A Church for the Goose Herder
The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon stands in the middle of the busy centre and is one of the largest preserved Romanesque churches on the Adriatic coast. Step inside to admire the Byzantine frescoes and icon paintings. The church was completed in 1166 and is dedicated to Saint Tryphon who, legend has it, was only a goose herder, but endowed with supernatural healing powers. He is the patron saint of gardeners and winegrowers, and also of the city of Kotor. But even he was not able to prevent the church from repeatedly suffering serious damage: The cathedral’s original towers were destroyed in an earthquake in 1667.
The View from the Castle
Instead, you can now admire Renaissance and Baroque elements, the legacy of various restorers. A breath taking panoramic view of the glittering bay rewards those who climb the 1,350 stone steps to Sveti Ivan’s Fortress. The castle was built between the 9th and 15th centuries and stands at 280 metres above sea level. Your admiration for this architectural achievement will also increase with every metre you climb. The terrain is steep and it takes about 45 minutes to reach the medieval ruin at a relaxed pace.
Climbing for All
The wall of the old fortress is a prime example of the interplay between landscape and architecture: Facing the sea, there is the impressive gate to protect against intruders, while facing the east, the bulwark winds its way along the steep mountain slope. Despite - or possible precisely because of - this protective wall, Kotor has also served as a hideout for pirates. The wall, built between the 14th and 17th centuries, suffered serious damage during an earthquake in 1979. The reconstruction of the over four-kilometre-long and up to 15-metre-wide structure was funded by UNESCO. This is a great place to bring the children as they can storm and conquer it completely non-violently.
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