More May in Montenegro

Herceg Novi is at the mouth of the Bay of Kotor. It was founded in 1382 by Bosnia’s King Tvrtko I.

‘Novi’ is new. ‘Herceg’ refers to Herceg (Duke) Stjepan Vukčić Kosača who added more fortifications in the 15th century.

From Kanli Kula Fortress (16th century) you can see the opening of the Bay of Kotor.

Kanli Kula or ‘bloody tower’ has left it’s prison life behind and is now an open air amphitheater.

My friend Sirkku from Finland decided at the last minute that she wanted some sun and heat.

So she asked if she could join me for coffee!

We ended up having coffee and a couple of breakfasts and lunches!

It was great to catch up since we last met in India just as COVID was developing.

Herceg Novi is built up the slope of a mountain. The highway goes through on a higher level, so it’s all downhill to the sea level.

It just feels all uphill!

In the middle between the highway and sea level there is a large plaza.

Up the stairs you can pass through the gate under the Clock Tower (1667).

Up more steps and past shops, you reach a lovely small square called ‘Belevista’ (Trg Herceg Stejpana).

In the centre is Church of St Michael the Archangel.

The archangel is depicted in the mosaic over the door. The rope is tied to all three bells.

There were other great views from Forte Mare, a bastion (tower) (14-17th century) down closer to the shoreline.

In the upper right you can see Jadran swimming stadium dedicated to waterpolo.

From the pier we took a boat tour just to get out on the water!

Blue Hole

Mamula Island Fort was built in 1853 to defend the Bay of Kotor entry. During WW2 it was used as a concentration camp for those who opposed the fascist forces of Mussolini. It is now being developed as a luxury resort.

But all the tourist action in town is focused on the waterfront.

Šetalište Pet Danica is a 6 km promenade that follows an old railway line by the water.

It was named after five women heroes named Danica that were killed in WW2.

It’s lined with hotels, apartments and cafes.

The water looks lovely but the shore is very rocky.

They have built many cement ‘beaches’ that don’t look that attractive, but are functional.

One of the few sandy spots.

And of course such great seafood! And a selection to share!

Spaghetti with more seafood than you could imagine, grilled vegetables and calamari!

An interesting, if a bit dry, vegetarian lunch. But a nice spot with pleasant music. We judged restaurants on menu and music before we stayed!

One morning we met for breakfast at 8, and had omelettes. The next day ‘the kitchen doesn’t open until 9’ because it was a ‘regular’ day.

It had been a long, long weekend as their Independence Day had been on Saturday.

Everything like shops, grocery stores and kiosks were closed Sunday and Monday. Even souvenir shops!

Locals aren’t big breakfast eaters so we joined them at the bakery for burek. They typically drink yogurt with it.

We were having breakfast when the city crew showed up. One man with a jack hammer, and four watching!

We were laughing ‘things don’t change’, but we were impressed when all the stone pavers were cemented back in place by evening!

Frequent breaks for rest and hydration when’s its 27 and warmer!

Then it was off to Perast while Sirkku headed to Dubrovnik.

This is Perast. All of it!

The single tiny Main Street drops down off the road and follows the shoreline. All parking is at the entrances to town.

It’s a lovely little town with elegant old palazzo and many churches.

St Nicholas’ Church was built in 1616. Later, in the 18th century, it was decided to convert it to a cathedral. Construction started but was never completed. And with a declining Catholic population, it may never be. So now St Nicholas stands as two structures from different eras and styles.

The original church.

Perast’s main attraction are two tiny islands just a few minutes boat ride away.

Our Lady of the Rocks is an artificial island created by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks in the 15th century.

It was started on July 22, 1452 where an image of the Madonna was found on a rock.

Every year on July 22 there is an event called ‘fašinda’ where a procession of local boats throw more rocks into the sea to widen the island.

On the island is the Catholic Church of the Lady of the Rocks.

It was renovated in 1722 and contains many valuable paintings and an alter of Carrara marble.

Sveti Djordje ‘Island of St George’ has a Benedictine monastery (12th century) and an old graveyard for the old Perast nobility.

It is private so could only travel around it.

Perast City Museum is located in the Bujovic Palace (1694). It was built in the Baroque style and is a beautiful example of the Venetian build of that period.

Unfortunately no photos allowed.

The coat of arms of the Republic of Venice with the coat of arms of the Bujovic family. Wood. About my height. 18th century.

There are ongoing renovations to the old palazzo.

My hotel is the one on the left. But the former Smekja Palace next door has been converted into a 5 star hotel.

Little touches like their own pool and lounge area for €350 (starting) a night

I did like my sea view room in an old palazzo.

So happy to see a washer and drying rack. Towel warmers are also excellent for drying clothes.

My usual laundry hack for hand washing because they remove the stopper. Funny how it was here when I had a washer!

Wonderful views from all the restaurants.

Tagliatelle with black olive pesto and shrimp

It was enjoyable just to watch the boats.

The cruise ship was headed to Kotor.

Then an 1.5 hour bus ride back through Kotor and Budva to Cetinje.

Cetinje is back up in the mountains which actually make up all of Montenegro.

Some mountains that slope down to the sea are are popular for tourists.

Other mountains are popular for hiking and climbing.

Montenegro or ‘Crna Gora’ means Black Mountain. It is derived from the appearance of 1749 m Mount Lovćen (next door) when covered with dense evergreen forests.

Cetinje was founded in 1482 by Ivan Crnojević.

Cetinje was the capital of Montenegro after it was a kingdom in 1910 until the country was pulled into the first Yugoslavia in 1918.

There are some government buildings and embassies from that period.

Government House was built to be the seat of the the assembly. This is only a quarter of the building.

It’s now the National Museum of Montenegro. But closed on the weekend I was here.

Horde of school kids on a Saturday!

Cetinje Monastery was first built in 1484 but has destroyed and rebuilt four times. Those Ottomans! This version is from 1782.

Court Church where Ivan Crnojević is buried.

Huge parks just minutes from city centre.

The most interesting street was Ulica Njegoševa. It takes you past former embassies and shops all the way to the Blue Palace.

The pedestrian part starts close to the former French Embassy art-nouveau building covered in tiles.

The former British Embassy.

Blue Palace was built in 1895 for Crown Prince Danilo. The Montenegrin President has now taken it over.

Then off to Podgorica. My last stop in Montenegro.

Podgorica is the capital and the biggest city I’ve been in since Pristina. It is still walkable but I have to watch for traffic!

Stara Varoš is the oldest part of town with its Ottoman history.

Ribnica Bridge was part of the fortress built by the Ottomans after their conquest in 1474.

‘Sahat Kula’ clock tower is one of the few Ottoman landmarks that survived the bombing of Podgorica in WW2.

Starodoganjska Mosque has its origins in the 15th century.

Osmanagić Mosque (18th century)

And the newest bridge is the Millennium Bridge.

St George Orthodox Church was built between the 9th and 11th centuries, and is the oldest church.

Mosaic on the outdoor faucet.

The newest church is the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection.

Construction started in 1993 and it was consecrated in 2013.

Tomorrow it’s farewell to Montenegro and a five hour bus to Novi Pazar in Serbia.

It’s been over two weeks here but it feels like much more, with great memories squeezed in!

2 thoughts on “More May in Montenegro

  1. The big sun came to my heart when I read your writing about Herzec Novi.Memories warm me here in rainy Finland.
    Beautiful pictures and interesting descriptions as you always have.

    I had gotten into the story too. The coffee was good !! 😀It was worth coming to Herzeg Novi in every way.Beautiful,charming little town.
    Thank you for your beautiful words and travel partnership.🧡🌺🌼

    Liked by 1 person

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