“What belongs to others we don’t want, what is ours we will never surrender.”
These words hang over the entrance to one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Mediterranean, the Old City of Kotor, one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Adriatic, entitled “The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor”
As with most classical locales, its battle scars with time are evident. Even one of the most prominent sights, the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, was left imperfect – in a reconstruction, its left tower was left incomplete. Despite this, though, the beauty of its spot on Kotor Bay below the limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovcen is truly something worth fighting to retain.
The many cafes and gathering spots in the Old City show a certain tradition-induced love of life. Artists will find great inspiration in Kotor in the ancient roofs and walls of the buildings, the cobblestoned streets leading to the next surprise just around the corner – the clock tower of the Square of Arms, the moted fortifications left behind by the Venetians, and the Baroque charm of the Grgurina Palace (which houses today the town’s Naval Museum in the apartments that used to be the Yugoslav naval headquarters). Escapists will enjoy getting lost in among these walks, or climbing the hill up to the Church of the Our Lady of Health.
Near the Old City are several noteworthy locations, the quiet Prcanj community below Mount Vrmac, the seaside town of Perast with its nearby islets of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks, both preserved religious retreats, and the winding Adriatic Motorway route between Kotor and Risan (the latter being the birth location of Queen Teuta of Roman Illyrian War history at the most inland point of Kotor Bay). Of course, the nautical tourism attractions of Tivat are a short ride away.
As this indicates, Kotor is well-situated for exploration of a large part of Montenegro. The Adriatic Motorway connects the Croat border at Herceg Novi with Kotor and Budva, the latter being the “Miami of Montenegro” (a major party location). A scenic switchbacked road takes explorers over a ridge to the ancient Montenegro capitol of Cetinje and the modern capital of Podgorica. Indeed, a great many day trips can be had from the Old City.