July 16, 2020 - This year's celebration of July 13, Statehood Day of Montenegro, will be remembered for an unpleasant event in Kotor - celebrations with torches led to a fire on the walls of the San Giovanni fortress above the Old Town, thanks to which Kotor and Boka Kotorska enjoy UNESCO protection.
While the Municipality of Kotor comes with implausible explanations that this was an accident caused by celebratory euphoria, professionals and the public are still in disbelief - cultural heritage of global importance has been allowed to burn due to human negligence and irresponsibility.
The former director of the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Kotor, Prof. Dr. Ilija Lalošević, said yesterday that he was shocked by what happened on the ramparts two nights ago. For twenty years, he emphasizes, there has been a ban on lighting with naked flames on the cultural-historical monument in Kotor.
Lalošević, who also received his doctorate on the Kotor Fortress and fortifications from the Venetian period in Boka, is one of the best connoisseurs of the walls, bastions, and other buildings that make up the complex system of the medieval Kotor fortress. He led the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments from 1999 to 2004. He says that at the initiative of that institution, the traditional illumination of the Kotor ramparts with naked flames during major festivities, such as Boka Night, was abolished.
"Just after one Boka Night, I, as the Director of the Institute, climbed the ramparts and went to the fortress of San Giovanni with the then representative of UNESCO, Mr Fubomishi Kudo of Japan, who was on an official visit to Kotor. He was astonished to see the remains of burnt sawdust and oil on the walls, and he could not believe that something like this was being allowed on this valuable architectural and cultural heritage. He was so shocked by the condition of the ramparts that he immediately took $ 2,000 out of his pocket and donated it personally for the cleaning and refurbishment of the Kotor fortress. Since then, any illumination of the Kotor walls with the use of naked flames has been strictly forbidden." Dr. Ilija Lalošević is the laureate of the highest recognition of the city of Kotor - the November Award - for his contribution to the protection and improvement of the Kotor fortress and walls and their inclusion to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017.
Kotor police remain silent
Even after two days, the Kotor police have not explained how they allowed the holding of a hazardous public gathering - a torchlight procession on the walls and along the waterfront on the occasion of the celebration of Statehood Day on July 13.
A public gathering violated the current orders of the Ministry of Health issued to prevent the spread of coronavirus and was organized contrary to the Law on Public Order and Peace, the Law on Explosive Substances, and the Law on Protection and Rescue. The unknown organizers turned the celebration into a scandal because torches carried along the walls by participants caused a fire that endangered part of this cultural monument, which is under the first category of UNESCO's protection. Kotor firefighters, with the help of participants in the torchlight procession, extinguished the fire that was reported to them at around 10 pm, and was brought under control at 1.30 am. It was completely extinguished just after 5 am the following day.
The Mayor of Kotor, Zeljko Aprcovic (DPS), told "Vijesti" yesterday that it was not true that a pine tree had caught fire on the ramparts on the hill of Sveti Ivan above the Old Town.
"This is not true. All the pine trees below San Giovanni are still there. Only grass and low vegetation have burned, " said the Mayor. However, the Commander of the Protection and Rescue Service of the Municipality of Kotor, Maksim Mandić, told "Vijesti" that several hundred square meters of low-lying vegetation and one pine tree had caught fire.
Aprcovic did not comment that the organizers of the torchlight procession at the Kotor Fortress violated the seasonal ban in force on lighting fires in the open and in public areas, which was signed by the Mayor, and which is valid from June 1 to September 30. Kotor is also awash with posters from the Municipality and Protection and Rescue Service drawing the public's attention to the fact that they must strictly abide by these orders and "refrain from any action that could lead to an uncontrolled fire."
"We are surrounded by the indescribable beauty of the Bay of Kotor and thousands of years of old buildings under UNESCO's protection. Please preserve them with us for future generations. Every tree is an invaluable gift of nature, it can disappear instantly in flames, but it takes decades for another to grow. Do not do anything that can contribute to its disappearance, because life has been chose here." Breaches of seasonal bans on lighting fires and "leaving burning objects in places where there is an increased risk of fire," are met with fines of 30 to 2,000 euros.
Responses from the Regular State Prosecutor's Office in Kotor, which initiated an investigation, and data obtained by the Prosecutor's Office regarding the organizers of this public gathering, procurement and introduction of several hundred pyrotechnic torches into the protected cultural monument are still awaited, Vijesti writes.
Petar Pejaković on the occasion of this year's Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children
June 14, 2020 - “The Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children will be held for the 28th time in its traditional period from July 2nd to 10th. It is important that the Festival is held on those days, not only because of its long tradition, but also because during this global crisis it is a positive thing to start the entire "cultural summer" in Montenegro with a festival dedicated to children and children’s culture,” said Pejaković.
Youngsters deal best with big things, even when they, like coronavirus, seem like monsters from a fairy-tale. Even as its evil fire burned on all sides, and turned their world upside down, they were patient. And as one of the rewards for their courage, the Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children, as announced by the event’s Director, Petar Pejaković, will also be held this year, from 2nd to 10th July.
Although somewhat redacted, the 27 year-old festival will continue in its attempts to bring to the most sincere of audiences positive creativity for children and young people, both in the drama and in the literary and musical segments. Pejaković spoke further to Pobjeda about this year's programme.
How much, due to the consequences of coronavirus, has this year's concept for the Festival changes, and is it possible to hold it in the traditional period?
The Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children will be held for the 28th time in its traditional period from July 2nd to 10th. It is important that the Festival is held on those days, not only because of its long tradition, but also because during this global crisis it is a positive thing to start the entire "cultural summer" in Montenegro with a festival dedicated to children and children’s culture. Children are also the most impatient and deserve the most attention first, after an extraordinary period in which we were all deprived of many things. For that reason, the motto for this year's Festival is: "Everything has stopped, but the children are still growing". That is, everything can stop, but children cannot. This sounds like a just a phrase, but it's not really, it's already a basic, and if you will, harsh reality. We have an obligation to be aware of this, to respect it and to lend a hand.
Will the youngest audience be able to watch any performances from the region and abroad this year, and will it be possible to organize the competitive part of the programme?
We are still in discussions on performances from the region that will be part of the Festival. We are waiting for the general situation in the region to return to normal in order to bring the best possible performances from neighbouring countries. What is certain is that there will be several professional performances at the Festival coming from outside Montenegro. We have decided that this year there will be no competition taking the format of professional awards conferred by an expert jury. This is not the right time for that, and without participation from international competitors there would be no true or worthy competition. The children's jury will still work this year and will award the "Dragan Radulović" award. Here, the symbolism of this award and the act itself are more important than the competition.
Has the Festival programme already taken shape, that is, has it been agreed what will be performed at the Festival this year?
The programme of the 28th Festival has largely been agreed. There will be 10 performances on the main theatre programme. Most of the theatres in Montenegro, several theatres from the region and some of the best productions of the Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children will be taking part. The festival has striven, especially in the last ten years, towards quality internationalization, that is, towards the opportunity for our children to see and a broad range of quality theatre performances from all over the world. So far, the Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children has been attended by children's artists from 45 countries on five continents. This year, we are, in the artistic sense, in a kind of quarantine, and we rely on our own production and capabilities. We need to make the best of this difficult circumstance. This year we need to turn to ourselves, reflect, and honestly see where we are, what we are doing, and what and how to proceed. In the case of the Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children, it is a good opportunity to get a true picture of the Montenegrin youth and children’s theatre scene and to make the right decisions on how to improve it and quickly and in a quality way, and for sure a lot needs to be done.
Can we expect some local premieres at the Festival?
From 2nd to 7th July, the City Theatre of Podgorica will present two new premieres in Kotor: “Maca papučarica” (The Slipper Kitten) and “Na ivici neba” (On the edge of the Sky). The Nikšić Theatre will perform “Kraljević i prosjak” (The Prince and the Pauper). The Royal Theatre Zetski Dom will premiere the play “Ljubavno doba” (The Age of Love), made in the Drama Studio and intended for young people. In addition to these local premiere performances and several other performances from the region, the Festival will also welcome performances that were previously produced or co-produced by the Festival and the Nikola Đurković Cultural Centre: “Ivo Visin – kapetan od snova” (Ivo Visin - Captain of Dreams), “Lagarije - predavanje o surogatu” (Make-Believe - A Lecture on Substitutes) “Kinez” (The Chinese Man), “Cvrčak i mrav” (The Cricket and Ant) and “Kako rastu veliki ljudi” (How Great People Grow).
How has this year's music and literature programme been designed?
The other programmes will be quite comprehensive, considering this year's situation. A new book will be presented at the Festival for the first time from Ćuk Editions - “Ivo Visin – Kapetan od snova” (Ivo Višin - Captain of Dreams) by Jelena Lela Milošević with illustrations by Đorđe Kalezić. It is a continuation of the publishing endeavours by the Festival, aiming to fill the gap in domestic literary publishing for children. In addition, two more literary evenings are planned, three programmes of children's drama, five music and dance programmes, three exhibitions, animation programmes around the city, film screenings, and over twenty art installations in the Old Town, entitled “Stone Heritage".
How significant are the consequences of coronavirus on the event financially, and did you find support in organizing this year's edition?
The plan is for patrons from the Municipality of Kotor and the Ministry of Culture to set aside 40 percent of the previous sum used to support the Festival, which as part of KotorArt is one of the three festivals of national significance in Montenegro. It is difficult to know how many cuts there will be when it comes to other areas of life, but it would not be positive for culture and children to be most affected by the emergency situation.
Theatre is Resilient
Although we are currently a country without active cases of the virus, and many measures have been relaxed, the situation in the region and the world is still uncertain. Do you have access to alternative solutions if things take a turn for the worse?
We planned alternative solutions two months ago, so we have several scenarios for holding an extraordinary edition of this year's Festival. These include moving it, holding the various programmes separately, and virtual or “guerrilla” editions and programmes for children and youth. Theatre is very resilient, it is used to difficult conditions, and it has high standards and requirements, so it will surely survive and be a guide in terms of other areas of life.
Source: Pobjeda - Svetlana VIŠNJIĆ
May 7, 2020 - Sitting by the PC to finally start working, I put on my headphones so that the music would play the song of the birds calling me out. I ask Youtube for "recently uploaded" and guess what - a video about Kotor was there, which was uploaded yesterday by Mark Wolters, a travel blogger whose youtube channel has 681K subscribers. Let's see what he has to say on our Medieval pearl and its surroundings. It would be especially interesting since, at the moment, there is still a ban on intercity traffic. And I cannot go there.
It seems that the post-corona world will be more prone to travelers than tourists in the classical sense of the word. In the new circumstances, preference will be given to destinations that can offer the traveler an authentic experience, which will undoubtedly require a more personal approach to the needs of each traveler and guest that the trip brings to our country. In this sense, Boka Bay and its historical and cultural center, Kotor, have a large number of products of particular interest to numerous niches of guests looking for a personal experience. It is interesting to hear what a world-renowned travel blogger has to say to its broad audience about Kotor on May 6, 2020.
"Heading to Kotor, Montenegro, and not sure what to expect? Well, here we go through what to see, do, eat, and enjoy on your Montenegro vacation. Whether you are coming in on a cruise or just passing through Kotor has quite a bit for a traveler to enjoy in a short period of time. From walking the ramparts, hiking the hills, visiting the churches (St. Luke's, St. Nicholas, the Cathedral), or heading out into the Bay of Kotor to see some wonders, you will have a nice visit in Kotor. "
Filmed in Kotor, Montenegro Copyright Mark Wolters 2020
Wolters World youtube channel gives first-hand travel advice to help fellow travelers get the most out of their travel experience. Mark Wolters and his crew discuss the best & worst parts of traveling so that potential travelers can be better prepared for his vacation. In a way that helps them know more about the culture and people of the city, country, or region he is going to visit, as written at the Wolters World youtube channel.
"From the shocks of traveling to a new country to the things you don't do when you travel, the things you will love and hate, to general travel tips for packing, budgeting, planning, safety and more - we try to help all types of travelers," states the channel presentation.
Hopefully, at least one percent of Wolters subscribers decide to check Kotor. They do not have to come all this summer, but sometimes soon- it would be great.
I'll watch this video one more time. Jealous of Mr. Wolters that he's in Kotor, although I know this video was recorded earlier.
The high point of the “From Christmas to Christmas” event, and a great joy for the very youngest audience is of course the Children’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which will be organised on Monday, 30th December beginning at 4pm at the Arms Square in Kotor.
Santa Claus and his elf helper will be preparing various surprises and a big party, which is not to be missed. For kids, there will be a super-fun interactive show called “Love One Another - This is the Year of Love”. As with every year, an integral part of the programme is when Santa Claus comes to hand out New Year’s presents to all children gathered on the main town square.
For little ones who are too ill to attend the festivities, distribution of presents will take place at 12 noon at the children’s ward of Kotor Municipal Hospital, as a continuation of the “Fairy Tale for Health” event that has been held since 2015 as part of the From Christmas to Christmas project.
The last day of 2019 will close with a fantastic concert by the group “Perper”. The New Year will get off to a swinging start with a fundraising party.
NGO Karampan invites everyone to come down to the main town square on 2nd January at 8pm sharp and join the festivities, with the lively band “The Grupa” and the fantastic hits of the well-known Montenegrin artist Sergej Ćetković.
December 18, 2019 - Kotor mayor, Mr Željko Aprcović, director of the Direction for Organization and Construction of Kotor, Mr Zoran Mrdak, and executive director of the company Bigova Bay, Ms Branka Lazarević, met in Kotor to sign the agreement on the implementation of an investment – the construction of a high-end tourism complex in Bigova.
The agreement announces the beginning of the implementation of an investment whose initiation started 7 years ago.
“The local self-government is proud to have a renowned investor in this business who will invest large sums of money – over 300 million euro – and today is a big day for the Municipality of Kotor,” said the Mayor of Kotor.
The aim of this project is to obtain the new content that will raise the sites in Donji Grbalj to a higher level.
Mr Aprcović said: ”This investment will represent the initial impetus for future investors in this extremely attractive site.”
Kotor Municipal Assembly, at its session held on 18 Nov. 2019, passed the decision on resolving relations between the Municipality of Kotor and Bigova Bay and the agreement signed today represents an integral part of it.
Text by CDM, read more here.
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November 19, 2019 - Continuing our look at the real estate opportunities in Montenegro, the latest Property of the Week from the RE/MAX catalogue takes us to Dobrota, Kotor.
Imagine waking up each morning and taking a coffee on the terrace, overlooking a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the most beautiful places in Europe. The Boka Bay area is not only an area of breathtaking natural beauty, but in the town of Kotor, one can enjoy one of the truly spectacular urban architectural treasures of the Mediterranean.
This makes Dobrota an extremely desirable location to own property, as both are within easy reach from there, and the views out to Boka Bay are divine. The latest mouthwatering piece of real estate temptation from the RE/MAX catalogue is a lovely 3-bedroom apartment in Dobrota, which is ready to walk into. And with some rather unusual interior decor. In the words of the official RE/MAX description below, after you have enjoyed this video tour:
The first nine months of this year saw the Port of Kotor post a profit of 1.05 million euros, 50.5% higher than the same period last year, reported the Chair of the Board Branko Ivanović to Pobjeda, adding that this was a record increase in profits.
"The company's revenue for the first nine months amounted to 2.85 million euros, 32.8% up on the same period last year," stated Ivanović.
Operating expenses for the Port of Kotor in the first three quarters amounted to EUR 1.79 million, which is a 27% increase due to the concession contract for the use of the port.
The Port of Kotor is the concessionary for the commercial port, and the agreement on the primary concession with the Government was signed on 25th March, on the basis of a decision of Government of 27th December last year.
The concession is for a period of 12 years, and a business plan for that period envisages investment in infrastructure and superstructure of 5 million euros. After the signing of a concession contract with the Kotor company, the Ministry of Transport in March announced that in implementing the investment plan, conditions would be created to be able to welcome the newest cruise ships, without any restriction on length or draft, and the capacity of the marina would be increased. In addition, the quality of port services will also be improved. Earlier, it was announced that the concession agreement would benefit the state, municipality, citizens, and above all, those who work in the port itself. It was also stated that it was of the utmost importance to remove any safety risks and enable improvements, investment, development, safe passage for vessels, and comfort for travellers and tourists.
Port of Kotor - photo Boka News
At the end of August, the Port of Kotor applied to the Ministry of Sustainable Development for the issuance of urban and technical conditions to build an independent buffer for vessels and two independent berths for buoy mooring in the operational space of the Port, in order to improve the technical and technological elements necessary for welcoming passenger vessels. The Port of Kotor Company made a net profit last year of some EUR 801,200 and is one of six joint-stock companies that paid dividends to shareholders last year.
In June, a meeting of shareholders in the Kotor company took the decision to distribute half of its profits to the owners in the form of a dividend. The Municipality of Kotor holds 56.97% of the Port’s shares, PIO Fund 17.5%, and the Employment Bureau 5.87% of the company's capital.