’s Venetian character we start the tour with a Gothic town loggia which closes off the north side of the main square. It is located opposite the Praetor’s Palace and represents its open antithesis. There is a caffe bar Loggia overlooking the square but it’s opening times are mysterious.

All the interesting buildings around the square are pretty huge and difficult to capture, especially if you use only a phone. The usual crowd around doesn’t make it any easier so it takes a sound compromise to get some of what you want. The Cathedral stands in the nucleus of Koper and dominates the area between the east side of the main square  and Brolo Square (trg Brollo). The three-nave Romanesque space with three apses was built in the second half of the 12th century. In the middle of the square, right next to the west façade, stands a mighty self-supporting bell tower repaired as a city tower in the 15th century.  The upper terrace is periodically open and offers a great view of the Bay of Trieste. Don’t expect any privacy up there.

Newly renovated Verdi Street takes you to the city walls above the Marina with a nice view at the Port. Turning back to the main square you can get a nice shot of the Praetors’s palace (at least a part of it). Turning right at the vista point leads you into the labyrinth of narrow streets full of cats, entrances into small gardens and some nice urbex motifs. With some luck you would find yourself at Ribiški trg (Fishing Square), just in the neighbourhood of the Port. Find Verdijevo nabrežje street and follow it apart from the Port. Buildings at your left are built on the land which used to be a sea not so far away hence the port equipment at the sidewalk.

A few meters before the roundabout enter the Muda Gate which has been and will remain the main continental city gate of Koper. The preserved triumphant arch portal and the building behind it were constructed in1516.

This is a one-arched triumphant arch that leads through a wide covered area to the inner part of the city.  It used to be a tollhouse station and through it had to pass all the visitors to the city who had arrived along the embankment from the land.  The stone outer frame of the entrance is Renaissance, from the Venetian workshop of the Lombardis. Above the high barrelled arch stands a later triangular gable.

The square behind the door, Prešernov trg, with charming old buildings is much more photo friendly than the main square.

The small Da Ponte fountain there is a bit harder to get a good shot at but it has a great history.

A subaquatic aqueduct connected the island of Koper to the mainland as early as the end of the 14th century. By the 16th century, the 10,000 inhabitants of the city were facing a water shortage, rainwater cisterns having become inadequate. In the 17th century, Niccolò Manzuoli recorded the city water supply, noting that a 2-mile distant spring at Colonna was piped to the island via wooden underwater tubes, some of which have been unearthed during excavations by modern archeologists.

The current fountain dates from 1666, replacing an older one on the same site. Its superstructure is in the shape of a bridge, surmounting an octagonal water basin surrounded by fifteen pilasters, each bearing the arms of local noble families who had contributed funds toward the fountain. The fountain was used as a source of potable water until 1898.

Again the narrow streets lead the way around or back to the main square but they are much more crowded.

This time we are to leave the main square just left of the Verdi Street, heading to the public port and the beach. It takes a very good stomach or a really hot day to swim so close to the commercial port but the beach is always crowded and sights spectacular. What about swimming with a tanker instead of a shark?

The view from the peer is open to the sunset though and any obstacles can be used to your advantage.

Processed with Snapseed.

 

Just a hundred meter back to the main square is a deserted high apartment building waiting for deconstruction. It was built in the times of fast industrialisation for the workers of one of the big factories just in the front of the old city. Nobody cared much about such things back then and it really hurts the eyes now so it is a good thing to be deconstructed. But on the other hand it used to offer the best view of the city and it’s inland background…

…and of the remaining part of the Slovenian coast too.

Useful information, also used in the text: slovenia.info and wiki.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

 

Instameet in Koper was amazing!

As you all know we had an Instameet in Koper, Slovenia on the 25th of June. The plan was simple: To meet Instagrammers in front of the beautiful Praetorian Palace and then go for a walk around the town. Our dear friend, local photographer, Jaka Ivančič, promised that he will show us everything there is to see and help us find the best views Koper has to offer. And we were not disappointed! Not at all.

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First Instagrammers on Titov trg / Square.

First of all; more than 30 people showed up on that day. Most of them from Slovenia but we had also a big group of people from Russia. We always get some people from other countries so we can say; Igslovenia Instameets are international! And it is always great to meet new friends!

After a cold drink (We needed it. The day was just hoooooooooot!) we had the pleasure to enjoy the Praetorian Palace with a guide of our own. Thank you, TIC Koper & Nika!

Discovering the town was a special kind of fun; Jaka picked the best streets and told us everything there is to know about Koper (Did you know it was an island once? And that it had city walls bigger than Dubrovnik??)  Also when 30 people with cameras are walking around the town, photographing everything there is and especially each other … fun is guarantied!

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Old Town Koper.

Looking for the best view.

The views from the church tower were just perfect and well worth of 3XX steps (I’m quite sure the number is close to 400!?) that we had to take to get to the top. But Jaka saved the best for the last; Tomos building which is now empty & closed for public was just ours. This part of the Instameet was just for the bravest, but the ones who climbed to the roof were not sorry. Not only this is THE building to be to take best photos of Koper, there were  tons of opportunities to photograph the building itself and feel its (probably not so happy but extremely interesting) history.

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View from the church tower.

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Looking down from the church tower.

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View of Koper from the Tomos building.

 

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At the top of the world.

 

Industrial touch

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Only the brave ones.

We will not tell you anything more about how fun it was to spend also the evening in Koper, drinking beer and having fun with new friends. Next time – be sure to join us. #simple

Thank you all who helped & thank you all who came. Hope to see you soon again! ***

Sanja Leban Trojar, @sanya_LT

Instameet in Koper, Slovenia

What? Instameet!

Where? Koper, Slovenia

When? 25. 6. 2016, 18:00.

Who? Team @igslovenia, @jaka_ivancic, @visitkoper & YOU!

Since summer is just around the corner and since we haven’t met for a while, we decided two things; We have to do an instameet and we have to do it on the Slovenian Coast. The plan is simple;

Team @visitkoper will welcome us at 18.00 in the beautiful Praetorian Palace (Pretorska palača)* in Koper, then @jaka_ivancic, our dear friend and an amazing local photographer, will show us around.

*check the location on the MAP.

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We will be discovering Koper through the eyes of our cameras, trying to find just the best photo locations. Jaka promised he will show us some nice places, some of them you might already know and some of them are a secret to all of us. (We can only tell you that you can’t visit them if you are ‘just a tourist’ in Koper:-0)

We are planning to walk around and snap photos until the sun sets (just to get the best light) and then we will go to a local beer festival and focus on the ‘meeting’ part.

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Who can come? Anybody! Instagramers, photographers, mobile photographers or people who would like to discover Koper, meet some Instagramers and have fun.

We kindly ask all of you who will join to let us know that you are coming so it will be a little easier for us to organize everything; Send us an e-mail to info@igslovenia.si (there are some bottles of really good beer (thanks to 4. Cameralov Festival Mikropivovarjev) waiting for those who will apply first)

Looking forward to meet you all!

PS; Since some of our guests aren’t drivers, please; when applying – let us know where you are coming from, if you have a car and if you can offer a ride to another Instagramer. Thanks!

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*all photos by – Jaka Ivančič!

 

jaka_ivancic

Who? My name is Jaka Ivančič, I was born & raised in Koper but I now live in Ankaran. I can say that I fell in love with photography when I was a child, we have been in a committed relationship for a few years now and also the future looks bright for us:) I’m a freelancer working on different projects; One of them is being the official photographer and video producer for Radio Capris, others are also mostly connected to photography, mainly landscape, food and events photography.

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Why Instagram? Instagram is one of 3 social media platforms that I use to promote my work (others are Twitter and Facebook). I use a digital camera (Canon 5D MK III) to share my photo impressions, mostly – landscape photography, and I also use my Iphone 6 to capture others moments of my life.

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What are your favourite ‘photo-places’ in Slovenia? Since I live in Slovene Istria and since – I simply love it, I take most of my photos here. Piran, Koper, Izola and everything around is my playground. Although the area is not large I always manage to find a new place and a new view.

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