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The historical area of Prcanj

UNESCO Natural and Culturo-historical region of Kotor, Prcanj, Montenegro

The historical centre of settlement of Prcanj which includes Our Lady’s Temple, the Franciscan Monastery and the Church of St. Nicholas, is the historical core of the settlement and the place where all important historical events occurred starting from 1730s when the monastery was built. The historical core of Prcanj settlement is characterized by a large concentration of houses and palaces in a small area lined up in the first row along the coastline. In some areas, the houses and palaces are placed on both sides of the street, which gives an impression of a very dense and very rich urban centre.


The Church of St. Nicholas (1728-1735), situated in front of a pedestrian promenade by the sea, was the historical core of the settlement’s culture during the 18th and 19th century. The monastery of St. Nicholas was at first a home to a primary school, and after that it housed a very famous nautical school, the first pharmacy in Prcanj and a public library founded in 1861. Our Lady’s Temple, also known as the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the most beautiful and one of the largest churches in the coastal area of the southern Adriatic. Bernardino Maccaruzzi, a Venetian architect, designed the church in the late Venetian Baroque style in 1789. The construction of the church began in 1789, but it was completed after 120 years, namely in 1909. The construction of the Roman Catholic Church was funded by numerous donations of the wealthy captain families from Prcanj and finally it was completed with the aid of significant donations provided by the Austro-Hungarian government. Today, this is the most important area of the settlement of Prcanj and one of the most important areas of the whole UNESCO’s Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor.


The landscape which surrounds this historical centre of Prcanj from the house Odmoriste towards the Verona Palace has been degraded in many cases due to the poorly planned commercial construction, which significantly jeopardized the outstanding universal value of the historical core of the settlement and degraded the integrity of the authentic cultural landscape. The proposal for its protection should contain an integral plan for the maintenance of the entire landscape surrounding the historical core of the settlement, from the sea to the hill that forms an integral system which includes art gardens, arable land on terraced estates, orchards, olive groves and planted forests between them. Taking into account all the areas that make up the visual background for the monumental Our Lady’s Temple and the Church of St. Nicholas, and defining the landscape of the invaluable importance, one can determine the area that would be proposed for the protection and management plan as a cultural landscape of exceptional importance.





Kusevic, B. (2017).
The historical urban area of the settlement Prcanj. ‘‘The Archive of Landscapes”. [date].



David Rumsey Historical Map Collection | The Collection; (1693) Disegno Topografico del Canale di Cattaro, Montenegro; Coronelli, Vincenzo (1650-1718).

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