Bar represents a modern town that is expanding every day. Although it is a port town, it is amazingly clean and has many developed green areas. Around it there are many tourist attractions. The old town of Bar, Haj Nehaj Fortress, with the remnants from the 15 th century fortress and the castle of King Nikola, represent the historic and cultural monuments of this town. There’s an olive tree that is more than 2000 years old and Skadar lake, with one of the biggest habitats of birds, as well as a large number of monasteries and churches for the visitors who enjoy this type of tourism. Numerous festivals and cultural events, such as: the International TV Festival, Meetings Under The Old Olive Tree, the Bar Chronicle. Developed beaches and coves such as Canj and Dobre Vode will make you come back to Bar.
Bar is a very old town. There are no precise data of its origin, but in historical sources the name Old Bar is for the first time mentioned in IX century under the name Antibareos (Anti-old). According to information from some other sources the origin of the town is considered to be between VI and VII century, because at that time in Bar there was a characteristic roman settlement.
Even though there are very few precise data about the time of foundation of the ancient Bar, the remains of Neolithic material were found on a wider space, various items like: aeneolithical ax, dagger, vases of unusual manufacture etc., testify that in the area that today is municipality of Bar there was life even in pre-historical, Illyrian, Greek and Roman era. Still, the greatest confirmation of that thesis is a 2000 years old olive tree, which is situated in a place called Mirovica, which testifies in another way that in the area of Bar, there was life even before more than two millennia. That Bar indeed is an old urban settlement confirm the names of town: Greek – Antibareos, Roman – Antibarum, and Slovenian – Bar.
At the end of the IX century Bar is mentioned also under the name Antivari, which according to historical sources, can associate on the tribe of the Avars, who in VI and VII century, along with the Slavs settled the area that today is Montenegro.
Even though it was settled by Slavs at he beginning of VII century, until the middle of XI century Bar remained under control of Byzantium, more precisely, at that time Bar was placed in the region Dirahion, historically more familiar under the name of Prevalis. That Bar was a very important spiritual, cultural and political center tells the fact that until the middle of VIII century Bar was the center of bishopric. For the capital city of the first nominally independent ruler of the first Montenegrin state – Duklja, prince Vladimir, an area only few kilometers away from Bar toward the Skadar lake, village Krajina in place Ostros, 50 kilometers away from Bar is mentioned. Considering that that area was however in the structure of Byzantium Empire, in the year 1042, in the famous “Battle of Bar”, that was fought on the hill-side of Rumija, that part of the Bar territory is being freed (liberated) by the ruler of Zeta Vojislav (1017 – 1050).
It is being supposed that, already in year 1077 in Bar the first Montenegrin king Mihailo Vojislavljevic was crowned, and as a confirmation for such act, he received royal indications from Pope Clemet III. Afterwards, Bar is being ruled by the king Bodin Vojislavljevic (1082 – 1101). Because of Bodin`s effort in the year 1089 bishopric of Bar receives the title of archbishopric, and as a result of that town Bar becomes the center of Bodin`s state. In the middle of XI century Bar again becomes a part of Duklja, and after 1183 it again enters into the structure of Byzantium empire, when with the rest of Zeta it becomes part of the state of Nemanjici. Bar is under the control of Nemanjici up to year 1360. During that time it experiences a full bloom - it had town autonomy, a statute, a coat of arms and money.
In historical documents it is said that, in the middle of the XV century Bar gained victory over Dubrovnik. During the 60`s of the XIV century, Bar is ruled by Balsici, a royal family that created an independent territory in the area of Skadar. During that period princess Jelena and Balsa III consider Bar their capital.
Afterwards, for a long time, Bar is found in constant battles and quarrels between the county landlords.
In the year 1404 Bar is taken over by Venice (Venetians), which in the year 1412 it would fall again in hands of Balsici.
In the year 1421 Bar was under patronage of despot Stefan Lazarevic, and from the year 1427 it was under patronage of despot Djuradj Brankovic – when it again becomes the capital of Zeta.
By despoiling (seizing) the town from a well-known Bosnian lord Stefan Vukcic Kosaca, in 1443 Bar with its coastal areas is being conquered by Venetians. After the Venetian ruling, Bar is being attacked by the Turks. Defending from Turkish invasion, Bar in order to preserve permanent peace, asked Venice for help, in which they failed.
The Turks, who had ruled over that territory for 307 years, conquered Bar in the year 1571. In 1878, Bar is being liberated from the Turks by Montenegrins. The same year, 1878, on Berlin congress Montenegro was proclaimed independent, so town Bar gained great significance and reputation. As during the liberation in 1878 Bar was deeply ruined, Ministry counsel of the Principality of Montenegro in 1908 makes a decision to begin the construction of a new town, that will be named Bar.
In time a large number of citizens of Bar begins to move in Southern parts of the town, mostly inhabiting the region beside the sea shore, where in the beginning of the XX century appears an area better known as Pristan (Port), on whose place was lied the foundation of New Bar. Today New Bar is considered to be urbanistically most organized, modern architectonic compound in Montenegro. Wide boulevards decorated with palm trees, oleanders, and other exotic Mediterranean trees that is delicately preserved and taken care of, with the cordial care of public workers, have made that several years in a row (mostly in the last decade of the XX century), Bar was proclaimed for the cleanest town in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Like in other coastal towns until 1928 Bar was under Austria-Hungary administration. After liberation from Austria-Hungary, until 1941 Bar is a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (the state of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians).
The Second World War (1941 – 1945) Bar was under foreign control. At that time, Italian and German army controlled Bar. Fighting against the occupiers (conquerors) partisan army liberated Bar in November 1944. Since then and until 1991 Bar was a part of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.
In the postwar period, especially during the 60`s of the XX century Bar developed in a famous harbor center of Montenegro and ex Yugoslavia. Also, beside portal and naval transportation, Bar is today famous for the development of tourism, economy and sport.
Beside the sea ridge, situated at the very coast, stretching from what used to be the town of Pristan on the shore from Bar to Kufin, at the entrance to Pastrovici, once upon a time the galleys used to dock. Their owners, used to disembark there in order to trade goods and buy various victuals form Zeta and Crmnica. The natives from Bar and the surrounding area, labourers, well-known and ordinary people were getting used to that settled rhythm of life, which was dictated by the merchants. It continued to be like that until the time when the pirates from Ulcinj began to pillage the coast of Bar. The pirates from Ulcinj were notorious for their very bad misdeeds, pesterings and plundering both from the rich and the poor. The stories about pirates and their wrongdoings began to be spread, so ordinary people feared and panicked more and more at the very thought of the pirates` leaders. The pirates were so mighty and powerful so that no one could withstand them. They showed their defiance to the world and people as they were docking to the shores in their galleys crammed with various stolen objects and precious things which they robbed by intercepting and plundering ships that belonged to merchants and nobility. Their treasure was getting greater with every day. A few pirates came to an idea that they should find a secret place at which their treasure would be safe, and where they could hide in case of danger. One day a pirate recalled that there was a mountain Sozina, where the galleys used to dock, not far away from the sea shore, so they decided that it would be an ideal place for hiding. Short after, the pirates began to make caves and hiding places inside the mountain Sozina, and to conceal stolen treasure, weapons and slaves.
Among the slaves, once, there was a girl named Milja, who was unusually beautiful and attractive. The chiefs of pirates assigned Iljka to be her guard. Iljko was also young and handsome, and soon they fell in love with each other. Although they didn`t hide their love, Iljko and Milja couldn`t stay together for long. One day the other pirates began to talk about the love of the two young ones, and soon the pirate captain Djerlezi heared about that. Out of jealousy, he ordered Iljko to go away and participate in some great retaliation which pirates were planing on the sea. Iljko went away, and Milja still stayed as a slave in the darkness of the cave.
Milja waited for a long time for her loved one to come back. She expected him to return every day, and she kept peering through a small hole in the cave, watching the grey sea, and longing for Iljko to come back. But time irrevocably passed away, and Iljko didn`t return. Finally Milja lost every hope of seeing him again. Being sorrow as she was, she decided to take her life away.
The next morning Milja rushed out of the cave and jumped into the sea from a very high cliff. Soon, Iljko did eventually return. When he heard how Milja, faithfully awaiting him, put an end to her life, he took a large amount of powder, put it into one part of the cave, and lit it. The powder made a big explosion.
As a consequence of that explosion, the hill in which the cave was situated, broke into two. The hill actually, according to the legend, cracked, and as the old people from Bar would say - tumbled into the sea and that is how SUTOMORE got its name ( «suturisati»-tumble, «more»-sea ).
That place today is touristucally most famous weekend resort place beside Bar, especially during summer. The well-known Sutromore beach is situated there.
Many important personalities who with their actions and appearances made an indelible trace in a long-range creation of that ancient town are mentioned in the history and the culture of Bar. Among the most significant individuals in the earliest period or in the period of the beginnings of town Bar, a historically very important personality Prince Vladimir is mentioned. According to some historical data, he was the first nominally independent ruler of the Principality of Duklja- the first Montenegrin state, and the time of his reign unfortunately is not precisely determined, only the period between 980 – 1016 is being mentioned. The personality of Prince Vladimir, today is connected mostly with the famous piece – “ The Life of St. Vladimir (of Duklja)”, in which among other things is cited the Legend of Vladimir and Kosara, written in Cyrillic in folk language.
In that legend among other things, it is said that love between Vladimir and Kosara- the daughter of the Macedonian King Samuilo, was unusual. Namely, during the Samuilo`s attack on the area known as Precista Krajinska, where the capital of the state Duklja was placed, Prince Vladimir former ruler, in order to save his people he voluntarily surrendered himself to Samuilo. Vladimir was immediately imprisoned, but not long after Samuilo`s daughter Kosara falls in love with Vladimir, so the Prince of Duklja is being released. Vladimir and Kosara stay in marriage until the year 1014, when after Samuilo`s death, the Macedonian throne falls into hands of Jovan Vladislav. Considering the fact that Prince Vladimir independently ruled Duklja, he immediately fell in disfavor of the new Macedonian emperor Vladislav, who tricked him into death in the year of 1016. Still, the appearance of Prince Vladimir, later a saint, is interesting also because of the fact that the cult of St. Vladimir of Duklja is cherished even today, so in the June procession that is organized up to the mountain Rumija, on which according to the tradition there used to be the church of St. Vladimir, believers of all three confessions participate: Orthodox, Catholics ad Muslims. On that day on the top of the mountain a wooden cross is being carried, which according to a legend Prince Vladimir had on him during the execution. Vladimir`s cross is being preserved as the greatest relic in Androvic brotherhood in the Old Bar.
For the data about Prince and St. Vladimir of Duklja, merit goes to Byzantium historian Jovan Sikilica, who at one time wrote that the “blessed Prince Vladimir of Duklja, was just, peace-loving man, full of virtues” so that the cult of St. Vladimir beside in Duklja was respected in Dalmatia, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Still, the most significant piece about Prince Vladimir, was written by the father of Montenegrin history and literature – priest Dukljanin (a Benedictine whose name is not known precisely), in the piece “The Chronicle of the Priest Dukljanin”, which most probably appeared in the year of 1183.
The next historically very important person is Vladimir`s nephew Stefan Vizantijac, who ruled Duklja from 1018 to 1043 as a Byzantium vassal, then the Montenegrin King Mihailo Vojislavljevic, who according to some assumptions was crowned in 1077 year and ruled until 1081 year. Still, the most significant spiritual names, in the history and the culture of Bar, are related to Bar bishopric, which was established in 1089 year. Bishopric lasted for 9 centuries, and on the head of it were 60 archbishops. Those were mostly educated people, the witnesses of events and time. The most famous among them, was the so-called Grgur Grizogono, or Priest Dukljanin, the author of Bar genealogy.
In the history and the culture of Bar, some other significant names are remembered, like King Bodin (1081 – 1101). He was the ruler of Duklja and later Zeta. During his reign, Duklja occupied an immense area, and it had sovereignty over Raska, Bosna, Travunija and Zahumlje and over parts of Macedonia, Croatia and Northern Albania.
Still, in the cultural life of Bar of the greatest importance were the grand notables of Bar bishopric. Some of them wrote epitaphs for tombstones. Bar epitaphs are one of the oldest literary works found in the area of Bar. Those are the verses in Latin language carved into stone, below which were buried grand notables from Bar bishopric: episcope Jovan from the time of Prince Vladimir and archbishops Djordje, Petar and Sergije who lived in period from XI till XIV century.
The above-mentioned bishop and archbishops are buried in the interior of the cathedral church of St. Djordje, which was placed in the outstanding place in Bar, in Londza.
In 1571 the Turks occupied Bar and turned the church of St. Djordje into a mosque.
Later, during some annex, the tombstones were taken out of the floor and built into the façade.
The French consul in Skadar, Vinsent Ekar, who often went through Bar, in his book “The History of Upper Albania”, published in 1858, was the first to mention Bar epitaphs, but he didn't quote them. At that time the archbishop was a Bavarian Karl Poten.
The famous poet was Filip Gijo (1485 – 1624). His works unfortunately were not preserved. Also, very famous was Bar Archbishop Marin Bici. In period between 1608 till 1624 he sent a detailed report to Holy See about his travels along the coast of Montenegro, Albania and Old Serbia. Later that report served as a very important document, which testified of the situation in that area at that time.
Very important places in the history of the Bar bishopric had the members of Zmajevic family from Perast (near Kotor). The most fruitful Zmajevic was bishop Andrija Zmajevic, born in 1624, otherwise an excellent writer in folk language. Zmajevic was famous for his work which he regularly recorded, that is named “Church Chronicle”, but also for his manuscripts: Ode to Dubrovnik “To Slavic Dubrava”, a humorous poem “To Tripo Skuri”…
In the middle century in the area of Bar several distinguished literates, painters, and diplomats lived. Along with the well-known literate Antun Prokulijano, distinguished names of literary life of Bar were also the lawyers of a famous Italian family Basali. Among them, the first who in the beginning of XVI century settled in Bar from the Italian province Trevizo was a Venecian employee Kamilo Besali. He was famous for his writing of epistles. He is the author of many poems composed in an elegant style, which were later published by an editor Bartolomeo Gottifredi in his collection “Raccolta di Espitole Italiane” , published in Venice in 1572.
Also, a very famous and prominent was the lawyer Viktor Besali, born in Bar, a humanistic writer and a chancellor of Dubrovnik. He lived and worked at the end of XVI and the beginning of the XVII century. In the historical documents, the name of Viktor Besali is mentioned during diplomatic missions, in the Dubrovnik Republic in 1596 – at the Austrian archduke Ferdinand as well as in 1600, at pope Clement VIII. Besali wrote and published Latin and Illyrian verses, which among other things are a testimony of friendly relations of Besali and Dubrovian medieval writers, literates and humanists, especially with the famous Ivan Gundulic. His verses were mostly published in Venice and Dubrovnik in: 1579, 1599, and in 1621 year.
In Bar and the surrounding area there were some less famous painters. Even though the record from archive do not give sufficient information about life and work of those artists, it is still known that in XV century, in Bar lived and worked the goldsmith Matej (1441), as well as the painter Stjepan (1477). Along with theirs, in documents, beside the year of 1485 is mentioned the name of Marin Orso from Bar, otherwise a Venetian citizen. The precise records about archive documents, save the will dated in 1551, of Bar painter Dominik Nikolo, the author of the painting of pious motive, that used to be kept in the convent of St. Alvisa, do not exist.
When we are talking about the historical and cultural personalities of Bar, then the preserved written tracks direct us again to Bar bishopric. A very important individual of Bar archbishopric was Doctor Nikola Dobrecic, who wrote poems in Serbian, Latin, French, and Italian language. He was born in 1872 in Bartula near Old Bar. As a young man he becomes a catholic priest, so in the year of 1890 he is being sent to Rome, where with a colleague Marko Astic he graduated theology and philosophy, and he becomes the first doctor of two religious sciences. Later he served in Cetinje, as a priest of the Catholic Church, as a high school professor and the first stenographer in Montenegrin parliament. He publishes a well-know essay “Victor Hugo as a National and International Poet”. On returning to his hometown Bar, 1918, Dobrecic aids the development of culture, education and health care. In the Catholic Church he establishes a Maiden institute, in which nuns were trained. At the beginning of the XX century Dobrecic starts an action for building of a new archbishopric, whose building began in 1923. The humanity of Doctor Niko Dobrecic, was especially outstanding during the World War II, when he was helping numerous refugees and people in trouble.
Doctor Nikola Dobrecic died at the end of 1955 year in Zagreb, where he was hit by a trolley car and it broke his leg in hip. He was buried in his endowment in the church of St. Nikola in Bar.
Some very famous and appreciated creators in the area of literature, acting, music, politics, etc live in Bar in recent years. Among them we should be pointed out a film and TV creator, a founder of Bar International TV festival Pero Radovanovic then bishop of Bar Zef Gasija, a young and a very promising historian and writer Ivan Jovovic, in whose works the past and the history of Bar is mostly mentioned. In Bar also lives and works children's author Rajko Jolicic, then a young painter Naod Zoric, the actor Dragisa Simonovic, pop musicians Mico Vujovic and Goran Pejovic.
Bar is situated in the South of Montenegro. The area over which municipality of Bar is spread is situated between the Adriatic Sea and Skadar. The territory of Bar is 506 km 2 , and along with the part that encompasses water surface of the Skadar Lake (on the Bar side), the area sums up to 633km 2 . The central part of the Bar area represents the mountain massif of Rumija (the highest peak 1595 m) along with Sozina (971 m), Sutorman (1185) and Lisinja (1352 m), that has a dinaric direction of expanding and makes a natural border between the Adriatic Sea and the Skadar Lake.
As Bar is only 180 m by airline from the Strait of Otranto, it is connected by waterway to Middle and East Mediterranean, and ports of all continents, so such a link enables shorter and direct connections with all the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
The climate of Bar is very characteristic. Beside the fact that it is one of the sunniest places of the South Europe, with approximately 270 sun hours per year, the climate has long and warm summers, and mild winters.
The average yearly temperature is 16 ○ C. In July the approximate air temperature is 23 ○ C, and in January 10 ○ C.
The summers in Bar are long and dry, and because of the heat influences of the Adriatic Sea the winters are mild and rainy. On the average, during the winter in Bar there are 38 rainy days in a year.
Average high winter temperature, (around 10 ○ C) shows that in Bar there are very few real winter days. Also, there are very few days in Bar when the temperature goes below 0 ○ C, so it is thought that actually in Bar there is no real winter. Real rarities are the winter days accompanied with snow and frost. All the above-mentioned characteristics recommend Bar to tourists as an ideal place not just for the summer but also for a winter sojourn and vacation.
Considering the fact that the municipality of Bar, concerning the relief, is divided in three regions: Adriatic, lake and mountain region, in some parts of the Bar municipality we can differ three types of climate. In the Adriatic zone the climate is mild – Mediterranean, especially distinct in Bar field. The characteristics of the mountain-Mediterranean climate are especially customary in the mountain wreaths, especially above mountains Sutorman, Rumija and Lisanj. In the zone of the Skadar Lake we have the Adriatic climate, with strong influences of the continental climate, and significant oscillations in temperature.
Municipality of Bar encompasses some parts around places of Virpazar, Crmnica, and Skadar Lake, so the climate in those areas is significantly different from the climate in Bar. When the Southwestern circulation (stream) is turns out, then the area of Bar is exposed to wet air.
Characteristic Adriatic winds blow in Bar and the surroundings: the cold wind –the tempest, the wet wind – the south wind or the sirocco, as well as the west wind, the north wind or the mistral, the storm wind, the day wind and the night wind.
The most frequent and the wind of the greatest intensity is the tempest. It blows mostly in the winter form high mountains towards the sea and it brings coldness. The tempest, which blows on the sea, can be of strength of a storm, so it usually makes low and short waves up to 2.5 meters.
South wind or sirocco blows in the South or Southeast part of the Adriatic region, from the sea towards the land. Depending whether it blows with medium or maximal speed, the strength of the south wind can be between 3 and 8 Beau forts. During the blowing of the south wind the sea is ruffled, and the waves reach the height up to six meters.
When the weather is clear and warm, and that is usually at the end of spring and during the summer, in Bar blows the so-called cool wind the breeze or mistral. That wind most often blows during the day. Mistral is considered to be the most important summer wind, because it pleasantly cools the heat during the hot summer days. The mistral blows from the sea and mostly it just stirs the sea surface.
The west wind is wet and pretty frequent wind which blows in Bar most frequently in the spring. In Bar and the surroundings, often also blows levant, a warm southeast wind, which makes the air wet, while the wind named lebic, blows from south-west. The storm wind blows over night, from the land towards the sea, from north-east and east, while during the unequal warming and cooling of Bar bay, the summer day and night wind shift.
In Bar and the surroundings often blows a very strong stormy wind better known as nevera. It blows from the sea, and it is characterized by short duration and frequent change of blowing direction.
Flora and fauna of Bar are also very characteristic. Beside the diversity and thickness of the floral cover, the geographical location and the structure of the soil enabled that in Bar different floral cultures and especially the subtropic ones can be grown and developed. Beside meadows, fields, vineyards and orchards, the green zone of Bar abounds in deciduous and coniferous forests, pastures, under bush and marquise. Especially in the mountains and forests around Bar grow: beech, fir, juniper bush, black and white pine, oak, hornbeam, cerris, chestnut, European ash... Especially is interesting the floral kind of a plant of yellow color, which grows on a thin dark green stick, better known as zuka. Most frequently it grows like a wild bush and from it people from old Bar used to make nets and ropes. Also, out of the fibers of zuka old Bar women wove suits and white folk costumes. Save the diversity and thickness of the floral cover, the geographical location and the structure of the soil enabled that in Bar different floral cultures and especially the sub tropic ones can be grown and developed.
The most diffused plant is olive, the native fruit kind. There is a very little number of the households in Bar that in their own yards don't have at least one olive tree.
Beside the fact that from the olive tree a famous oil better known as “The Bar gold“, which is one of the several export articles of the Montenegrin trade mark “Made in Montenegro“, is being extracted, olive oil is a very important ingredient of many traditional meals, especially those that are made of fish. In Bar and the surroundings several kinds of olive trees grow, and the most frequent are black and yellow olive tree, more famous as “crnjaka“ and “zutica“. Also, Bar households are engaged in growing grape wine, and rather often certain heads of the households grow citrus fruits, oranges, lemon, kiwi, tangerines (mandarins) on their plantations but also other sub tropic kinds that are very numerous in the area of Bar like wild and cultivated pomegranate, figs...
A special segment of flora represents the aromatic herbs, and the citizens of certain places around Bar are engage in collecting and refining of the herb wormwood, from which beside the medicinal tea that is mostly used with the illnesses of throat and cold, is also made honey of great quality.
The coastal area of Bar is also rich with exotic herbal kinds like: palm trees, cactuses, eucalyptus, chestnut, as well as decorative plants like: agaves, mimosas, oleanders but also rosemary and laurel, that are used as very important spices, especially in preparing fish, soup and various thick soups.
In Bar and in its surrounding you can find very different animal species. The largest part of animals inhabits the mountains around Bar like: Rumija, Sozina, Sutorman and Lisanj. The special fauna value represents the wild dog or jackal, that most frequently resides in mountains around Bar. From beasts in Bar we have: foxes, wolves, wild boars, rabbits and pine marten.
Particularly interesting by its importance, when it is spoken of animals, is the region of the Skadar Lake, in whose fauna 264 kinds of birds are registered. Today the Skadar Lake is the biggest settlement of pelicans in Europe. There 12 kinds of snipes, 3 kinds of grebes and 160 more of other kind of birds are being hunted. Among the bird inhabitants in the region of the Skadar Lake we have: cormorants, gulls, different kinds of ducks, gooses, and pheasant. Often storks, herons (white, yellow and grey), grebes and other kinds of birds, which are rare in the world, are often found here. On the Skadar Lake fishing is very frequent. In the water of the lake carps and eels are most frequently caught. Illegal hunting lasted for years, and the irregular haunt of the fish contributed, that in lake as well as in Bar aquatorium, that the young fish is pretty destroyed. In the sea fauna, the most frequent kinds are: dentex, sapa (dentex dentex lat.), bleak (diplodus sargus lat.), arbun (pagellus erythrinus lat), goph (seriola dumerili lat), mackerel (sarda sarda lat) and from the smaller fishes there are: BUKVA (boops boops lat.), surmullet (mullus barbutus lat.) and UKLJAT (oblada melanura lat).
Cephalopods are mostly hunted in the winter period especially: squids, European cuttlefish, octopus but also shells and crabs. In sufficient amount in Bar aquatorium there are still mussels, while rarely there are oysters, and finger like shells.
Top 5 Places in Bar
The Old Bar
To stay in Bar, and not visit its old part, that is, the Old Bar, it is the same, people from Bar say, as if you haven't been in that town at all. The Old Bar, which is 4 kilometers away from the center of the New Bar, is situated on a very steep cliff in the base of the mountain Rumija. The town has been successively built for several centuries. Primarily the area that the Old Bar encompassed was much closer to the shore, but because of the frequent pirate attacks, population had to move to interior, so today the Old Bar is almost 5 kilometers away from the sea. Bar is constituted of the fortified city lake, encompassed by the walls from the XI and XII century, which were renewed in the XIV and XV century. During the visit of that part of Bar, you'll see an old city gate from the XI century. Beside the gate, there is a Citadela, which had exclusively defensive character. As a part of the Old Bar is annexed it the Venetian era, during the XV century and in the first half of the XVI century, a great number of monuments authentically testifies of that time. There are two still very well preserved churches: the church of St. Katarina from the XVI century and the church of St. Veneranda from the Xv century. In the old part of the town there is a Turkish bathroom – a steam bath from the XVII century, a powder magazine, as well as some other interesting buildings, like the remains of the church St. Nikola, which in the year 1288 was built by the wife of the Serbian emperor Uros, better known as Jelena Anzujska or Jelena Kurtnejska. Below the Old town there are the remains of aquaduct from the XVI and XVII century, through which the water was brought to town.
The Old Bar, in which today no one lives, used to be full of inhabitants who were engaged in various kinds of trading, selling olive oil, salt, craftworks…
In the Old Bar there is also a place Podgrad (Undertown), which dates from the middle century, but in which people live even today. In the community there are several old inns, shops, craft shops, s well as meat market. In Podograd two mosques and a catholic church of St. Marija are situated.
Especially during the last few years, the society of friends of the Old Bar, and the descendants of the families that used to live in it, have set in motion an action for revival of the Old Bar, as an ancient architectonic compound and the oldest settlement on the territory of that town. From summer to summer Old Bar has become very interesting to architects, archeologists, cultural and public workers, who reveal interesting ideas and create various projects for the revitalization and preserving Old Bar from oblivion. That is the way to introduce younger people from Bar but also numerous tourists with all that Old Bar used to signify.
If you wish to meet the surroundings of the Old Bar, then we recommend that you easily take a stroll to a place called Mirovica, where the famous trunk of an over 2.000 years old Bar olive tree is located.
King Nikola's Castle
Today is more of a museum building which testifies that the Montenegrin state under the reign of King Nikola I Petrovic, attached great importance on contemporary social, cultural but also architectonical trend of the XIX century and the first few decades of the XX century. “The castle on Topolica” as, because of where it is located, King Nikola`s castle else is called, was built by Prince Petar Karadjordjevic, Nikola`s brother-in-law, in order to buy it from him in the in 1885. The building has also a small castle, chapels, sentry boxes, and winter gardens. At the beginning of the year 1919, next to the castle spacious ball saloon was added onto. The King's castle makes the Mediterranean park, which is rich with marvelous vegetation extraordinary. Today, the complex of the castle is used for the cultural necessities of Bar. The King Nikola`s castle also represents a Homeland museum, and in the saloons of the castle special literary evenings, musical concerts, festivals, happenings, art exhibitions are taking place…
As the castle is situated next to the seashore, it used to have a wooden floodgate, which was used for docking in of the ships, because King Nikola owned 10 yachts. It is interesting to point out, that the famous yacht “Sibil” King Nikola bought from the novel writer Gil VERNE, and his last Yacht “Rumija, was sank by Austrian – Hungarian navy in 1915, on the site of the today's aquatorium . Nearby there is a flower house, of the non-corrosive construction, which was a gift of the Italian King Emanuel, which today stands as the representative resort compound better known as Prince`s garden”.
If you wish to escape from the summer heat and the throng which prevails both on the beaches and in the whole town, we recommend that you set yourself from Bar through the tunnel Sozina, with your own car or tourist taxi or van transport and go to a place called Virpazar. It is a picturesque place, and in the past it was famous for the biggest Montenegrin market. Today Virpazar is also a famous vacation area, and in the past it was a transitory station for the cruise over Skadar Lake. Many famous and less famous people, who came to Virpazar, kept coming back to it, because it is a beautiful place, which simply attracts people in warm summer days as well as in early autumn and spring. Also in the cold winter days, grey from the rain or first snow, Virpazar look attractive. Family houses from which one can see the smoke coming out of the chimney, which keeps home warm during the winter, numerous canoes, barges and bigger taxi boats, which usually transport tourists who wish to see the beauties of Skadar Lake, stand tied to the shore, and only some hard working and persistent inhabitant of Virpazar, is trying to set out to the lake water in hope that he'll find in his net numerous: carps, bleaks or some eel. Still, all the magic of Virpazar or Vir, how that place was named in the past, you'll experience best during the summer. Whether you're staying in the hotel “July 13” or if you're comfortably accommodated in the famous motel “Pelikan” (“Pelican”), you'll quickly leave your hotel room, because the call of the Skadar Lake and its numerous historical monuments will immediately draw you to a cruise. When you embark on one of the tourist taxies below the formerly built bridge, the captain and at the same time the tour guide, while skillfully navigating the vessel, will try to explain you, in best possible way, the past of Virpazar and Skadar Lake, and very often in several foreign languages. He'll introduce you with some details like: with the fact that Skadar Lake is the largest lake on the Balkans, and second largest in Europe. You'll find out that at the lake there are 200 various bird species. Because of that fact, in the recent years, especially among tourists bird watching is very developed or watching of the birds – with binoculars or special gear intended for tracking their flying direction. Skadar Lake today is the biggest settlement of pelicans in Europe. . There 12 kinds of snipes, 3 kinds of ducks and 160 more of other kind of birds. Among the bird inhabitants in the region of the Skadar Lake we have: cormorants, gulls, different kinds of ducks, gooses, and pheasant. Often you can see storks, herons (white, yellow and gray), grebes and other kinds of birds, which are rare in world, are often found here. On the Skadar Lake fishing is very frequent. The fishes most frequently caught are carps and eels.
Driving over the lake, you can meet beautiful flora. If you express a wish, captain will slow down for a moment, so that you can easily pick a water lily or a beautiful white lotus flower which can be found all over the lake.
Beside the decorative stalks of the blossomed reed, the memory of the staying in ecological areas of the Skadar Lake will also be a souvenir like kasoranja (a black, irregularly shaped bristled fruit), that is to say, sea walnut. Usual tourist tour over the lake, understands stopping by the island Grmozur – that used to be a prison, then a visit to churches whose endowers where old Montenegrin rulers Balsici, a visit to a beach named Murici where you can refresh yourself in the lake water, take a rest under the hundred years old trees or repose with a marvelous lake lunch (usually thick fish soup and roasted carp)!
On your way back to Virpazar, captain will suggest swimming in the water where the lake is warmest, he'll also suggest observation of rare kinds of birds, sightseeing of old churches… and when satisfied with what you've seen you come back to Virpazar, we recommend that you inevitably visit motel “Pelikan” because, beside the extraordinary lake specialties like: thick fish soup, smoked or roasted fish, homemade bread…, the kind hosts will serve you with something else. The interior of the restaurant, which is in the motel, testifies about the fisherman life of this region. Over the walls various hats, aromatic and healing herbs, old items are hanged… If you notice that motel “Pelikan” is an unusually interesting place and you publicly say that, the hosts will take you to a hidden place called Odzaklija (Chimney house), an old house that is situated in the attic of the hotel. About that place we'll reveal only that much that beside the past of the Montenegro, tools, weapons, and folk costumes there are for e.g. kept many old items, some even several centuries old. The rest of the story we wish that you find out and experience by yourself. And of course to enjoy!
This place in Bar and the surroundings is better known as cape Ratac. It is situated several kilometers away from Bar on the highway Bar – Sutomore. Today this place is known as a sanctuary (there is a benediction convent dated from IX century, the convent of mother of God of Ratac) but because of the beautiful verdure, Ratac is considered to be a favorite tourist site for camping or some other type of recreation. Recently Ratac has become more and more interesting to nudists, because of the nude beach which is located on the south side of the cape, but also because of the unusually bluish color of the sea in that area of the Bar shore. Numerous tourists visit Ratac, because of the very clean seawater, as well as because of the ecologically natural environment. According to the words of many visitors, especially campers, Ratac is a God given place, because already for several years on a part of the beach there is a real nature park. If you do not wish to sunbathe and swim on the nude beach, 300 meters away from the cape Ratac there is the most beautiful Bar beach, which because of the unusual color of the sand is called Crvena plaza(The Red beach). Even though the beach is not too big, from year to year, it becomes more and more favorite at people from Bar and their guests. One of the reasons of the arrival of the increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists on the Red beach is an extremely clear and transparent seawater and thick verdure, which surrounds it.
On the other hand, Ratac has a significantly great religious meaning. In the area around the ruined convent of mother of God of Ratac, you can almost every day see a lighted candle. Religious people come to that space, with wishes and requests to the mother of God for recuperation, success, or forgiveness of the committed sins. It is often that religious people write their wishes on a piece of paper and leave them in the cracks of the monastery stonewalls.
A place, which is only few kilometers away from Bar, thus it, is considered its suburbs. Sutomore is an extremely interesting and attractive place during the summer, so numerous tourists instead staying in Bar, accommodate themselves in the hotels along the Riviera in Sutomore, or in some of the private houses or villas. On the very brim of the sea in Sutomore there is a long sandy beach, an unusual sight stretches out toward the open sea. If you wish to just go through Sutomore then the best part f your summer vacation you'll with no doubt spend on the Sutomore beach enjoying sunbathing, swimming or relaxing with the clod fruit drinks on some of the numerous terraces of the restaurants. However, if you wish to go towards places Zagradje or beach Maljek you'll find the space for camping. Straighten your thing from the bag and camp as much as you wish.
If Sutomore attracts you so much, that you're planning to stay a little bit longer, beside in the hotel, you can find an adequate and not so expensive accommodation in private houses or apartment villas. Also, if you inform yourself with the amiable locale people, from Sutomore you can go to coast or mountain part of the community Brca. In the foothill of that community there are nicely arranged private houses or apartment buildings, which provide services of accommodation and of boarding house. The mountain part is prevailed by summerhouses, but above them there is a very old community of an interesting architecture, characteristic only for that part of the Bar area. The community Brca as well as entire Sutomore you'll experience as interesting places for rest, which beside attractive beaches and the surrounding offer rich resort and amusement offer.