History

Old Town Sights  Through Centuries

Coat-of-Arms

Symbolic of the Coat of Arms – Kotor is guarded and protected by its patron, St. Tryphon, it’s never conquerable fortress, and lion as a symbol of its defenders’ bravery.

Town Through Centuries

Ancient drawings incised into the Bokelian rocks testify to centuries-old human settlements on this always strategically attractive place cut into the southeastern Adriatic coast, prehistoric drawings of Lipci. For centuries now, people have mingled here, rulers have changed.

The Illyrian period ( III century B.C. to 168. B.C.) notes Risan, together with the Bay of Risan, as the capital settlement of Boka Bay. In Roman times (168. B.C. to 476. A.D.) it is two towns that had been being mentioned: Rhisinium and Acruvium (later called Decatera and presently Kotor).

Acruvium – Kotor in Roman Time

The Byzantine Empire rules in this area for seven centuries (476-1185) and eventually, resisting to the influx of Slavs during the VII century, fortifies in Kotor. Since it, at the same time, loses its hinterland, it turns to the sea and the organization of life-based upon marine trade. In the XI century Kotor is a part of the Zeta monarchy, but with a specific organization of authority dictated by the presence of the Byzantine Empire as well.

In the XII century Kotor falls into Medieval Serbian state (1185-1371). Under dinasty Nemanići Kotor becomes the main port, thus, marine trade and commercial routes towards the interior enable the economic rise of the town, the development of handicraft and arts. Nemanići himself has his court in Kotor. The organization of the town authority had the characteristics of town self-government based on the town’s Constitution and its independent court of law.

Short rules by Hungaro-Croatian king (1371-1384) and Bosnian king Tvrtko (1384-1391), preceded the period of the independence of Kotor (1391-1420). However, restless surroundings did not allow economic prosperity of the town, thus Kotor searches for a powerful patron, the Venetian Republic, which remains in this region almost 4 centuries (1420-1797). This is also a period of terrible natural catastrophes (disastrous earthquakes, especially the one from 1667., then the epidemic of plague more than once ), as well as of great wars and sieges.

 

The First Engraved Kotor in 1598 – Siege of the Hairudin Barbarossa in 1539

The inhabitants of Kotor manage to resist the invasion of Turks, who conquer all the surrounding settlements, thanks to its fortifications. So, in 1539 they successfully defended the town from a famous Turkish admiral Hairudin Barbarosa. The Barbarosa besieged the town with 2000 ships and 30.000 soldiers but still didn’t manage to conquer it.

Then followed the Cypriot War (1570-1573), then Candian war (1645-1669) with a few dangerous sieges of Kotor by the Turks, and finally Morean war (1684-1699).

Cattaro (Kotor) 1615, Henry de Beauvau, Relation iournaliere du voyage du Levant, source: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

In the XVII century, there are constant conflicts with the inhabitants of Montenegro. In the meantime, Kotor, as a new maritime center as well as other neighboring settlements: Perast, Dobrota, Prcanj, and Stoliv, gets stronger and stronger.


After the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797., its territories were divided between Austria and France. Kotor was given to Austria and during this first Austrian rule (to 1806) Boka has the status of an independent province, directly responsible to the Court office in Vienna. The peace treaty signed in Bratislava in 1805. brought new changes, thus in Boka and Kotor starts the period of the Russian rule which lasts for 17 months. After the Tilzit piece treaty (July 7th, 1807) Boka was given to France. The period of French rule (1807-1813) is characterized by incessant unrests by the inhabitants of Boka because of the cancellation of their centuries-old privileges. They often offer organized resistance together with Montenegrins. As the consequence followed a temporary rule of these two united provinces, the so-called “Central Commission”, on October 29th, 1813.

However, after the agreement between Russia and Austria, following the peace treaty in Paris in 1814, Boka came under Austria. This was the second period of Austrian rule (1814-1918).

Cattaro (Kotor) Shooting 1840, lithograph, drawing: J. Alt, lithograph: Joseph Zahradniczek the Younger

After World War I Boka is a part of Kingdom of Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian, later Yugoslavia and from 2006. part of Montenegro.

Fortification

It’s historical core expanded into a triangular space between the hills and the sea, and the Škurda river and the springs Gurdic. Building started on the walls during the Illyrian period and continued until the 18th century.

Kotor City Walls – Skurda River

Inside the powerful city ramparts, the urban matrix was preserved, mostly its medieval spatial layout with its bendy streets and numerous city squares and “marketplaces”, where the main urbanistic accents – churches and palates.

Around them are insulae with civic houses, whose façades are made of beautifully treated stone, native or Korcula, which gives the whole harmony and specific Mediterranean color.

Powerful town ramparts surround the historic city core, stretching along the hem of Mount St. John to its peak, as the most prominent strategic point. Bedemets grew successively in parallel with the expansion of the city. It is not known reliably when it started with their construction.

The oldest parts are at the northern gate to the Skurda (Škurda, Шкурда) River, and in the southwestern part along the sea.

Their vertical structure was later, when firearms began to be used, reinforced by sloping contraffs on the outside.

Since the 15th century, Kotor became a border town and, due to the constant danger of Turkish attacks, expanded and strengthened the ramparts, built the northern door (1540), reconstructing the western (1555) and multiplying the southern gate with the gorge and bastion Gurdic.

Along the sea and along the Skurdа River, more bastions are built with the dominant Citadel. On the ramparts, they worked until the 19th century, especially in their upper part.

Kotor City Walls – The Springs Gurdic – Southwestern

City Walls

The City Walls of Kotor encircle the Old Town from the quays and harbor in the west and extend up the mountains to the east. The Walls are 4.5 km in length making them twice the length of Dubrovnik’s Ramparts.
Entering the walls from Square of Salad you will be faced with a steep climb up past a residential area until you emerge looking out over the red roofs of the Old Town Kotor. The climb from here on isn’t as strenuous. The best thing about these fortifications is that it is not just a race to the top to enjoy the view.

There are plenty of places of interest to occupy your mind from the fantastic views as you climb upwards. The Church of Our Lady of Remedy is located about halfway up the mountain and there are various ancient castles, outposts, towers, churches, and chapels to explore before you reach the summit and St. John Fortress or San Giovanni Castello.

Church of the Our Lady of the Remedy Altar – Oltar Crkve Gospe od Zdravlja

 These fortifications have been left a little overgrown and rugged, which is lovely to see. Safety comes second to originality. In Western Europe, the steps and walls of the walls would be overburdened with hand and guard rails, litter bins, cement reinforcement and scaffolding.

The pathways and steps of Kotor’s mountain fortifications have been left generally uninterrupted, with grass, wildflowers and loose, sloping stones, resulting in an interesting hike to the top.

Don’t get me wrong, the climb is not unsafe, you just need to watch your step in places and it makes for realistic, untouched surroundings. On a quiet day, you really get the feeling that you have discovered a lost world that not many have explored for centuries. Really adds to the enjoyment of the climb.

 

  • Outer Castle fortifications

Before you reach St. John’s Castle, you will pass various different Bastions, Towers, Forts, and Positions. In the immediate vicinity of San Giovanni Castello are what are known as The Small Fort, St. Marko Position, Soranco Position and Renier Position.

As you approach the fortress you will first pass by The Small Fortress, the ruins of which you can explore. Continuing on you will pass the towering St. Marko Position and then the smaller Soranco and Renier Positions before reaching St. John’s itself.

  • St. John’s Castle – San Giovanni ( Tvrđava Sveti Ivan, Тврђава Свети Иван)

St. John’s castle sits proudly at the top of the hill and after climbing the steps to the top, you will be rewarded with superb views back down the mountain and down along the Boka.
The roots of the castle’s construction date from Illyrian times but there are Byzantine influences from the 6th century when Justinian I reconstructed the fortress. The layout and appearance of the fortress have changed over the centuries but the Byzantine influence is still undeniable.
Much of the fortress is in ruins but you can still quiet safely explore them…after crossing a particularly dodgy looking footbridge! The castle is overgrown and crumbling but this adds to the originality of the place. Just watch your footing and you will be fine.

Climbing the interior steps you will reach the roof where the Montenegrin flag flies proudly and from where you can get the reward you deserve after your climb…just sit back, relax and enjoy the view!

Church of the Our Lady of the Remedy – Crkva Gospe od Zdravlja

  • The Church of the Our Lady of Remedy

The Church of the Our Lady of Remedy is the known given to this church by the local tourist office but the Church is also known as the Church of the Our Lady of Salvation. The church dates from 1518 and was constructed by survivors of the plague which struck the city, which explains the dedication.

The church was locked but you can easily peer through the railings into the dimly lit interior. The sparsely furnished but beautiful interior is center on a small altar with a statue of Our Lady standing over it.

The church sitting halfway up the mountain and overlooking the Old Town, harbor and all the way down the bay, lends itself beautifully to photographs and the church with Bay of Boka in the background does paint a pretty picture and is my over-riding image of Kotor.

  • View

You will not be able to control yourself from stopping at every turn on your way up the hill to enjoy the views. The views just get better and better the further up you go and from the top, you will be treated to superb views up the Boka. From St. John’s Castle at the top you will be able to see as far down the Boka towards Perast.

You will be able to easily spot the village of Prcanj on the opposite side of the bay and Dobrota on the Kotor side of the bay.

The first day we climbed the walls we had a slightly overcast day but the visibility was still clear and the clouds added a touch of atmosphere to the sight, especially as the sun was setting and gave the sky a lovely touch of pink. You really feel like you’re up among the clouds. However, when we woke the next morning we were treated to bright blue skies and lovely sunshine so we decided to climb the walls again to enjoy the contrasting views in sunny weather.

The views were just as spectacular but looked totally different to the day before…not as moody and atmospheric as the day before but beautiful in a more conventional way. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy both climates during your stay and have time, you should climb the fortifications twice to enjoy the contrasting views.

Old Town Gates

Main Gate – The Sea Gate

Most visitors to Kotor will enter the Old Town via the Main Gate also known as The Sea Gate or West Gate. This ancient gate leads from the quay, through the thick town walls, and into Sqaure of Arms (Trg Od Oružja, Трг од Оружја).

Not Kotor’s oldest gate in that it dates from the 16th century and and are constructed at the time of Venetian Providur Bernard  Renier. A long time ago the sea reached the very entrance. The gate was built in the Renaissance and Baroque style, the proof of which is the pillar and the arch done in the Bunjato technique. The gate is surrounded by massive stone blocks and stone pillars. The Sea Gate has a vaulted passage.

Over the gate, as you enter, there is a small stone plaque with the carving ‘21 XI 1944‘. This plaque commemorates the resistance and triumph of Montenegrin partisans you fought to liberate Kotor from Axis control during WWII

Interior of the Sea Gate

On the right side there is Gothic relief from the 15th century showing Our Lady with Christ. On the left side is St. Tryphon with the model of the city and to the right St. Bernard holding „Hostia“.

River Gate – The Northern Gate

I would imagine a lot of visitors miss this Old Town gate, located as it is in a quiet, northern corner of the Old Town right beside the Church of St. Ozana. The River Gate also is known as the Northern Gate is slightly older than the Main/Sea Gate, being constructed in 1540. The River Gate is one of the most scenic gates in that it exits out of the Old Town and onto a bridge crossing the Skurda Canal. To the right, as you leave you will see the most northernly lower fortifications known as the Riva Bastion, dating from 1516. To the left, as you cross the canal is the Bembo Bastion from 1540, which has been converted into a small amphitheater.

Gate of the river’s or The Northern Gate was built in the Renaissance style to preserve a memory of Kotor’s victory over famous Turkish admiral Hajrudin Barbarosa in 1539. there is an inscription above it, saying that Barbarosa besieged the town with 2000 ships and 30.000 soldiers, but still did not manage to conquer it.

·  Directions: Walk north from St. Luca’s Square towards the Square of Wood (Pjaca Od Drva, Пјаца од Дрва). Pass St. Ozana’s Church on the right and you will see the Gate in the corner of the square.

The Gurdic Gate – the Southern Gate

The Gurdic Gate, also known as the Southern Gate is the oldest standing Gate in Kotor, was once hardened with three belts of gateways. It testifies that this gate was very important for the town. It was separated from land by a drawbridge. This bridge used to be lowered on the strange river Gurdic. It is strange because there is no river bed to it. During the rainy days it boils out from the cave muzzle and forces back the sea water. During the summer time the river disappears in Lovcen abysses and sea water fills in the gap again.

The Southern Gate dates from the 13th century but has been modified over the centuries. Beside is the Gurdic Bastion, which was added in 1470 to strengthen the fortifications of the Gurdic Gate. To enter the Old Town through the Gurdic Gate you cross a drawbridge across a moat/small lake.
The Gate marks the beginning of the outer City Walls which stretch up the hillside behind. The St. Francis Position is located just up the hill behind the gate and bastion and further up is the St. Stephen Position.

At night the Gate and Bastion and beautifully illuminated as are the positions and walls stretching up the hill.

·  Directions: From the Main gate walk along the harbor front to the southern end of the quay. The Gurdic Gate is the last point of the City Walls.

Old Town Squares

Main Old Town Square  – Arms Square

The Square of Arms is at the same time the largest town’s square. This name was given to it because in the Venetian period it was the place where arms were repaired and stored. It is surrounded by the beautiful Duke Palace, Napoleone Theatre, The Clock Tower, Arsenal building and Tower Of Town Guards.

The Clock Tower

The Clock Tower is one of the symbols of Kotor. It occupies the central place in the square opposite the main gate. It was built in 1602 but it is supposed not to have been finished at the time of the 1667 earthquake, as on that occasion the Tower considerably inclined towards the west i.e. to the sea. Later there had been some attempts to put it back in upright position but after the 1979 catastrophic earthquake it returned to the same position. The Clock Tower was partly built in the Baroque style while the northern and eastern façade is in the Gothic style.

Below the Clock Tower there is the Pillar of Shame which was used for punishment of an accused person by placing him/her in front of the Pillar so that all the citizens of Kotor would know for his/her offence.

The Tower of Town Guards

The Tower of Town Guards, the lean-to the Duke’s Palace, is an evident example of military architecture – built to serve the military purpose only. It was built of high-quality stone against the interior side of western wall. The Tower was devoided of any architectonic ornaments. In the 1979 earthquake it was destroyed to such extent that it had to be break down up to the level of the first floor and then restored in stone in original size.

Napoleon Theatre Building

Napoleon Theatre was built in the 18th century. In 1810 the French occupying authorities reconstructed this building to establish regular theatre, one of the first in this country. To turn it into the theatre, they had to break down the northern façade. This building was considerably damaged in the 1979 earthquake when its southern façade was almost completely destroyed. The restoration of the façade was carried out in all details by academic sculptors and builders from Macedonia. The interior of the object was entirely adapted for an exclusive restaurant and entertainment object.

Arsenal building

Arsenal building is situated in the north-east corner of the Square of Arms, which was named by it. Its locality was determined by the terms of that place, and also there was a very powerful bastion Citadel with the castle Kampana, situated in the north-west corner of the town gates. In this part of town was a huge shipyard on the seaside, in front of the bastion Citadela.

At the Square of Arms, in front of Arsenal, was a meeting for people who protected the old town afore the invasion of war danger, for example, we can mention one of the most famous battles whose leader was Hajrudin Barbarosa, in 1539. and who intended to overmaster Kotor, but after three days, his army had to give up.

In this old building, was also facilitated naval army, called “The Saints Tryphon“. Before the old town changed its look completely at the beginning of the 16th years of this century, this building has a very tall and rapid roof, and only one floor which was stayed on the very powerful arcades above the ground floor, with a tittle on its front door which says that it was “The public arsenal of material for the  basin staff”.

The entrance for this building was from the main Tower, with stone stairways, which was removed at the end of the nineteenth century, when the Arsenal building was turned into a huge bakery for an army, which was catering Garrison in Kotor.

When the Arsenal building was reconstructed for the present functionality, were built sideway walls up to the height of the second floor, so today there are groundfloor and two floors.

St. Luca’s Square – Trg Sv. Luke

Walking east from the northern end of Arms Square you will soon come to St. Luca’s Square (Trg Sv. Luke, Трг Св. Луке) one of Kotor’s most pituresque squares.

The shady L-shaped public square is dominated by The Church of St. Nicholas, while the smaller, quaint Church of St. Luca sits at the intersection of the of the L shape.

The Church of St. Luca dates from 1195 while the Church of St. Nicholas is much newer dating from 1902.

Museum Square – Trg Muzeja 

Walking south from St. Luca’s Square you will come to the smaller Museum Square or Grgurina Square.

This shady square has a variety of cafes, bars, and restaurants whose outdoor seating takes up most of the square.

The Maritime Museum (Pomorski muzej, Поморски музеј) is located here in this square and is housed in the former Grgurina Palace from 1732.

St. Tryphon’s Square – Trg Sv. Tripuna

One of Kotor’s largest, busiest and most famous squares, St. Tryphon’s Square (Trg Sv. Tripuna, Трг Св. Трипуна) is located in the centre of the Kotor Old Town.

The square is home to the most significant institutions of the town: the building of Municipality, Bishopric, Historical Achieves, the Institution for Protection for Protection of Cultural Monuments and Cathedral of St. Tryphon.

Bishopric is the oldest institution in Kotor. Today’s building of Bishopric is located next to the Cathedral of St. Tryphon and also belonged to the family Drago Palace.

This open square is generally free of cafe’s and bars (apart from a small cafe in the western corner) which gives it a more airy, open atmosphere than Kotor’s other squares.

Square of Salad – Trg od salate

Square of Salad (Trg od salate, Трг од салате) just south of St. Tryphon’s  Square (Trg Sv. Tripuna, Трг Св. Трипуна) is one of Kotor’s most picturesque squares.

This small square used to be the place where local women sell their products ( salad, vegetable..)

The double level tiered square is a great place to relax in the sun (or shade, depending on the sun’s location!!!) It is also the location of one of the entrances to the mountain side fortifications and walls.

Entering the square through an alley leading from Sv. Triphon Square, you will pass the 18th-century Vrakijen Palace. Further to the south is the Venetian Military Hospital from 1769, which is now a Cultural Centre.

Square of Flour – Trg od brašna

Walking south from the eastern end of Arms Square, beetwean  the Bizanty Palace and Beskuca Palace onward you will soon come to the Square of Flour. It was named after the warehouses for flour which once were there. The palaces of noble families Pima and Buca are in the square.

Palaces In Old Town

Duke’s Palace – Palata Providura

The Duke’s Palace or Proveditor’s Palace in Kotor was built in the 18th century. It acquired this name because it served as the seat of the town’s dukes, i.e. proveditors, at one time. During the Venetian rule in the Bay of Boka the dukes were appointed by Venice.

Together with the Tower of the town’s guard it makes almost all eastern façade of the town. It served for various military purposes. Although without any architectonic decorations except the Renaissance consoles that support the balcony it nevertheless presents one of the more important architectonic monuments of Kotor.

Bizanty Palace – Palata Bizanti

The compound of the palace of a renowned noble Kotor family Bizanty (famelja Bizanti, фамеља Бизанти) partly facing the main town square- Square of Arms, and partly the street leading to the cathedral and the neighboring square, Square of Flour. Almost all the buildings in the block were owned by the Bizanty family.

The Archives sources mentioned it in the 14th century, and the oldest traces of construction as part of the palace are linked to the Romanesque period.

After the 1667 earthquake the palace changed its original look. The northern wing of the palace was added, which is evident from the coat of arms with the initials of Nikola Bizanty and the year of building 1674 on the eastern wall of the palace. Both wings of the palace are connected with the interior courtyard with a staircase which gives the palace Renaissance form. The windows, portals, staircase and the well with the family coat of arms have the characteristics of the Baroque style.

The most important reconstructions were done after a big earthquake in 1667. The palace extended southwards, therefore neighboring Church of St. Nicholas was part of it, from the 14th century, which used to be the seat of Kotor’s mariners.

 

Beskuca Palace – Palata Beskuća

Beskuca Palace (palata Beskuća, палата Бескућа) stands opposite Bizanty Palace, in the street leading from Square of Arms to Square of Flour

It was built in 1776 on the site of some earlier buildings in a simple form without any decorative elements. The only decorative element worth mentioning is the Gothic portal that belonged to the Bizanty family. The portal presents the real masterpiece of the floral Gothic. The Palace belonged to the died out family Beskuca, which was particularly powerful by the end of the 13th century when they became a member of the nobility.

The family legend says that the Count Jozo Beskuca (local: Beskuća – eng: Homeless) wanted to have a hundred houses in his possession and change his surname into Stokuca (local: sto kuća – eng: hundred houses), but he did not succeed in it. After the family Beskuca died out by the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Palace became the property of the Kotor Community.

Pima Palace – Palata Pima

Beautiful building at the Square of Flour, between the Square of Arms and St. Tryphon’s Square. Pima Palace (palat Pima, палата Пима) occupies the eastern side of Flour Square. It belonged to the noble family Pima (famelja Pima, фамеља Пима) whose active presence in the life of Kotor can be followed from the 14th till the 18th century.

The palace was built at the end of the 17th century, probably after the great earthquake of 1667. The main facade is fascinating with the porch and big stone terrace. The palace portal with the terrace was built in the Renaissance style while the windows and upper balcony which lies on the twelve consoles were built in the Baroque style. The balcony rail is the work of Kotor blacksmiths. Above the main portal there is the coat of arms of the family Pima supported by two angels.

The palace was reconstructed after the 1979 earthquake.The stone was fine cut and it was from Korcula, and Renaissance compositions skillfully blended with Baroque basis.

Buca Palace – Palata Buća

Buca Palace (Palata Buća, Палата Бућа) occupies the western side of Flour Square opposite to the palace Pima. Famous Kotor family Buca (famelja Buća, фамеља Бућа) had in the 14th and 15th  century many known persons – economists, finance experts, diplomats, theologists. Among them the most known Nikola Buca, Czar  Dusan’s protovestiar.

Today’s look of this palace does not depict the historical importance of the family Buca, one of the most eminent families in Kotor. It was a large and distinguished palace of the Buca family. The oldest part of the building is Romanesque-Gothic, and the floors are in mature Gothic. The original Gothic palace was built at the beginning of the 14th century but it was considerably destroyed in some of the series of earthquakes that hit the town. It was reconstructed after the 1667 earthquake when it assumed today’s shape. From luxurious Gothic palace remained only one ‘bifora’ or a window with two arches on the western side that can be seen only from the town walls.

Through numerous renovations that followed, the palace has lost its authentic character.

Vrakijen Palace – Palata Vrakijen

Vrakijen Palace ( Vrakijen palata, Вракијен палата) is situated on the square known as Square of Salad, south of St. Tryphon’s Cathedral. The palace belonged to the noble family Vrakijen (famelja Vrakijen, фамеља Вракијен).

Built in late Baroque style, with decorations and floor mosaic were partially kept.

Drago Palace – Palata Drago

Drago Palace (palata Drago, палата Драго) is situated on St. Tryphon’s Square, near Bishop Castle. The palace belonged to the famous noble family Drago (famelja Drago, фамеља Драго). Between the 13th and 18th centuries, the family had many distinguished members active in the fields of culture and arts, and the economic and political life of Kotor.

The palace was built in the 15th and 15th centuries with all elements of Gothic style. The palace consists of two wings, southeastern and northern. Consoles are beautifully sculptured in domed passage beneath the palace – these are floral decorations, angels’ heads, and family coat-of-arms in mature Gothic from the 15th century. As a decorative element there is often a dragon which is on the coat of arms of the family Drago. The windows and the portals are done in the Gothic style and nicely chiseled out. The palace was damaged in the 1667 and 1979 earthquakes.

Today it houses the Regional Institution for Protection of Cultural Monuments.

Grgurina Palace – Palata Grgurina

Grgurina Palace (palata Grgurina, палата Гргурина) is situated on the square known as Grgurina Square or Museum Square, it is the central urban part. The palace belonged to the noble family Grgurina (famelja Grgurina, фамеља Гргурина). The family settled in Kotor from the town of Kopar in Istria in the 17th century and soon acquired the status of Kotor nobility.

It was built in the 18th century in the Baroque style, with the façade on which dominate stone balconies with balustrades. Particularly interesting is originally preserved lay out of the floor rooms according to the Venetian pattern which says: the master’s house has four rooms and one parlour.

Today in the palace is situated the Maritime Museum whose collection shows development of maritime affairs and cultural level of the inhabitants of the Montenegrin Littoral and Boka Bay (Boka Kotorska) in the past.

 

Lombardic Palace – Palata Lombardić

Lombardic Palace (palata Lombardić, палата Ломбардић) is situated in the northern part of the urban core of Kotor. The palace consists of a block of buildings, which face St. Luke’s Square on the north, and a small square with a water-pump – fountain Karampana on the south.

 

Karampana fountain in the past was the only source of fresh water in the town. In present form, the fountain derives from the Baroque Epoch, from the end of the seventeenth or the beginning of the eighteenth century. The forged rail is the work of an unknown master blacksmith.

Grubonja Palace – Palata Grubonja

Grubonja Palace (palata Grubonja, палата Грубоња) is situated near the north town gate, behind St. Ozana’s church. According to tradition, the palace belonged to the noble family Grubonja ( famelja Grubonja,фамеља Грубоња), which is mentioned in the Notary Books of Kotor from the 15th century. It is possible that the family settled in Kotor from Zadar, where it had been mentioned in the 12-13th centuries.

Churches In Old Town

St Luca’s Church – Crkva Sv. Luke

St Luca’s Church (Crkva Sv. Luke, Црква Св. Луке) was built by Mauro Kacafrangi in 1195 of which testifies the ktitor’s inscription on the western façade. This is a modest one-nave church whose main nave is longitudinally divided into three parts. St. Luca’s church has characteristics of the Romanesque and Byzantine architecture.

This is the only building in the town which did not suffer any major damage during earthquakes. It was depicted with frescoes soon after its construction, of which remained only some fragments on the southern wall. The church altar was the work of Dascal Dimitrije, the founder of the Rafailovic school of painting from the 17th century.

Once this church was Catholic, but later it was given to Orthodox people to use. Thus the church has two altars – the Catholic and Orthodox. The church floor is made of tombstones of common tombs of Kotor citizens, as burials took place in the very church until the 1930s.

St. Nicola’s Church – Crkva sv. Nikole

The building of the St. Nicola’s Church (Crkva Sv. Nikole, Црква Св. Николе) started in 1902 and according to the inscriptions on the façade it was finished in 1909. it was built in the Pseudo-Byzantine style as one-nave church. The main façade is framed with two bell towers. Of special value in the church is iconostasis of the church made in 1908.

St. Ozana’с Church – Crkva Sv. Ozane

St. Ozana’s Church (Crkva Sv. Ozane, Црква Св. Озане) or Church of St. Mary of the River was built in 1221 on fundaments of the old Christian Episcopal basilica from the sixth century. In this church, once it was baptistery – which was discovered in the research after the 1979 earthquake. The church depicted with frescoes in the 14th century by pictoresgreci. Today in the church there are relics of Saint Ozana, and that is why the citizens of Kotor also call this Church Blessed Ozana (Crkva Blažena Ozana, Црква Блажена Озана).

Church of St. Clara – Crkva Sv. Klare

Church of St. Clara (Crkva Sv. Klare, Црква Св. Кларе) with Franciscan monastery derives from the eighteenth century. The church has a luxurious Baroque altar, the work of the sculptor Francesco Kabjanka. On the place of today’s Franciscan monastery once there was women’s Benedictine monastery with the church of  St. Bartholomew which does not exist today. The monastery has a very rich library with a great number of old books, printed from 1450 to 1500.

Church of St. Mihailo – Crkva Sv. Mihaila

Church of St. Mihailo (Crkva Sv. Mihaila, Црква Св. Михаила) build on 14th or 15th century, like the inscriptions in the walls say, on the place where in the 10th century existed even more bigger church. After the earthquake the church was reconstructed. Today in this church there is Lapidarium where we can find collection of stone monuments.

St. Tryphon Cathedral

The Romanesque church built in 1166 on the fundaments of the small Romanesque church from the ninth century. It is three-nave Basilica, extensively restored several times, especially after the 1667 earthquake when the bell towers and a part of the façade were destroyed.

After the earthquake, new bell towers were made in the Baroque style. The rose windows on the façade are those which attract special attention. Once they were Romanesque but today they are with Gothic-Renaissance motives. St. Tryphon’s Cathedral has in its possession a rich collection of art paintings preserving the works of Marin Lovra Dobricevic, Tripo Kokolj, Paolo Veroveza, Hieronim Santa Croce and other great artists.

The church has a rich collection of gold and silver relics, the works of local masters from the period from the 14th to the 18th centuries. The interior of the Cathedral is depicted with frescoes done by Greek masters-pictures Greci. The most important part of the interior decoration of the Cathedral is the Romanesque-Gothic ciborium from the 14th century above the main altar. On the wall of the apse, there is the Golden Altarpiece with figures of Christ, the Our Lady, St. John the Baptist and St. Tryphon and 16 other saints. It is the masterpiece of Kotor goldsmiths’ work of the first half of the 15th century.

The church has a rich collection of gold and silver relics, the works of local masters from the period from the 14th to the 18th centuries.

Maritime Museum

The palace Grgurina belonged to the noble family Grgurina. It was built in the 18th century in the Baroque style, with the facade on which dominate stone balconies with balustrades.

Particularly interesting is originally preserved layout of the floor rooms according to the Venetian pattern which says: the master’s house has four rooms and one parlor.

Today it is the home of the Maritime Museum. It’s collection shoe development of maritime affairs and cultural level of the inhabitants of the Montenegrin Littoral and Boka Bay (Boka Kotorska)  in the past.

Exuberant maritime history Bay of Boka (the Gulf of Kotor) and Montenegrin coast can be best observed on the premises and among the collections of the famous Maritime Museum in Kotor. In addition to many historical records and objects, the models of old ships, sailboats, with which brave mariners from this area sailed the world astonish visitors most.

Their portraits, pictures of ships, many photos, parts of ships and old instruments are evidence of development of maritime transportation and make this collection unique in the world. Under the roof of this museum, among other things, every curious person can find out about the history and many century long traditions of the famous Boka Navy.