The Boka Navy is a memorial organization with its headquarters in Kotor. As the oldest fraternity of sailors in the Adriatic and one of the oldest in the world, according to tradition and historical indications, it was founded in 809, when the seamen brought the relics of Saint Tripun to Kotor and later proclaimed Him the patron of the city. In the past twelve centuries, the Boka navy underwent many transformations - from a humanitarian and military organization to the memorial organization it is today. During this time, the Boka Navy was led by the ancient throne in all of its activities: FIDES et HONOR - FAITH and HONOR.
The tradition of "dressing in Bokelian uniform" with all the ancient customs prescribed by the Statute of the Boka Navy, which is strictly respected, is transmitted from generation to generation and is the most significant cultural fact in the history of Boka Bay. Although the Boka Navy is closely linked to the Catholic Church and St. Tripun, it is interesting that Bokelians approached the organization regardless of religion over the years, so Catholics and Orthodox are equally proud of its glorious history. It works by strictly defined rules, thus preserving the tradition for future generations. The organization itself inherited a number of valuable segments of the non-material culture of Boka Bay - from the art of making Boka's costume and weapons, to the dance of St. Tripun, which, through 12 figures, tells the story of the naval tradition of Kotor and Boka, and the solidarity and fraternal love of the Bokelian sailors.
After being recognized at the national level in 2013 by assigning the status of Montenegro's first protected intangible cultural asset, the Ministry of Culture proposed the Boka Navy to the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO for inclusion in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the World at the end of March this year. The World Heritage Committee decision for Montenegro is expected by the middle of next year. Secretary of the National Commission for Cooperation with the UNESCO Committee, Milica Nikolić, explains: "The legacy that the Boka Navy nurtures and needs to pass on to the next generations is actually the essence of the multicultural society we are often called upon. For twelve centuries, we have an old cultural good that is a picture of multiculturalism, so we need to strengthen this way of crossing and promotion for new generations because the essence of the Navy is to be constantly renewed. The Boka Navy does not have only a religious framework, but there are other segments that are equally important: the Boka Navy Round Dance, uniforms, old crafts that have enabled these uniforms to be preserved, as well as all that it represents. The Navy is primarily linked to the Old Town of Kotor, and then to Tivat and Herceg Novi and Perast. It depended on the local community of Boka Bay and was preserved by the local community. It is precisely the family history of many centuries, which has stretched out to the Boka Navy."
The oldest preserved text of the Bokelian Navy Statute dates back to 1463. President of the Board of the organization, architect Alexander Dender, noted that this fact opens the possibility for the Bokelian navy to be recognized also on the list of Documentary Heritage of Humanity. "Three years ago, UN Secretary-General Irina Bokova was in Kotor. She visited the Navy. She met the wealth we inherit, and we gave her a copy of the 1463 Statute. By getting to know this document, she proposed and offered us full support to apply to the UNESCO Committee the Statute as a Documentary Heritage. Protection was also gained from the Kotor walls within the Venetian defense walls in the Mediterranean. The Natural and Cultural-Historical Area of Kotor enjoys protection. If the Committee accepts the nomination for the Representative List and if the Statute of the Boka Navy supports the status of documentary heritage, it may happen that Kotor becomes the only town in the world listed by the UNESCO Committee for four different universal cultural values.
The Boka Navy Day is marked by old customs, and it must not be a compromise. Today, on June 25, at the World Seafarers' Day, the Ceremonial Academy in the Church of the Holy Spirit - Concert Hall of the Music School of Vida Matjan is scheduled at 20:00. After St. Tripun's round dance, guests will be welcomed by the Chairman of the Boka Navy's Steering Board, Aleksandar Dender. Following this is the performance of the duo flute, composed by Tamara Živković and Jovana Mršulja, to perform "Scherzo" from the reversed “Summer Night Dream" by Felix Mendelssohn. After a screening of the film about the Boka Navy from the nominee dossier by which the Boka Navy is nominated for entry into the UNESCO World Heritage List, Admiral dr. Antun Sbutega will speak. The Maritime Museum of Montenegro Director, Andro Radulović, will speak about the cooperation of the two institutions and the Ceremonial Academy will close the performance with guitarist Kristina Jevrić, who will perform the work of Sylvius Leopold Weiss "Allemande", followed by cocktails at the Boka Navy premises at the Cinema Square.
The ceremony of the celebration of the Boka Navy's Day, June 26, begins tomorrow at 20:00 with the formation of the main squadron in front of the House of the Boka Navy at the Cinema Square. Following this event is the reception of the state flag by the president of the municipality, after which the main squadron will go on a tour of the streets of the city to the main city gate - Door from the sea, whereby the president of the Kotor municipality, according to the ancient custom, will receive the keys of the city. The ceremony ends with the St. Tripun round dance at the Arms Square.