Kotor is a compact town bursting with charm, stunning views, and interesting history. It became a UNESCO’s World Natural and Historical Heritage Site in 1979. Kotor is two thousand years old!
There are seemingly endless small streets and alleys to lose yourself in as you wander. You’ll enjoy walking the cobblestone streets and hidden passageways that wind past stone churches, restaurants and shops.
There are three gates to enter Kotor. The main gate is the Sea Gate on the west side, where the sea use to meet the entrance. The Northern Gate is the gate of the river, and the Gurdic Gate – also called the South Gate – has a draw bridge.
Stari Grad (Old Town)
Because Kotor is so small, don’t worry about getting lost! The maze of streets was by design to confuse invaders. You’ll find a lot of cats that are well fed and cared for around town – there’s even a cat museum.
Keep an eye out for architectural elements all over town, like the bronze doors of St. Mary’s Church and the green shutters of Pima Palace. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time and mesmerised by the picturesque ancient town.
The main square in Old Town is called Trg od Oružja or The Arms Square that is lined with cafes, banks, shops and bakeries. The square got its name because it used to be an arsenal during Venetian times. From the Arms Square, you can see the Venetian Arsenal, Old Town Hall, The Prince’s Palace, Bizanti Palace, Beskuca Palace.
There are quite a few interesting churches throughout the town. The main church is 12th century Romanesque Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, also known as Kotor Catherdral, was built in honor of Sveti Tripun, the patron saint of the city.
On the other side of town is the Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas with a very ornate interior. One of the most unique and tiny is Church of Sveti Luka (Saint Luke’s).
The Clock Tower was build in 1602 and had two clock faces. Below it is a reconstructed Pyramid of Shame, where people who committed crimes were pilloried in medieval times.
The lower sections of the fortress walls can be accessed from Old Town and the entire walls stretch 2.8 miles (4.5 km) long. Old Town Kotor is considered to be the best preserved medieval urban entity in the Mediterranean.
If you have time, make your way up to St John’s Fortress (Sveti Ivan) or San Giovanni Fortress as the locals call it. Depending on how often you stop for pictures, it will take about an hour to climb the 1350 steps. There are places to rest along the way, including the 1518 Church of Our Lady of Remedy.
The fortress offers absolutely spectacular views of both the city and the Bay of Kotor. To get back down, there’s a trail by a small church you can follow down to Kotor center.