The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Cathedral of St Nazarius, is nowadays located on the spot where a Romanesque basilica stood during the classical era.
According to some sources, this is the sixth church built on this spot.
The current church was supposedly built in the 11th century and since then it has undergone numerous renovations. The bottom part was designed in the Gothic style, while the upper part appears to be in the Renaissance style. The cathedral was expanded in the first half of the 18th century. Nowadays, the church is famous for being one of the largest churches in Slovenia. It measures 70 metres in length and 25 metres in width.
Inside the church, you can admire the artworks by Vittore Carpaccio and the marble headstone of St Nazarius (the patron saint of the city and the bishop of Koper in the 6th century), which was gifted to the city by the Republic of Venice around 1350.
The unique feature of Koper Cathedral is the baptistery – the Rotunda of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (formerly known as the baptistery of St John the Baptist), which was supposedly built between the 10th and 12th centuries and is separated from the church. It is a Romanesque rotunda with a permanently blind arch. Inside is a baptismal font. The baptistery was reconstructed in 1317, and its interior was later designed in the Baroque style (1747–1749).
You can attend Holy Mass at the cathedral on weekdays at 9am and 6pm, on Saturdays at 6pm (mass in italian) and on Sundays and holidays at 8am, 10am and 6pm.
The cathedral also has a magnificent 4 manual symphonic organ, which is the largest church organ in Slovenia. It was made in 1988 by the German organ workshops Kleuker and Steinmeyer according to the plans of the French composer, organist, pianist and pedagogue Jean Guillo (1930-2019).
Beside the church is a 54-metre-high Bell Tower from the 12th century, which was joined to the cathedral in 1488. The large clock in the middle of the tower was supposedly constructed in 1463. The bell of St Nazarius is the oldest bell in Slovenia. It was cast in Venice on 6 September 1333.
The tower, which was renovated some years ago, offers a gorgeous view of the city and its surroundings. The lookout platform is set at a height of 43 metres and to reach it, you have to climb 204 steps. Admission tickets are available at TIC (in the Praetorian Palace).
For more information on the cathedral visit this web site.