Ulcinj-Bar South Coast of Montenegro

Ulcinj-Bar South Coast Adriatic beaches are considered the finest in Montenegro, and perhaps the finest among all beaches in the Mediterranean – Adriatic region. The Ulcinj region of Montenegro traces its history to the prehistoric times of the Illyrians, a people of Indo-European origin. The old town of Ulcinj which has not been investigated in terms of archaeology, spreads on the surface of 2,5 hectares, and has been founded in the 4th century, about what witness numerous unearthed water cisterns, tombs, stone furniture and foundation of a church. Legend has it that the scenic old walled town of Ulcinj was founded in the 5th century BC by the Colchinians. Several centuries later the town was captured by the Romans and was afforded special privileges and independent status under Roman law.  During the Roman reign the Olcinium experienced special status as opida civium romanorum, and later as the independent city as municipium. Due to its specific geographic location, relief and the gentle climate, the town of Ulcinj has always been the target of various invaders and rulers. In 1183 the town came into the hands of the Serbian grand duke Stefan Nemanja when it became one of the most prosperous and important coastal settlements of the Serbian Medieval state with mint and developed connections and trade with the Medieval state of Rashka. The ruler of Medieval state of Zeta and Maritime ares – Djuradj Stratimirovic Balsic (1385-1403) lived in Ulcinj, and he was buried here. The famous fortified Balsica kula – tower of Balsic family in the present old town of Ulcinj dates from the reign of this powerful family. Venetians ruled the town of Ulcinj in 1423 which remained in their hands until 1571 when it was conquered and destroyed by Ottomans. Ulcinj was ruled by the Ottomans until 1878, when after the Berlin Congress it was liberated and in 1880 became part of the Princedom of Montenegro. The entire Ulcinj fortification is encircled by monumental walls that have been constantly ruined and restored and extended during its long and turbulent history.

The breathtaking town of Ulcinj with its hinterland makes an area with distinctive and extremely rich cultural heritage. The old historical town of Ulcinj itself, the fortress – Citadel, once was the Hellenic acropolis, while the present appearance is connected to the Middle Ages. Within the old town of Ulcinj there is the Church of Saint Mary dating from 1510. This church was in 1639 converted into a mosque. After reconstruction this structure nowadays hosts the Memorial Homeland Museum of Ulcinj. Specially interesting are the antique podium with the Hellenic inscription to the Artemis, and two axes from the Bronze age of the Shkoder-Dalmatian style, and some Ionian capitols exposed in the lapidarium, and parts of the small church from the 9th century, as well as artifacts from the Ottoman heritage.

The remains of the Medieval town of Svač, 25 km northeast of Ulcinj, on the shore of the Sas Lake is first mentioned in 1067. The Svac Fortress remains are of outstanding cultural and historical importance, due to the assumption that it possessed as many churches as a year has days. On the ruins of the ancient town of Svac there are visible foundations of eight churches. Town of Svac was entirely demolished in 1242 by the Mongols but it was reconstructed by the Queen Jelena – wife of King Uros. Among old structures, the Church of Saint John distinguishes itself, located in the close proximity of the ruins of town of Svac, which has been built in 1300 as per researchers finds. The Queen Jelena brought here the best painters from Greece to decorate the church interior. The old town of Svac was in 1571 completely destroyed by the Turks accompanied by the Arvanite başıbozuks – irregular Ottoman army units which had a reputation for bravery, but also as an undisciplined group, notorious for looting and preying on civilians as a result of a lack of regulation. The researcher team of mr Mladen Zagarčanin discovered remains of the Serbian and Roumeli pottery in the same layer which clearly testify on presence of the Serbs in this area for centuries.

Ada Bojana is an artificially created river island. In the 19th century, at his location two smaller islands where located between which a ship called Merito was sunk. Though the years, the wreck of this ship and the two islands nearby, gathered river sediment and created this beautiful island. Ada Bojana has a triangular shape. It is touched from one side by the Adriatic Sea and the other sides by the river Bojana. The beach facing the sea is sandy, 3km long and is a heaven for sailing. On the river banks of Ada Bojana there are many fish restaurants that catch the fish in the old time-honored methods.