If you picture a gothic fairytale castle in your mind, the Praetorian Palace is it! The castle features chateau-like architecture with a grand exterior staircase and two tower-like wings on the sides of the building. It is located in the center of Koper Square and is definitely the highlight of Koper.
Praetorian palace, part of Koper Square, has gone through many ownerships in its long history. It has been part of the Roman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy and the former Yugoslavia all before its current owner, Slovenia.
The palace was built in the middle of the 13th century but has been remarkably well maintained and still stands today. In fact, visitors can opt to take guided tours. When you visit, be on the lookout for a Venetian bocca del leone (lion’s mouth) on the side of the building. It is a stone plate with an opening used to deliver anonymous messages to the mayor. In addition to the tours and visitor center, the palace is used to host exhibitions and cultural events. The environment is always calm and you will most likely experience local musicians such as violinists playing relaxing music by the palace.