Castles and fortifications in Montenegro

Budva Citadel

The entire town of Budva is encircled with defensive stone walls. The fortifications of Budva are typical of the Medieval walled cities of the Adriatic, complete with towers, embrasures, fortified city gates and a citadel. The Old Town of Budva is situated on a rocky peninsula, on the southern end of Budva field. Archaeological evidence suggests that Illyrian settlement was formed on the site of the Old Town before Greek ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Budva, 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

Ribnica Fortress

Ribnica is an Ottoman fortress, located in the Stara Varoš neighborhood of Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro. The fortress was built in late 15th century (around 1477), during the period of Ottoman reign. It was built above the confluence of Ribnica and Morača rivers, and was one of two fortresses surrounding Stara Varoš. For a long time, Depedogen was used as an ammunition warehouse. It was severely damaged i ...
Founded: 1477 | Location: Podgorica, Montenegro

Zabljak Crnojevica Castle

Žabljak Crnojevića is an abandoned medieval fortified town in Montenegro located on the confluence of the Morača river in Lake Skadar. It is believed that this fortress was founded in the 10th century during the reign of the Vojislavljević dynasty in then-known Dioclea, whereas the first known written testimony of the fortress originate from mid-15th century. The fortress served as the capital of Zeta under the Crno ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Lake Skadar, 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 Traste

Fort Trašte was built by the Austro-Hungarian Empire near Tivat in Montenegro. Built on a hill between 1907–09, it overlooks the Bay of Trašte on one side and the plain of Tivatsko polje on the other. The fort was intended to secure the bay against possible landings from the sea. It was bombarded during World War I but sustained little damage. The collapse of the empire in 1918 led to the abandonment of the fort. It ...
Founded: 1907-1909 | Location: Tivat, Montenegro

Fort Kosmac

Fort Kosmač was the southernmost fortress in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, guarding the southern extremity of the border between the empire and Montenegro. It is situated near Brajići village, on a hilltop overlooking the road between Budva on the coast and Cetinje, the Montenegrin capital at the time. Constructed in the 1840s, it was attacked during an 1869 rebellion and was garrisoned by Austrian troops until the fall ...
Founded: 1840s | Location: Budva, 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

Pandurica Castle Ruins

Pandurica is an ancient castle in Montenegro to the south of Nikšić town. It is situated in a hilly area of the same name on the bank of the river Zeta. It is a cultural monument of national significance. The castle was originally built in 1367 by Stracimir Balšić, the Lord of Zeta principality. The area of Pandurica belonged then to Upper Zeta region of the principality, and in 1362 it was included in Balšić famil ...
Founded: 1367 | Location: Nikšić, Montenegro

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.