Let's discover the secrets of the sea
With the aim of preserving and protecting the maritime heritage, the Mala barka 2 project connected the Slovenian and Croatian seaside destinations of the Northern Adriatic. Together, they have prepared various trips for visitors, through which you will discover the stories of the sea, maritime, and shipbuilding traditions. We'll discover a part of the path together in the text below. Let's go!
About the Sea Stories in Izola
The path first takes us to Izola – the kingdom of fish with an interesting story. In the area of the former coastal road connecting the town with Koper, Rex – the fastest and most modern seagoing passenger ship from the beginning of the 19th century – sunk. It was 40m high, had 12 decks, and could accommodate 2,032 passengers. During World War II, it ran aground under the German flag just before Izola, and burned after the Allied aerial bombing. Its remains were later plundered and cut for scrap metal.
You can discover even more interesting stories about Izola, especially about fishing, in Izolana – House of the Sea where a series of documentary photographs, videos, and various items show the seaside characteristics of Izola. Fishery became one of the most important industries in the Middle Ages, leaving the city with a strong mark still felt today. Even children won't be bored in Izolana where they can learn how to fish with fisherman Bepi, or learn how to tie knots. Visitors can also explore Izola in virtual reality, or learn about historic facts from video clips.
Walk the Streets of Piran
Not far from Izola there is Piran – a Slovenian seaside pearl, a town that rose from salt. The streets of Piran hide a lot of stories which you can discover in the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum of Piran. Not far from the old town, you will also be impressed by the former Monfort Salt Warehouses on the way to Portorož. A new information centre was established here under the Mala barka 2 project. In the premises of the former salt warehouses, a replica of topo fishing vessel is being produced. On 21 March it will be launched into the sea. Topo was once a traditional Istrian vessel, but was replaced by plastic vessels, so we only remember it from the old postcards of Koper, Izola, and Piran. The launching of this 10-metre vessel will be spectacular!
Rijeka – Symbol of Seafaring
The Croatian Kvarner region is not far from the Slovenian Istria. We're going on a trip to Rijeka which will delight everyone who loves maritime heritage. Here you can hear the story of the Stefan sailing boat from Rijeka that was wrecked in Australia in 1876. Details of this event are still preserved today in a logbook kept in the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka. While walking around the city, do not forget to visit the Port of Rijeka, the shipyard, the Nautical School in Bakar, and the Faculty of Maritime Studies. Those who enjoy sea food will love a visit to the fish market.
Myths about Sea Animals
From Rijeka we head to Moščenićka Draga, another seaside town which is famous for its mythical story about sea animals from the bottom of the Kvarner Gulf, and about their skilful fishermen. Can you guess what animals we are talking about? Kvarner shrimp! They are the main symbol of the Kvarner Gourmet and Kvarner Food label which will help you choose among many local taverns and restaurants, as this label at the entrance guarantees the best quality.
We also recommend you visit the House of the Sea which is located beside the promenade of this seaside town. In the house you will discover mostly stories about life of fishermen. You will be fascinated by the view from Moščenićka Draga over the nearby islands which also hide interesting sea stories.
Discover other Sea Secrets
The journey to discovering the secrets of the sea does not end in Moščenićka Draga. There's more to discover in Opatija, Krk, Mali Lošinj, and in Rovinj in Croatian Istria. All these destinations have something in common – a rich maritime heritage. Be sure to find some old restored boats in each one, not necessarily always at sea. The destinations are also included in common itineraries. As part of this, important objects, movable and non-movable heritage connected to the sea in these cities were marked with signposts. Instructions on how to find them are available in all info centres in the mentioned area of the northern Adriatic. You are also welcome to visit the Tourist Information Centre Izola at Sončno nabrežje 4.
Virtual Museum – Treasury of Maritime Heritage
Those who love heritage will also be able to see all the important maritime heritage monuments in the virtual museum which is coming together as part of the project. For this purpose, cultural heritage experts have compiled a huge database with maritime heritage of all participating destinations.