Contour line

Active recreation / Stories from the past – Bernardin shipyard

Piran had shipyards already at the beginning of the 19th century. Before and during the Second World War the shipyards in Piran were among the most important in the northern part of the Adriatic sea and they were the driving force for the local population.

The famous “Piranesa” boat

The trabaccolo Branimir was made in 1904 in Piran. It is a type of boat typical for the area of the eastern Adriatic sea and in Dalmatia it is even called “Piranesa” (roughly translated as “from Piran”).

Did you know?

Bernardin resort used to be among the important shipyards in Istria!

Until 1974 the area where we can now see Bernardin resort was dedicated to shipyards. Shipbuilding is one of the oldest industrial activities on the coasts of Istria. According to written sources, its origins go as far back as to the 14th century: the first written records about a shipyard in Piran were made in 1322 and they can be found in the town’s statute. Since then fishing, ship construction and general maritime activities have had and crucial part in the lives of the local population. As a result of its close connection to the sea the town of Piran has a special maritime character, which can be felt and seen as you walk along the port or in the narrow stone paved streets of the historic centre.

From three shipyards to…

At the beginning of the 19th century Piran had three shipyards: Francesco Apollonio’s shipyard, San Giusto shipyard belonging to Luigi Pertot and the Dapretto shipyard. In the middle of the century they were moved close to the monastery of St. Bernardin, where shipbuilding masters constructed and repaired wooden ships.

In 1948 most of the San Giusto shipyards shares were purchased by the shipping company Jadranska slobodna plovidba from Rijeka. In 1951 the three shipyards present in Bernardin merged into one, which – passing through some name changes and internal reorganisations – stayed in business until 1974, when it was moved to Izola. 

… one – “Cantieri di San Bernardino”.

The shipyards in Bernardin were called Cantieri di San Bernardino and mainly built wooden sailboats and motorboats for various clients. The majority of orders came from Italy but after the war there was an increasing interest from the states of former Yugoslavia. The ships built in Bernardin’s shipyard were mostly for cargo shipping, usually they measured between 25 to 30 metres in length, although some larger ships reaching 40 metres in length were also built. They were made with the classic wooden ship building method, i.e. with beams, keels and the typical look with lovely bows and delicately curved sterns. 

As part of the Portorož-based company Splošna plovba, which deals with international shipping and chartering and is still in operation today, Benardin’s shipyard operated as a special shipbuilding and repair unit from 1st June 1956 to 1st January 1961. During this period the shipyard was modernised and it transitioned almost completely from the construction of wooden ships to the construction of iron ships and the repair of larger transoceanic ships.

Take a stroll through Bernardin resort, a small town that holds many secrets of the Slovenian coast. Besides the shipyard you will be enchanted by the ruins of the ancient church of St. Bernardin, which dates back to 1452 and was a safe and calm haven to the Franciscan monks who lived ascetically in the Mediterranean climate and spent their time creating. You will be delighted by the famous arcades surrounded by greenery, Lepa Vida’s statue by the lighthouse, the International terrace in front of Hotel Histrion, the smaller Marina Bernardin and the direct views of the open blue sea, which you can enjoy from any location in Grand Hotel Bernardin.

Gift vouchers