Displaying items by tag: kotor

03 Feb 2019, 00:50 AM

02 February 2019 - Despite its small size and sparse population (less than 700,000 inhabitants), Montenegro offers incredible diversity in its topography. Thanks to the possibility of a stunning adventure - the transition from the Adriatic coast to the mountainous region, Montenegro has recently gained the title of a tourist destination that offers a “two-for-one” trip experience.

Christina Webb, a writer for Lonely Planet – renowned travel guide book publisher, recently wrote an article on “Two-for-one trips: destinations that offer double the fun” and Montenegro has proudly taken the second place on the list! The article provides advice for all tourists who can’t decide whether to spend their holiday on a sunny beach or is their main goal to kick back and relax in the mountains. To help them with their decision, Lonely Planet writer decided to list all destinations that offer plenty of sun, picturesque coastline cities and breath-taking beaches, but at the same time, there are options for mountain lovers, like hiking, cycling, kayaking and many more – all in one country!

Montenegro Tourist Destination that Offers Double the Fun 3

“Say goodbye to indecision," says Christina. “If you’re stuck between travel daydreams of markets or mountainscapes, spine-tingling safaris or the siren song of the sea, don’t fear. Fitting two types of trips into one might seem arduous to organise, but with the right timing, transport, and planning, it’s easily achievable,” Lonely Planet writer reports. Now it is possible to “pack diverse experiences into a region that can be explored in a typical vacation period”, you just need to choose carefully and organise ahead.

Montenegro Tourist Destination that Offers Double the Fun 2

The article presents Montenegro as a country ideal for a vacation that includes rafting amid the mountains of the north and seafood and Med climes in the southern area! Follow the advice of the travel guide writer, Christina Webb, and get a holiday of a lifetime! As explained within the Lonely Planet article, “in Montenegro, rafting is synonymous with the turquoise Tara River. Arrive at Durmitor National Park and glimpse the winding river through the mountains and you’ll see why. The Black Lake by Žabljak is both dramatic and serene, as are the forests of Biogradska Gora National Park near Kolašin. Exploring both the towns and national parks over a few days is all you need before taking to the water. Most rafting takes place in Durmitor, and you’ll get the most dramatic view of the Tara Canyon’s imposing 1300m high walls from your raft.”

Montenegro Tourist Destination that Offers Double the Fun 4

“Then, make your way down the country over a few hours; the best way to experience the changing scenery is to hire a car, but it can also be done by bus. Along the way, you’ll notice how the patterns of snow, A-framed farmhouses, and green hills will disappear as terracotta-tiled stone buildings and shimmering deep-blue water come into view. Spend a couple of nights in Kotor’s Old Town. Climb the 1300-plus steps to the top of the fortifications, meet the town’s feline population and sample grilled squid, seafood risotto and other Mediterranean culinary delights. You’ll easily be able to fit in exploring the charming villages dotted along the Bay of Kotor, Perast, Prčanj and the outskirts of Dobrota,” says Christina from Lonely Planet.

Montenegro Tourist Destination that Offers Double the Fun 5

30 Jan 2019, 12:16 PM

January 30, 2019 - Dobrota is a small town on the shore of Kotor Bay, just next to the Old town of Kotor stretching for several kilometres along the picturesque coastline to the village of Ljuta. Once the famous naval settlement, Dobrota was one of the most beautiful areas of Boka Bay. Unfortunately, its unique cultural landscape was recently almost destroyed by inadequate and massive urbanisation.  Ancient palaces of Dobrota’s captains are more and more challenging to discover between concrete buildings, growing from the sea to the slopes of mountains hanging the settlement from the north-east. But still, there are a lot of reasons to visit Dobrota and discover its ancient buildings, beautiful churches and hospitable people. Let us propose some of those.

dobrota 1Dobrota in 19.century
The settlement of Dobrota was first mentioned in the 13th century as Dabratum. In the 14th century, it became a part of Kotor, being its suburb from 1371 to 1704. The greatest prosperity Dobrota reached from the 17th and 19th centuries is one of the most important maritime centres along the Mediterranean coast. There was a large pier, many ships, and almost everyone in the village dealt with naval work. Under the Venetian rule, in 1717 Dobrota gained the status of a seaside settlement thank to skilful seamen, ensuring the economic development of this area. Wealthy captains of local vessels built beautiful baroque palaces here, furnishing them with valuable furniture and decorations brought from all parts of the world. The beauty of those palaces contributed the beautiful terraced gardens in the backyard areas, full of local plants and exotic fruit and flowers brought from distant, overseas countries. Terraced landscapes over Bokelian shore settlements, their beauty and harmony were some of the primary reasons for the area of Kotor to become one of the UNESCO sites - precious heritage of humanity.  Unfortunately, those terraces are mostly gone forever, giving the space for large concrete constructions built in the name of progress and tourist development.
Of about twenty gorgeous palaces by the sea, the most famous that have survived to our time are the houses of the noble families of Tripkovic, Dabinovic, Ivanovic, Radonicic and Milosevic. Some of those are today in private property, and some, such as the Radonicic palace, are housing public institutions. 
dobrota palace ivanovicPalace Ivanovic, Copyright: waytomonte.com
These palaces stand today as a memory on times of fame and greatest prosperity of Dobrota and its famous captains, who became rich dealing with maritime trade.  The Palace of the family Ivanovic is one of the most notable buildings along Kotor’s coast, built in the second half of the 18th century.  The Ivanovic family was one of the richest of Dobrota - by the beginning of the XIX century they had 11 houses in the settlement. Thriven on sailing, in the 18th century there were 28 ships in their property, trading with Italian and Albanian ports. During the war between Venice and Turkey in 1714-1718, the Ivanovic family allocated part of their fleet for the liberation of Ulcinj from the Turks, for which they received praise from the Venetian governor Alvise Mocenigo. The most famous members of this family were Marko and Jozo Ivanovic, who defeated the Turks in the battle near the Greek port of Piraeus in 1756. Their courage and skill shown in this battle brought them the status of knights of the Order of St. Mark of Venice.  Palata Ivanovic still witnesses the power of its builders with its exquisite stone architecture. The entrance to the property characterises a stone gate, with the coat of arms of the Ivanovic family highlighted.
dobrota milosevic palacePalace Milosevic, Dobrota Copyright: waytomonte.com
The palace of the Milosevic family is also known as “Veliki Palac” due to the most significant dimensions among other buildings in the settlement. The sea captains, brothers Milosevic built it in 1828. The building is a four-story palace with a wide belvedere and late baroque features, surrounded by a stone wall of a fence, behind which there is a private terrace. It is the only palace in Dobrota with two different facades, the main one with a view of the sea, the rear one with a mountain view. And in the south-eastern part of the palace, there is an unusual corner tower with a cannon embrasure built in the style of a ship one. It was one of the six buildings owned by this family on the Dobrota’s coast. Family Milosevic was 12th in Dobrota for their wealth, the number of ships, seamen and captains, holding nine vessels in the 19 century.
dobrota palata tripkovicPalace Tripkovic, Copyright: Tourist Organisation Kotor
The majestic appearance and the greatest fame among all the "captain palaces" built in the area of Dobrota is the mansion of the Tripkovic family. They played an essential role in the life of Kotor, especially in trade, navigation, construction and culture. This family owned 18 vessels, and 63 of its members had the rank of the ship captain. One of them, Andrija Tripkovic, was the head of the local commune and was a member of the Kotor administration. He built the palace a bit away from shore at the end of the 18th century, with a sea dock on the coast in front of the palace. The palace itself, made of Korcula stone, has three floors and a belvedere with a baroque pediment crowned with a small turret. As most of the castles in Dobrota, Tripkovic’s house also has a defending fence made of stone, marked by the family arm of a coat. 
dobrota institute bokanewsPalace Radonicic- Institute for Marine Biology Kotor, Copyright: Boka News
We have already mentioned the house of the family Radonicic. This beautiful palace, today the building of the Institute of Marine Biology, was built in the 19th century. Palata Radonicic stands on the Plagenti peninsula, where, beside the palace, there is the Romanesque church of Sv. Elijah, one of the oldest monuments of architecture of Montenegro built in the 11th century and preserved till our days. The family Radonicic bought the entire Plagenti peninsula from the municipality in 1808, during the French rule. In 1847, Petar II Petrović Njegos lived with his friend, Captain Krsto Jozo Radonicic. The palace has an original Baroque conception of the ground floor, the two floors and the last floor in the form of a belvedere. In 1937 the castle bought the "Jadranska Straza" for its needs. At the time of adaptation, 16 newly-built pillars at the ground floor level completely changed the appearance of the typical Bokelian palace. After the Second World War, the building served as the Central Maritime School in Kotor, and today, as mentioned, there is the Institute of Marine Biology. The palace was renovated in 2012, and at the moment there are works in progress to transform its ground floor into the first and only aquarium in Montenegro to be open in summer 2020.  
dobrota maritime libraryMaritime Library in Dobrota, Copyright: the University of Montenegro, Faculty for Maritime Studies
Impressive for its architecture and historically significant building of Dobrota is also the palace of the Maritime Library, an integral part of Maritime Faculty Kotor. Thanks to a ship-owner from Monaco, Captain Bozo Dabinovic, the library was moved to this palace in the late eighties. Benefactor, captain Dabinović, coming from noble maritime family Dabinovic from Dobrota, provided funds for the adaptation of this building exclusively for the needs of Maritime library and dedicated this donation to the memory of his father, Professor Antun Stijepov Dabinovic.
This palace is a famous historical monument of Montenegro as well. Right here, in the building of Maritime library, the unification of Boka Bay and Montenegro was voted on the joint assembly held in October 1813. On this occasion, a joint government named Central Commission was formed (with Petar I Petrovic as a chairperson), and for this reason, the building of Maritime Library is known as the building of Central Commission. The memory on events associated with the unification of Boka and Montenegro, with the Library site as a historical scene hosting one of the most significant past events in our region at the beginning of XIX century, is kept in the memorial room of Maritime library. 
dobrota sv matijaChurch of St.Matthew, Dobrota, Copyright: Tourist Organisation Kotor
Dobrota hides several ancient churches. Parish church of St. Matthew marks in a prominent place along the coastline, separated from the coast by supporting stone ramparts. The Baroque church dates back to the 17th century and among the valuable relics of the church is the famous icon of Giovanni Bellini "Madonna and Child". Further towards the settlement of Ljuta, in the part of Dobrota called Sveti Stasije, stands one of the highest bell towers in Boka Bay, of the church of St. Eustace, built in 1773. The church keeps a precious and exciting collection of 52 canvases from the 17-18th century and a unique ancient mosaic that adorns the altar. 
dobrota travel to.netDobrota shore, Copyright: travel-to.net
Today Dobrota is a popular tourist destination. When you are by the sea, you are looking at the sea. And somehow could take your head away of the giant newly built houses transforming this beautiful part of Boka Bay into the playground of construction mafia. The state of Montenegro and the previous local government allowed the destruction of Kotor’s landscape, so the area is in danger of being excluded from the list of natural and cultural heritage of the world. Unfortunately, Dobrota has a potential for development of new tourist offer.
But still, there is some hope. It stands in the well-known hospitality of the people of this area. Thanks to the inhabitants, tourists finding themselves here even have the possibility to fill the harmony that once reigned in this zone of charming stone houses with their dry-stone Mandraci, small beaches and berths for boats. Along the Dobrota coast, there are a lot of cafes, small taverns and restaurants offering delicious local food. If you are looking for peace and proper rest, this could be a great choice all year long. 
dobrota urbanization
26 Jan 2019, 23:10 PM

January 26, 2019 - On the square in front of St. Tryphon's Basilica in Kotor, with a traditional saying of praise, and by raising the flag in the basilica, the outdoor Festivities of St. Tryphon, held in honour of the saint, patron of Kotor and Kotor’s bishopric, begin. St. Tryphon's Festivities equally belong to the city and the Boka Navy's 1210 old organisation which combines its occurrence with the transfer of St. Tryphon's relics to Kotor.

The beginning of the ceremony will traditionally be marked by the Little Admiral of the Boka Navy Kotor, Martin Jerolim Petrović, who will pronounce Lode, praise the patron saint of the city. After proclaiming Lode, Boka Navy will hold the traditional ceremony of the handover of the duties of the Little Admiral. His predecessor, Luka Kovačević from Herceg Novi, will be given a decision on cessation and Martin at the beginning of the service.

The tradition of transfer of St.Tryphon’s relics to Kotor on 13 January 809, 289 years before the transfer of St. Nicholas’ relics to Bari, is celebrated as “Karike” by electing Officer and Sergeant of the Boka Navy. Its Great Assembly established this day through a decision made on 30 December 1631. The name “Karike” comes from the Italian word "Incaricare", meaning to entrust.
St.Tryphons Martin Petrovic 2019On this day, the Navy elects a Little Admiral, a young boy who accompanies the Admiral during public performances, representing a symbol of generational continuity of the organisation. At the solemn session on 13 January this year, the Admiralty and the Board of Directors of the Boka Navy decided that the Little Admiral for 2019 would be 12-year-old Martin Petrović from Skaljari, Kotor. 
The Little Admiral has to recite the Lode – words of praise dedicated to town’s patron – on 27 January, eight days before the central St. Tryphon’s Day festivities. The word Lode stems from the Latin “Laudes”, which means “praise” and represents a part of the prayer book practised at dawn. In the medieval towns on the Eastern Adriatic, words of praise towards patron saints were preserved in Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik and Kotor. Presently, they are only recited in Kotor during St.Tryphon’s festivities.
st.tryphons 3Former Little Admiral, Luka Kovacevic; Copyright: bokanews.com
In modern times, the Little Admiral recites Lode according to a text that had been restored in the second half of the 17th century by Bishop Marin II Drago. He wrote them based on a Medieval Latin version not being preserved.
Today’s text dates to 1800. Up until 1871, Lode was recited in Italian, and after that in Montenegrin. They were translated from Italian in 1871 by the Prcanj pastor Don Mihovil Florio.
Little Admiral has been to one to recite the Lode in Kotor since the 16th century when the Boka Navy took over the outdoor ceremony of St. Tryphon. Here is the translation of lode in English:
The annual restoration of a celebration
Which we are bound to observe,
Revives in us precious memories of devotion,
Reminding us of the great work by our forefathers,
Who under the guidance of the Miracle Worker,
Whose holy powers Kotor cherishes,
Became heroes of faith and land,
And to us,
Their merry descendants,
Left a glorious legacy.
Therefore, let us celebrate once again,
With traditional shine and familiar customs,
This celebration we hold so dearly
And may we all
Be inspired by the same saint who we celebrate today.
Let us first praise the Lord,
Then pay respect to the Blessed Virgin Mary
And the foremost martyr of Jesus,
Saint Tryphon.
Praise be, Great Lord,
That for as many centuries
As moments have passed,
We unfurl this glorious banner
Always in
Happiness, harmony and love.
Glory! Glory! Glory!
st.tryphons open ceremonyBoka Navy's Round Dance (Kolo) at the St.Tryphon's Square
St. Tryphon’s outdoor celebration begins on 27 January, a date that coincides with St. Sava’s Day, which is observed by Orthodox Christians. On this day, after communion and sermon in front of the Church of St. Nicholas, the Orthodox and Roman Catholic believers move towards the square in front of the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, accompanied by City Music marching band. There, precisely at noon, the Little Admiral of Boka Navy recites lode to St. Tryphon from the Cathedral’s loggia, then St.Tryphon's flag is raised, and the Kolo dance starts.
On 2 February, when the BokaNavy, according to many years old custom, relics will be sent to the altar in the cathedral at 18 o'clock, followed by the evening mass.
The Holy Mass at St. Tryphon’s Day on 3 February will be at 10 am and 6 pm, and on Sunday, February 10th, there will be an outward ceremony - a procession. The ceremonial Pontifical Mass will serve Monsignor Tomislav Rogić, bishop of Sibenik. After the Holy Mass, a solemn procession for the streets of Kotor will start.
Source: www.bokeljskamornarica.com and Kotor's Bishopic
23 Jan 2019, 13:11 PM

January 23, 2019 - We came to Skaljari. Our tour around the villages of Boka Bay has arrived at one of the most characteristic points when it comes to the typical culture of living through time. Skaljari was not a naval settlement, not even a fishermen village. It was, and on some points still tries to be, just an ordinary village, characteristic for agriculture and families living together and supporting each other in good and bad times. Also, its inhabitants were well-known craftsmanship. 

skaljari dolores fabianToday, unfortunately, Skaljari is best known for the criminal group "Skaljarski klan", but this is not one of the topics we will be dealing with in this story. We found ourselves a better company. Our host in Skaljari is Dolores Fabian, president of the NGO Ke Nova, who advocates preserving the local tradition of Kotor and Boka Bay through organising numerous events and programs focusing on the material and immaterial cultural heritage of this region.
The village of Skaljari is right next to the Old Town of Kotor. When you come out of Kotor through the South Gate, you pass by the Gurdic and enter Skaljari. Gurdic separates the village from Kotor and the General Hospital of the Muo fishing village. The southern border of the settlement makes the mountain cross of Trojica. On the north side stretches the seashore. Skaljari covers the slope between Vrmac and Mount Lovćen.
skaljari church of saint dujamCopyright: Dux Radio
Judging by the churches in Skaljari, the oldest church of St. Dujam dates from the end of the 12th century, this settlement started to develop even earlier. The name Skaljari comes from Skalja, a local expression for the stone that characterised the Skaljari landscape before the village became the suburban settlement. The church of St Dujam has recently been restored and re-dedicated to the saint, patron of the town of Split, and its additional cultural value, according to Dolores Fabian, lies in the fact that it is the sanctuary dedicated to St. Dujam on the most southerly point at all.
skaljari imperial roadCopyright: Boka News
The so-called "Imperial Way", built on the project of Josip Slade from Trogir from 1879 to 1884, passes through the settlement. According to the local legend, the engineer Slade was so enchanted by the beauty of the Montenegrin princess Milena Petrović that he had designed a part of that road in a shape of the beginning letter of her name - large M.  Terrain configuration suggests that this path didn't need sharp curves, which makes this legend closer to the truth.
The locals divided the village into smaller parts and gave them names based on some of their characteristics. So part of the settlement near the General Hospital Kotor is called Banat because there were most plains there. The upper part of Skaljari near Vrmac Hill called simply “Pod Vrmac“ (Inder Vrmac). The centre of the village is called Petrovici, according to the largest family from Skaljari. Most of these toponyms were lost in time, mostly due to urbanisation, transforming the former agricultural area into the suburbs of Kotor. In the period after the Second World War, this agricultural area received several factories, a bus station and many other contents that have forever changed its physiognomy. The beginning of the 21st century and Skaljari brought about excessive and inadequate urbanisation, which forever destroyed the harmony of the cultural landscape of the place.
skaljari and kotor 1929Skaljari and Kotor in 1929
"Times are changing, the way of life changes. New people are coming, the structure of the population changes, which all affect that old, traditional lifestyle loses. However, we are struggling through the manifestations and events that characterise our town to have Skaljari survive as it once was, recognisable above all by the women who worked in the gardens and then sold their vegetables on the Kotor's market and on," says our host, Dolores Fabian.
Boka Bay is a predominantly karst region with exceptional characteristics of the Mediterranean climate, with excellent conditions for growing pomegranates, citrus fruits, figs and olives in small gardens, so-called "Bastine". In their "Bastine" the villagers of Skaljari brewed salad, cabbage, selenium, onions and potatoes, all of which they called together "Verdura", which is an Italian name for vegetables. From corn, they raised maize, rye and oats, and there was a mill in the village. The mill dated from the end of the 18th century and was in use until the beginning of the 20th century. A vineyard and olive were growing in the village, so Skaljari also had olive mills. They were less concerned with cattle breeding, and mainly breeding goats.
Along with agricultural activities, the locals were also good craftsmen. Skaljari (what is also the name for the village inhabitants) were famous sailors, shoemakers, carpenters. Especially known and recognised were bricklayers from this village. It is not surprising since they had to learn from their little feet to match and cut the small stones everywhere around them. Of course, the village was all of rock. From the dry-stone terraces, through the mills and the roads, sometimes modest and later more significant and beautiful houses – everything was built of stone from the site itself.
Skaljari is one of the Boka Bay settlements, which has preserved the best the local Bokelian dialect, which is characterised by a high number of Roman words. If we talk about Tivat, that's the case in the village of Donja Lastva. Perhaps these two villages are "Cakulavi", which would mean settlements whose residents love to talk, often gossips on their neighbours. Dolores Fabian, our host in Skaljari, has another explanation.
skaljari and skaljariceSkaljarice with one Konavoka at the Skaljarska Pjaca, Old Town of Kotor
"You know that one of the squares in Kotor carries the name “Skaljarska Pjaca“ (Skaljari's market). There once the villagers from Skaljari sold their agricultural products. As for every market, there was a characteristic "Susur" - a glance and overwhelming, averting, a lot of "cuddling". " Dolores with members of the organisation, through the various manifestations tries to save the sounds, smells and tastes of old times. In this sense, the most interesting is the tourist event "Kotor's Time Machine" which is held during the summer months by the squares of the Old Town of Kotor. One of the segments of this program is exactly at the square named by Skaljari where young girls perform the sketches prepared by Dolores, taking care that every detail of the young "Skaljarice", their folk costumes, the vegetables they "sell" on their booths, corresponds to what once was.
"We organise that program on Saturday morning during the summer months. Then Kotor takes tourists from all over the world. When they come across some of our programs, they are very interested; the most interesting is when a cruise ship full of tourists comes from Italy. They all understand that they enter the zone of some play- the villagers are trying to sell their goods, from the window some old lady cry to them that she cannot rest from their noise. When they hear the words of their language, strangely coloured by the influences of the Slavic language, Italians do not miss to look to the end. They do not have to understand everything, the other guests from abroad do not understand anything, but they feel that it is a life that is entirely in harmony with the theatrical scene, and each Kotor's square is a stage for itself," says Dolores.
skaljari kotorski vremeplov"The one who knows Skaljari from the story, if not out of life, when he is walking in a village, will not find what we have in our stories. It will be difficult even to notice the most important structures in the village, some house of an important family or a church of St. Luka, celebrated by inhabitants of Skaljari as their forefather. Formerly small dry stone walls that have kept the gardens are now being the supporting walls of some new buildings. So, the look of Skaljari is completely different. We strive to bring the old life of Skaljari and Skaljarice through the scene closer to all those who came to live with us. We want to inspire them to act at least for a moment as true Skaljari," explains Dolores, adding that the activities of NGO Ke Nova are held during the main tourist season as well as in the winter months:
"In the Kamelija Shopping Center, we often have demonstrations linked to the local tradition, at least once a month to Boka Bay. We thematise the people of this region, the tradition, and of course, we offer the inevitable “Papalada Ala Maka“, a tasting of local gastro-culture dishes. We invite women from Kavac, Prcanj, Perast, Risan, Dobrota. And of course, Skaljarice. They always respond, and their table is always overburdened. It's always the delicacies that have for centuries been part of our local cuisine."
20 Jan 2019, 15:13 PM

19 January 2019 - Consortium of the Czech Philibert and Villa Oliva offered 10 million EUR for the purchase of 56.4806% of the share capital of the Institute for Physical Medicine Rehabilitation and Rheumatology Dr Simo Milošević and an investment programme amounting to 27.944.380 EUR.

In line with the 2018 Privatisation Plan, the Tender Commission for Privatisation started activities on drafting and implementing the tender for the sale of the share capital of the Institute. During 2018, several letters were delivered about the intentions of potential investors for the privatisation of the Institute, three bidders were registered in the public tender (purchased the tender documentation and signed the Confidentiality Statement), but only the bid by the consortium of the Czech Philibert, which is part of the Cimex Group, and Villa Oliva was submitted within the set deadline.

The consortium's bid, the only one that had been submitted in the public tender, was opened earlier today at the session of the Tender Commission for Privatisation, which took place at the Ministry of Economy in the presence of the representatives of the bidder.

The Tender Commission will, in compliance with the legal procedure, examine the formal validity of the bid, after which, if it determines that the bid is formally correct, it will examine whether it meets the qualification requirements and the minimum requirements of the tender and, within 15 days from the opening date, it will examine the bid in terms of quality.

Upon the completion of the tender, the Commission will submit the report to the Privatisation and Capital Projects Council for adoption.

Public tender for purchase of 56.4806% of the share capital of the Institute Simo Milošević was announced on 16 October 2018.

16 Jan 2019, 16:22 PM

January 16, 2019 - Muo is one of the oldest shore settlements in Boka Bay, which we can recognize by the fact that the Dalmatian-Romanic dialect is best preserved here. It is particularly evident in maritime and fishery terminology, and we can see that fishing has always been the leading economy of the area.

Today Muo is one of the architectural pearls in the chain of the Bay of Kotor, which, unfortunately, has not been immune to building pressures affecting the entire Boka Bay. But the ever-expanding houses by the sea, built in the Middle Ages, left less room for devastation than other places along our coast. Muo is today a popular destination for tourists who want to escape the city bustle and enjoy the silence and beauty of the Bay of Kotor. However, there are also some days when the locals take care of their guests getting closer to the spirit of the place, once an everlasting signing stage of its inhabitants.

For the following story, we should thank our host, one of Muo's most respected residents when it comes to preserving the culture and tradition of the place, Ilko Marovic. Asked what is most important in Muo's cultural history, Ilko answers:
"First I would say singing, the legend says that the children in Muo do not give birth by crying, but by singing. Our culture comes from a fishing tradition; we are proud of the Blessed Gracija, who originates from Muo, and the faith that dictated the way of life of the locals. Today is all different. Some have kept on the earlier culture of life, nurturing communion and community life by participating in various events relevant to the place, but in general, I cannot say we are living our tradition."
muo 5
The people of Muo were engaged in fishing a long time ago, and the oldest written evidence of this in the documents of the Historical Archives in Kotor from the 13th century. They had to sell their catch in a fish market in Kotor and nowhere else. As in other parts of Boka Bay, Muo first developed on the slopes of Vrmac, where its inhabitants were engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding.
"Muo's residents worked on the feudal estate of the church, the land owned by the Kotor diocese. There, in 1262, they made the first church dedicated to St. Kuzma and Damian, preserved to date. There was in the upper village and the church of St. Elizabeth, which had disappeared over time. The villagers first built their homes in the hills, fleeing the pirates, and later began to descend closer to the sea and, as residents of Stoliv and Prcanj, to build houses and deal with sea-related occupations. The Muo settlement by the sea was there before the second half of the 17th century, as evidenced by the toponym, which brought in one of the most famous cartographers of that time, Coronelli, in 1689, in his Map of Boka Bay, signifying Muo as a settlement next to the sea with about twenty houses," explains Ilko.
muo 4
Unlike other places of Boka Bay, which were active in maritime, Muo residents were more engaged in fishing. It is the first place in our coasts that has developed fisheries as the primary occupation of its inhabitants. They were fishing across the Boka Bay, looking for and catching fish and living from its sale," explains Ilko.
In Muo there used to be fish processing, Ilko reminds us and explains:
"At the end of the 19th century, Muo residents made a fish processing factory. Organized in several queues, the workers of that plant worked into groups: one was selecting fish, one packing, one closing the cans, and the fourth labeling the product names. This factory disappeared in the fire in 1918, and it was the end of fish processing in Muo. Muo also had a mussel farm. It was the first shellfish farm in Boka Bay, formed at the beginning of the 20th century. One year there was shellfish poisoning, which caused the production to cease," Ilko is sharing history facts mentioning the Boka Bay waited for re-establishment of marine aquaculture for a century.
muo fish factory
So, in 19th and at the beginning of 20th century, Muo was more economically developed than it is today. The cultural life of the place was also more dynamic and more meaningful. 
"My grandmum told me that there were ten fishing companies and ten taverns in Muo before the Second World War. These taverns were the objects where residents bought fish, procured basic items, but also could have a drink and spend some time socializing. They had a House of Culture that they made in 1913 by dividing two percent of the fish catch. That facility they later used as a school, they practiced and performed a famous choir “Zvonimir“, which was one of the best amateur choirs in the former Yugoslavia," Ilko recalls.
In addition to singing in the church choir and the male choir Zvonimir, the fishermen of Muo sang to make it easier for the hard life of the fishermen. 
"Members of the fishing companies started the song when returning from the sea, continuing to do the jobs they had been waiting for after the fishing. When these jobs were over, they went to the houses to change into a dry wardrobe and went back to the waterfront where they continued the song on the gates and taverns, socialized, playing cards, "says Ilko Marovic. So it is no surprise that Muo had a choir that was successful in performances throughout Yugoslavia. "Father Corona, who served in St. Anthony's Church in Prcanj, heard that the inhabitants of Muo well sang and called the choir that first appeared in 1888."
muo zvonimir
"We always think of fishers as some lower, poor population. The locals in Muo were fishermen, but they lived quite good from that work. We can see it even today by many beautiful stone houses by the sea. Residents of other coastal settlements in today's Kotor were engaged in maritime affairs and built gorgeous palaces in their settlements, but those palates, beside the church, were the only seafront buildings. Unlike other settlements, Muo did not build its landowners, but its peasants, fishers, who built a wreath of houses by the sea that complement each other by dividing the side walls. They shared the walls; they shared life. That harmony of simple life has forever disappeared, and with it the majority of the fishermen's tradition of the place," Ilko says with a lament.
muo shore
Today in Muo there is only one fishing company, which you can meet in the part of the settlement called Peluzica. They are fishing, socializing and waiting for one of the few traditional festivities that have survived. One of those is the Fishing Day, or as locals call it- "Rusalja." This custom originates from the inhabitants of Muo from the upper settlement, where they used to bless fields and cattle to pray for a good year. When they moved along the sea, they customized the old habits and consecrated them to the sea as the source of life. It is one of the most beautiful ceremonies in Boka Bay, held annually on Spiritual Mondays. We asked Ilko to make us closer this tradition of Muo.
"On Spiritual Monday at 6 am, Muo residents move from the parish church of Holy Kusma and Damian into a large procession with the participation of believers from the surrounding places. The procession goes all the way to the border with Prcanj, where the parish priest reads the Holy Gospel. The procession then goes back through the place, zigzagged with flags and greenery. The procession goes all the way to the border with the village of Skaljari, where the priest re-reads the Holy Gospel. Many of the families in the village stand out on the visible place of the sacred images to be blessed, and the fishermen put the nets and the fishing tools on the road to baptize them, for a happier and more lucrative catch. The procession then returns to the church of Blessed Grace, in front of which the pastor re-reads the Holy Gospel. After that, the priest goes down to the shore to bless the sea sinking the cross three times and praying for fishermen, seafarers, and travelers," explained Ilko the custom from which the inhabitants of Muo did not give up.
muo zdenka jankovicphoto by Zdenka Jankovic
A small fishing village Muo tourists can experience the best during the Kotor's Summer Carnival Festivals. At the initiative of NGO Festivities, Muo host the Fish and Wine Evenings organized under the auspices of the Kotor Tourist Organization. This program, always held in the first week of August, is very appealing to residents of Boka Bay and their guests. Muo then smells again on the fish and wine, which the hosts provide in abundance — with song and dance, rejoicing at numerous guests, Muo then, at least in a short, lively life worthy of his age-old traditions.
muo zoran nikolic 2011photo by Zoran Nikolic
15 Jan 2019, 14:04 PM

January 15, 2019 - For the second year in a row, Kotor is among 20 cultural tourism centers the European Best Destination website is proposing as the best for 2019. The competition officially began today and lasts until 5 February. On this occasion, we have spoken to the director of the Tourism Organization of Kotor, Ana Nives Radovic.

"The nomination of Kotor for the best tourist destination in Europe is remarkable since it is a website that is one of the most visited in the world and the most visited sites in Europe when we talk about websites specializing in culture and tourism. For six years it has been the best site in Europe for tourism and promotion. The visibility itself, just mentioning Kotor on it is significant, and any further placement in the coming days of voting will further increase the significance of attendance on this list," says TMN Ana Nives Radovic.
Kotor found itself in the company of famous and well-known European centers such as London, Paris, and Berlin. From our region, along with Kotor, on the list of 20 European destinations is Cavtat in the neighboring Croatia. However, Kotor competed for the best cultural tourism center in Europe and 2018.
"Kotor is the only city in our region that is on this list for the second year consecutively. Cities on this list change very often; very rarely is there one city in succession. However, Kotor has retained this position, so it is obvious that we are a prestigious cultural tourism center," the director of TO Kotor said proudly.
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 The fact that Kotor has come to the side with large European centers, when we talk about the offer of tourism, emphasizes the fact that in Kotor there is an invaluable cultural treasure that has excellent potential for the development of cultural tourism products. 
"It is a goal and purpose, not just the European Best Destination organization, on whose site is the whole promotion, but also the network created by the European Commission, which deals with the public's knowledge of the potential of cultural tourism. Tourism is generally beginning to perceive otherwise. There is a growing interest in cultural tourism, and there is growing interest in destinations where the offer is as intense as possible, as available as possible and as varied as possible. So it is not surprising that Kotor is a part of it, although it cannot compare with the other proposed destinations for many other aspects. The possibilities offered by this placement as well as our presence in tourist facilities around the world justify the fact that Kotor is on such lists. The percentage of the cultural treasure that exists in Kotor and the fact that it is a UNESCO site abolishes every reason why the size of the city is a factor in its nomination," explains Ana Nives Radovic. 
"Not only this nomination but also the numerous opportunities that opened in Kotor for the previous years, are conditioned by its uniqueness regarding the experience that tourists have in the destination they are visiting in one day. Kotor as a destination has the fate of tourists visiting the city during one day. It is precisely the visitors who in these competitions are making the final decision whether we justify the status of a destination for which there is so much to see and experience for a short time. From their court will depend on the final placement of Kotor."
The growing market for cultural tourism and the presence of Kotor on various lists of the best destinations in Europe and the world are valuable reasons to take into account the ICOMOS data that every euro invested in cultural heritage when combining this heritage with tourism brings the destination of seven Euros per year. That is the reason that both local and national institutions devote themselves to the preservation and revitalization of cultural heritage in the area of Kotor and Boka Bay.
"This nomination is an additional reason to re-emphasize that as the Kotor Tourism Organization, with the support of other institutions in Kotor, I hope this year will enable ten percent of the revenue of collecting bill fees to be set aside for restoration, conservation, and protection of cultural goods. Practice shows that the world is so, and UNESCO status and all such recognition and nomination oblige us, not only for securing tourism income but above all because of the concern of the city itself that the funds we make through tourism, invest in what allows us such nominations and such visibility," concluded Radovic.
Th European Best Destination for 2019 is chosen by the audience, who can vote for one of the 20 proposed destinations from today, 15 January, until 5 February. The winner will receive the European Best Destination Award 2019. The other cities will achieve promotion during the whole year 2019 to millions of travelers, media and tourism professionals as being among the trendiest destinations to visit in 2019.
European Best Destinations is a European organization based in Brussels and is developed to promote culture and tourism in Europe. Thanks to excellent communication with an audience of e-citizens, European Best Destinations plays an essential role in presenting Europe as the number one destination in the world. It has become a meeting place for tourism offices and world travelers and the main gateway to the discovery of Europe since 2009.
11 Jan 2019, 14:39 PM

11 January 2019 - The Singing Association "Grbalj" is organising a New Year's concert of traditional singing, customs, and dance on Monday, January 14, at 7 pm in the Kotor Cultural Centre "Nikola Đurković".

The list of performers at this event includes members of the Grbalj Association, the Serbian Cultural and Art Association "Sveti Đorđe" Goražde, "Teatar 303" Kotor, the Folklore Association "Sveti Jovan Vladimir" from Bar, the performers who will play the Montenegrin traditional musical instrument – gusle, performers who will play the diple and solo singers.

Ethnological heritage fans will be able to enjoy the performance of numerous traditional folk songs and customs. The audience will get to hear a cappella singing by the members of the singing association, who will perform numerous traditional songs which originated from Grbalj and are characteristic only for this region.

Kotor New Years Concert of Traditional Singing Customs and Dance on January 14 3

An interesting custom of the Singing Association Grbalj is that they have numerous young members, aged five to six years, and they perform with the adults on stage. The youngest members love the scene, and they have talent, which the audience recognises year after year and they get the biggest ovations.

Within this year's concert, which will be held on Monday, January 14th in Kotor, this Singing Association will once again demonstrate how the origin, past, and tradition of Grbalj can be presented uniquely.

The Singing Association "Grbalj" was founded in 2000 with the aim of protecting the cultural heritage of Grbalj, which has attracted the attention of a significant number of scientists: ethnologists, ethnomusicologists and archaeologists for centuries. The Association wants to introduce people to Grbalj’s customs and, at the same time, preserves the songs, customs, and traditions that originated from this area.

Kotor New Years Concert of Traditional Singing Customs and Dance on January 14 2

The first performance of the Singing Society "Grbalj" was held in Kotor. After they performed locally for a while, they had numerous performances throughout Montenegro and the region. One of the traditions of the Association is to organise a concert at the Cultural Centre Kotor each year on January 14, which is one of the most visited concerts in the region.

Singing Association “Grbalj” is a regular guest of numerous cultural associations from Sarajevo, Foča, Goražde, and Višegrad. The association members are recognizable for their kindness and humanity, mainly because they always respond to all performance invitations for humanitarian purposes.

08 Jan 2019, 21:03 PM

January 8, 2019 - “Kotor was also on the list of the world's best destinations for 2018 and thus justified the same status as 2017. It is a remarkable result given that the names of the world's metropolises are most frequently mentioned destinations in that list," the Kotor Tourist Organization’s director Ana Nives Radovic told Radio Kotor.

The popularity of Kotor, as she states, mainly comes thank to the city's panorama.
"Foreign journalists and bloggers, especially photojournalists, mostly positively evaluate the panorama of Kotor and view of the city from the city fortress. It prevails in the formation of the total impression, so the visitors neglect or suppresses those segments of the overall image of Kotor that might be better," says Radovic.
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As mentioned, a market that will have great potential in the coming years is the Chinese, and there is a great interest for the Western Balkans from the US market.
"Around ten percent of Chinese citizens travel because this is the percentage of the Chinese population that has a passport. On the other hand, we should take into account that visa liberalization will take place throughout the region. In order for Chinese tourists to come to Montenegro, there must be a bilateral contract at the state level, but also between the agencies from China and Montenegro, because they do not leave anything to the case," she said, adding that the number of Chinese tourists benefiting the demand for luxury travelers is increasing. 
"According to business figures from various companies, we see the biggest success of the companies which sold their luxury brands mostly in China. China's demand for brands dictates the results of the companies that are developing them," explains Ana Nives Radovic, by profession a financial analyst.
"The potential that Montenegro has is something that Chinese tourists have not started to use, but it will certainly be different in the coming years, and we have to prepare for it. That is why we have already prepared promotional materials and information in the Chinese language, we are following the situation and are planning to be ready to welcome them," Radovic told Radio Kotor.
According to her, there is a great interest for the Western Balkans also in the US market, where more and more media and travel bloggers are interested in Kotor as a tourist destination.
Ana Nives Radovic said that interest for Kotor is increasingly expressed by agencies that mediate in providing tourism services for family-friendly tourism destinations.
Source: Radio Kotor
08 Jan 2019, 14:51 PM

07 January 2019 - The General plan for the open sea has been adopted, tuna conditions in Montenegrin waters is good, and the opening of small businesses in the hinterland that would deal with fish processing would bring enormous profits to Montenegro, said Aleksandar Joksimović, head of the Laboratory for ichthyology and marine fisheries at Institute of Marine Biology in Kotor.

"So far, the progress in this area has been achieved in the organization of fishermen and associations, with the help of creation of clusters, and the awareness of fishermen that joint, teamwork can achieve results," said Joksimović.

Fishing the small oily fish, tuna farming, the development of a fish processing factory, as well as the logistics on the coast, can bring the Montenegrin economy the brand as something from the southern Adriatic - high salinity and clean water.

"Economically important species in fishing in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea are hake, red mullet, shrimps, octopuses, but as well as the European pilchard and anchovy. For each of these species, a complete study is already carried out, which resulted in biological and economic limits which state that their fishing is limited to a certain number of tons," Joksimović reminded.

Members of the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean have decided to increase the quota that has been set up in Montenegro to up to 50 tons of oily fish, European pilchard and anchovy. The new quota applies to all other Adriatic countries as well, and it is increased for up to 2.5 tons.

During the mid-December 2018, Montenegrin prosciutto became the new product under protection in Montenegro, as reported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Natural environment, climate conditions in the region of production, long tradition of production and a good reputation of this product, that extends over the boundaries of this region form the basis for the protection of this product as a specific and authentic product. The impact of the geographical surroundings, climate and the skillfulness in the application of special recipe, is responsible for the prosciutto that is highly respected among the consumers, especially tourists who visit Montenegro,” said the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture.

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