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The Picturesque City of Kotor Montengero

Updated on November 20, 2013
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Kotor Cruise Ship - A view from the fortress

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The walled city of Kotor provides the most dramatic setting in Montenegro. Located on the Gulf of Kotor, the city is a stunning sight characterized by tiny public squares, cobbled labyrinth-like lanes, aristocratic mansions and grand churches.

The Bay of Kotor surrounding the city is considered by many as a fjord, but is actually a submerged river canyon, and is recognized to be one of the most beautiful in the world. If you want to fully explore the beauty of the Bay of Kotor, arrange a boat tour. Most tourist boat trips bring passengers to the two islands in the middle of the bay. These islands, which are called Sveti Djordje and Gospa od Skrpijela boast pristine surroundings and tranquil atmosphere. The Bay of Kotor, as well as the limestone cliffs of Orjen, all contribute to Kotor’s picturesque landscape reputation. Over the years, this reputation has brought a steady number of tourists and visits from cruise ships.

Magnificent view of the Kotor Bay

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Map of Kotor City

A markerkotor city -
Kotor, Montenegro
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Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor.

The old Stari Grad - one of the most iconic places in Kotor City

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Tour at the old medieval town of Stari Grad

The Old Medieval Town (Stari Grad) of Kotor will be the highlight of your visit to the city. The walls, built by the Republic of Venice, envelop the town and are masterfully placed around St. John Hill’s steep slopes. Within the Old Town, you will be treated to impressive and beautiful buildings showing classic Venetian architecture. Most of the buildings and cultural monuments were built during the 12th to 14th century but are well-preserved. These structures are the reasons why the city has been listed as a UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site.


The extraordinary view of Kotor City St. Tryphon

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Churches are an integral part of the Old Town and are excellent representations of the great architectural influences that dominated the city. During your visit, drop by the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, which is a remnant of Roman culture and has become a recognizable symbol of Kotor. It was originally built in the 11th century but has to be reconstructed because of earthquakes.

St. Luke Church is not just a tourist spot but a center of religious worship in Kotor City

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The chapel within the church is the final resting place for the patron saint of Kotor, St. Tryphon. The St. Nicolas Church is also an important site as it is the largest Orthodox Church built in the Old Town. Other notable churches in the area are the 13th century Church of Saint Luke, the 15th century Church of the Healing Mother of God and the 13th century Church of Saint Mary.

The view of Napoleon's Theater

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The Prince Palace and Napoleon Theater

Aside from splendid churches, you should also not miss the chance of visiting the The Prince Palace and the Napoleon’s Theatre, which are considered to be precious architectural treasures of Kotor. Another interesting attraction to visit is the Maritime Museum, situated within the Grgurina Palace. The museum showcases the flourishing seafaring days of the city through exhibits of old photographs, weapons, model ships, weapons and uniforms.

Watch this video and feel like touring the entire streets of Montenegro

You may gain access to the Old Town through its three entrances, but the Sea Gate has always served as the main entrance. Exploring the streets of Old Kotor can be quite challenging and adventurous because the city was intentionally designed to become a huge maze as a defensive strategy. If you want a real physical challenge, you can climb up the 1350 steps to St. John’s fortress to get amazing views of the bay and the town. You can also have fun exploring the small squares, trendy boutiques, cafes and open bars all around Stari Grad.

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    • Mary Cimeni profile image
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      Mary Cimeni 3 years ago from Philippines

      you're welcome Kuttingxedge. If you'll write a hub sharing your experience and own discoveries in Kotor, I'd surely keep an eye on that. ;-) Good luck on your visit and enjoy the coast!

    • kuttingxedge profile image

      S.P. Kelly 4 years ago from Just outside of international extradition agreements

      I have always wanted to visit Montenegro but now that desire is stronger than ever. My first stop will definitely be in Kotor, thanks to this article. Thanks for sharing and posting beautiful pictures!