Koper Regional Museum

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Contact info
Pokrajinski muzej Koper
Kidričeva 19, SI-6000 Koper-Capodistria
Phone386 (0) 5 663 3577, 386 (0) 41 556 644
Fax386 (0) 5 663 3571
Managed byMunicipality of Koper-Capodistria
Luka Juri, Director
Phone386 (0) 5 663 3577
Online accounts:
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Past Events

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Originating in 1911 as the Municipal Museum of History and Art (Museo Civico di Storia e d'Arte), the Koper Regional Museum is housed in the spacious early 17th-century Belgramoni Tacco Palace in the city centre and covers the cultural heritage in the Primorska region. The Museum manages also the the Museum Gallery, set just besides the palace, the Carpaccio House and Ethnological Collection, located in the nearby Venetian-Gothic building, as well as the Prem Castle above the Reka valley.


The first initiatives to establish a museum in Koper-Capodistria took place as early as the late 18th century, but the main push for its foundation was provided by the first exhibition of the Istrian Region in Koper (Prima Esposizione Provinciale Istriana) in 1910. One year later the then Municipality of Koper-Capodistria established the Municipal Museum of History and Art (Museo Civico di Storia e d'Arte), and after the First World War the spacious early 17th century Belgramoni Tacco Palace building was set aside for use as a museum.

During the Second World War the permanent collection was seriously impaired when many precious works of art were evacuated to Friuli (Villa Manin in Passariano). When "Zone B" was incorporated into Slovenia in 1954, the museum was renamed the District Museum, and in 1967 its name was changed to The Regional Museum of Koper (Museo Regionale di Capodistria). From 1981–1985 the museum's central building was completely renovated, the museum's activities expanded and the collections rearranged. The museum was thoroughly renovated once again in 2015.


In addition to art and cultural history of the Primorska region, the museum covers the archaeological, historical, ethnological, and cultural heritage of the coastal and karst areas. A lot of attention is being paid to the various involvements in cultural, scientific, and educational establishments and projects.

Today, the parent museum building presents an archaeological collection and collections covering the history of culture, art and history of Istra from its very beginning to the end of the 19th century. The conservation restoration workshop preserves the museum material and organises the technical days and workshops at the temporary exhibitions in the context of educational activities.


The museum manages several satellites; in 1983 the Ethnological Collection of Koper Regional Museum was established as an independent branch. A permanent collection was opened in Prem Castle in 2008, presenting castles and building sites in the Reka river basin. There is also the Museum Gallery, set just besides the Palace Belgramoni Tacco and used to present temporary exhibitions. Recently the Museum has opened also an interactive digital exhibition on Vittore Carpaccio in the Carpaccio House, the 14th century Venetian-Gothic residential building owned and inhabited by the famous painter's descendants.

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The permanent exhibition Between the Serenissima, Napoleon and the Habsburgs covers the period from 16h to 19th century. It holds numerous artefacts from the daily life of the nobility and presents some of the most prominent residents of the area. There is also an exhibition of weapons from the same era, where for example one can trace the fast development of rifles in the 19th century.

Very important are also the 'Art History Collections', which display and reflect on the great wealth of Istrian artistic heritage, from the second half of the 15th century onward. It is complemented by collections of arts and crafts works from the time of Renaissance and the Gothic. Among other permanent collections there is also one on musical life in the present-day coastal towns of Slovenia from the Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century.

The Archaeological collection covers all archaeological periods from prehistory (from palaeolithic to iron age) throughout Roman times to the middle ages in the Primorska region. One of the many significant archaeological finds is also the late Roman coin hoard, which derives from the late Roman army camp on the site Čentur.

In the pavilion along the Museum's lapidary, a collection of the 20th century From Austria-Hungary to Yugoslavia is presented. It covers the life of the Slovenians in the Southern Primorska region that belonged to Italy after the World War I and their resistance to fascism, portrayed also on the famous Rapallo painting by Tone Kralj. The display covers also the regional post-war development in the Socialist Yugoslavia and ends with the establishment of the new border in 1954.

The lapidary collection and the open air collection in the palace garden present the oldest material culture of the coastal and karst areas. The culture and art history collection consists of sculptures, paintings and arts and crafts products, arranged in chronological order and by theme, from early medieval sculptures with guilloche ornamentation (9th–11th centuries) to a fresco copy of The Dance of Death from Hrastovlje and inscriptions in the Glagolitic alphabet.

Virtual museum tour

As of 2016, the museum itself (at least its main premises, the Belgramoni Tacco palace) has been thoroughly digitised, as one can now embark on a virtual 3D tour of the museum. One can not only take a walk around the palace and the museum artefacts, specific information on particular pieces is also available, along a specially prepared audio guide.

See also

External links


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