The Medieval Streets of Kotor
Kotor, Montenegro is one of the most beautiful, charming, friendly, and historically rich cities in all of Europe. I had an amazing experience during my four days in Kotor. The city is an ideal location for travel photographers due to its medieval streets, beautiful port, and mountain fortification. The entire city is one big beautiful picture.
Kotor has a history which dates back to 168 B.C. The Romans were rulers of this area at the time and the fortress of Kotor dates back to 535 when Emperor Justinian built the fort above the city.* (information taken from travel guide). Like many cities in the Balkans, Kotor experienced its fair share of invasion and conquest during its history.
Arriving in Kotor
My journey from Tirana to Kotor took nearly 4.5 hours. I stayed at the Old Town Hostel and luckily they had a daily car service from Tirana to Kotor. I arrived late at night and decided to get some much needed rest so I could wake up early the next morning. Visitors arrive in Kotor via car, bus, and planes. There is a small airport in Tivat which is only a 10 minute cab ride or 20 minute bus ride from Kotor.
I work up early, got dressed, and hit the town. Of course every day begins after coffee and that’s exactly what I ordered at a small bar/restaurant not too far from the hostel. Once I finished my coffee, I strolled around the medieval streets of Kotor for nearly three hours. I was impressed with the city’s beauty. Every square, house, and alley was inspiring to photograph.
Waking up early in the morning is the only way to take decent photographs in a city like Kotor. Even at 8:00 a.m. the streets are buzzing with fellow visitors. Not only is the city filled with backpackers, but it also gets inundated with people from cruise ships that visit the city daily. Here are some highlights of my early morning walks during my stay in Kotor.
The Gurdic Gate
The Gudic Gate is a very famous part of the city. Old Town Hostel is only a few meters away from the gate. Again, take photos as early as you can. Usually, there are dozens of visitors trying to get-in a good shot every second of the day.
After touring the Gurdic Gate, I walked across the street to take a few photos of the boats in the harbor.
I continued to walk along the harbor until I reach the Sea Gate; which is the main entrance into the city. Most of my days were spent taking photos very early in the morning, coming back to my room to eat breakfast, and then working on my blog and photos in the early afternoon. My evening were spent meeting new people, watching the World Cup, and drinking amazing wine.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the fortress early enough the day before I left Kotor. The path way was infested with fellow visitors who were all trying to get the best picture possible up and down the steep steps of the fortress. The main attraction on the fortress wall is the Church of Our Lady of Health. When I arrived at the church there were at least 100 people in and around the church. I put my camera away and kept walking up the mountain hoping that when I came back down the mountain the church would have less people. I was wrong. The church had even more people in and around it.
Below are some photos that will give you a visual of how steep the climb was and how beautiful the view is during the hike up to the fortress.
View from the Fortress
The day was extremely hot with temperatures near 100 degrees. I was soaked in sweat by the time I reach the top of the fortress. As you can see, the views are amazing and well worth the effort to climb to the top. If it wasn’t for my early morning walks I don’t think I would have enjoyed Kotor as much as I did. Below are some recommendations on what else you should see during your visit to Kotor.
- Historic Archives of Kotor (building is in front of the St. Triphons Church).
- Church of St. Mary
- St. Paul’s Chruch
- Old Lady of the Angels (Cinema/Library)
- Kampana Tower and Citadel
- Valier Bastion
- Korner Bastion
My visit to Kotor was very enjoyable. I learned a lot about the cities history and culture. I was sad to leave but I was also excited about my four day scheduled visit to Tivat; which was just on the other side of the mountain.
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