Kotor has dropped an anchor between the gray mountains and the sea, and veiled its life behind the high and wide ramparts. Its bulwarks seem to have been eternally growing rock tendrils along the hill, up to the old fortress that overlooks the town. It is a dramatic town where the present lives in the maze of medieval churches, cathedrals, Venetian palaces and pillars. Kotor is made up of contrasts – the old squares with modern cafes, the sounds of serenade and live music, the echo of the footsteps down the narrow cobblestone alleys and the lazy purr of cats lying under the balconies with wrought iron railings, decorated with petunias. In the evening, the walls of Kotor are as bright as the torches from a pagan ritual. When the time for carnivals comes, the streets become crowded, the torches become one with the fireworks, and all of Kotor transforms into one big spark.
Kotor was ruled by Illyrians, Romans, Byzantines, Austro-Hungarians, and Venetians. These conquerors have left many fortunes behind, such as renaissance palaces, baroque towers, and its most monumental testament, the Cathedral of St. Tripun, which is more than three centuries older than the discovery of America. The abundance of cultural and artistic monuments has set Kotor on the UNESCO’s list of protected cultural heritage.
Kotor’s fortifications had grown up St John’s Hill from the 9th until the 19th century. There are 1350 steps to the St John’s Fortress at the top for those craving for magnificent views over the town and the bay.
There are three gates at the Old Town that lead to the nearby towns scattered around the Bay of Kotor. Kotor also possesses the Fairy Gate – the arching rock above the town. Legend says that only the fairy’s favorites, direct descendants of the old sailors and founders of the town, can see her sitting on the rock and waiting for the golden ship on which she will set sail into the distant world only to return and confirm that Kotor is the most beautiful town in the world.
There are many myths and legends in Kotor and around it. Visit Kotor and experience all of them yourself!