Herceg Novi

Herceg Novi is the town recognised by the Mimosa trees and numerous steps. It is the town of “sun”, due to the large number of sunny days in the year. The heart of Herceg Novi is the old town, with structures that were built in the various epochs in history. The clock tower (1667), Kanli-kula (1483), Spanjola Fortress (1538) and the Forte Mare Fortress (1687), represent just one part of the cultural heritage of this town. Rich in greenery, Herceg Novi hides numerous types of tropical flowers. At the end of January the whole town is surrounded by the gentle fragrance of yellow and green Mimosa, so there is a feast called the Mimosa Festival, dedicated to this flower. During the summer months, there are other festivals in this town, which add to the tourist offer of this magical town.



History of Herceg Novi

Herceg Novi was founded 600 years ago (in 1382 year). The fortification facilities in the town – fortresses from the Turkish, Venetian, Spanish, and Austrian period- testify about those long gone days.

According to the most relevant historical data Herceg Novi was founded by the Bosnian King Tvrtko I Kotromanic, in the spring of 1382. Tvrtko I was also "the King of Serbs, Bosnia and the coast and west sides". Herceg Novi, was established in the former district Dracevica, in the Topalj bay (a part of the present day area Topla near Herceg Novi), and its former name was Sveti Stefan (ST. STEFAN). Except the present day name (Herceg Novi), the town was also known by the names NOVI, CASTRUM NOVUM, CASTEL NUOVO…

The present day name the town got during the reign of Herceg Stjepan Vukcic Kosaca, better known by the name Herceg Stjepan, and the wider area with which he ruled was know as Herzegovina. In that period (XV century) Herceg Novi experiences the greatest development and bloom.

The town was conquered by the Turks in the 1482, and they ruled Herceg Novi for almost 200 years. More specifically, Turkish reign in Herceg Novi ends in 1687 year. From 1687 to 1797 Herceg Novi is being ruled by Venetia.

Historical data testify of the short Spanish interruption of the Turkish reign of the town. According to those data, Spaniards rule Herceg Novi from 1538 to 1539.

Except the Turks and the Spaniards, Herceg Novi is being ruled by other great conquerors, and the historical circumstances have made that on the territory of Herceg Novi many people and many civilianization have reverted leaving great marks on the history, culture and economical development of the town and the surrounding.

Herceg Novi is also being conquered by the Venetians, who ruled the town until the final ruin of the Venetian Republic in 1797 year. The period after that is marked by often changes of the administrations which are governing the town. In the year 1797 the first Austrian administration was established in Herceg Novi which lasted until 1806.

For a year (1806 – 1807) Herceg Novi is being ruled by the Russians. The period from 1807 to 1815 in Herceg Novi is characterized by the French government under the authority of Napoleon. In a very short interval from 1813 to 1814, Herceg Novi is being taken over by the temporary government of Montenegro and Boka Kotorska, which are already replaced by the Austro – Hungarian government in 1815. From 1815 to 1918 we have the second Austro - Hungarian reign over the town.

With the crash of the Austro – Hungarian state in 1918, in Herceg Novi Serbian army has arrived. At that time the town enters the former Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, or as from 1929 it was called Kingdom Yugoslavia. In 1941 Herceg Novi is being occupied by the fascists, first the Italians (1941 – 1943), and then the Germans (1943 – 1944). The town is being liberated by the partisan troupes at the end of October 1944.


Herceg Novi

Herceg Novi is a town which is situated at the very end of the bay of Boka Kotorska. The appearance of the town, as the experts say, is the most interesting mixture of the Romanic, Byzantine, and oriental style which is harmonized into a Mediterranean look of the town. Herceg Novi today is the town of flowers, a real greenhouse in the open. On the slopes of its hills there used to pass Turkish caravans, and in the foothill of the slopes there used to be held duels, combats, and there were also performed public punishments of the subjected citizenship by the Turkish conquerors. Still, many people belonged to this town for centuries. It was loved by the emperors, kings enjoyed in it; many army commanders have passed on their warrior glory in it. Many stories today authentically testify of those ages, of the foundation of Herceg Novi’s islands, fortresses, places, churches, capes etc...

We will on an interesting way tell you a story about the origin of the cape Kobila (MARE), which is situated nearby the town. A long time ago on Lustica (today a peninsula which is located at the entrance in Bay of Boka Kotorska on the right side) there used to live a boy and a girl who loved each other very much. One day they decided to go shopping in Herceg Novi. Tired from a long walk they finally reached Novi, and got some rest. As in those days it was preferable to go back home during the same day, they started quickly to observe what is being sold on the market. At that time the town was ruled by the Turks, and one could see them everywhere. The girl was very pretty, so she was noticed on the market by a Turkish aga (despot) who liked her a lot. Aga decided to kidnap the girl and he made arrangements about that with his tyrants. The soldiers sneaked up on the girl and kidnapped her. When the boy noticed that, he started fighting with the Turks. Still, the Turks managed to control the boy easily, and soon after they executed him, and took the girl with them. From that day on, no one from her close family knew what exactly has happened to her, or where is she. Still, one day the girl showed up in her birth town, on Lustica, but she was pregnant. People from Lustica claimed that she was carrying aga’s child, and that she has failed to respect the man she was supposed to marry, who was killed by the Turks on the market. When the girl died on giving birth to her child, the boy that she gave birth to was taken care of a little bit by everyone. Everyone’s and no one’s - the child was grown up at the mercy of the village, but in time he became very rebellious and brave men. In his youth he mastered handling the weapons, he hated the Turks and he seriously craved to clear his mother’s name. When he grew up, he founded a highway company. He often invaded Novi (today Herceg Novi) with his company. He kidnapped their wives, and ran away with lots of gold and silver on Lustica. He ran over the places: Sutorina, Njivice, all the way to the place called Rose, where he had mares waiting for him, which were especially prepared for loadings with treasure and kidnapped Turkish women. Loaded with all of that, he would come on Lustica. Still, on one occasion Turks managed to turn tables on to him, and they killed him. However, even after his death the mares have continued to faithfully wait fro him on the same spot for days, years and even centuries. That place got the name cape Kobila (MARE) by that legend.


Herceg Novi - Culture

Herceg Novi was sung by the poets, painted by the fine art artists; the tourism has been developed in it, but many people will tell you that "it is easy and simple to live in Herceg Novi" and that "it is even easier to belong to it". And indeed many famous and well known people have belonged to Herceg Novi. Many well known personalities were born or they lived in this town. Historically the most significant person of this town is surely the King Tvrtko I Kotromanic (1351 – 1391), at the same time the founder of Herceg Novi. By inheriting the throne from his uncle Stjepan II, Tvrtko is yet another ruler whose origins are directly connected to the Serbian dynasty Nemanjic. In 1283 Kotromanic began the construction of Herceg Novi, by building the fortifications on the places where today the center of the town is situated. The municipality Herceg Novi will soon promote the idea of raisin the monument to the founder of this town.

Famous army commanders and military leaders lived in Herceg Novi. One of them is the heir of Tvrtko I Kotromanic, Sandalj Hranic (1392 – 1435). The period of his reign in Herceg Novi was marked by the successful trade of salt.

Another heir of Tvrtko I Kotromanic, Stjepan Vukcic Kosaca (1435 – 1466), is a historically important person for Herceg Novi, because he significantly widened the territory of Herceg Novi during the XV century.

The foreigners that have found themselves in Herceg Novi in certain historical period, have written their names in the culturally – historical documents of the town. That was the case with the Portuguese doctor Isaija Koen (1517 – 1599). The doctor and later a poet Isaija Koen, was buried on the grave of the Spanish Jews in Herceg Novi, which used to be situated near the town, and which according to the written documentation sank into the sea during the big earthquake in 1667.

In the year 1664, a chronicler and a writer, Elvija Ibn Dervis Zili or Elvija Celebija, whose origin remained unknown, stayed in Herceg Novi. About his staying in that town Celebija wrote in details in his piece "Chronicle of the Travel", where he describes former Herceg Novi.

Beside Dubrovnik, Herceg Novi is also considered to be the birth place of Sava Raguzinski Valdislavic, a Russian diplomat (1670 – 1738). He worked on development of literacy, first in Herceg Novi monasteries, and then in other coastal and Montenegrin monasteries. At the end of the XVII century in Herceg Novi lived one of the Venetian army commanders, at that time the general provider of Dalmatia and Albania, Jerolim Korner. He sailed into Herceg Novi with a magnificent sailing boat in 1687, on the order of the Venetian senate. His mission was to take over and liberate Herceg Novi from the Turkish reign. His name will remain remembered because of the fact that only 10 days after occupying the town he issued a decree of the foundation of the land registry, whose original is even today kept in the State archive of Montenegro.

Another important person fro Herceg Novi is the bishop Savatije Ljubibratic, who transferred the administration from the monastery Tvrdos (Herzegovina) to Herceg Novi in 1695. His title of Bishop of the monastery was acknowledged the same year by the Venetian authority, and they gave him the land on the location where today a place called Topla is situated. His reign ended in 1716.

The history of Herceg Novi remembers also the name of Marko Vojnovic (1752 – 1812), the founder of the Great Russian Black sea fleet. An entire historical period of the family Vojnovic is characterized by the descendants who mostly had military, count and academic titles. On the shores of Persia Marko Vojnovic founded the first Russian station, and the history remembers him by his participation in the famous sea battle against the Turks in 1788 near the island Fidinisi.

One of the most important personas In Herceg Novi and Boka Kotorska in general, is Sveti (ST.) Leopold Mandic. On his baptizing he got the name Bogdan (GOD GIVEN), so his dedication to the church and monk life developed in the mark of that name. Already in his 16th year Leopold Mandic leaves the house and dedicates himself fully to the Lord. Leopold’s priest’s life lasted for entire 52 years. He was proclaimed a saint in 1983.

After finishing theology and after being a teacher in several great monasteries in Serbia, in Herceg Novi he comes as a church dignitary Nikolaj Velimirovic (1880 – 1956). Having settled in a place called Meljine, in the Savina monastery in Novi, for a long time he performs the church services. He published a book "Zapis o Boki" ("NOTE ON BOKA"). After that he leaves for Germany, and finishes his theology studies, and gets his PhD in philosophy on Oxford.

A significant place in the past of Boka and Herceg Novi takes a respectable family Zlokovic from the place Bijela. During the xx century that family gave some very important names, bishop gornjokarlovacki (of UPPER KARLOVCI) Sir Simeon, a historian Ignjatije Zlokovic, architect Milan Zlokovic, PhD of pedagogical sciences Djordje Zlokovic, and a publicist Maksim Zlokovic (1919 – 1996).

Herceg Novi is considered to be "a town of eternal greenery, sun and stairs". That was written by the famous Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andric. Andric often stayed in Herceg Novi and he experienced this town in a very unusual and to literates, very characteristic way. The house of Ivo Andric can still be found in Herceg Novi. In this town also often stayed and sought the inspiration for his works the Montenegrin bishop and poet Petar II Petrovic Njegos. During the XX century many other famous Montenegrin literates like Mihalo Lalic, Dusan Kostic stayed in Herceg Novi. For some time Herceg Novi was the seat of "Lovcen film" (LOVCEN MOVIE) (1952 – 1955), the first Montenegrin enterprise for display and production of movies, which was founded on Cetinje in March 1949, the first director of that enterprise was a man from Novi Simo Colovic, who lives even today in Herceg Novi. Herceg Novi is also an ideal town for painting ambitions. Except the writers and people of movies, that is also the town of painters. Especially fruitful and interesting during the XX century was the Secondary Artistic School in Herceg Novi. At that time the professors in that school were Yugoslavian postwar painters, and for that school, on a direct or an indirect way, were also connected Montenegrin painters, who acquired their fame in the world. Let’s just mention artists Miodrag (Dado) Djuric, Vojo Stanic, Milo Milunovic, Djordjije Bato Pravilovic… In Herceg Novi were also born and a part of the year they spend in Herceg Novi famous musician such as: Rambo Amadeus, Vlado Georgiev, Dragoljub Djuricic…

Herceg Novi is a sport town too. In that town already in 1926 a first water polo club in the former Yugoslavia – "Jadran", was formed. "Jadran" too gave birth to many national representatives such as: Djuro Radan, Milan Muskatirovic, Dejan Dabovic, Zoran Mustur, Stanko Zlokovic, and the legend of the world water polo Bozidar Stanisic – Cikota. That club also gave one of the greatest swimming coaches on the Balkans - Ivan Zuber.


Herceg Novi - Nature

Thanks to numerous natural beauties Herceg Novi gained name of town of sun, flowers and green. Its flora is especially interesting because in town and around it grows a few hundreds of various plants from all over the world. Herceg Novi is located at South part of Adriatic Sea. The town is located at very important and attractive region between mountain Orjen (1895 m) and one of the loveliest bays in the world Boka Kotorska. Orjen is famous for endemic plants, recreational walking paths, skiing in late spring and early summery months. There are near town hills Dobrostica (1570 m) and Radostak (1441 m), Peninsula Lustica with highest top Obosnik (585 m) and capes Ostro and Miriste 2900 meters wide. Herceg Novi has also rich and colorful village back that has 235 km2. As in other Littoral towns Herceg Novi has mild Mediterranean climate with dry and warm summers and mild winters.

Concerning climate Herceg Novi has some specialties that is specific microclimate conditioned by south exposition, karsts ground and mountainous back that prevent influence of clod air mass. These facts show that average year temperature in town is very nice of 16.2 degrees Centigrade with over 200 sunny days in year. In summer months (July, August) there are 10.7 sun hours a day. Sea temperature at Herceg Novi in summer is 22 C to 26 C with approximately same air temperature that enables bathing season that lasts up to 5 months. Characteristic winds blow in Herceg Novi and its surroundings as: Western, summer wind maestral; winter, north bura; south wind jugo and sporadically blow other winds as levant, tramontana Flora is quite interesting for in town and around it grow a few hundreds of different plants from all over the world. Rare flowers and plants grow in Herceg Novi.

The loveliest natural park is Savinska Dubrava with monuments from earlier and new history of this region. There and around it the most prevalent is mimosa (accacia decurrens, lat.) flower of yellow color. Mimosa is of Australian origin and is from family of acacia, it was brought to Boka Kotorska and Herceg Novi in the beginning of 20 th century. According estimation there are 5000 mimosa trees in Boka today. At Herceg Novi Riviera grows also magnolia (magnolia grandiflora, lat.) evergreen tree with marvelous velvet white flowers brought from North America. Cicas palm (cycas revoluta, lat.) also grows in Herceg Novi. It is very popular at Mediterranean and its origins are from Far East. It is also one of the oldest living species in the world. Agava (agave americane, lat.) is one more interesting plant with origin from East Mexico. To Herceg Novi was brought by Spaniards in mid 16 th century. Agava has antiseptic and curing substances. Famous plants are also lavender (lavandula officinalis, lat.), planika (arbutus unedo, lat.) bogumila (bougainvillea spectabilis, lat.)

Herceg Novi littoral and specially its back are rich with fauna. Apart various birds as swallows, sea gulls, hawks, smaller birds red breast, sparrows in the hills around Herceg Novi it is often met rabbits, fox, wolves, wild boars, martens, squirrels Under waters of Herceg Novi is also interesting. In blue water of Herceg Novi bay exist man species of fish that inhabit waters of Mediterranean. The most famous fish is dentex (dentex dentex, lat.) thanks to its delicious meat this fish was famous in Antic times and perhaps is the most famous kind of fish of Adriatic Sea and all Mediterranean. Dentex is most commonly seen during summer months at 10-20 meters depth. There is also lobster (palinuris elphas, lat.) that crab is the largest in waters of Adriatic. Lobster can be up to 50 cm long and 5 kg of weight. It feeds on fish, shells and other. Fishermen and divers in Herceg Novi bay often catch octopus (octopus vulgaris, lat.) it is from family of cephalopodes where are also cuttlefish and squid. Apart in waters of Mediterranean octopus are also in Atlantic Ocean. In waters at Herceg Novi often one can meet some other creatures of sea floor. Among them are: glowing worm (herm dice carunculata, lat.), sea urchin (arbacia lixula, lat.) worm (sabella spallanzanii, lat.) purple snail (flabellina affinis, lat.), cardinal (apogon imberbis, lat.).

Top 5

Top 5 places in Herceg Novi

Old Town

The visit to the old town of Herceg Novi, we are sure will make a great pleasure for you. Even though Herceg Novi is lot like many other coastal towns, come things make it special. Namely, it is the best fusion of history and culture, tradition and spirituality, past and modern time. It was founded by the king of Bosnia, Tvrtko I Kotromanic, and the town was initially called Sveti Stefan. The very historical data note that the town is about 6 centuries old, and of the tumultuous history of the town testify the fortresses inside the bulwarks of the Old town (Spanjola, Citadela, Forte Mare, Kanli kula), and of course numerous palaces and churches. Many culturally historical monuments and cultural edifices of modern age today, preserve the spirit of Christianity and represent a treasury of artistic and cultural wealth.

For a long time the old town of Herceg Novi was the intermediate in trading connections with the neighboring states, and it was a rival to Dubrovnik. The old town is surrounded by the wall which was built from XIV to XIX century. If you intend to tour through the Old town of Herceg Novi, except the already mentioned fortress Forte Mare (XIV century), Kanli kula (XV century), we suggest that you think about the visit of the central part of the old urban core, which has two big squares in it: the Square of Herceg Stjepan with the church of Sveti Arhandjel Mihajlo and the Square Mico Pavlovic with the church of Sveta Jeronima. The town also has artistic galleries, national library, city archive etc...

The trademarks of the Old town in Herceg Novi are also the stairs or as people from Herceg Novi call them SKALINE. At the majority of the narrow and beautiful Herceg Novi streets, the stairs are very long, and to tourists and guests of the town they are very strenuous for climbing and walking. However, the numerous stairs do not have to be tiring if you see them as a way of recreation.

Homeland Museum

There are few towns in Montenegrin coast which have the museum such as Homeland museum of Herceg Novi. Even though as a significant cultural institution of the town it was founded in 1949, the building of the museum is over 150 years old. That building was constructed at the end of the XVII century in late baroque style. The homeland museum of Herceg Novi is actually a legacy of one of the most famous men from Herceg Novi, that is one of the mayors of the town Marko Komnenovic (1870 – 1941), and his wife Olga. With the will that Komnenovic family has left in 1940, the wish that their house is turned into a "city museum" was carried out. As a part of the homeland museum you can see some very valuable collections. Botanical collection, which has more than 100 selected kinds of Mediterranean and sub tropic flower, and also you can see various kinds of palm trees, agaves, cactuses, aloes etc

As a part of the archeological collection the items from the pre historical civilization of the town and the surrounding are being preserved. As a part of the ethnological collection you can see numerous amphorae, old ships etc… The museum also keeps instruments that were used in agriculture, cattle breeding, olive breeding etc... Also, it is interesting to see the collection of 30 icons, mostly works of the old Kotor icon painters.


The place Bijela is 13 km away from Herceg Novi. Bijela is more and more mentioned as a synonym or the homeland of exquisite Boka ship builders. Even today there is a ship building industry, because the tradition of reparation and ship building stems from the time of the founder of Herceg Novi, Bosnian king Tvrtko. The skillfulness of ship building to the masters from Bijela the famous and well known masters, or as they are locally caller MESTRI, from Korcula (Dalmatia) used to transfer. You can visit Bijela if you are coming to Herceg Novi or some other coastal town by a vessel: yacht, sailing boat etc… If you are a great aesthete, and you enjoy the touring of cultural historical monuments, or you are a fun of old edifices, then in Bijela you can visit one of the significant historical sights is the church Rize Bogorodice (RIZE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD) from the XIV century. It has some very valuable frescoes. In the vicinity there are also some other churches such as: Sveta Gospoda (ST. GENTELMAN) (XVII), Sveti Petra (ST. PETER) (XIX), as well as the church Sveti Vraci (ST. SORCERERS).

Bijela also has two very nice hotels: "Park" and "Delfin". Also, if you like Bijela that much that you wish to spend the rest of your holiday in it, there are private boarding houses, cafés, restaurants and of course nicely arranged beaches.


Igalo is far famous Montenegrin healing place. It is a part of Herceg Novi. The most famous health complex – Institute Dr Simo Milosevic is placed there. For the improvement of the health condition of the patient in Igalo various techniques are used such as: massages, electro therapies, hydro massages, healing water in the pools, healing mud etc...

The staying and the services of the rehab center in Igalo, are not just used by the patients with heavy injuries, rheumatic and extremity disorders, but also by the sportsmen, and convalescents.

In Igalo came, as people say, many hopeless cases in wheelchairs, and they went back home without them and on their own feet. Especially in the recent years in Igalo stay mostly tourists from Scandinavia, mostly Norwegians. The guests of Igalo were also many famous and well known people. Still, the man who spent a lot of time in Igalo was the former president of SFRJ (ex Yugoslavia), Josip Broz Tito. Because of the necessities of summer vacations and rest of that statesman the still existing villa "Galeb" (GULL) was built, which lately is mostly used as a residential facility of the Government of the Republic of Montenegro. You can easily come to trip areas Zanjiceor Njivice from Igalo by using the transport of taxi boats and barges, or you can visit the famous cave "Plava spilja" which according to the testimonies of numerous tourists is a real "temple of the god of the sea".

Mountain Orjen

People from Novi say that Herceg Novi Riviera can best be seen from mountain Orjen. If you are decisive in the intention to spend one day of your vacation in walking up the mountain Orjen, except the good will and desire for such an undergo, you will only need a camera. Orjen is situated at 1.895 m height above sea level. And when we tell you that from Orjen, during the sunny days, you can see with your bare eye the entire Montenegro, and a part of the neighboring Herzegovina, Dubrovnik coast and several southern islands in Dalmatia, then, we are sure, that you will want to go to Orjen as soon as possible. Herceg Novi also has well organized mountain climbing associations, and the path through which you will climb to Orjen is very well marked. Except by walking – on the asphalt, to Orjen or to the mountain Subra you can come driving a jeep safari, over the macadam road. The massif of Orjen even today is considered to be an area with enormous amounts of precipitations (rainfalls) because the village Crkvice, in the east side of the mountain, is the rainiest in Europe with 5 m of water drags per year. Also, the entire area of the mountain Orjen is rich with flora and fauna, and mostly with healing herbs and mushrooms which you can pick only if you are a botanist or a good connoisseur of plants.



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