The city of Kotor is a reserved aristocrat among other medieval towns of the Adriatic coast. By the way, it was Kotor who presented his proud name to the entire Kotor Bay - the deepest, most beautiful and rainy bay of the Adriatic Sea.
The most important thing is that you must learn about this aristocrat - this is exactly the city. Not a fortress, where you will be allowed on a ticket and whose walls you will have to leave at nightfall but a living city, just medieval. In the stone houses-chambers of the aristocrats of the East, ordinary people live and hide from the tourist noise behind closed shutters. Tear off the view from the windows of boutiques and souvenir shops, and just above you will see the ropes stretched between the medieval windows of medieval houses and the very modern clothes drying on them. So the inhabitants of the city create a spectacular staging for tourists, greedy for interesting shots.
Kotor was built by Venetians, and therefore they built according to the rules that were usual for them. Say, una casa - una famiglia: one house - one owner; kitchen under the roof, to avoid fires and excessive salivation and, of course, in any convenient place, a winged lion - a symbol of Venice - was installed. In the company of one such lion you can find yourself climbing to the very top of the fortress wall (entrance 2,5 euros) - to the bastion of San Giovanni, above the city noise and worldly fuss.
Roughly speaking, Kotor was built over three hundred years - from the beginning of the XV to the XVIII century. During this time, the Venetians managed to build a four-kilometer fortress wall, six bastions, seven city squares, and each aristocratic family was placed in a separate palace with all amenities. There are no wide direct avenues in the city, city squares (each with its own name) are connected with each other by narrow winding streets. The narrowest one is called - Let me go - it is narrow so that the two aristocrats were not at all on it, and the question of who to miss was the cause of serious medieval resentments.
You can get into the city only through three gates - the main sea, northern and southern. On the side of each gate there are water obstacles - the river Shkurda, the underground source Gurdich and the sea. In the Middle Ages, the bridges leading to the gates were elevated. In case of danger, they were raised, the gates were closed, Venetian soldiers took up places at the loopholes and the city became what it was intended - an impregnable fortress. Surprisingly, over three hundred years of Venetian rule, Kotor was never subdued by the Turks. Truely, for this miracle, the inhabitants of the city thanked not so much the Venetian soldiers as blessed Ozanna - a nun who raised the uprising and drove away Hajruddin Barbarossa himself. One of the churches of the city bears her name, and in the altar to the left of the entrance to the church the incorrupt relics of Ozanna lay in the glass sarcophagus.
Go into the city through the main sea gate, like everyone who came here by sea. At the gate you will be greeted by a bas-relief dedicated to Saint Trifon - the defender of the city from the 9th century - the century of finding the relics of this Christian saint - and to this day, and above the gate - Neptune's stone mask, it is always better to enlist the support of several patrons. Make a circle around the city, stroll through its squares, poke on narrow streets with other tourists, buy souvenirs in former artisan benches and drink a cup of coffee in one of the cafes - listen to the city - maybe you will not disclose all your hundred secrets to Kotor, but will share with something necessarily.
In Kotor, you will not get lost by a free map, which you can take in a tourist tent near the main gate of the city. There you can also ask to arm you with a guide if you want to get to know the city more closely.