Budva and its history
Budva is one of the oldest centers on the Adriatic, which is more than 2500 years old. 1000 BC The place was a Greek colony. In the ancient times of the fourth century, the Illyrians settled in the region. 200 BC The city came under Roman rule. In 1186 Budva was annexed to the Serbian Empire. From the fifteenth century until its fall, Budva was part of the Republic of Venice. After that, the place came under Austrian rule until World War I. From the end of 1918 until 2003, Budva was Yugoslavian. Since then it has belonged to Montenegro. Today Budva is a popular seaside resort on the Adriatic coast. The sights are also on the travel plans of tours through Montenegro.
Stari grad – Budva’s old town
The old town of Budva is called Stari grad in the local language. It is a unique unit in terms of architecture and urbanism. A network of streets and squares almost form a labyrinth. The city wall dates from the Middle Ages and is now a listed building. Large parts of the old town were damaged or even completely destroyed in an earthquake in 1979. Based on historical plans, the buildings were rebuilt in the Venetian style.
The architectural monuments of the coastal town of Budva
One of the sights in the old town are the sacred buildings. The Catholic house of worship, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, dates from the ninth century, while the Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity was built in 1806. On the other hand, the citadel, which dates from the sixth century and was expanded and rebuilt under Austrian rule in the nineteenth century, can be visited. Inside the fort houses, among other things, some replicas of famous ships – for example the famous “Santa Maria” by Christopher Columbus. In the summer months, the citadel also becomes an open-air stage.
Perast is a picturesque old town on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It is located a few kilometers northwest of Kotor and is known for its proximity to the islands of St. George and Gospa od Škrpjela.
Over the centuries, many empires fought for control of the city. In the 10th century Perast was an autonomous city of the Byzantine Empire. From 1186 to 1371 it was a free city of medieval Serbia. From 1420 and 1797 the city was under the control of the Venetian Republic. The French occupation from 1807 to 1814 was followed by Austrian rule until 1918, when Kotor finally became part of Yugoslavia. The city’s sixteen Baroque palaces were largely built during this period, as were its seventeen Catholic and two Orthodox churches. The ancient city of Perast has no defensive wall, but nine defensive towers, the most important of which is the Tower of the Holy Cross. They were built in the 15th and 16th centuries by the Navy of the Republic of Venice.
Churches, villas and picturesque islands
The town is located on the Obala Marka Martinovića, a narrow coastal road that runs the entire length of the town. In the heart of the city of Perast is the St. Nicholas Church, on a small square with date palms and bronze busts of famous citizens. Perast enchants visitors with many restored villas left by the Venetians and a total of 16 churches, but the most famous sights of Perast cannot be discovered on land: two particularly picturesque islands with equally peculiar stories. The two small islands near Perast are called St. George and Gospa od Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks), and each has an idyllic chapel. The latter is also called St. Mary and is particularly interesting as it is the only man-made island on the Adriatic. With an area of 3,000 square meters, it was built on a rock (Škrpjel) after two Venetian sailors from Perast found a picture of the Virgin Mary in 1452. The two islands, like the entire Bay of Kotor, are under UNESCO World Heritage protection.
Lake Skadar forms the border between Montenegro and Albania. It is the largest lake in the Balkans and two thirds of it belongs to Montenegro, one third belongs to Albania. On the Montenegrin side, an area of 400 km² has been protected by a national park since 1983. Today Skadar is known as one of the top habitats in Europe. It is a wonderfully beautiful area with steep mountains, clear water and floating water lily meadows. The most important – albeit tiny – cities here are Virpazar and Vranjina. However, if you have bicycles with you, you can easily explore the timeless villages along the shore.
An unknown natural gem
Lake Skadar is one of the largest lakes in Europe and an important habitat for wild animals – especially for bird life. It is the largest bird reserve in Europe and an important resting place for birds migrating from Northern Europe to Africa. In fact, the lake is home to over 280 species of birds and bird watching is a major attraction here. Depending on the season, you can see pelicans, cormorants, terns, herons and kingfishers, among other things. But even for anyone who is not a bird watcher, it is simply a great experience to get into one of the flat boats on the lake and experience the colorful fauna. It is one of the most memorable experiences to have in Montenegro.
Lake Skadar is also a popular getaway for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and locals fleeing the heat in summer. Legend has it that the lake was created by the tears of an elf. That may sound imaginative, but after a look at the magical lake, many vacationers may also believe in this fairy tale. The entire area of the lake and around it is a national park in Montenegro and there is a lot to see and do there, especially for those interested in outdoor activities. Tourists can bike, hike, kayak, swim, and leisurely stroll along the lake.