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Montenegro

 

Montenegro or Crna Gora  is a country situated in the south of the Adriatic.The name ‘Montenegro’, meaning ‘black mountain’, is likely to have come from the thick black forests that covered Mount Lovćn in medieval times.Montenegro was founded as a state under its present name in 15th century.It was able to maintain its independence during the reign of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, as its independence was formally acknowledged at the Congress of Berlin in 1878.

Montenegro may be small in terms of area, it boast stunning mountainous landscapes, dramatic coast lines, historic monuments and truly beautiful walled towns.Evidence of the country’s rich heritage remains highly visible today – from the many well-preserved old towns to the religious monuments and national cuisine. Around half of the country is still covered by forest, while visitors and locals alike also enjoy the Adriatic coastline, lowlands and high mountain ranges. The Tara River canyon is also the deepest and longest in Europe, and the second-longest in the world.

 

Bar

 

Bar (Montenegrin/Serbian: Bar  pronounced [bâr]) is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has a population of 17,727 (2011 census). Bar is the centre of municipality and a major sea port of Montenegro.In Montenegrin and Serbian, the town is known as Bar; in Italian as Antivari or Antibari; in Albanian as Tivari; and in Latin as Antibarium. The name of this city is connected to Bari, Italy as those cities are located on the opposite side of Adriatic sea.As a city of olives, the sea gate of Montenegro, long-lasting melting-pot of different confessions and nations, Bar represents a mix of modernity, tradition and beauty. It is an important and dynamic economic centre within Montenegro, but is also a town of rich cultural and historical tradition. Some of the highest achievements of Montenegro’s civilization originated in Bar. The oldest written documents and the most important work of medieval Montenegrin literature and history can be found here. The town also served as the seat of the oldest religious institution of Montenegro (the Bar archbishopric). One of the world’s oldest olive trees grows here, the Old Olive of Mirovica, which is more than 2000 years old.The rich cultural and historical tradition of the Bar area is combined with the unique gifts of nature, a friendly climate and a remarkable geographical position.The pleasant Mediterranean climate attracts a large number of tourists each year. With an average of 270 sunny days per year, Bar is one of the Mediterranean’s sunniest towns. The 44 kilometre-long sea coast, including over 9 kilometres of beaches, the 67 kilometre-long shore of Lake Skadar and the mountain range dividing these two large bodies of water make Bar an ideal destination for tourists who wish to relax on lovely beaches and enjoy the unspoilt environment, as well as for those wanting to visit the numerous cultural and religious sites or to spend their holidays engaged in various sports activities.

 

The Old Town of Bar

 

The Old Town of Bar is the largest and the most important medieval archaeological site in the Balkans. It covers the area of 4.5 hectares, where the remains of around 600 public and private edifices are the proof of the existence of various construction phases present in different epochs of the Mediterranean history.It is in the historical sources from the 10th century that the Old Town of Bar is mentioned for the first time, however it is assumed that it had existed even in the 6th century in the form of the rehabilitated Roman 'castrum'. It was established in a naturally protected place and surrounded by strong walls with towers and bastions. The residential architecture of the town is characterized by Late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and oriental elements.The intensive and continuous life of the town from the 10th up to the end of the 19th century, has left   diverse and rich architectural heritage, characterized by the meeting of European architectural styles - Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque with the elements of oriental and traditional local architecture.Due to its position and many centuries long history, the Old Town of Bar represents a composition of all Mediterranean cultures: Illyrian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Slavic, Venetian and Ottoman.

 

The rich cultural and historical heritage of  Bar belongs to different epochs and civilizations. It would be very difficult to list all the remarkable monuments in Bar, so we will mention only some of them.

 

One of the oldest monuments in this area and the oldest Christian religious building in Montenegro is the Bar Triconch Church dating back to the 6th century, whose remnants are located in the centre of the town. This is where the “Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja” (“Ljetopis popa Dukljanina”) was created in the second half of the 12th century. It is the region’s most important medieval work of literature and history. Just a few kilometres away from the town centre, on Ratac peninsula, situated between Bar and Sutomore, there are the remnants of Our Lady of Ratac (Bogorodica Ratačka) monastery complex which belonged to the Benedictine order, and it is presumed to have been established in the 9th century.Near the small seaside town of Sutomore, there is the partially preserved fortress of Nehaj, used by both Venetians and Ottoman Turks. As a Venetian fortified town, Nehaj was first documented in the 16th century as the Fortezza dei Spizi. The Bar municipality also contains beautiful churches and monasteries erected during the time of the Balšić family (14th -15th century) on the islands of Lake Skadar: Beška, Moračik, Starčvo, etc.

 

King Nikola’s palace

 

The 19th-century King Nikola’s palace  was built in 1885 on the seashore. It consisted of a large palace, a little palace, a chapel, guardhouses and a winter garden. As part of the palace, there is a park with many different species of Mediterranean vegetation, among them a cork tree. In front of the palace, there was a wooden pier, which served as a mooring for boats and yachts. During the period between 1866 and 1916 King Nikola owned ten yachts. One of them, named “Sibil” was bought from novelist Jules Verne, while the last yacht he bought, called “Rumija” was sunk in 1915 by the Austro-Hungarian navy in the area of today’s harbour. Here, one can also find a large flower garden, made of a stainless steel structure of interesting shape, which was given as a present by the Italian king, Emanuel, and which is nowadays used as the restaurant called “Knjaževa bašta” (“The Duke’s Garden”). Nowadays, the palace building complex is used as the Homeland Museum of the City of Bar, as well as for festivals (concerts, exhibitions and literary events).

 

The Old Olive

 

The Old Olive of Mirovica is a trademark natural feature of Bar. It is believed to be more than 2000 years old and it is one of the oldest olive trees in the world. Because of its natural, morphological, environmental, aesthetic and historical significance, this exceptional natural monument was put under State protection in 1957. Numerous legends and traditions are associated with the Old Olive of Mirovica. One of them has it that at one time families that had a dispute would come here to make peace under this olive tree. Thus it earned its name - Mirovica (the root of the name is “mir”, meaning peace).

 

Skadar Lake

 

The biggest lake in the Balkans. It is located in the south-east of Montenegro in a basin divided from the sea by Mount Rumija. The lake is 50 km (31 mi) long and 14 km (9 mi) wide, but its size varies. On the lake is the border with Albania. Some 63.2% of the lake falls inside Montenegrin territory. The lake has a number of islands popularly called “mounts”. Not far from Virpazar, towards Krajina, there are a number of coves with sandy beaches, of which the best known is Murić Beach, 560 m long. The lake is inhabited by over 40 subspecies of fish (carp, bleak, eel...) and it is well known for the variety of birds that live in the surroundings (270 subspecies). Some of them are rare (pelican, eagle, heron, grebe and woodcock). The lake is a well-known hunting resort. Above the lake, there is an observation point that gives a wonderful view of the lake panorama, along with sandy beaches, chestnut forests and dispersed islands. There are boat tours and cruises organised on Skadar Lake. Rich flora and fauna, cultural and historical monuments, picturesque settlements as well as the opportunity to taste local specialties such as carp, bleak, grappa (“loza”), Crmnica’s famous wine, altogether represent a special experience.

 

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“Klara” is situated on the beautiful Adriatic coast of Montenegro,centered 10 minutes away from the historic towns of Bar and Ulcinj by car.

These towns provide a variety of restaurants, cafes, shops, and nightlife activities. It is located about 70 km from the airports of Tivat and Podgorica.

Transportation to and from the airports can be arranged upon request.

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