For the Star Wars game, see Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
"Cattaro" redirects here. For steamships named Cattaro, see SS Cattaro.


Coat of arms
Coordinates: ME 42°25′48″N 18°46′12″E / 42.43000°N 18.77000°E / 42.43000; 18.77000Coordinates: ME 42°25′48″N 18°46′12″E / 42.43000°N 18.77000°E / 42.43000; 18.77000
Country Montenegro
Municipality Kotor Municipality
Founded 5th century BC
Settlements 56
  Mayor (dr Aleksandar Saša Stjepčević)
  Municipality 335 km2 (129 sq mi)
Population (2003 census)
  Total 5,341
  Density 68/km2 (180/sq mi)
  Municipality 22,947
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 85330
Area code +382 32
ISO 3166-2 code ME-10
Car Plates KO
Website Official

Kotor (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Котор, pronounced [kɔ̌tɔr]) is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of Kotor Municipality.

The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. It is located on the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called it the southern-most fjord in Europe, but it is a ria, a submerged river canyon. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive and picturesque Mediterranean landscape.

In recent years, Kotor has seen a steady increase in tourists, many of them coming by cruise ship. Visitors are attracted both by the natural beauty of the Gulf of Kotor and by the old town of Kotor.

Kotor is part of the World Heritage Site dubbed the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor.


It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor.


Kotor has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa).

Climate data for Kotor
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9
Average low °C (°F) 2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 151
Average precipitation days 13 13 13 13 11 10 7 7 8 11 14 13 133
Source: weather2travel.com[1]


Entrance of old town Kotor with post-World War II sign "What belongs to others we don't want, what is ours we will never surrender."

Roman era

Kotor, first mentioned in 168 BC, was settled during Ancient Roman times, when it was known as Acruvium, Ascrivium, or Ascruvium (Ancient Greek: Ἀσκρήβιον) and was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia.[2]

Middle Ages

Kotor has been fortified since the early Middle Ages, when Emperor Justinian built a fortress above Acruvium in 535, after expelling the Ostrogoths; a second town probably grew up on the heights round it, for Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in the 10th century, alludes to Lower Kotor. The city was plundered by the Saracens in 840. Kotor was one of the more influential Dalmatian city-states of romanized Illyrians throughout the Middle Ages, and until the 11th century the Dalmatian language was spoken in Kotor. The city was part of Byzantine Dalmatia in that period.

In 1002, the city suffered damage under the occupation of the First Bulgarian Empire, and in the following year it was ceded to Serbia by the Bulgarian Tsar Samuil. However, the local population resisted the pact and, taking advantage of its alliance with the Republic of Ragusa, only submitted in 1184, while maintaining its republican institutions and its right to conclude treaties and engage in war. It was already an episcopal see, and, in the 13th century, Dominican and Franciscan monasteries were established to check the spread of Bogomilism.

During the Nemanjić dynasty-era, the city was autonomous. 1371 it came under suzerenity of Hungarian king who ruled Croatia and Hungary, and 1384. it became part of Bosnian banate under ban/king Tvrtko. Until 1420 it was independent. The city acknowledged the suzerainty of the Republic of Venice in 1420. In the 14th century, commerce in Kotor competed with that of the nearby Republic of Ragusa and of the Republic of Venice.

Venetian and Ottoman rule

Venetian fortifications of Kotor

The city was part of the Venetian Albania province of the Venetian Republic from 1420 to 1797. It was besieged by the Ottomans in 1538 and 1657. Four centuries of Venetian domination have given the city the typical Venetian architecture, that contributed to make Kotor a UNESCO world heritage site.[3] In those centuries Renaissance-related literature enjoyed a huge development in Kotor: the most famous writers were Bernardo Pima, Nicola Chierlo, Luca Bisanti, Alberto de Gliricis, Domenico and Vincenzo Burchia, Vincenzo Ceci, Antonio Zambella and Francesco Morandi.

Maritime Gate in the city walls.

In the 14th- and 15th centuries, there was an influx of settlers from the oblasts of Trebinje (the region around forts Klobuk Ledenica and Rudina) and the Hum lands (Gacko and Dabar) to Kotor.[4] The Italian name of the city is Càttaro.

While under Venetian rule, Kotor was besieged by the Ottoman Empire in 1538 and 1657, endured the plague in 1572, and was nearly destroyed by earthquakes in 1563 and 1667. It was also ruled by Ottomans at brief periods.[5]

Habsburg and Napoleonic rule

Napoleonic coins were minted in 1813 in Kotor

After the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, it passed to the Habsburg Monarchy. However, in 1805, it was assigned to the French Empire's client state, the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy by the Treaty of Pressburg, although in fact held by a Russian squadron under Dmitry Senyavin. After the Russians retreated, Kotor was united in 1806 with this Kingdom of Italy and then in 1810 with the French Empire's Illyrian Provinces. Kotor was captured by the British in an attack on the Bay led by Commodore John Harper in the brig sloop HMS Saracen (18 guns). To seal off Kotor, residents along the shore literally pulled the ship in windless conditions with ropes. The Saracen's crew later hauled naval 18-pounder guns above Fort St. John, the fortress near Kotor, and were reinforced by Captain William Hoste with his ship HMS Bacchante (38 guns). The French garrison had no alternative but to surrender, which it did on 5 January 1814.

It was restored to the Habsburg Monarchy by the Congress of Vienna. Until 1918, the town, then known as Cattaro, was head of the district of the same name, one of the 13 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Kingdom of Dalmatia.[6]

In World War I, Kotor was one of three main bases of the Austro-Hungarian Navy and homeport to the Austrian Fifth Fleet, consisting of pre-dreadnought battleships and light cruisers. The area was the site of some of the fiercest battles between local Montenegrin Slavs and Austria-Hungary. After 1918, the city became a part of Yugoslavia and officially became known as Kotor.

World War II

Between 1941 and 1943 the Kingdom of Italy annexed the area of Kotor which became one of three provinces of the Italian Governorate of Dalmatia - the Province of Cattaro had an area of 1,075 km2 (415 sq mi) and population of 128,000.[7]


After 1945 it became a part of the then Socialist Republic of Montenegro within Yugoslavia's second incarnation.

On April 15, 1979, a major earthquake hit the Montenegrin coastal area. There were approximately 100 casualties. Half of Kotor's Old Town was destroyed and St. Tryphon's Cathedral was partly damaged.

Up until the beginning of the 20th century, Croatian Catholics constituted the majority around the Gulf of Kotor.

Kotor is still the seat of the Croatian Catholic Bishopric of Kotor, which covers the entire gulf.

Main sights

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Kotor, part of the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii, iv
Reference 125
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1979 (3rd Session)
Extensions 1979-2003

Kotor has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and is a UNESCO world heritage site.[3] It is home to numerous sights, such as the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in the old town (built in 1166), and the ancient walls which stretch for 4.5 km (3 mi) directly above the city. Sveti Đorđe and Gospa od Škrpijela islets off the coast of Perast are also among the more popular destinations in the vicinity of Kotor.


Square of Arms

Kotor hosts several summer events, such as the Summer Carnival or Bokeljska Noć.

Together with Budva, and the small town of Tuzi, near Podgorica, the city hosted the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC) World Carnival City Congress in May 2009.


Kotor is the administrative centre of Kotor municipality, which includes the towns of Risan and Perast, as well as many small hamlets around the Bay of Kotor, and has a population of 22,601.[8]

The town of Kotor itself has 961 inhabitants, but the administrative limits of the town encompass only the area of the Old Town. However, the urban area of Kotor also includes Dobrota (8,819) and Škaljari (3,807), thus the population of Kotor urban area is close to 13,000 inhabitants (15,000 if neighbouring hamlets of Muo, Prčanj and Stoliv are included).


Ethnic composition of the municipality in 2011:[8]

Ethnicity Number Percentage

According to documents from 1900, Kotor had 7,617 Catholics, and 7,207 Orthodox Christians. Kotor is still the seat of the Catholic Bishopric of Kotor, which covers the entire gulf. In 2011, 78% citizens of Kotor were Orthodox Christians, while 13% were listed as Roman Catholic.


Kotor is connected to the Adriatic Motorway and the rest of the coast and inland Montenegro by Vrmac Tunnel. Inland is reachable by detouring from Adriatic motorway at Budva or Sutomore (through Sozina tunnel). There is also a historic road connecting Kotor with Cetinje, which offers spectacular views of Kotor bay.

Tivat Airport is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) away, and there are regular flights to Belgrade, Moscow and Paris and dozens of charter planes land daily on Tivat airport during the summer season.

Podgorica Airport is 65 kilometres (40 mi) away, and it has regular flights to major European destinations throughout the year.

Twin towns


  1. Jackson, Hamilton (2010). The Shores of the Adriatic (Illustrated Edition). Echo Library. p. 269. ISBN 978-1-4068-6761-9. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor". Unesco World Heritage Convention. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  3. Tošić, Đuro. Trebinjci i Zahumljani u srednjovjekovnom Kotoru, work in Istraživanja, 2005, br. 16, pp. 221-227.
  4. http://www.thousandwonders.net/Kotor
  5. Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
  6. Rodogno, Davide (2003). Il nuovo ordine mediterraneo. Turin: Bollati Boringhieri.
  7. 1 2 "Montenegrin 2011 census". Monstat. 2011.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kotor.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kotor.
Wikisource has the text of the 1921 Collier's Encyclopedia article Cattaro.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Cattaro.
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