Izolana - A treasure trove of marine secrets
Are you ready for a journey throughout the history of Izola? Follow the markings to Alma Vivode Street, where you will be greeted by the blue Izolana – House of the Sea.
Inside, you will learn about the turbulent history of Izola - from the time when it was still an island to the period marked by fishing and the fish processing industry. Let yourself be transported back in time with the help of photographs, videos, and wooden boat models. Observe a 3-D model of Izola telling a story of the town in the past and present, see an interactive map of Parenzana, sail the sea like real fishermen, learn how to tie fishing knots, and test your skills in digital fishing.
Did you know that Izola was once an island?
In the past, Izola was an island that was uninhabited until the early Middle Ages. Later, due to settlement and development, it underwent many changes. A small harbor and palaces were built during the rule of the Venetian Republic. The fish processing industry, which has had a strong impact on the town’s development, flourished during Austrian rule. At the time, the strait between the island at the mainland was finally infilled.
You can travel back in time with the help of Izola – Digital Island projection. See the model of the historical town center, where audio-visual effects will tell you a story, taking you through the most significant periods of Izola's development. You will also get a sneak-peek into the future.
Keeping tradition alive by building boat models
Nowadays, real ancient vessels are gone, and an important way of maintaining this tradition is model shipbuilding – a skill that requires exploring, patience, precision, and perseverance. There are over 35 exhibited models of wooden sailboats and other vessels that used to sail along the shores of the Adriatic Sea, especially the shores of Izola, Piran, and Koper. Among the work of top designers (including Marcel Blažina and Mihael Huszer), you will also find world-class ships, such as Columbus' Santa Maria.
Before you go to the first floor, stop in the courtyard and remember that a few decades ago people travelled from the village into town on donkeys, and admire the people of Izola who used to sew fishing nets in the harbor of Izola.
The maritime activities of the Istrians were already mentioned in the records of the pre-Roman inhabitants of Istria, the Histrians, and the Liburnians – skillful predators of ships that wandered into the northernmost part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Observing Pietro Coppo's Famous Map of Istria
Right at the entrance, you can visit a memorial room dedicated to the cartographer and seafarer Pietro Coppo, one of the most important cartographers of his time. Most of his world-known works were created in Izola. One of the most beautiful parks in Izola was named after him, which speaks of his importance.
The corridor is dedicated to Izola's most successful athletes – and there are many!
The famous Parenzana: an important link between places and people
Learn more about the former railway Parenzana that connected the people from Istria with the center of Trieste, and with other seaside towns in the beginning of the 20th century. It enabled the development of agriculture, salt panning, and industry, as well as provided jobs for people and the opportunity to travel. The interactive map will make sure you remember Parenzana forever, and perhaps encourage you to cycle along the Path of Health and Friendship, as we now call the renovated route of the famous railway line.
Fishing has left its mark in Izola
Izola was mostly characterized by the fishery and fish processing industry. In the past, the sea was not only a source of wealth for the people of Izola, but above all a source of livelihood. In the museum, you can also try your hand at fishing and navigating the sea in a real fishing boat, and then catch some sardines in the interactive game called “Fishing with Bepi”.
In the second half of the 19th century, the Ampelea and Arrigoni factories started fish processing, and each had its own fishing fleet and shipyard. This took fisheries to a whole new level. Try not to get too nostalgic while looking at outdated cans and documentary photos of hardworking female workers.
Finding the treasures of the past in the streets of Izola
Would you like to learn more about the history of Izola? Go on an adventure through the city streets of Izola and discover the Forgotten secret of Izola! To make it even more fun, we can also organize a competition for you.
You can also travel to the past with the online application Izola's »kanočal«(monocular).
Within the "kanočal" you can see beautiful 360-degree photos from Izola locations. Find your favorite Izola view, visit it, and create your own photo souvenir!