Exploring the Architecture of Piran – The Adriatic Sea is home to many islands, and fringes the coasts of countries such as Slovenia. One of the Adriatic coast’s most lovely towns is Piran. Situated along the tip of a beautiful, narrow peninsula, Piran has one of the Mediterranean’s most intricately preserved Old Towns. Think Venice and Gothic architecture – sweet and slow during the off-season, but during the summer months it can get to be a bit overcrowded. But if you visit in the off-season, you’ll instantly fall in love with everything Piran has to offer – winding alleys, gorgeous sunsets, and, of course, the seafood. But the architecture is perhaps what will strike you the most.
One of the most awe-inspiring architectural feats in Piran is the Venetian House. This red, Gothic structure has tracery windows, a balcony, and is in view of Tartinijev. In between two of the home’s main windows is a stone relief of a lion. Inside its mouth is a banner inscribed with the words Lasa pur dira – or, Let them talk. The story goes that a wealthy Venetian merchant fell for a local girl, which soon set the gossip mills roaring. The merchant sought to kill two birds with one stone – eliminate the gossip and keep his young bride happy. He built the home for her and had the relief custom made as a reminder to his nosy neighbors.
The cobbled stone street behind the home leads to a cathedral at the top of a hill, the Cathedral of St. George. The cathedral is complete with a baptistery and a bell tower. It was built in the Baroque style in the early 1600s on the site where a church once stood in 1344.
The cathedral welcomes visitors and the doors are normally open. Through a metal grille, you can see the ornate interior. For full access to the cathedral, however, you must enter through the Parish Museum, at which you can also see the treasury and the cathedral’s catacombs. Some of the museum’s greatest items include a model of the cathedral made of wood that dates back to 1595 and a wooden sculpture of Christ from the early 1300s.