Kotor (ita. Cattaro)
ramparts of old town of Kotor
Kotor is situated at the end of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, which is officially in the group of the most beautiful bays in the world. During the medieval times, Kotor became one of the most prominent cultural, economic, religious and trade centres of the southern Adriatic. The oldest archaeological remaining is the foundation of the early Cristian basilica from the 6th century below now existing Church of St. Mary of The River. The first fortification was also established in the 6th century under the rulership of the Byzantine Empire. From 1185 to 1371, Kotor was under the rule of the Kingdom of Serbia. During that period, the first statute of the town was released in the year of 1301. Between 1391 and 1420, Kotor was an independent town - state. Afterwards, due to the threat of the Ottoman Empire and regular attacks by pirates, Kotor asked the Republic of Venice for protection, which was granted. Thus, Kotor with its surrounding territory became the province of the Venetian Republic from 1420 to 1797. During the Venetian protectorate, the town became a significant maritime centre in this region. In that period, most of its palaces were constructed in Baroque style by using building techniques with a strong influence of Venetian tradition. The town has the longest fortification system in this region which was rebuilt by the Venetian Republic from 16th to 18th century. It protected the town during numerous Ottoman attempts to conquest the city. The most significant feat of architecture is St. Tryphon Cathedral built in 1166 on the remains of the old Roman basilica dated to the year of 809. Today, Kotor is a very attractive tourist and cruise destination. Over 500,000 visitors from cruise ships visit the town every year, which negatively affects the life of domicile population in many ways, and cause the high pollution of air and turbulence in marine ecosystem. The town itself has 2,500 inhabitants and it is the cultural capital of Montenegro.