The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor encompasses the cultural heritage around the Bay of Kotor. The bay has been inhabited since antiquity and has some well preserved medieval towns such as Kotor, Risan and Perast.
In the late 14th century, Kotor was seized by the Venetian Republic. It became an important commercial and artistic center. Its city walls received their current structure in Venetian times too. The circumference of the outer wall is 4.5 km. It represents one of the most important examples of defensive Venetian military architecture.
The area has been hit with severe earthquakes in 1563, 1667 and 1979. The last one, which measured 7.0 on the Richter schale, damaged many buildings and led to the subsequent inscription on the WH List ánd the List in Danger in the same year.
Visit May 2013
Kotor was an early inscription, and it might have profited from that ànd the earthquake it suffered from in the same year. It entered in the same year as Split and Dubrovnik, which it resembles. In 1997 this “row” of Adriatic coastal towns was extended with Trogir, another lookalike. It’s all a bit too much of the same to my taste. Kotor also is well on the beaten track for the average tourist, and large cruise ships do enter the Bay. There’s not much left to be discovered here.
Kotor’s natural setting and its impressive city walls running high uphill like a miniature Chinese Wall are its best assests. The town within the walls is quite small, and I did not find any especially impressive buildings. I visited the interior of the Cathedral, very Romanesque and well-restored. All major buildings have been restored, most of them were already up and running within 5 years after the earthquake. From photos I tried to gather how bad the damage was, but it seems that though everything was hit nothing was really destroyed.
After I had seen all there is to see in Kotor Town, I hopped on a bus to Perast. This town lies half an hour north along the bay. In fact it is situated exactly across from the isthmus that connects the Bay of Kotor with the sea. Here the views of the whole bay are better than at Kotor itself. Perast is just another historical Adriatic coastal town, and does see its fair share of visitors.
After Perast I walked 3km more to the north, to a town called Risan which is also part of the WHS core zone. I hoped to get away from the tourists, but was overtaken by the “Kotor Hop-on Hop-off Bus”! Risan was called Risinium in Roman times, and from that period some mosaics are left. A 2 EUR-entrance fee gives you access to a covered area, where about 5 mosaics can be visited. Most of them consist only of geometrical motifs, some modelled after my favourite seafood: squid.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
|Vessela Bancheva (Bulgaria):|
One of the most beautiful places in the world. I had the pleasure to travel by car around the bay. Amazing scenery.
| Date posted: June 2010|
I went to Kotor for a day trip from Dubrovnik which seemed near enough (actually the border control took us three hours!). The old town is indeed beautifully situated and has large well preserved fortifications which can be climbed on for an even better view of the bay (requiring quite a lot of effort though). The old town offers great Italian food and was otherwise quite disappointing after Dubrovnik. It is not that it lacks the beauty but that it is so very poorly maintained. I can actually think of no other WHS I've been to where I saw such dismay. One of the churches I saw was fully loaded with rubbish and weeds, its facade and roof were on the verge of distruction. I can see how it could be made more appealing by a careful reconstruction and I wonder why it's not being done with the financial aid of Unesco (apparently nearby Croatia and Bosnia are better off and had the means to undertake the renovations on their own).
| Date posted: September 2008|
|Joyce (The Netherlands):|
This small city on the slope of a mountain is located in a breathtaking fjord which is the biggest in Southern Europe. The wall surrounding the old city goes high up the mountains and is lit at night. The location of the city, combined with the narrow marble streets and small houses, squares and beautiful churches make this place definitely worth the title of World Heritage Site. A visit to Kotor isn’t complete without climbing high up the city walls, giving you a view overlooking the surrounding area (make sure to wear good footwear).
| Date posted: July 2006|
|George Vaughan (Wales):|
It is hard to describe the Bay of Kotor. The best I can think of is like a Norwegian fjord dotted with Dalmatian towns and villages. Kotor itself is almost a small Dubrovnik, or maybe more like Korcula town. The typical old houses and cathedral have been perfectly restored after the 1979 earthquake.
As well as Kotor, the villages of Perast and Prcanj - among others - on either side of the Bay, are little gems and remarkable views of the Bay can be had from either side. Also, a bit further afield, there are walled towns like Budva.
With the Croatian border post near Herceg Novi now fully functional, Kotor and its Bay becomes a natural side-trip from the Dubrovnik area, with obviously increasing numbers of visitors taking this option. It's well worth it but a little more time to explore the Bay is an even better option.
| Date posted: July 2006|
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