Herceg Novi Old Town

Herceg Novi, Montenegro

Herceg Novi was founded (on a former small fishing village, existing since Roman Empire times) as a fortress in 1382 by first Bosnian King Stjepan Tvrtko I and was called Sveti Stefan or Castelnuovo. The Turks conquered Herceg Novi in 1482, and ruled for 200 years, until 1687. However, there was a short pause between 1538 and 1539 when it was held by the Spaniards before they were defeated in the Siege of Castelnuovo. Turkey ruled again until 1687, from then until 1797, the town was ruled by the Venetian Republic.

The Herceg Novi old town is amazing. It is on a fairly steep hill that leads all the way down to the sea. Wandering through the small stairways to the various plazas and fortresses is a many hour adventure. There are both Orthodox and Catholic churches that are well worth visiting.

Herceg Novi has two town squares, including the small, stone-paved Belavista (nice view), which is easy to get to from the main town square, Trg Nikole Đurkovića, once referred to as Salt Square, by walking up the stairs that lead through the town’s clock tower. Here, old stone buildings encircle the delightful church St. Arhangel Mihailo, a building unique in its architecture. This Orthodox Church is neo-Byzantine styled with Gothic and Romanesque details.

The Kanli Kula fortress dominating the old town doubles as an open-air theatre and is worth visiting mainly for the splendid views of the town and the Kotor bay.

The Spanjola fortress located higher up the mountain dates back to 16th century. Take a small street going upwards across from the Kanli Kula fortress.

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User Reviews

Stephen Skinner (5 months ago)
Koto old town was a fabulous place, very busy when the cruise ships are in, little narrow streets full of shops, plenty to see and if feeling energetic can do the walk to the cliff top to see the ruins. Loads of eating places and some beautiful old churches here.
Mathew Thornhill (5 months ago)
As the name suggests old town is old. Medieval. There are a lot of steps. But if you can handle the steps the fortress is worth a look. Plus there's plenty of cafés to grab a drink in.
Jemima Daisy (6 months ago)
Beautiful maze of shops and restaurants with so many churches to see. Try and get up to the second level for an alternative view of the city! Narrow streets so might be tricky for those with limited mobility.
Ian Culbreth (7 months ago)
Beautiful, unique. Probably the only "walking street" in Europe that is entirely made of stairs. (It's easy to see why the Montenegrins look like perfect athletes - longest legs I've ever seen and I think all are taller than 2m :) .) Twist your way through the random streets (stairs) and get lost between the newly renovated and the abandoned gems waiting for restoration.
Haris Demir (9 months ago)
Old town as it once was, with narrow streets and packed with history. Founded by the King of Bosnia Tvrtko I, it is a testament to his visionary leadership. Fully recommended to visit and explore the place.
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