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Koper is a town as well as a municipality located in Primorska Region in Slovenia. It is the largest Slovenian port on the coast of Adriatic Sea. Koper is also one of the main road entry points into Slovenia from Italy. It also has a rail connection with the capital city, Ljubljana.

The total area of the municipality is 311.2 square kilometers and the population is 47,539 inhabitants with the density of 152.8 people per square kilometer. As far as town is concerned, the population is 23,726 inhabitants. Both Slovene and Italian are the official languages, so the area is officially bilingual. However, Italian is nowadays mainly used as a second language used by the Slovene-speaking majority.

Koper, the oldest town in Slovenia, developed on a rocky island. Out of the three Slovenian coast cities (Koper, Izola, Piran), Koper has experienced the most numerous layout modifications due to changes of various reigns and states, all of which marked the city with their specific traits and names. Koper was called Capris in Roman times, in the times of the pope Gregory I (599) Insula Capraria (“goat island”), Iustinopolis under the Byzantine Empire (between mid 6th and 8th centuries) and Caput Histriae (‘head of Istria’) by the Aquileia Patriarchs. The Venetians rendered that name into the Italian form, Capodistria. The Slovenian equivalent of the name is Koper.

During the reign of the Venetian Republic (1279-1797) Koper experienced economic (trade, salt production) and cultural prosperity (painting, music). The Venetian period is still echoed by the city architecture. Koper has preserved its medieval character, being a member of the European Association of Medieval Cities. In the Middle Ages, Koper was an island surrounded by walls and connected with the mainland with a wood bridge. Its importance began to diminish in the 18th century which ended with the downfall of the Venetian Republic. Under the Italian Empire, Koper entirely lost its island character by means of the draining of the deserted saltpans.

Among the sights of Koper belong Praetorian Palca from the 15th century, Loggia in Venetia Gothic style, then the 12th century Carmine Rotunda church, and the Cathedral of St Nazarius with its 14th century tower.

Today, Koper is both an commercial and tourist city, continuing to develop its offer in terms of seaside resorts, nautical tourism, sports and shopping. Various cultural events give life to its streets and squares all year round, especially in the summer months. It has also become a University City (University of Primorska).

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