Wedged between brooding mountains and a moldy corner of the bay, the achingly atmospheric Kotor (Котор) is perfectly at one with its setting.
Kotor 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 byfortifications 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. 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. Kotor, first mentioned in 168 BC, was settled during Ancient Roman times, when it was known as Acruvium, Ascrivium, or Ascruvium and was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia.
Kotor has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and is a UNESCO world heritage site. 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. Kotor hosts several summer events, such as the Summer Carnival or Bokeljska Noć.
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. 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).
The Bay of Kotor, known simply as Boka ("the Bay"), is a winding bayof the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro.The bay has been inhabited since antiquity. Its well-preserved medieval towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj and Herceg Novi, along with their natural surroundings, are major tourist attractions. Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor has been a World Heritage Site since 1979. Its numerousOrthodox and Catholic churches and monasteries make it a major pilgrimage site.
The bay is about 28 km long with a shoreline extending 107.3 km. It is surrounded by two massifs of the Dinaric Alps: the Orjen mountains to the west, and the Lovćen mountains to the east. The narrowest section of the bay, the 2300 m long Verige Strait, is only 340 m wide at its narrowest point. The bay is a ria of the vanished Bokelj River that used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen.
Risan is a town in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. It traces its origins to the ancient settlement of Rhizon, the oldest settlement in the Bay of Kotor. Lying in the innermost portion of the bay, the settlement was protected from the interior by inaccessible limestone cliffs of the Orjen mountain, the highest range of eastern Adriatic, and through several following narrow straits in the Bay of Kotor from the open sea.
Perast is an old town on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It is situated a few kilometres northwest of Kotor.
Perast lies beneath the hill of St. Ilija (873 m), on a cape that separates the Bay of Risano from that of Kotor, and overlooks the Verige strait, the narrowest part of the Bay of Kotor. Near Perast there are two islets: one is called Sveti Đorđe (St. George) and the other Gospa od Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks), and each has a picturesque chapel. Gospa od Škrpjela is particularly interesting given that it is the only artificially-built island in the Adriatic, with an area of 3,030 m² - it was built upon a rock (Škrpjel) after two Venetian sailors from Perast found a picture of the Virgin Mary on it in 1452.