Monday, September 17, 2012

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. 

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.

Kotor's Stone Walls

Looking out over Kotor from the fortifications

The remains of one of Kotor's many bastions

For our moms - it wasn't really that dangerous

More ruins along the pathway

Triangular Kotor 280 meters below

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.

Church of Our Lady of Remedy

Side profile of the fortifications

The amazing view from the fortification walls

A maze of walls, bastions, and pathways with Kotor far below

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. 

*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. 

Water rushing down the steps in Kotor

By Calli D with 2 comments


A beautiful place. Nice to see it doesn't seem to have changed much.

Kotor really is an awesome place to visit. Even though lots of cruise ships seem to be stopping there nowadays, it looks like it's doing its very best to hold onto that character and charm that make it unique.

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Hey there!

Calli and Travis returned from a four month trip through Europe more excited than ever to hit the open road. Who knows where they'll end up next...

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