At the southern edge of Montenegro lies the picturesque city of Bar. With rolling mountains, warm waters and a bustling cityscape, it’s a hugely popular destination for yachters from around the world.
The beauty of Bar is truly something you have to experience yourself to truly understand.
For thousands of years, people have been drawn to the intoxicating beauty of Bar’s countryside.
The city’s chic, contemporary looks belie a much longer history, rich with romance and excitement.
The blend of tradition modernity within the Port of Bar’s city limits make it a huge tourist destination and hub for coastal expeditions.
Water defines Bar, it is a major seaport for Montenegro located 180 km far from the Strait of Otranto.
Adriatic Sea forms the western boundary of the city, mirroring the sailboat docks at the port of Bar.
The center of town with its hodge podge of boutique shopping cafes is right down the main street from the port and marina, while east of the city, Lake Skadar nourishes Bar’s wine country near Virpazar.
Bar Municipality has more than 46 kilometers of coast, with 20 beaches that have a total of 9 kilometers in length.
Although there are some nice cobble beaches in Bar itself, many tourists choose destinations in other small towns in Bar municipality, notably Sutomore, with its beautiful long sandy beach.
Queen’s beach was the beach favoured by Queen Milena, King Nikola’s wife. You can only get here by boat which makes this beach exclusive.
The entire area around Bar is mostly untouched nature, and is rich in vegetation.
This is definitely town with the most pleasant climate on the Montenegrin coast! Besides being one of the sunniest places in Southern Europe, with an average of 270 sunny days during the year, the climate is characterized by warm summers and mild winters.
The average annual temperature is 16 degrees Celsius. In July the average temperature is 26 degrees C, and in January of 10 degrees C.
Besides being an important port, Bar is also the final station on the Belgrade-Bar railroad.
Located on the wide area between the sea and the hills of the mountain Rumija, Bar had through history always strategic importance.
Town was settled in Neolithic times, however the busiest time period in the history of Bar was during medieval times, with Bar an especially important location in ecclesiastical history as the home of three religions, Orthodox, Catholicism, and Islam.
Also known as Antibari in earlier centuries, due to its location opposite or «Anti» from Bari in Italy, Bar was one half of the equation for the first radio connection made by Guglielmo Marconi in 1904. which was between Bari in Italy and Bar in Montenegro.
Southeast of the city, Stari Bar (Old Town – Old Bar) elevates itself some four kilometers inland from the coast at the foot of Mount Rumija (1.594 m) and at an altitude of 110 m.
Just arriving in Old Bar gives you a sense of the old times, with many coloured houses at the foot of the site, decorated with the most amazing colours.
The area beautifully illustrates the Turkish influence from 300 years of Ottoman rule, with its vibrant mix of restaurants and souvenir shops.
One can observe one of Montenegro’s most picturesque streets leading through Old Town and fortress above.
The Old Town of Bar also known as a Montenegrin Pompeii is the largest urban agglomeration among the ruins in Montenegro.
The Old Town of Bar has some spectacular views over the city of Bar and Adriatic Coastline and is surrounded by hills covered in centuries old olive tress.
It is believed that there was a settlement in Old Bar as early as 800 BC, which was demolished by Romans somewhere around the 3th century BC.
The Romans laid the groundwork for the current city of Bar as they believed the centre should be moved closer to the Sea.
In the 6th century, Emperor Justinian established a new fortified tower and it is believed that around the 10th century the site became known as Antibari, which means opposite of the Italian named city of Bari.
By this time Old Bar had become one of the Adriatic’s key political and economic centres.
Inhabitants of Old Bar were living mostly from selling craftwork, olive oil and salt trade.
In the 14th century the site was fortified further during the Balsic dynasty.
The last fortifications were implemented by Venetians who ruled the Adriatic during the 15th and 16th century.
Turks rained over the surrounding territories fromt eh 16th until the 19th century and the town of Old Bar was mostly destroyed during the fierce fights between Turks and Montenegrins in 1878.
A massive earthquake in the region known as the 1979 earthquake put the last remaining buildings to the ground.
This is was the point when the old town was abandoned and a new city was built on the sea.
The site, where meticulous reconstruction work is being carried out on the old town, offers a unique experience for visitors.
This intriguing locale presents both restored structures as well as ruins which offer memorable exploration opportunities on foot.
At the entrance point, maps may be purchased offering guidance through these historical remnants while providing insights into their former identities.
You can easily spend one to two hours exploring the ruins.
You enter the site through the Customs building, which is one of the most completed buildings.
Inside Old Town you’ll find two small museums with artifacts that have been dug up from the ruins and one reconstructed building with beautiful landscapes of the area.
Just inside the entrance there’s an amphitheatre that’s used for concerts and plays in summer.
In the Western part of Old Bar you will find the remains of the St. Nicolas’s Church (XIII century), which displays some remarkable Byzantine era frescos.
From the church of St. Nicholas there was only one wall with fragments of frescoes.
Very nice views from the valley below can be seen from the Old Citadel including the almost completely restored 17th century aquaduct.
Among the most notable characteristics of the Old Town is its large stone arch bridge traversing across a valley. This bridge crosses the valley with 17 supported arches on 18 robust stone pillars.
The bridge forms part of the aqueduct constructed during Ottoman rule in the 16th century and stands as Montenegro’s best-preserved aqueduct to date.
Interestingly, there only exist three such structures within former Yugoslav states – one each located in Croatia and Macedonia respectively besides our location here. The Aquaduct facilitated water transport over a distance of about three kilometers from Mt Rumija’s spring source to satisfy town-wide requirements.
Other restored buildings include the St. John’s Church, the main palace (which is now an art studio) and the St. Venerande’s Church dating back to the 14th century.
On a small crossroads square in the center of the city, a well-preserved church dedicated to St. John’s is built in the XIV century.
The Church of St. Veneranda was built in the XIV century. Local residents have restored the shrine. Now the historical monument is open and it used for spiritual concerts.
The round tower Gavadola with a bulwark makes a single construction, but it was not erected to the same time. The tower was built first during Venetian rule together with the town walls. Later during the Ottoman times, the bulwark was added.
Under bastion of Gavadola is the underground church of St. Hilarion (XIII century). The ceiling is served by fortress walls, the floor is a rock on which there is a bastion, and the halls are tiny caves.
At the heart of the complex one finds the splendidly restored Turkish bath (Hamam) and the completely rebuilt Clock Tower.
Hamam – Turkish bath (XVIII centuries) is preserved since the time of the Ottoman conquest.
The interior of the bath with the «Star» ceiling is now restored.
The Clock tower – Sahat Kula was built by the Turks in 1753. The clock on the four sides of the structure has been installed since 1984 during the restoration. At night, the Tower is highlighted.
The integrity and the authenticity of the Old Bar have been preserved to the extent that its historical significance is understood, as well as the value of its material heritage, cultural and historical context of thousand years’ long life of the town and the moment of destruction of its material structures.
Mysterious is the fact that life has never gone back to this town, but got to the coast through the suburban area, leaving behind what is best and most precious.
Within the past 130 years, the Old Bar has been the treasury of architectural and archaeological heritage, with the researchers of various profiles as its sole «inhabitants».
The area around Bar abounds in Mediterranean vegetation.
What makes Bar attractive as well are definitely numerous olive groves.
There are about 100.000 olive trees and almost 40.000 fruit trees in Bar.
A trademark of the town is over 2000 years old olive tree, and also one of the oldest olive trees in Europe that still bears fruit.
Only two olives in the world are older then Bar olive (Israeli and Tunisian).
In Montenegro it once existed a custom that no one guy could not marry if not tens of olive trees planted. Thanks to this custom there are more than 500.000 olive trees along Montenegrin seaside.
Town Bar is one of the main Montenegrin centers for olive oil production.
In the Old Bar there was 1927. «Oil Mill of Maric Brothers» where they daily processed up to 20 tons of olives and the famous Bar oil, which was exported to America, France and Germany.
Therefore, most of the festivals in the city are related to the topic of «Olive».
Commercial offer at Bar is extremely rich, especially with the latest fashion clothing and footwear from Italy. Bar is, no doubt, a major economic center, the second largest in Montenegro.
Bar is not only an economic but also a famous cultural center.
Bar is also home to King Nikola’s Palace located on the promenade, facing the sea and built in 1885 as a present to his daughter Princess Zorka and his son-in-law Prince Petar Karadjordjevic.
The complex consisted of a large palace with a ballroom, a little palace, a chapel, guardhouses and a winter garden.
King Nikola was a yachtsman as well, and in front of the palace was a wooden pier. Over his lifetime, King Nikola owned 10 yachts, one of which, «Sibil», was purchased from Jules Verne. His last yacht «Rumija» was sunk in 1915 on the site of the present city marina by the Austro-Hungarian gunboats.
Today, in the garden, a large stainless steel structure, originally given as a present by the Italian King Vittorio Emanuele, is now a restaurant called «Knjazeva basta» («The Duke’s Garden»).
Open to the public, the palace complex houses the Homeland Museum of the City of Bar and is also used for public festivals and concerts.
The magnificent Cathedral of St. John Vladimir whose construction began nearly 20 years ago is located in downtown, not far from the coast.
This huge, modern, gold-topped cathedral can be seen from all across Bar. It’s dedicated to Jovan Vladimir, the patron saint of Bar, who is considered to be the first Serbian saint.
The archdioceses in Bar is one of the two archdioceses that together with four dioceses cover the territory of Former Yugoslavia. This archdiocese in Bar, is directly responsible to the Holy SEE.
The Pope (Clement III) on January 8th 1089 is raising the Bar bishopric to the status of archbishopric, with ten subordinated bishoprics and Archbishop Petar as head.
Omerbasica Mosque is located just outside Stari Bar’s main gate, this simple construction (dating from 1662) has a square stone base and an elegant minaret enclosed by a stone wall.
In this town’s always something happening on the cultural plan, and throughout whole year. For it is certainly the most responsible Cultural Center of Bar.
In the tourist season festival «Barski ljetopis» has a very rich program, which includes guest performances and concerts.
In the autumn in this city under Rumija mountain is maintained and International TV Festival, with the participation of television productions from all continents.
Sports Centre in Bar, with a modern gym and several grass fields for various sports, has become an attractive place for year-round gathering, training, preparations and competition of athletes from Montenegro and abroad.
So, experience the best of the Montenegrin coastal city of Bar year-round.
Between the sea and rocks, with 270 sunny days a year, winds that intersect the smell of the Adriatic, pine and fig tree which creates a unique mix of the basic elements of nature.
Become a part of nature, experience the unique place!