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Photo of the week

Stari Grad in Kotor, Montenegro

9th June 2014

The Montenegrin port of Kotor is located on the world’s most southern fjord amid glittering blue water, stony shores, evergreen mountains and the sweet smell of oranges, lemons and camellias.

The Stari Grad or Old Town of Kotor is the place to be in Montenegro. A mini Dubrovnik made up of elegant stone houses, narrow paths and sunlit squares, one of the best things to do here is simply stroll along the streets, soaking up the atmosphere of this beautifully preserved town. A rewarding and invigorating hike will bring you to The Church of Our Lady of Health (pictured above), and beyond even that lies the Fortress of St John. At the Church, you can stop off and rest on the steps, taking in the beautiful view of the town and the fjord below you, before continuing your climb up to the summit of St. John’s Mount.

Stari Grad is positioned on a triangular piece of land that is bordered on the south-western side by bay of Kotor and on the northern side by the Skurda River. Walls protect the city to the south-west and the north. Upon entering the old city is an inscription that reads ‘What belongs to others, we do not want; what is ours, we will never give up.’

The structure of Stari Grad was established between the 12th and 14th century, but it was between 1420 and 1797, when Kotor belonged to the Republic of Venice, that the city became influenced by Venetian architecture. On 15th April 1979 a major earthquake hit the coast of Montenegro, destroying half of Kotor’s Old Town and partially damaging the Cathedral Saint-Tryphon. Following this disaster, UNESCO classified the medieval city, in addition to the bay of Kotor, as a world heritage site.

Kotor is a popular Mediterrranean charter destination in July and August when its street bustle with visitors and the marina becomes packed with charter yachts. Overflowing with romance, history and architecture, it is not difficult to see why it is so popular.

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