Trg 1 Maja & Punta

sights / Other

Lonely Planet review

Trg 1 Maja (1st May Sq) may sound like a socialist parade ground, but it was the centre of Piran until the Middle Ages, when it was called Stari trg (Old Sq). The surrounding streets are a maze of pastel-coloured overhanging houses, vaulted passages and arcaded courtyards. The square is surrounded by interesting baroque buildings, including the former town pharmacy on the north side (now the Fontana restaurant). In the centre of the square is a large baroque cistern (vodnjak) that was built in the late 18th century to store fresh water; rainwater from the surrounding roofs flowed into it through the fish borne by the stone putti cherubs in two corners.

Punta , the historical ‘point’ of Piran, still has a lighthouse , but today’s is small and modern. Attached to it in back, however, the round, serrated tower of the Church of St Clement , originally built in the 13th century but altered 500 years later, evokes the ancient beacon from which Piran got its name. It has a lovely (though decrepit) stuccoed ceiling.