Climbing Kotor’s Fortifications

Our apologies for the delay in writing, we’ve been swept up exploring Dubrovnik – it’s clear now that travel is our first priority.

We encountered a couple rainy days at the end of our stay in Kotor and once everything dried up we were eager to get outside again. Unfortunately the rain turned our kayak day into a rest day but with a few more coastal stops in the near future I’m sure we’ll get on the water yet.

The city of Kotor below a maze of stone Fortifications

The city of Kotor below a maze of stone Fortifications

Sandwiched between two rainy days was a full day of sunshine, which we put to good use by climbing the fortifications nearly one thousand feet (280 meters to be exact) up the mountainside behind Old Town Kotor. At the top stands San Giovanni Fortress, the remains of an ancient castle that would have been one of the most strategic parts of the town’s fortification system. Although a significant portion of the fortifications and the fortress were damaged by earthquakes (most recently in 1979), steps are being taken to restore the site and it still reigns as the best views you’ll find of Old Town.

Climbing Kotor's Fortifications - we made sure to leave early in the morning so we could hike while the walls were shaded by the mountainside

Climbing Kotor’s Fortifications – we made sure to leave early in the morning so we could hike while the walls were shaded by the mountainside

One of the many ruined Bastions that are built into the walls

One of the many ruined Bastions that are built into the walls

The view of Kotor from midway up the Fortifications

The view of Kotor from midway up the Fortifications

One lucky lady that seems untouched by years of siege, by both ancient armies and mother nature, is the Church of Our Lady of Remedy. Sitting about a third of the way up the mountainside, and dating back to 1518, the bell tower still stands tall, overlooking the bay and offering some great photo opportunities.

Our Lady of Remedy perched high above the city

Our Lady of Remedy perched high above the city

Looking out onto the Bay of Kotor while climbing the Fortifications

Looking out onto the Bay of Kotor while climbing the Fortifications

A warning sign we just had to photograph for our mothers - it wasn't really that dangerous

A warning sign we just had to photograph for our mothers – it wasn’t really that dangerous

The hike isn’t an easy one, as many of the pathways are still a work in progress, however the views at the top are more than enough reward. Overall we spent about two hours exploring the different bastions, viewpoints, and the fortress, however the hike itself is only about 30 minutes to the top. There are two entrances along the back wall of the city which are easily marked (we took the entrance closest to the North Gate behind St. Mary’s Church) and the entrance fee is 3 Euro per person.

Crumbled building ruins are a common sight along the hike up the mountainside

Crumbled building ruins are a common sight along the hike up the mountainside

The triangular historic city of Kotor 280 meters below

The triangular historic city of Kotor 280 meters below

Making our way back down the mountainside after reaching the summit

Making our way back down the mountainside after reaching the summit

*Disclaimer: Rain in Kotor is a bit more severe than at home, and the walled city doesn’t help the situation as the water has nowhere to go. We weren’t chicken to get a little wet, we ran to the grocery store to stock up on provisions, only to have to shop completely drenched and have the bakery clerk laugh at us in Montenegrin – she thought I didn’t understand but the pointing gave it away.

The rain has little place to go in the fortified city, making venturing out during a storm nearly impossible

The rain has little place to go in the fortified city, making venturing out during a storm nearly impossible

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