Koper is the main center of the Koper Municipality. The city has two official languages, the Slovenian and the Italian. Koper has an architecturally very rich old city center. It was built on a rocky island which the Romans called Insula Capraria (goat’s island).
Koper saw great economic and cultural blossoming in the years from 1279 to 1797, when it was under the rule of the Venetian Republic. The remains of the Venetian period are visible in the city architecture which has preserved its medieval appearance in spite of the modern interventions. Because of that, Koper was included in the association of the medieval cities. At the beginning, Koper was an island, surrounded with walls and connected with the land by a wooden bridge. It was safeguarded by a powerful fortress, the Lion’s castle. Around the city there were extensive salt works. Koper began to change due to the economic and social development from the 19th century till the First World War, under the regime of the Napoleon French Empire and the Hapsburg Monarchy. By 1912, the salt works were reduced and finally abandoned. Koper slowly started to lose its character of an island and under the Kingdom of Italy it became an integral part of the mainland.
The period after the Second World War brought the final revision of borders, when Koper became a part of Yugoslavia and experienced architectural interventions in the city center and its surroundings. On the outskirts of the city the international cargo port was developed, Luka Koper. The harbour maintains its maritime connections with all parts of the world.