Piran, Where the Sea Meets the Town
Piran Where the Sea Meets the Town
Borut Furlan
Photographs: Borut Furlan
Accompanying text: Tom Turk
Foreword: Tomo Jeseničnik
Slovenian proofreading: Maja Kogej
English translation: Maja Kogej
English proofreading: Justi Carey
Design: Studio Mars
Print: Tiskarna Pleško
Published by: Littera Picta

ISBN 978-961-6030-89-8


Format 265 x 265 mm
204 pages
320 images

Sometimes the rolling sea rises over the jetty as if trying to take back what was once its rightful property. Spilling across the white marble square that covers the former town harbour, the seawater splashes against the statue in the centre. The great man on his pedestal seems to bow gently to the forces of nature. It is almost as if he knows that you can only take something from the sea if the sea is prepared to give it. It may look like the maestro is conducting the rhythm of the sea with his violin bow, but it is in fact the sea that dictates the pace of life for the town and its people. That is how it has always been and still is today. At last, the sea retreats and the clouds lift; the ancient town is bathed in a brilliant light.

An aquarium is a reflection of the sea – it is the sea on dry land, trapped in containers of all shapes and sizes holding marine animals within them. Enormous oceanariums with pools, tanks and tunnels filled with thousands of litres of seawater, monitored constantly by expensive sensors and computers, are the domain of big cities and rich countries. Mediterranean towns have something different: small aquariums that are part of their identity, reminding townspeople and visitors alike how closely they are connected to the sea and marine life. There would be something lacking in picturesque seaside towns if they didn't have these small gems. Piran is no exception.


Where the sea ends, the void of space begins,
an endless expanse, a salty womb of memories,
of days in darkness, now long gone,
of worlds unknown, mysterious,
of depths pierced just for an instant
by a ray of light in the tranquil silence
that drowns in the eternity of time,
always and forever,
that's how the cycle of life goes on.



There is a karst plateau not too far away from Piran – in fact, it can easily be seen from the town when the skies are clear. This is the home of the famous Lipizzaner horses, black when they are born but white when they die. Meanwhile, there is a whole different species of horse to be found in the sea around the ancient town that juts into the Bay of Piran. Dancing in the rhythm of the sea currents, these horses are not as spirited as their namesakes on land; they prefer to spend their time concealed, wrapped in the arms of their sweethearts: long, curly fronds of seaweed and bright yellow tube sponges. Some seahorses have manes and others don't; some are brown and others yellow, just like their favourite hiding places.