Located along one of Montenegro's
most beautiful bays is Kotor, a city of traders and famous sailors, with many
stories to tell.
The Old City of Kotor is a well preserved urbanisation typical of the Middle Ages, built between the 12th and 14th century. Medieval architecture and numerous monuments of cultural heritage have made Kotor an UNESCO listed “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site". Through the entire city the buildings are criss-crossed with narrow streets and squares. At one of them there is the Cathedral of Sveti Tripun , a monument of Roman culture and one of the most recognisable symbols of the city. The Church of Sveti Luka (13th century), Church Sveta Ana (12th century) Church Sveta Marija (13th century), Church Gospe od Zdravlja (15th century), the Prince’s Palace (17th century) and the Napoleon Theatre (19th century) are all treasures that are part of the rich heritage of Kotor. Carnivals and fiestas are organized each year to give additional charm to this most beautiful city of the Montenegrin littoral.
Orthodox church within the city walls
moat along the city wall
entrance into the walled city
Kotor, first mentioned in 168 BC, was settled during Ancient Roman times, when it was known as Acruvium, Ascrivium, or Ascruvium and was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia.
Kotor has been fortified since the early Middle Ages, when Emperor Justinian built a fortress above Ascrivium in AD 535, after expelling the Goths, and a second town probably grew up on the heights round it, for Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in the 10th century, alludes to Lower Cattaro. The city was plundered by the Saracens in 840.
In 1002, the city suffered damage under occupation of the First Bulgarian Empire, and in the following year it was ceded to Serbia by the Bulgarian Tsar Samuil, but the locals revolted, in alliance with Ragusa (Dubrovnik), and only submitted in 1184, as a protected state, preserving intact its republican institutions, and its right to conclude treaties and engage in war. It was already an episcopal see, and, in the 13th century, Dominican and Franciscan monasteries were established to check the spread of Bogomilism. In 1185, on his campaign to annex Zeta, Serbian Duke Stefan Nemanja entered Kotor triumphantly which surrendered to him peacefully. He spared the City and built in it an impressive Chateu.
In the 14th century the commerce of Cattaro, as the city was then called, rivalled that of the nearby Republic of Ragusa, and provoked the jealousy of Venice. The downfall of Serbia in 1389 left the city without a guardian, and, after being seized and abandoned by the Republic of Venice and Kingdom of Hungary in turn, it passed under Venetian rule in 1420.
Palace of a Prince
Kotor was besieged by the Ottoman Empire in 1538 and 1657, visited by the plague in 1572, and nearly destroyed by earthquakes in 1563 and 1667. Under the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, it passed to the Habsburg Monarchy, but in 1805, by the Treaty of Pressburg, it was assigned to the French Empire's client state, the Kingdom of Italy, although in fact held by a Russian squadron under Dmitry Senyavin. After the Russians retreated, Kotor was united in 1810 with the French Empire's Illyrian Provinces.
In 1814 it was restored to the new Austrian Empire by the Congress of Vienna. In 1838, The Palace of the Serbian Gathering was built in Kotor as a three-story house as well as the Serbian Library. The following 1839, the Serbian Vocal Society Unity (Jedinstvo) was founded. In 1848, the Serbian People's School under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Orthodox Church was founded in Kotor. The Serbian Library became the Slavic Library in 1849 to attract local Croats, Slovenians and Czechs. In 1854, the Serbian Memorial Music School was built, in 1862 the Serbian National Guard; in 1868 the Serbian National Charity Society Saint George; in 1869 the Serbian Orthodox School, while the Serbian Orthodox Episcopate was established in Kotor in 1870 and the Schematism of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Boka Kotorska and Dubrovnik was first printed in Kotor, in 1874. The attempt to enforce compulsory military service, made and abandoned in 1869, but finally successful in 1881, led to two short-lived revolts among the people of Krivošije on the western branch of mount Orjen, during which Kotor was the Austrian headquarters. In 1893 the Serbian Memorial Women Primary School was opened; in 1895 the Serbian Tamburitza Orchestra; in 1897 the Serbian Music; in 1899 the Serbian Workers' Cooperative; in 1901 the Serbian Credit Union. In 1903 the Unity was cancelled as it joined the Union of Serbian Vocal Societies. The Serbian Falcon Society was founded in Kotor in 1910. In 1912, a massive celebration was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Serbian National Guard in Kotor.
In World War I, Kotor was the site of some of the fiercest battles between local Montenegrin Slavs, and Austria-Hungary. After 1918, Kotor became a part of Yugoslavia and became known as Kotor. After 1945, it became a part of the then Socialist Republic of Montenegro within Yugoslavia's second incarnation.
Up until the beginning of the 20th century, Catholics constituted the majority in Kotor as well as in other places around the Gulf of Kotor (the other major ethnic groups in those years were the Serbs and the Italians).
Text from Wikipedia
Kotor is still the seat of the Croatian Catholic Bishopric of Kotor, which covers the entire gulf.
More Photos of the Cathedral
memorial to the October revolution
cafe at the well
Serbian Orthodox church
St. Nichola's Serbian Orthodox church
in Montenegrin costume
garden outside the city walls
on his way home
People and Places