Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, Piran


Jump to:navigation, search

Contact info
Pomorski muzej Sergej Mašera Piran / Museo del mare Sergej Mašera Pirano
Cankarjevo nabrežje 3, SI-6330 Piran-Pirano
Phone386 (0) 5 671 0040
Fax386 (0) 5 671 0050
Founded byMunicipality of Piran-Pirano
Franco Juri, Director
Igor Presl, Librarian
Online accounts:
facebook  instagram  youtube  

Past Events
  • 7 September 2018
    The opening of the exhibition Colonel Captain Baldomir Podgornik and the First (Yugo)slavic Transoceanic Merchant Ship Rog, curated by Duška Žitko and organised by the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, Piran and the Maritime Museum Monte Negro Kotar, with Franko Juri, director of the museum as guest speaker, supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Podgorica, at The Grgurina Palace in Kotar, Montenegro
  • 24 February to 17 April 2017
    An exhibition about the baroque composer and violinist Guiseppe Tartini,co-organised by the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, Piran, at Museo teatrale Carlo Schmidl in Trieste/Trst, Italy
  • 4 December 2015 to 4 February 2016
    Tartini 1692-1770, an exhibition on the life and work of Guiseppe Tartini, produced in cooperation with the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, Piran, and an opening concert by pianist Bojan Glavina and the Tartini Musical Studio at Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka in Rijeka, Croatia
  • 30 October to 8 November 2013
    Adristorical Lands, a photo exhibition on the history, culture, tourism, arts, and ancient crafts in the European Adriatic territory, also featuring photographs of the Slovene coast of Piran and Sečovlje salts flats by Maja Bjelica, supported by the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, Piran and the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia London, at 12 Star Gallery (Europa House) in London, United Kingdom
  • 1 July to 15 September 2011
    With a Fibula into Fable exhibition organised by Koper Regional Museum, Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum, Goriška Museum, Tolmin Museum, Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum, and Notranjska Museum, Postojna at Amphitheater Gallery of the Archaeological Museum of Istria in Pula, Croatia

Sergej Masera Maritime Museum Piran 2020 Exterior Photo Kaja Brezocnik.jpg

The first collections on the history of seafaring in Piran-Pirano were presented to the public back in 1954, when the Piran Municipal Museum first opened its doors. It was renamed as the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum in 1967, and since then the museum has conducted extensive research into Slovene maritime history and maritime archaeology. It has thus gathered an important collection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage connected with either seafaring (from its technological and ethnological dimensions to the related artistic work) or with maritime economic branches like salt-making, fishing and naval trade.

The bulk of the museum collections is housed in the 19th-century Gabrielli Palace, but quite a few of its collections are also presented elsewhere.


The museum is named after the war hero Sergej Mašera (1912–1941), artillery officer in the former Yugoslav army and a lieutenant of the warship Destroyer Zagreb.

The Gabrielli Palace, built in the middle of the 19th century, stands on the south-east side of the inner harbour of Piran. The façade is marked by a central axis and enriched with classical elements, though the effect is reduced by its unfinished north wing. A columned stone staircase shapes the inside of the palace, decorated at piano nobile, or the "noble floor" with original paintings and stuccos.


Aside from the Gabrielli Palace, there is the Tona's House, an old Istrian dwelling in the village of St Peter, renovated and opened as an ethnological collection in 1981. Another branch museum collection was opened in 1991, following the renovation of a house in the Sečovlje saltpans; in the following years other houses in this location were renovated and the number of the saltpans increased. The museum also manages the Piran based Tartini Memorial Room, the birthplace of the composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini. There is also another collection of ship models in Izola in the Museum Parenzana, and a renovated sailing boat, parked in front of the museum.

A new location was established in 2011 in the former Monfort salt storehouse. It houses a collection depicting traditional shipbuilding and the development of water sports.

Monfort Salt Warehouses Portoroz 2012.jpg


If not indicated differently, the following collections are held on display on the three stories of the Gabrielli Palace : the archaeological collection, with its permanent exhibition Between Land and Sea; the salt-making collection in the Museum of Salt Making, Sečovlje; the ethnological fishing collection of pictures and objects dealing with sea-fishing at Izola and among in the wider Slovene ethnic territory from Trieste to the Timavo River; the art history collection of Gabriel Gruber's (1740–1805) ship models, seamen's votive tablets and ship figureheads; the maritime history collection of early maritime history, Austrian and Austro-Hungarian period, and of Slovene mariners in 1918–1945; the collection of Splošna plovba Portorož in Portorož (temporarily closed) ; the ethnological collection in the Tona's House; a library of 14,000 books, held at a research library, the town archives and the old Civic Library, Biblioteca Civica di Pirano. Many books date back to the 16th century, the oldest one being from 1501. Among the most interesting books are the comprehensive late 18th-century Encyclopaedia by Diderot, and the only fully preserved Atlas from 1526 by Pietro Coppo from Izola.

Since 1995, the harbour of the port of Piran in front of the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum houses the museum's first renovated ship – the yacht Seagull [Galeb] (of the cutter M6 type), previously owned by world-famous ballet dancers Pia and Pino Mlakar. In 2004 Seagull won the old-timers boat race in Trieste.

The exhibition on traditional shipbuilding and the development of water sports is toned by the atmosphere of the old salt repository which in it day was full up to the roof. It is set at the Monfort Exhibition Space in nearby Portorož and features old wooden boats as well as different ship carpenter's tools, sketches, documentary photos and scale models. The other part of the collection presents the sport vehicles, sailors, posters, diplomas, etc., of different water sport competitions.

International cooperation

The Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum is a member of the International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM) and a founding member of the Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums (AMMM).


The museum publishes monographies and catalogues of temporary exhibitions concerning maritime topics. In 2009 the museum started publishing a serial publication Izvestja pomorskega muzeja Piran = Strenna del Museo del mare di Pirano. Museum experts also frequently publish their articles in the Annales Journal.


A documentary produced by Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV Slovenia) Solinarke (Salt Harvesters), used the documents of the Sargej Mašera Maritime Museum as well as Koper Regional Museum to outline the story about the women who were working at the salt panes in Piran. The short film was awarded the Making a Story from Archives Category Best Feature Award in 2019, bestowed by the COPEAM, the Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operator in Bucharest

See also

External links


Nerd files
Feeling Wiki?