After lunching by Dubrovnik, we made one more stop whilst passing through Montenegro again, going south along the coast this time, at what we think just might be our favourite of all the Balkan historical monuments: the city of Kotor, part of today’s World Heritage Site visit:
Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor
In the Middle Ages, this natural harbour on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro was an important artistic and commercial centre with its own famous schools of masonry and iconography. A large number of the monuments (including four Romanesque churches and the town walls) were seriously damaged by the 1979 earthquake but the town has been restored, largely with UNESCO’s help.
The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor is located in the Boka Kotorska Bay, on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro. The property encompasses the best preserved part of the bay covering its inner south-eastern portion. The inscribed property comprises 14,600 ha with a landscape composed of two interrelated bays surrounded by mountains rising rapidly to nearly 1,500 metres. The property is linked to the rest of the Boka Kotorska Bay through a narrow channel forming the principal visual central axis of the area.
The Outstanding Universal Value of the Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor is embodied in the quality of the architecture in its fortified and open cities, settlements, palaces and monastic ensembles, and their harmonious integration to the cultivated terraced landscape on the slopes of high rocky hills. The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor bears unique testimony to the exceptionally important role that it played over centuries in the spreading of Mediterranean cultures into the Balkans…
Kotor is at the end of those “interrelated bays surrounded by mountains rising rapidly” which have the appearance of a long fjord, although it’s actually a river canyon, something you don’t see very often:
You can drive it like we did — but you wouldn’t believe how long it takes to drive along the tiny corkscrewing road through all the little villages. We quite thoroughly recommend that you take a Kotor-alighting cruise ship to get the full experience of the area without the frustration and annoyance, really.
The town itself is quite small behind those walls you see above and in the style of authentically medieval tourned tourist mecca that abounds in our last few site reports, check out the map in the lower right here in this shot of a typical facade:
… so why is this particular one our favorite of all, you ask? Why, because this is the city that loves their CATS the most!
There are cats everywhere in Kotor, charities to feed them, and there’s even a Cats Museum which of course we couldn’t possibly miss, we do love our little furry friends. Be sure to drop by and contribute to the cat food fund when you visit Kotor!