Kotor Stari Grad – Kotor Old Town

Kotor is magical town of Montenegro, located in the south-eastern part of the beautiful Boka-Kotor Bay of the Montenegrin Adriatic Coast. Since 2000 Kotor has been proclaimed one of the most beautiful bays in the world, and one of the most distinctive landscapes anywhere on the Mediterranean. The Boka Kotor Bay covers an area of 87.3 sq km and has a coastline length of 105 km, comprising 4 smaller bays. The Kotor area is surrounded on all sides with rugged carstic peaks of the massive Montenegrin mountains: on the southeastern side is the Lovcen Mountain/National Park (1749 meters), on the northwestern side are ranges of mountains of Orjen National Park (1895 meters), Radoštak (1446 meters) and Dobroštica (1570 meters). Proximity of the breathtaking Montenegrin mountains in the hinterland of Kotor and the Boka Kotor Bay is suitable for various outdoor activities during holidays or shorter stay in Kotor area – mountaineering, hiking, fishing….

The gigantic mountains in the hinterland of Kotor – Lovcen Mountain, 1694 meters and Orjen Mountain/National Park, 1894 meters, divide the Kotor Bay into the Bay of Herceg Novi, the Bay of Tivat and the Bay of Risan and Kotor, connected via the straits of Kumbor and Verige, which is the narrowest part of the bay – only 300 meters wide. The Verige point is the straits named after huge chains that in the past used to be risen from the both shore sides, so to prevent pirate and enemy boats and sailing ships enter the Boka Bay and plunder the rich inner-bay settlements. So this Verige straits was of the great strategic importance for the last third area of the Boka Bay, where several settlements rapidly developed – Morinj, Risan, Perast and Kotor, guarding wealth and reputation of rich Boka merchants and their families, hidden and well protected from unforeseen attacks.

The Kotor Bay which is the inner bay of a total of three bays, opens on the Adriatic Sea through the two other bays /Bay of Herceg-Novi and Bay of Tivat/ and through the strait between Cape Ostro /Rt Ostro/ and Punta Miriste. All along the wonderful coast of the Boka Bay there is a chain of small towns and picturesque fishermen settlements all of which has its own charm, story and history worth-discovering – Igalo, Herceg Novi, Savina, Meljine, Zelenika, Kumbor, Đenovici, Baošići, Bijela, Kamenari, Kostanjica, Morinj, Risan, Perast, Ljuta, Dobrota, Kotor, Škaljari, Stoliv, Morinj, Prčanj, Muo, Lepetane, Gornja and Donja Lastva, Tivat, Krtoli, Luštica..

Boka-Kotor Bay is an exceptional cultural landscape created by the harmonious symbiosis of natural phenomena and man-made heritage, with 192 immovable cultural sites in the territory of Kotor Municipality. Kotor is first mentioned in 168 BC as settlement during the ancient Roman times, when it was known as Acruvium, Ascrivium, or Ascruvium and later was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia. Kotor /later called “Cattaro”/ has been fortified since the early Middle Ages, when Emperor Justinian in 535 built a fortress above Acruvium, after expelling the Ostrogoths. Walls of the mighty Kotor stronghold, one of the miracles of the Medieval fortification architecture of the Adriatic, have been established gradually during the period from the 9th till the 19th century. The Kotor fortification features the continual row of walls around the historical urban core and the steep slope of the Sveti Ivan hill /San Giovanni/ above the town which practically made the Kotor fortress unconquerable throughout the history. There on the top of Kotor fortress at elevation of 280 meters were four churches – Saint Roko, the Holy Virgin of Health – Our Lady of Remedy built by grateful locals for saving them from plaque, Saint John the Baptist after which the fortification was named, and Saint Stephen Church. The top of the Kotor fortress can be reached by narrow path with 1400 stairs along the walls, entrance fee applied. From this point of the Kotor fortress spreads one of the most beautiful views of the Boka Kotor Bay.

The ecclesiastical architecture of the sleepy Boka-Kotor Bay settlements has developed through the blending of different styles, especially Romanesque and Baroque. In 1420 the city of Kotor acknowledged the suzerainty of the Republic of Venice. In the 14th century, commerce in Cattaro /as the city was called until 1918/ competed with that of the nearby Republic of Ragusa /Dubrovnik/ and of the Venice Republic. The well-fortified city of Kotor was part of the powerful Serbian Empire during rule of Stefan Nemanja and changed hands to the numerous invaders to become the Venetian Albania province of the Venetian Republic from 1420 to 1797, except for periods of Ottoman rule in 1538–1571 and 1657-1699. Maritime trade of the Boka Navy and Kotor merchants and seafarers also have played an important role in the economic and social affairs of the town as the caravan road to Constantinople led through town of Kotor. Residents of Kotor and the Boka Bay managed to grow an impressive fleet and develop lucrative maritime trade, mostly in the Adriatic and the Mediterranean. Large profits earned from maritime trade allowed the great development of culture, arts, architecture and music. During the Venetian rule, between the 16th and 18th century the settlements of Perast, Dobrota, Prčanj and Stoliv greatly developed and gained enormous power and wealth, acquiring the status of wealthy seafaring communities. In the first half of the 19th century, Prcanj had 42 sailing ships and 9 boats for local navigation, and 90 captains and some 400 experienced sailors, when seafaring fraternity became extremely important. Besides sailing, the sericulture and silk-warm growing along with numerous manufactures for the finest silk products and taffeta was well developed in the 18th and the 19th century in urban and rural places of the entire Boka Kotor Bay area. Silk was often used in making festive traditional costumes, both men and women, as silk was highly prized to determine the social status of locals who gladly wore such intricate costumes and wonderful dresses.

From a number of observation points and various points accessible by hiking along the Vrmac hill, open new vistas to the parts of the Tivat, Kotor and Risan Bays, or to the whole Boka Bay, from the highest peak of Vrmac – the St Elijah peak. Hikers simply fall in love with Kotor while climbing a 4km path up the Vrmac Mountain and testify that such hike is certainly worth it. The reward is seeing the old Vrmac Fortress on top of the mountain and the incredible views of Tivat and out to sea. The Vrmac Fortress is a former fortification of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire built between 1894 and 1897 and located on the southern end of the Vrmac ridge. Today is Vrmac Fortress one of the best preserved Austrian-Hungarian fortifications in the Bay of Kotor area.

The maritime captain Ivo Vizin /1806-1868/ from Prčanj was the first south Slavic seafarer who sailed around the world with his ship „Splendido”. The Old church of Prčanj is known among the locals as the Upper church, and features very interesting story, as it is for long time deserted and completely destroyed, although it represents important cultural monument of the Boka Kotor area. The complex of the Old church in Prcanj consists of a belfry, cemetery and a chapel where is buried the magnificent Ivo Vizin and a number of the famous and prominent personalities of the Boka area. After the altar of the old church was transferred to the newly built church on the sea shore, this old church was left to vandals and grave looters. Additionally it was badly destroyed in the huge earthquake in Montenegro in 1979 when the roof was demolished and walls divided with large wholes… The Church dedicated to Saint Nicholas was erected in 1730 and distinguishes itself in Prcanj architecture by the fact that where was the Maritime School and the Pharmacy here. The shrine which is part of the Franciscan Monastery with the rich old library was place where in 1848 was held the National Assembly of Boka leaders, led by Njegos, when the Resolution on unity of the Yugoslav states within the Austria-Hungary Monarchy was declared. Among the most significant Baroque architecture of Prcanj are wonderful palaces of „Beskuća“, „Verona“ and „Luković“, with the most famous the „Tre sorele – Tri sestre“ Palace, that was the noble summer residence of the Kotor family of Buća… Prcanj managed to save its harmonious and quite elegant appearance from that period, with series of palaces of patricians, ship-owners and captains and smaller houses of sailors and fishermen, with a dozen of churches which follows the coastline, surrounded with palm trees, olive trees, agaves, oleanders and acacias. The palaces of Boka Bay area are kind of extended type of the civil houses, with enlarged number of premises for representation and individual housing, in terms of inner organization and lifestyle.

On the Prevlaka peninsula – Ostrvo cvijeca, there are remains of the Saint Archangel Michael Monastery which marked one of the most significant era of life of this area – from the 9th til the 14th century. On this place possibly was the Benedictine Monastery, where at the half of the 13th century, Saint Sava had established the sea of the Zeta Bishopric at the Prevlaka. The scenic Bay of Kotor itself has been a beacon of inspiration for generations of artists and poets – now the region is becoming internationally recognized as one of Montenegro’s principal attractions and cultural treasures.

Kotor sits in the foot of the gigantic Lovcen Mountain in a fiord -bay- which is by its beauty and appearance, unique in the whole of the Mediterranean. The old town of Kotor is one of the best-preserved Medieval towns in this part of the Mediterranean, whose original patron for centuries was Saint George. Kotor successfully succeeded in preserving its original form typical for Mediterranean towns between the the 12th and the 14th centuries. The asymmetrical structure of the historical center of Kotor features narrow and curvy streets and a number of squares, combined with the numerous valuable monuments of medieval architecture with magnificent palaces, contributed that Kotor was placed on UNESCO’s “The world natural and cultural inheritance” list. The urban core of the old town of Kotor is characterized by intersection of narrow spaces of curvy streets and 12 smaller or bigger squares, that in the past had economic role – square of arms, square of flour, square of milk, square of wood….  The cultural inheritance of town of Kotor is enriched by the unique architectural styles and the ambient atmosphere. One method of really touching the imagination and romance the city has to offer involves the Kotor city walls. The fortification system of Kotor, which protects it from the sea, is actually a wall 4,5 km long, 20 meters high and 15 meters wide, and is preserved as one of the world’s historic values. The construction of the Kotor ramparts was initiated in the Illyrian period and they were built and rebuilt up in the 18th century. The oldest town gate of Kotor, of the three existing in the town, is the “South” Gate which was partially constructed in the 9th century. The “North” and the “Main” gates of Kotor were build in the Renaissance style by the first half of the 16th century.

The most representative and most significant Romanesque monument of architecture in the Adriatic is the magnificent Sveti Trifun Saint Typhon’s Cathedral in Kotor, constructed in 1166 and built on the remains of the former temple from the 8th century. Sveti Trifun – Saint Typhon was martyr saint from Asia Minor brutally killed – fragmented into pieces by sword – in Nicea in his 18th year during the reign of the Emperor Decius and fierce persecution of Christians. During his short life he was gifted with numerous talents and miracles in curing ill and abused, among which was curing of obsessed daughter of emperor Gordian in Rome. Sveti Trifun – Saint Typhon was highly venerated and respected in the East and West Church. The dome of the Kotor Cathedral, dedicated to the town’s patron saint, is built in Baroque style and pillars are covered with the famous marble from the Korcula Island. The walls of the Sveti Trifun church – the Saint Typhon Cathedral in Kotor houses remains of the frescoes from the 14th century. The valuable Treasury keeps golden reliquary artworks done by the local masters dating from the 14th till the 20th centuries. Sveti Trifun –  Saint Typhon as the patron saint of the city is always shown with a model of Kotor in his hands, as Saint Bernardo of Sienna standing as protector of sailors and all in contact with the sea. The most attractive are rosettes that were Romanesque and nowadays are decorated with the Gothic-Renaissance motifs.

Besides the Sveti Trifun – the Saint Typhoon Cathedral in the hart of the Kotor, there are magnificent examples of sacral architecture dating from the historical period between the 12th till the 20th century. The Romanesque Church of Saint Lucas in Kotor was built during the reign of the Serbian Grand Duke Nemanja and his son Vukan in 1195 when the large town of Kotor was the main harbor of the Serbian Kingdom and the Nemanjic Dynasty, until the imperial fall to the Ottomans in 1371. The Romanesque Church of Saint Anna dates from the end of the 12th century and houses frescoes from the 15ht century. The Romanesque Church of Saint Mary / the Holy Virgin/in Kotor dates from 1221 and was built on remains of the pre-Romanesque Church. The Church contains the remains of a monumental fresco painting as well as an early Christian Baptistery. The Gothic church of Saint Mikhail /Saint Michael/ in Kotor was built on the remains of the Benedictine monastery from the 7th century and contains frescoes dating back from the 15th century. Lapidary is nowadays located in this Church. Saint Clara’s Church in Kotor dates from the 14th century and features the extremely beautiful marble altars, the work of sculptor Francesco Cabianca from the 18th century. The Church of Lady of health originates from the 15th century and it sits halfway up the St John’s Hill. The Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas in Kotor was built by the beginning of the 20th century in the Serbian-Byzantine style and comprises valuable collection of icons and remarkable iconostasis.

The Clock Tower of Kotor dates from the 17th century and makes one of the landmarks and recognizable symbols of Kotor, occupying the central place in the square opposite the main town gate. Below the Clock Tower of Kotor there is the Pillar of Shame which was used for punishment of an accused person for steeling by placing him/her in front of the Pillar so that all the citizens of Kotor would know for his/her offense.

Kotor is home-town of famous seafarers and merchants who donated numerous patrician mansions to testify on their period which today proudly represents former glory and rich legacy of this magical town. There are nine palaces built in the old part of Kotor. Drago Palace, built in the 14th and the 15th centuries is located on the St Typhoon’s Square. It features beautiful carved Gothic windows and portals. Bizanti Palace of Kotor is located on the Kotor main Arms Square. It was built in the 14th century, to be thoroughly renovated after the earthquake in 1667. Its windows, portals and stairs gives the Palace Renaissance appearance. Beautiful Pima Palace Kotor sits on the Flour Square of Kotor and dominates the square by its beauty, as its owner and the head of the Pima family used to be one of the largest grain traders. It was built in the Renaissance-Baroque style in the 17th century. The baroque Palace of Grgurina Kotor is located on the Square of Museums /Pjaca od Muzeja/ and is home to the Maritime Museum, with impressive collection of seafaring in the Gulf of Kotor and the cultural progress of the region. The Maritime Museum of Kotor is must see as it features the collection of ship models, instruments, weapons, maps, charters and other documents of outstanding scientific and historical interest. The Maritime Museum of Kotor treasure keeps maritime traditions from oblivion, and connects the sea in Kotor with their people, famous seaman, who have sailed from it towards the far away seas. Next to the very entrance in the medieval palace of Grgurina, there are two small cannons, which are symbols of the constant battle of the Boka seaman and pirates. Grgurina Palace was erected in the 18th century and belonged to the Grgurina aristocratic family. Specially interesting is authentically preserved Venetian order of all rooms – the house of one master has four rooms and a saloon. Grubonja Palace is located close to the Northern Gate of Kotor and dates from the 16th century. The Grubonja Palace was built in the Renaissance style and on its facade is the coat of arms of the old Kotor pharmacy. Beskuca Palace of Kotor sits in the street that leads from the main town square to the Flour Square. The Beskuca Palace was built in the middle of the 18th century. It is decorated with beautiful Gothic portal that is one of the most beautiful floral Gothic master works on the entire eastern Adriatic coast. The family legend has it that the members of the Beskuće Family arrived to Prčanj from Strp village as homeless persons, but quickly became rich, so the count Jozo Beskuća possessed 99 houses in Boka Kotor Bay and Italy. He wanted to own exactly hundred houses, in order to change his family name into Stokuca /hundred houses/, but did not succeed.

Kotor is spectacularly interesting place to visit throughout the year, thanks to its well-preserved monuments, customs, tourist curiosity and modern relationships. Day of Sveti Tripun – Saint Tryphon Day – Tripundan is traditionally held and celebrated in Kotor which is the custom dating back to the 9th century. Ceremony in honor of the city patron saint, Sveti Trifun, starts in late January and ends in the first days of February. Originally in front of the old Kotor Cathedral of Sveti Trifun /Saint Typhoon/, the Boka Navy members dressed in festive medieval costumes and decorated with original armors that were used by their ancestors to fight the Turks, perform national dance of “kolo” while presenting the massage fides et honor – /faith and honor/. This unique ceremony is performed by two prominent Kotor citizens – a Catholic and an Orthodox Christian who expose holy relics and reliquaries at the church altar while consecrating them and locals and visitors by incense. This old custom that must have specific meaning and logical reason is followed by liturgy and a procession through the city. The Kotor festive ceremony of Tripundan – the Day of Saint Typhon – Sveti Trifun is followed by parade and church choirs, city music and dance groups.

Climate of Kotor features warm and dry summers and mild wet winter. The warmest month is July with the average temperature of air of 25 °C and the coldest month is January with the air average temperature of 7,4 °C. The most often winds come from the south-east and the common wind is bura, coming from the north. Bathing season usually lasts for 144 days. A total of 59 fish species are identified as inhabiting the Boka Kotor Bay.

After a pleasant walk up to the tiny Upper Stoliv village, while enjoying in wonderful and invigorating scent of the wild basil and fresh air coming from the surrounding mountains, visitors are awarded with memorable panorama of the Boka Bay. Medieval Church of Saint George in Donji Orahovac village, between Perast and Dobrota in the Boka Kotor Bay was built in 1488 on the top of the solitude vertical rock. Frescoes of the Orahovac church date from the 15th and the 16th century, while the iconostasis has been completed by Špiro Đuranović. Saint George is the most common slava – patron saint in Orahovac village. Orahovac village is located in the northern part of the Kotor Municipality, divided from Dobrota by the Ljuta river. This is traditionally maritime and fishermen small village. During history this village was birth place of numerous sailors and captains, with the fleet of 28 ships…. The cult of the Holy Martyr Saint George was highly venerated in the area of Boka Kotor Bay which has 19 churches dedicated to this saint, of which 16 churches are Orthodox and 3 churches are Catholic.

Gornja Lastva is the ancient tiny Mediterranean settlement at elevation of 300 meters on the Vrmac hill which divides the Tivat Bay from the Kotor Bay, 3 km away from the Adriatic road by the local paved road. Above the Gornja Lastva village there is the Church of Saint Vitus – Sveti Vid on the elevation bearing the same name, which can be approached by the steep rocky road adorned with Mediterranean vegetation via the hamlet of Orašje. The oldest historical records on the Church of Saint Vitus is kept in the Kotor archives dating from 1327 but the exact time of construction is not known, although the cult of this saint was widely spread along the Adriatic coast. The Church of Saint Vitus was in the past several times destroyed by natural disasters and by the Turkish attacks and plundering. From the plateau where the Church of Saint Vitus is positioned spreads magnificent panorama of the part of the Boka Kotor Bay, the Tivat Bay, the Lustica, Prevlaka, Verige, partially the Kotor and Risan Bays, the Vrmac, Orjen, and Lovćen. Gornja Lastva village is set on the sunny slope of the Vrmac Hill and experiences the wonderful panorama of the Tivat Bay, and further to the Lustica Peninsula, direction of the open sea.

Prčanj is small town 5 km away from Kotor renown as the maritime center from the time when seafarers sailed with their wonderful ships, but also for its curative factors as the air spa and natural climatic resort. Thanks to the special micro climatic conditions of Prcanj, the Vrmac Institute for treatment of bronchitis, asthma and allergic diseases was established. The Cathedral of Nativity of the Holy Virgin in Prcanj was built in the period from 1789 till 1913 according to design and plans of the Venetian constructor and architect Bernardino Maccarucci. This is the largest church in the area of Kotor Boka and monumental Baroque structure that belongs to the largest sacral monuments of the Adriatic, as the monument of culture under protection since 1961. The Cathedral of Nativity of the Holy Virgin in Prcanj features three-nave basis synchronized with the Latin cross on the place of the crossing of the middle nave and the transept which separates the nave and sanctuary. The cathedral dome with vast lantern was completed in 1885 along with the extraordinary impressive front facade that features emphasized Corinth and Ionian pillasters. The main facade of the Cathedral of Nativity of the Holy Virgin is divided with pillars and columns in the first zone and with the Ionian pillars in the upper narrower portion which ends with triangle gable. The Cathedral of the Holy Virgin in Prcanj keeps two gilded altars moved here from the earlier parish church, and the outstanding collection of paintings of the national and international painters, and numerous refined sculptures of high quality – Kokolj, Piaceta, Brustalone, Mestrovic, Rosandic, Stojanovic, Verone, Milunovic, Lubarda and other authors. The Treasury of the Cathedarl of Nativity of the Holy Virgin in Prcanj keeps rich collection of high artistic vallue ritual vessels made from silver and other metals and embroidered liturgical items and the rich Library with religious and other rare books that describe the area of Boka Kotorska.

The Austrian – Hungarian Empire had left in the Kotor area impressive military architectural heritage of 83 fortresses and amazing infrastructure built on the outer banks of the empire – roads, infrastructure, barracks, officers clubs, bakeries, clinics, hospitals, cemeteries, shooting ranges, hotels, shops, workshops and even theaters and cinemas built on some completely strange places – so the entire defensive system of “Sea Fortress Boka” can function properly. Narrow and winding road which leads from Cetinje to Kotor makes the unique construction achievement and one of the extraordinary tourist attractions of Montenegro. It was in 1877 when the tireless Austria-Hungarian engineer of wide knowledge and doctor of mathematics and philosophy, dr Josip Šilović Slade from Trogir responded to the order of Montenegrin Prince Nicholas I – Knjaz Nikola to help with his knowledge and expertise in development of the road infrastructure of Montenegro, and construct buildings, bridges and other structures, so the next year, 1878, he had designed and built the unique road from the Austrian-Montenegrin border above Kotor to Cetinje, via the Njeguši village. The especially dangerous 38 km-long Cetinje Kotor road is one of the most famous in the world and features highly difficult hairpin curves in the form of the letter M, starting letter of the name of Princess Milena Petrović-Njegoš, as the Austrian architect was truly enchanted by the Queen consort of Montenegro, wife of Prince Nicholas. The second section of the road to Kotor with the famous 25 serpentine was completed in 1884. The most famous section of the old serpentine road from Cetinje to Kotor is called the Kotor Serpentine road – a 8.3km long pretty steep stretch, with 16 hairpin turns. Along this section the road starts at an elevation of 458 meters above the sea level, and ends at 881 meters. With inward leaning concrete barriers on one side and jagged rock on the other, multiple vehicles may have to reverse their way back up the road when meeting a bus or construction vehicle coming the other way. Over this distance, the elevation difference of the serpentine road is 423 meters. Scenery is breathtaking and view to Boka Kotorska Bay from up here is unreal and make visitors utterly speechless. All Boka Bay in its blue sea and Kotor town tucked sleep in breasts of high Montenegrin cliffs. Dr Josip Slade took part in planning and construction of numerous structures and objects in Montenegro: road Cetinje – Rijeka Crnojevića, road Rijeka Crnojevića – Podgorica, road Bar – Virpazar via Sutorman, the Royal Theater of Zetski hram in Cetinju, Building of the Austria-Hungarian mission, the Military Hospital of Lazaret in Meljine, the tsar’s bridge over Zeta River near Nikšić and other objects that are today still successfully used.

During its 104 years of administration in Montenegro, the Austria-Hungary Empire had built impressive infrastructure and constructed over 80 fortifications of unique fortified defense system of that time Austria-Hungary war port in Boka. Those strongholds created the Primorska tvrđava Boka – the Maritime Boka Fortress, and were located in the areas of Kotor, Tivat, Herceg Novi and Budva, making today unique construction heritage and legacy of the outstanding building patterns that was successfully adjusted to needs and surroundings. This Austrian-Hungarian system of fortifications on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, and especially in the zone of the Boka Kotor Bay was completed in five stages, from the forties of the 19th century until the beginning of the First World War for successful defense of the Boka Bay area which was the main base of Austro-Hungarian Empire in the south Adriatic. Those are fortifications with watchtowers, barracks and accessory military objects and facilities – Mamula, Arza, Vrmac, Goražda, Stražnik above Crkvice, Grabovac, Dvrsnik, Grkavac, Vranovića brdo Hill, Dragulj, Bogdešići I and II, Kosmač by the Brajići village and many others for whose construction were used huge quantities of stone, iron and concrete, and which disposed all necessities for some 36000 soldiers and 6700 horses.

Grbalj with its 20 villages has 68 churches and 3 monasteries. Reconstructed Church of Saint Elijah in the Zagora village was erected on remains of an old church of the same name and makes perfect example of the sacral architecture of Grbalj area from the middle of thee 19th century. The Church of Saint Elijah is located in Donji Grbalj village in Kotor Municipality. The Church of Saint Elijah and the surrounding with several nearby churches is known by locals under the name of Sutilija. The peak with the Church of Saint Elijah are located on Snijeznica peak, 1104m – the highest peak of the Orjen Mountain ridge. This place is considered by many as one of the most beautiful viewing points of the Orjen Mountain, as the view spreads towards the largest part of the Boka Kotorska Bay area, the tiny islands of Gospa od Skrpjela and Saint George, the Lovcen Mountain, the Tivat area, the Lustica Peninsula and the Prevlaka that marks the entrance to the Boka Kotorska Bay.

The Church of Saint Elijah in Zagora village was constructed in 1860 along plans of the Italian architect and erected by builders from Trieste. The Church of Saint Elijah was consecrated on 20 May 1865.  Master builders for construction of the church were engaged by the then monk Hrisantije Kostovic who was buried in the church after his death in 1882. The Church of Saint Elijah in the Zagora village features bell gable with three windows and two bells, semi-circular apse and the round dome. Besides the western door, the church has doors in the northern and the southern plan, and semi-circular windows which are decorated with lasenes – narrow shallow vertical pillars on the walls.  The Church of Saint Elijah in Zagora village was reconstructed after destruction in earthquake in 1979 and a thunder-stroke. Reconstruction of the Church of Saint Elijah in Zagora village started in 2007 with the aim of regaining the original appearance and preserve authenticity of the shrine. Enormous contribution in reconstruction came from numerous donors, legal entities and personalities, the Serbian Orthodox Municipality of Grbalj, Committee for reconstruction of the Church of Saint Elijah in Zagora village. Reconstruction works on Church of Saint Elijah in Zagora village lasted from 2007 until 2015. The church complex of Saint Elijah is fully reconstructed and provide faithful people and visitors wonderful spiritual experience and view to the Lovcen Mountain, the whole Montenegrin riviera, part of the Croatian Riviera and the Durres Cape.

“Zagora is village which contains grouped old stone houses scattered along the round road while within that ring there are plots of fertile land. The grouping of houses are known by families who live here. As the name says, the Zagora village is set behind the hill, on an elevated terrace. Given that the village is elevated, the climate is pleasant and features fresh air flow blowing in the hottest weather. There is no running water, so here likewise in the whole Upper Grbalj area the water supply is organized by cisterns – bastijerne. Saint Theodore Church is located close to the Sutilija Church – Saint Elijah Church. The church was reconstructed in 1851 from the original church that used to be half size. The space church is encircled with wall and features a number of ancient tombs with large coverings and random emblematic signs above. The legend has it that as here was in the old time a monastery dedicated to prophet Amoss, the local villages used to celebrate their baptized name of Vidovdan – the slava celebration, which is preserved until today as the pre-slava. Even today along the old village road are found old foundation walls and a well which is regarded to date from the old monastery. A jar full with golden coins was excavated in hidden underground space in 1850. Due to this church the seal of the Zagora Parish holds the seal of Saint Theodore. The Church of Saint John the Theologian is small church with a narthex. Above the portal there is carved inscription “popravi 1873”. The iconostasis and the Icon of the Holy Virgin was painted by Goergije Daskalovic from Risan (1803.) The Saint Basil church is tiny church which had neither belfry nor the apse, so its outer appearance did not differ much from the small village houses built later around the church. Since the fire in 1880 the church was not used for liturgies any more. Expeditio

Muzejsko Drustvo Crne Gore: The municipal administration of “Muzeji” Kotor organizes Workshop of Dobrota Lace manufacture and invites all interested inhabitants to take part in the workshop which will be held from 19 October until 18 November in the Galerija solidarnosti and conducted by Nada Radovic. Nada Radovic is retired professor who is for decades recognized for her skills and craftsmanship of this noble embroidery which Montenegro protected as the intangible cultural heritage. The course of 2 hours will be organized on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 17 til 19 hours and on Saturdays from 10 til 12 hours.  Participation is free and number of participants is limited. Bokanews: Riznica Dobrotske čipke – crkva Svetog Eustahija /Treasury of Dobrota Lace – the Church of Saint Eustace is center which keeps the largest number of various examples of lace, total of 130 works of art which differ by motifs and purpose models. Throughout the centuries during which the Dobrota Lace was created the lace patterns changed according to styles of fashion for the time. Dobrota got its status by the Venetian Republic for great accomplishments of its locals who distinguished themselves in the fights against the Turks. Today in Boka Kotorska we can find the Dobrota Lace exposed in the Church of Saint Nicholas in Perast, in the Saint Typhon Cathedral, the Maritime Museum and in private collections. The written records mention the girl Jelena from the Drago Family who already in 1333 manufactured reticella lace which she had gifted to the churches in Kotor and Dubrovnik….   

The village of Špiljare is situated between the Kotor walls and the Saint John fortress. The old walking serpentine road features harsh ambiance, vicinity of the Kotor walls, the church from the 15th century and remains of the traditional architecture. Špiljari village is set at elevation of 636 meters and one can reach it along the old road built by the Austrian Monarchy in order to connect the hinterland of Montenegro with Kotor, then a part of the Austria-Hungary Monarchy which ruled Montenegro for 104 years. In ancient times until the late 19th century this mule track road was the only connection of Cetinje and littoral and to the outside world as supply line for essential provisions. Mule caravans loaded with various goods used this road that connected Montenegro with the Tabacina market in Kotor. Montenegrins were bringing woods, skin, suet-animal fat, cheese, smoked ham and smoked sheep meat from the Njegusi village and other hinterland villages to Kotor market for trade.

The local market of Kotor is one more amazing attraction of the town, as the market life ever since has pulsed here. We wanted to share with you an interesting story about the Kotor market by Marianne van Twillert-Wennekes. In the beginning of the 20th century – when Kotor was part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire – the serpentine donkey trail that leads from Mount Lovćen to Kotor was used a lot, mostly by Montenegrin women from the mountains going to the “bazaar” in Kotor to sell their farm produces there. The trail was steep and they had very heavy burdens on their backs. They entered the town of Kotor carrying wine, ham, cheese and agricultural products. This was bartered against salt, olive oil, clothes and other luxurious goods. And in the afternoon they returned home, uphill, to their villages at an altitude of 1000 meters or more…