Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- See also: KOTOR
Kotor is a town in southwestern Montenegro, population 19,000, Kotor municipality 23,481 (2003).
The old town of Kotor, surrounded by an impressive city wall, is very well preserved and protected by UNESCO. Between 1420-1797 Kotor and its surroundings belonged to Venice and the Venetian influence is evident in the architecture of the city. The bay of Kotor ("Boka Kotorska") on the shores of the Adriatic Sea is the southern-most fjord in Europe.
In recent years, Kotor has seen a steady increase in tourists attracted by both the natural beauty of the Boka Kotorska and the old town of Kotor itself.
Kotor has been fortified since the early Middle Ages, when Emperor Justinian built a fortress above Ascrivium in AD 535, after expelling the Goths, and a second town probably grew up on the heights round it, for Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in the 10th century, alludes to Lower Cattaro. The city was plundered by the Saracens in 840.
In 1102 the Bulgarians plundered it, and in the following year it was ceded to Serbia by the Bulgarian tsar Samuel, but revolted, in alliance with Ragusa, and only submitted in 1184, as a protected state, preserving intact its republican institutions, and its right to conclude treaties and engage in war. It was already an episcopal see, and, in the 13th century, Dominican and Franciscan monasteries were established to check the spread of Bogomilism.
In the 14th century the commerce of Cattaro, as it was then called, rivalled that of Ragusa, and provoked the jealousy of Venice. The downfall of Serbia in 1389 left the city without a guardian, and, after being seized and abandoned by Venice and Hungary in turn, it passed under Venetian rule in 1420.
Kotor was besieged by the Turks in 1538 and 1657, visited by plague in 1572, and nearly destroyed by earthquakes in 1563 and 1667. By the treaty of Campo Formio in 1797 it passed to Austria; but in 1805, by the treaty of Pressburg, it was assigned to Italy, and was united in 1810 with the first French Empire.
In 1814 it was restored to Austria by the Congress of Vienna. The attempt to enforce compulsory military service, made and abandoned in 1869, but finally successful in 1881, led to two short-lived revolts among the people of Krivošije hills, during which Kotor was the Austrian headquarters.
In World War I, Kotor was the site of some of the fiercest battles between Montenegro and Austria-Hungary. After 1918, Kotor became part of Yugoslavia and after 1945 part of the then Socialist Republic of Montenegro.
Up until the beginning of the 20th century, the Croats constituted the majority in Kotor as well as in other places around the Boka Kotorska, with the other major ethnic group being the Serbs. During the last century the percentage of Croats in the area declined sharply and today Montenegrins make up the majority in all communities. See also: Bokelji.
Places near the old town:
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