Top Historic Sights in Kotor, Montenegro

Explore the historic highlights of Kotor

St. Luke's Church

St. Luke"s Church was built by Mauro Kacafrangi in 1195 of which is mentioned in the inscription on the western façade. This is a modest one-nave church whose main nave is longitudinally divided into three parts. St. Luka’s church has characteristics of the Romanesque and Byzantine architecture. This is the only building in the town which did not suffer any major damage during earthquakes. It was depicted with fre ...
Founded: 1195 | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor Cathedral

The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor is one of two Roman Catholic cathedrals in Montenegro. It was built in honor of Saint Tryphon, the patron and protector of the city, on the same site where an older church had already existed long ago. That earlier church was built in 809 by Andrija Saracenis, a citizen of Kotor, where the remains of the saint were kept after being brought from Constantinopole. The cathedral was c ...
Founded: 1166 | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

Church of Our Lady of Remedy

The Church of Our Lady of Remedy is perched on the slope of the St. John Mountain. It dates from 1518. The church can only be reached on foot: the rocks and the stairs that lead to the structures on the slope make this church a difficult and time-consuming place to reach. Nevertheless, many tourists and local citizens visit this church daily. It can be seen from a long distance. The oldest known building in Montenegro, ...
Founded: 1518 | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

Our Lady of the Rocks

Our Lady of the Rocks is one of the two islets off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. It is an artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks is the largest building on the islet; it has a museum attached. There is also a small gift shop close to the church and a navigation light at the western end of th ...
Founded: 1452 | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

San Giovanni Castle

San Giovanni, also called St. John’s Castle, is perched 1200m high on the hill of St. John. The fortifications date back as far as 532 when Byzantine Emperor Justinian I had the fort built. Since it’s creation, the fort has under seen plenty of changes and battles under Venetian, Russian, and French rule. It’s been bombed by British Naval armies, occupied during World War II, and even survived three separate earthqu ...
Founded: 532 AD | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

Sveti Dorde Island

Ostrvo Sveti Đorđe (Island of Saint George) is one of the two islets off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor. A small action took place during the Siege of Cattaro on 14 October 1813 when the French held island was captured by a British and Sicilian naval force. The island contains Saint George Benedictine monastery from the 12th century and the old graveyard for the old nobility from Perast and further from the whole ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

Birth of Our Lady Church

Architecture in Prčanj bears witness to its prosperity in the 17th and 18th centuries. The town"s waterfront consists of a long line of stone villas, unified by their beautiful facades and separated by gardens and olive orchards. The most impressive feat of architecture in Prčanj is the Birth of Our Lady church. It seems out of proportion to the number of inhabitants and took 120 years to build (1789–1909). It w ...
Founded: 1789 | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

Fort Vrmac

Fort Vrmac is a former fortification of the Austro-Hungarian Empire located on the southern end of the Vrmac ridge near Tivat. Established in 1860, the present structure was built between 1894 and 1897, and saw action during the First World War, when it was heavily bombarded by the Montenegrins. It was repaired and disarmed before the end of the war and was abandoned after a period of occupation by Yugoslav troops. Today ...
Founded: 1860 | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

Fort Gorazda

Fort Gorazda was built by the Austro-Hungarian Empire near Kotor. The fortress"s predecessor was built prior to the 1869 uprising. The current fort was built between 1884–86 and replaced an earlier structure; its most notable feature is a 100-ton Gruson rotating turret on its roof, the last remaining example of its type. The fort was used by the Austrians in artillery duels against Montenegrin batteries stationed ...
Founded: 1884-1886 | Location: Kotor, Montenegro

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.