San Giovanni Castle

Kotor, Montenegro

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 earthquakes.

The walking path to San Giovanni castle has 1,350 steps and needs good shoes. The view over the Kotor bay is breathtaking from the top.

San Giovanni is part of the fortifications of Kotor which are an integrated historical fortification system that protected the medieval town of Kotor containing ramparts, towers, citadels, gates, bastions, forts, cisterns, a castle, and ancillary buildings and structures. They incorporate military architecture of Illyria, Byzantium, Venice, and Austria. Together with the old town and its natural surroundings the fortifications were inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979 labelled Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor.

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Details

Founded: 532 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Montenegro

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

James Ozzie Osborne (2 years ago)
A worthwhile climb in beautiful Kotar! Bring your walking shoes, it's a strenuous enough hike. Take plenty of water also. You'll want to stop at many points on the way up, the scenery is amazing, with the turkquoise clear waters between stunning mountains. Go early when it's not too crowded
Yasin Badir (2 years ago)
You can access this castle from old town and also from trekking road which is outside the old town. Old town entrance is 8 euros (very expensive, because it was 3 euros before). The view is amazing. Before sunset. It was like someone had stopped the time while the wind was licking our face by the smell of the sea. Our whole body were painted in peace.
Kaido Jõesaar (2 years ago)
Go before sunrise, you'll beat the masses and don't have to pay the entrance fee. I saw people with flip-flops but because it's poorly maintained I would recommend sturdy shoes. Also there are no porta potties, so you know...
Mehmet Özkara (3 years ago)
A spectacular view from 1200 metres and 1350 steps as the rumour runs. But the hill’s height is probably around 500 metres. Prepare your bag before climbing up with towels, water and maybe some snacks. And your power bank
jacop led (3 years ago)
I loved my very early hiking tour. I loved my afternoon hiking tour. I loved the people of that very small but cute and charming town. I love the friends I made there during my stay.
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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.