Srečko Vilhar Public Library, Koper-Capodistria



Osrednja knjižnica Srečka Vilharja / Biblioteca Centrale Srečko Vilhar, Koper-Capodistria

Trg Brolo 1 SI-6000, Koper-Capodistria

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The Srečko Vilhar Public Library performs the tasks of regional library for the Coast-Karst Region. It is a large institution with 1,328 square metres and seating provision for 93 readers. The library also has a mobile library service, a department for local information collection, a young readers department and an Italian language collection department.

It has three branches, in Markovec, Semedela and (as of 2017) in Ankaran. Several events (including fairy tale hours for children and lectures) are organised by the library, which also serves as headquarters for the Library Association of Primorska and Notranjska.

Meduza Gallery, Koper



Galerija Meduza

Čevljarska 34 SI-6000, Koper-Capodistria

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As one of the six venues of the Obalne galerije – Coastal Galleries, the Meduza Gallery in Koper offers a vivid exhibition programme in parallel to its retail activity. It focuses on contemporary Slovenian artworks in different mediums (paintings, drawings, graphics, sculptures, artist books) as well as contemporary Slovenian design.

The Meduza Gallery cooperates with foreign and regional institutions like Università Popolare di Trieste, the PUF festival, P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute. Internationally, it focuses on the region (Friuli-Julian March and Veneto in Italy), Austria, and Croatia, especially with the concluded So Fresh video art competition for emerging artists.

Loža Gallery, Koper



Galerija Loža, Koper

Titov trg 1 SI-6000, Koper-Capodistria

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A branch gallery of the Obalne galerije – Coastal Galleries network, the Loža Gallery in Koper is located in the first floor of the municipal lodge on the main square of Koper’s old town.

The gallery mostly features solo presentations of established Slovenian artists. Often, the same author is exhibited simultaneously in other branches of the Coastal Galleries.

Besides solo presentations representing the young established generation of Slovenian artists (Valentin Oman, Emerik Bernard, young Croatian painter Bojan Šumonja, Boštjan Drinovec), Loža Gallery occasionally gives the podium to group exhibitions prepared by house curators, often with international or national cooperation. In 2019, the Faculty of Education of the University of Primorska, in cooperation with the Obalne galerije – Coastal Galleries, organised the group exhibition Specula at the Loža Gallery.

In 2008, as the result of the cooperation between the Museum for Modern Art from St. Etienne (FR) and house curator Andrej Medved, the group exhibition of French painters Yves Klein, Hans Hartung, Jean Dubuffet and Pierr Soulages was prepared.

Libris Bookshops



Knjigarne Libris

Prešernov trg 9 SI-6000, Koper-Capodistria

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Libris Bookshops offer not only a wide range of high-quality books, but also information on literature. The bookshops have played an important role as literature venues in the Slovene coastal region, hosting many Slovene and international authors.

The Libris Publishing House was established in 1992 following the closure of Partizanska knjiga bookstore in Prešeren Square, Koper-Capodistria. Later, not far from the main Libris Koper bookshop the Antiquariat Libris opened, as did a bookshop in Piran. For some time, there was also a bookshop in the old town of Izola-Isola.

A special task of the Libris company is to promote the literature of the Slovene Istria region. The bookshops offer more than 25,000 book titles, comprising mostly non-commercial literature and humanities books. Antikvariat Libris in Koper provides a place where customers can buy and sell used books (offering a few thousand titles).

In collaboration with the University of Primorska and other educational institutions, Libris bookshops also offer books for youth and students. Libris Publishing House received the Schwentner Award for achievements in the field of publishing.

Reading culture

The Libris bookshops serve also as a venue of literary events. They have cooperated with the Koper branch of the Slavic Society of Slovenia and Slovene publishing houses. Presentations of various authors and books, lectures on history and society, readings in local language dialect and the events that develop reading culture have been organised regularly. Together with Glavan Antique Shop, They organise the international fair called Books, Salt and Koper which takes place at the Libris Antique Shop and at Prešeren Square in Koper.

Koper Theatre



Gledališče Koper – Teatro Capodistria

Verdijeva 3 SI-6000, Koper

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Although the tradition of theatre in Koper goes back to the times of the Venetian Republic in the 15th century, the Koper Theatre is the second youngest professional theatre in Slovenia. Established in 2001 as one of the two theatres in the coastal region of Slovenia, the theatre is praised for its stagings of comedies as well as performances for children.

The theatre is the main co-producer of the Primorska Summer Festival, which during the 1990s was actually its spiritual predecessor. Since 2003, together with Obalne galerije – Coastal Galleries the theatre publishes the Gledga magazine on cultural events in the city.


The Koper Theatre has since its inception in 2001 consolidated its reputation as a theatre open to various creative approaches and directing poetics, more recently also to the production of musicals. Its repertoire consists of stagings of contemporary and classic texts, especially comedies, known for their authentic use of ethnically-marked dialects, as well as baptismal performances of Slovene dramatic texts intended for the youngest viewers. The theatre’s small ensemble often features guest artists from fellow theatres and collaborates with renowned Slovene theatre directors, such as Vito Taufer, Jaka Ivanc, Katja Pegan, Ajda Valcl, etc. The theatre’s productions regularly appear at Slovene theatre festivals and have, among others, received awards at the Days of Comedy festival in Celje, the Maribor Theatre Festival, and the Slovene Festival of Chamber Theatre (SKUP) in Ptuj.

The theatre runs several educational programmes for children and the youth in the form of a theatre school and workshops as well as presents theatre-related contents to the youngest readers in the magazine Svetilnik (Eng.: Lighthouse), a joint endeavour of five local cultural institutions: besides the theatre, also the Koper Regional Museum, the Regional Archives Koper and the Srečko Vilhar Public Library, Koper-Capodistria.

The theatre co-produces the Primorska Summer Festival, an international theatre festival that takes place throughout the coastal region of Slovenia and occasionally also in Italy and Croatia, and co-operates with the Portorož Auditorium and the University of Primorska.

Since 2011, the Koper Theatre, the Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica and the Slovene Permanent Theatre in Trieste present the Tantadruj Awards, which honour creative excellence of artists in the coastal region in the categories of life’s work, best acting role, and special achievement.

Collaborations and international cooperation

More than half of the theatre’s post-production programme is hosted by fellow institutions in Slovenia and abroad. Koper Theatre’s programme also regularly hosts performances by other Slovene (mainly) institutional theatres, as well as enters co-productions with these theatres, particularly with the other two theatres in the coastal region, the Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica and the Slovene Permanent Theatre in Trieste.

Koper Theatre differs from other Slovene theatres by making use of its geographical position to foster international cooperation, especially with festivals, theatres and associations from the ex-Yugoslav countries. The theatre thus regularly cooperates with Atelje 212 in Belgrade, Serbia; Chamber Theatre 55 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; National Theatre Kikinda in Serbia; and the International Children’s Festival Šibenik in Croatia, etc.


In 2009, the building which houses the Koper Theatre was renovated in the frame of the project Cultural Revival of the City Core, funded through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, as part of the effort to promote economic and social cohesion in the EU member states.




Kulturno izobraževalno društvo PiNA / Associazione culturale ed educativa Pina

Gortanov trg 15 SI-6000, Koper-Capodistria

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The Koper-based Association for Culture and Education PiNA (KID PiNA) is certainly one of the most active and diversely oriented Slovenian NGOs. Always simultaneously involved in several artistic, educational and civil society projects, PiNA also manages a multimedia centre and a separate cybercafe/event space. It has produced numerous research documents, booklets, documentaries and video manuals on everything from cultural management to human rights alongside an uncountable number of events.

PiNA’s enterprises are mostly focused on the coastal region, yet also extend across the Slovene borders as many of its activities have a transnational dimension.


Established in 1997 by the Open Society Institute, PiNA’s stated objective fore-fronted strengthening the civil society and the development of public access to the modern tools of ICT. Thus, PiNA opened the first cybercafe in Slovenia (in 1998) and in 2004 joined with Ljudmila and Kibla to form the M3C Multimedia Centres Network of Slovenia, a Slovenian network of multimedia centres.

In the years that followed PiNA still maintained its multimedia and technological creed yet also started to venture more and more into other fields &ndsh; those of arts, cross-cultural dialogue, community-participation, sustainable development, the dissemination of info on the European Union and its projects, and so on.


PiNA manages two locations. One is a fully equipped multimedia centre for audio and video production and post-production. The featured Seed Sound Studio enables music recording and mixing. The centre is freely available for NGOs and individuals needing its services for non-profit intentions.

The second location, called eKavarna (“eCafe”), is fitted not only with computers but also with books and booklets on the topics of the European Union, sustainable development, informal education, and so on. It is used to host exhibitions, literary evenings, concerts, lectures, film screenings and the like – these are mostly produced by PiNA though the venue is open for outside productions as well.


PiNA engages in a broad range of activities. Culture-wise, it sets up exhibitions of comic illustrations, posters, multimedia works and photographs; screens films and documentaries, either as a part of its regular programme or featured as a part of particular projects; runs concerts (a series of them was produced in collaboration with the Cona Institute); and organises workshops on music production, film editing, etc.

These events are joined by more specific projects like photography exhibitions of villages burnt during WWII; an international conference on the historical treatment of woman involved in various sorts of resistance; round tables on the issues of discrimination in the theatre; workshops on oral histories (co-produced with the Science and Research Centre of Koper; and so on.

PiNA also organises training and mentoring for other NGOS, conferences, cultural management workshops, webinars, employment and therapeutic consultations, all manner of civil society development projects (urban gardening being one of the recent ones), and analysis (a resounding one was about the situation of youth in the coastal region, published in 2014). A recent notable project is Iskra, a networking hub and a virtual meeting point for NGOs in the Karst and Istra regions of Slovenia, meant for sharing experience, information and collaborative projects. Iskra means “spark” and is also a combination of Istra and Kras (the Slovenian name for the Karst region).


Between 2009 and 2015, PiNA organised the 3-P Festival – the festival of future poetry. PiNA is involved in the In/visible cities – International Urban Multimedia Festival which takes place in the border cities of Nova Gorica and Gorizia (IT) and the surrounding towns. PiNA was (or is) also a part of various other local festivals and events, among them the Festival Izis in Izola (also dealing in multimedia art). In 2009 and 2011, PiNA was a partner of Memefest – International Festival of Radical Communication.

Additionally, PiNA (which runs the Europe Direct Koper initiative) plays a part in the European Film Week, during which it organises film screenings in the Art kino Odeon Izola.

Videos and booklets

Among the many PiNA-produced materials, one can mention educational videos for youth centres on how to run social networks and how to approach multimedia, a series of video shows on the topic of the information society, a table-game on the structure of the EU, a documentary film about activism and NGOs, a documentary titled The Social impact of Art (2012), and manuals on topics that feature green entrepreneurship (2016), cultural management (2014) and urban gardening (2014).

International activities

PiNA has collaborated with more than a hundred partners from abroad. It is the regional partner for a number of networks and is featured in programmes like Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens, Creative Europe, European Social Fund, the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, the Grundtvig and Leonardo da Vinci programmes, and the Anna Lindh Foundation.

It sends dozens of people abroad each year for various exchanges, training programmes, volunteering projects and the like.


Botegin Centre



MKSMC Botegin, Mladinski, kulturni, socialni, multimedijski, medgeneracijski in Muzejski center Botegin

Glagoljaška ulica 4 SI-6000, Koper

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Botegin Centre, the MKSMC Botegin, Youth, Cultural, Social, Multimedia and Intergenerational Centre Botegin, is a social place, located in the old city centre of Koper. It is also the seat of two nongovernmental organizations: Foundation of the nongovernmental youth field Pohorski Battalion (Ustanova nevladnih mladinskega polja Pohorski bataljon) and Association of the Friends of Moderate Progress (Društvo prijateljev zmernega napredka), which carry out their cultural and other activities there and understand the functioning of the Botegin Centre as the street activities and a culture of socializing. The basis of their programme is culture of dissent.


In 1965, MKC Koper (Youth and Culture Centre Koper) was established. In the period 1991-2014 it was led by the Association of the Friends of Moderate Progress as a venue for alternative, subcultural and underground cultural, social and political public programmes. In 2014 the Association had to move out of the building of the MKC, but it continued its work in MKSMC Botegin – Youth, Cultural, Social, Multimedia and Intergenerational Centre.


The Association of the Friends of Moderate Progress, together with Foundation Pohorski Battalion, is continuing its cultural and social events at the Botegin Centre, many of which have already been conceived in MKC Koper: for example, it continues with the festival Koperground Festival. Every year the LGBT Film Festival is hosted. It organizes concerts, for example of songwriters Franci Blašković, Marko Brecelj or Dani Kavaš, exhibitions, film screenings, discussions, lectures, performances and cultural gatherings. It also organizes various workshops, especially for young people, but still intergenerational-oriented, for example about the functioning of nongovernmental sector, art and film workshops, etc.

In general, the Botegin Centre promotes cultural activities and collects and distributes information on education, employment, leisure activities, and culture for the growing youth and adult population, especially focusing on marginalised social groups. It represents the richness of coexistence of cultures and self-made scenes. It is, as they declare, “a striking performative fist of agitational cultural socializing”. Since 2004 they have published “a daily updated virtualization of everything they do on the website”.


Primorska Summer Festival

24. 06. - 31. 08. 2021



Primorski poletni festival

Kampel 1k SI-6000, Koper-Capodistria

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The Primorska Summer Festival is an international theatre festival that takes place throughout the coastal region of Slovenia and occasionally also in Italy and Croatia. Launched in 1993, the festival was co-produced by the Primorska Summer Festival Association. Since 2003, the festival has been managed by the Koper Theatre.

Primorska Summer Festival takes place both indoors, in various performance venues (Arrigoni Izola, Georgius Centre in Piran) as well as outdoors (Valdoltra Beach in Ankaran), utilising the town squares and other ambient-rich locations of the region.

In 2020, the international “PPF Youth” festival section is launched with six international theatre academies invited to present their creations.


During its first decade – when the Koper Theatre was yet non-existent – the Primorska Summer Festival was the only platform for presenting recent productions by Slovenian repertory theatres to the audiences of the Slovenian coastal region. As such, the festival is in a way the theatre’s predecessor.

The festival was co-produced by the Primorska Summer Festival Association in partnership with Koper Theatre, the Slovene Permanent Theatre in Trieste and Teatro Miela in Trieste/Trst. Today, partners include Teatro Verdi, Muggia Teatro, Kino Otok – Isola Cinema Festival, Tartini Festival and the Italian Community in Koper-Capodistria.

Since its inception, the festival has hosted a huge number of theatre performances, many of them its own productions, an enterprise that has been the festival’s staple since its beginning. Alongside the theatre shows, the festival presents concerts, musicals and even operas.


The festival cooperates with various theatres from the littoral region, some of them coming from neighbouring towns in Italy and Croatia. These collaborations range from staging invited performances to producing entirely new works, many even multilingual as befits the character of the region. The festival has also incubated various NGO endeavours, like those of Lutkarnica – Koper Puppetry Studio.

Sometimes, the programme is conceived somewhat thematically; in one of the years, for instance, the festival was dedicated to Molière. Various takes on Molière’s plays were staged throughout the festival, also taking place at the Slovene National Theatre Maribor. In 2017, the festival co-hosted a show with the Maribor-based Lent Festival.

Besides presenting its own works and those of Slovenian repertory theatres, one of the festival’s prime focuses is that of showcasing new works produced in the Balkan region.

More and more, the festival is reaching into other artistic fields, also inviting musicians and screening films.

PPF Youth

In 2020, a new section of the festival is launched: six theatre academies of the ex-Yugoslav region, Great Britain and the Czech Republic present their productions during four days in July. The academy performances presented at the Koper Theatre are accompanied by panel discussions with the aim of sharing knowledge, getting to know new theatre practices and poetics emerging in the region.


PUF Festival

22. 06. - 2. 09. 2021



PUF festival

Mladinska 6 SI-6000, Koper-Capodistria

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The Primorska Street Festival PUF (Primorsko ulično gledališče) is an annual international street theatre and puppet festival which takes place on the Slovene coast. It is organised by Lutkarnica – Koper Puppetry Studio since 2003. The PUF actually had started off some years before, as a part of the Primorska Summer Festival organised annually in the Coastal Region. For some years, while it was presented jointly with the Alpe-Adria Working Community, its title was Alpe Adria PUF Festival. The festival presents street musicians, pantomime, clowns, acrobats, and jugglers, with a special focus on puppetry.


Taking place throughout the summer, the festival includes premières of new Slovene puppetry productions and presentations of prize-winning performances. Each year, the festival also produces an international festival production in collaboration with the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) from Prague. Past festivals have featured performances by visiting artists and arts groups from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Spain, and Italy, as well as groups from Slovenia.


In recent years the PUF Festival has expanded its programme from its original base at Ankaran to nearby towns, including Izola-Isola, Piran, Ankaran, Hrvatini, Moretini, Dekani, and Škofije. Some of the festival performances are staged again in early September for schoolchildren. In 2006 the festival also took place in Bovec and Kobarid in the Goriška Region. In 2009 the PUF Koper-Capodistria in partnership with the Burattini senza confini, FVG Videm, organised over 110 smaller or bigger performances and concerts during the period from June through November.

International cooperation

The PUF Festival involves participation by various local cultural institutions, including Koper Theatre and PINA Primorje Information Atelier. It has regularly collaborated with festivals in Italy (Mittelfest-Valli di Natisone, Cividale del Friuli; ENTE Teatrale and Burattini senza confini, FVG Udine; Alpe Adria Puppet Festival, Gorica), Austria (Cikl Cakl Šmihel) and Croatia (International Puppet Festival – PIF, Zagreb) as well as Slovenia (Trnfest, “Emona Promenade”, and Ana Desetnica International Street Theatre Festival from Ljubljana; Summer Puppet Pier Festival, Maribor; Lutke brez meja, Nova Gorica; and Ulični Festival, Izola-Isola). PUF Festival also cooperates with Teatro matita and various other European puppetry schools.


Regional Archives Koper



Pokrajinski arhiv Koper

Kapodistriasov Trg 1 6000, Koper

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The Regional Archives Koper, established in 1956, collect and keep the records of the Primorska (Littoral) region’s organisations and institutions. In 2009 the Archives arranged the exhibition Documents on Slovenes in the Adriatic from 1797 to 2009.


The emergence of the Koper archives as a specific cultural institution is associated with the former city library. Its beginnings date back to 1868. When the library won space in the city hall in 1900, the archives gradually increased. In 1925 the city library and its archives moved into the early-17th-century Belgramoni-Tacco Palace, which already housed the former City Museum for History and Art.

During the war in 1944 the Commission for the Protection of Cultural and Artistic Monuments sent away almost the entire collection of materials from the archives of the old municipality of Koper (dating from 1800) and general records from 1800 to 1840. The materials were taken to Trieste and then to Venice, where they are still located today.

In 1953 at the initiative of the Historical Society of Koper, the archives were separated from the city library. The City Archives Koper were founded three years later. In 1967 they were renamed as the Regional Archives Koper and became an autonomous administrative unit, one of the six regional archives, which are state institutions. Its Piran Unit was established in 1974.

Since 1991 the Regional Archives Koper is accommodated in an old monastery building of Saint Clara. The building with an atrium and a park, which originates from 14th-17th Century, was successfully adapted to the new function: the creation of a storage facility by installing a new steel structure within the existing walls of the monastery’s old church preserves the artistic and historical qualities of the space. Gratis tours are offered by appointment.

Archival records

The remit of the Regional Archives Koper includes the following state administrative units (territorial divisions other than municipalities used in state governance): Ilirska Bistrica, Izola, Koper, Piran, Postojna and Sežana.

The Archives preserve around 5,000 linear metres of archival records, ranging from the oldest documents, which come from the Municipality of Piran-Pirano and date from the Venetian Republic period of the mid-12th century, to the period of the Republic of Slovenia from 1991 onwards. Some records which should be kept at the Regional Archives Koper are in fact located in Ljubljana, Trieste, Venice, Udine, Rome, Rijeka, Pazin and Belgrade. The digitisation of records has been an ongoing process since 1994.

The library of the Regional Archives contains around 4,600 books, and the entrance area offers space for small exhibitions.

Piran archives

The Municipal Archives Piran became the Piran Branch of the Regional Archives Koper in 1974. Precious archival documents – among them some chapter charters from the mid 13th century onwards – are kept on the premises in Piran.

International cooperation

The Regional Archives Koper has co-operated with the archives of the Republic of Croatia and the National Archives of Italy on various international projects relating to culture and digitisation, which have been funded by the EU and the Republic of Slovenia.

An exhibitions devoted to the Jewish culture and religion was set up at the Koper Regional Archives within the European Day of Jewish Culture in September 2009.