Fortified city on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro
Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor
Artistic and commercial
Location and site
On the Dalmatian coast and bordering the Balkans, Kotor is 50 km south-east of Dubrovnik. At the head of a deep cove that cuts into four large basins, Kotor is dominated by the steep reliefs of the Orjen and Lovcen mounts.
At the heart of its mountainous landscape, the small city of Kotor, with its narrow, sinuous streets, maintains traces of the Middle Ages despite the disastrous earthquakes it suffered since that time.
In addition to the wall and gates that constituted the first monument of the settlement, a large number of Roman-Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance constructions (the cathedral, churches, the palace) testify to the medieval past that has traces of both Rome and Byzantium, as well as of the Balkans and Western Europe.
Criterion (i): It is the gathering on the gulf coast of the monuments of the cities, their harmony with the landscape, and their insertion in town planning of great value that contributes to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.
Criterion (ii): As the main bridge-heads of Venice on the South coast of the Adriatic, the aristocratic cities of captains and ship-owners of Kotor and its neighbours were the heart of the region’s creative movement for many centuries. Its art, goldsmith and architecture schools had a profound and durable influence on the arts of the Adriatic coast.
Criterion (iii): The successful harmonization of these cities with the Gulf, their quantity, quality and diversity of the monuments and cultural properties, and especially the exceptional authenticity of their conservation, mean that the property can effectively be considered as unique.
Criterion (iv): Kotor and Perast are highly characteristic and authentically preserved small cities enhanced by architecture of great quality. Their town-planning is well adapted to and integrated in the landscape.
- In the 7th century, the territory, to which the province of Moesia was part in the 1st century BC, was invaded by the Serbs. Kotor is erected on the Roman site of Acruvium.
- The fragmentation of the relief favors the isolation of the communities, some of which united to form the first Serbian states. Such is the case of Zeta (Montenegro) in the 11th century where Kotor is located, which will successively recognize Bulgarian, Macedo-Bulgarian suzerainty and Byzantine domination. Serbia has been Christianized since the 9th
- Under the Nemanjid dynasty, the Serbs freed themselves from Byzantine authority and gained their independence (1180). Serbia is a powerful state and Kotor, although isolated, is an active commercial center as are other coastal towns. There are numerous churches and monasteries there. Serbia expands its territory and reaches its peak (1331-1355). The 13th and 14th centuries are also those of the golden age of Serbian art.
- During the Battle of Kosovo (1389), Serbia is conquered by the Turks and will remain so until the 19th Its cities will be less marked than elsewhere. From 1814 to 1918, Kotor housed an Austro-Hungarian naval base. Subsequently, Kotor and her neighbors (Dobrota, Perast, Risan) never lost sight of the relationship between man and sea.