21 Breathtaking Photos of Montenegro’s Old-World Architecture

St George Monastery | © Ihor Pasternak/Shutterstock
St George Monastery | © Ihor Pasternak/Shutterstock | Ihor Pasternak/Shutterstock
Photo of Sarah Pavlovic
8 November 2017

Montenegro’s old-world architecture takes visitors on a journey through the history of a bygone era. On the coast, stone palaces line the shores and ancient old towns jut out into the azure sea. In the old royal capital, majestic residences remind visitors of a time when Montenegro was an important crossroad between east and west. And throughout the country, ornate churches serve as tributes to the devout faith that’s central to Montenegro’s culture. Take a beautiful and cultural journey through Montenegro’s breathtaking old-world architecture.

Sveti Stefan

Montenegro’s famous Sveti Stefan is an icon. The 15th-century islet was once a tribal meeting place and trading centre on the Adriatic. Now it’s an exclusive Aman Resort where guests can relax in the village atmosphere and frolic on the pink sand beach.

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

Villa Milocer

Resort, Hotel, Villa
Map View
Villa Milocer
Villa Milocer | © Pear Blossom/WikiCommons

Also part of Aman Sveti Stefan, Villa Milocer is the former royal summer residence of Queen Marija Karadjordjevic. The villa is surrounded by a beautiful forest of olives, pines and cedars. The front terrace is shaded with glorious purple wisteria, and the whole property sits on the shore of a private beach.

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Our Lady of the Rocks

Church, Museum, Building
Map View
Our Lady of the Rocks | © Diego Delso/WikiCommons
Our Lady of the Rocks | © Diego Delso/WikiCommons
Floating just off Perast’s shore is another icon of the Montenegrin coast – Our Lady of the Rocks. The man-made island was built in the 15thcentury by scuttling ships and throwing rocks. On the island, there is a small museum and Catholic Church, which is immediately recognisable by its blue-domed roof.

Saint George Island

A stone’s throw from Our Lady of the Rocks, Saint George floats off Perast’s shore like it’s stopped in time. While Our Lady of the Rocks sees thousands of visitors annually, St George’s Orthodox monastery is off limits to visitors. The natural island with its monastic buildings and tall cypress trees completes Perast’s perfect view.

Saint George, Montenegro

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St George Monastery | © Ihor Pasternak/Shutterstock | Ihor Pasternak/Shutterstock

Kotor

Hotel
Map View
Hotel Astoria
Courtesy of Boutique Hotel Astoria Kotor
Kotor’s walled Venetian old town is a treasure trove of palaces, churches and old-world architecture. With its terracotta roofs, green shutters and bright flower boxes, this 15th-century town exudes old world charm.
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San Giovanni Fortress

Building
Map View
Kotor | © Diego Delso/WikiCommons
Snaking up the mountain that backs Kotor, San Giovanni Fortress is a challenge gladly taken on by tourists in Kotor. Also known as Sveti Ivan or Saint John’s Fortress, the 1,350 steps to the top are worth hiking, even in mid-summer heat. The fortress dates back to the 9thcentury and is in remarkably good condition. The views from the top are worth every step.

Our Lady of Remedy

Half way up San Giovanni Fortress, Our Lady of Remedy’s bell tower shines like a beacon over the Bay of Kotor. Built in 1518, hikers heading up the fortress walls take a breather and offer up a prayer for the strength to keep going before making the final push for the summit.

Our Lady of Remedy, Kotor, Montenegro

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Our Lady of Remedy, Kotor | © Charlie/Flickr | Charlie/Flickr

Fort Mamula

Standing guard at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor, Fort Mamula on Lastava Island is a beautiful structure with a gruesome past. The island is part of a set of three fortresses marking the entrance to the bay: Arza on the Montenegrin side, Mamula in the middle and Prevlaka on the Croatian side. Mamula’s fortress is especially significant because it served as a prison island where Montenegrins were taken by the occupying Italian army during World War II.

Fort Mamula, Montenegro

Ostrog Monastery

Monastery
Map View
Ostrog Monastery
Ostrog Monastery | © Dielgo Delso/WikiCommons
Ostrog Monastery is one of the most visited sites in the Christian world. Founded in the 17thcentury by St Basil of Ostrog, the monastery attracts people of all faiths. The seemingly gravity-defying monastery is carved into a face of sheer cliff and stands out like a beacon over Bjelopavlići Plain.

Budva old town

It’s easy to see why Budva is one of the most popular destinations in Montenegro. Its 2,000-year-old town juts out into the glistening Adriatic, and it’s surrounded by idyllic beaches. The town was expanded by successive empires, but its architecture was mostly influenced by the Venetians who ruled it for nearly 400 years.

Budva old town, Montenegro

Bar aqueduct

Building, Bridge
Map View
Bar aqueduct | © Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr
Bar aqueduct | © Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr | Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr
Bar old town’s aqueduct is a marvel of engineering and one of the best preserved in former Yugoslavia. The Ottoman Empire built the aqueduct in the 16thcentury, and it brought water to the town from Mount Rumija, three kilometres away.

Petrovac

Architectural Landmark
Map View
Petrovac | © Olena Z/Shutterstock
Petrovac | © Olena Z/Shutterstock
Petrovac’s Kastel Lastva is a beautiful Venetian fort that was built by the Venetians to protect ships along this stretch of the coast. The rest of Petrovac’s original town is made up of classic stone buildings, and, offshore, Sveti Nedjelja Church perches precariously on a rocky island.

King Nikola’s Court

Cetinje, as the old royal capital of Montenegro, is home to some of Montenegro’s most beautiful buildings. Chief among them is King Nikola’s Court. Now a museum in the centre of town, the building’s striking red façade and white shutters give an insight into Cetinje’s royal past.

King Nikola’s Court, Dvorski Trg, Cetinje, Montenegro

Cetinje | © Kevin Wallis

Former Russian embassy

Of all the regal former embassies in Cetinje, the former Russian embassy is the most impressive. The grand residence was designed by the Italian architect Coradini, who also designed Vladin Dom and the Italian embassy.

Former Russian Embassy, Vojvode Batrica, Cetinje, Montenegro

Former Russian Embassy | © Gennadiy Solovyev/Shutterstock.com

Former Russian Embassy | © Gennadiy Solovyev/Shutterstock.com | © Gennadiy Solovyev/Shutterstock.com

Stara Varoš

Successive wars and heavy bombing during World War II have meant precious little remains of the historical buildings in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica. Stara Varoš is one part of Podgorica that has survived. The area is known for its Ottoman Turk style and has been the centre of the city since the 15th century.

Stara Varos, Podgorica, Montenegro

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Sahat Kula in Stara Varoš | © Rasho992/WikiCommons | Rasho992/WikiCommons

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