The Gulf of Kotor
The Gulf of Kotor (Serbian: Бока которска; Croatian: Boka kotorska; Italian: Bocche di Cattaro) in western Montenegro, is a winding bay on the Adriatic Sea. The gulf, sometimes called Europe's southernmost fjord, is in fact a submerged river canyon of the disintegrated Bokelj River which used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen. It is an important tourist attraction in Montenegro.
The gulf has been inhabited since antiquity and has well preserved medieval towns. The picturesque towns of Kotor, Risan, Perast and Herceg Novi are - along with their natural surroundings - major touristic attractions. The religious heritage of the land around the gulf — its numerous Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries — makes it one of the major pilgrimage sites of the whole region. The Gulf of Kotor region is under the protection of UNESCO due to its very rich cultural heritage.
The gulf is composed of several smaller broad gulfs, united by narrower channels, forming one of the finest natural harbours in Europe. The outermost part of the gulf is the Bay of Tivat (Teodo) and a small naval port. On the seaward side, there is the Bay of Herceg Novi (Castelnuovo), which guards the main entrance to the Gulf of Kotor. The inner gulfs are the Bay of Risan to the northwest and the Bay of Kotor to the southeast.
On the landward side, the long walls running from the fortified old town of Kotor to the castle of Saint John, far above, formed a striking feature in the landscape; and the heights of the Krivošije (Krivoscie), a group of barren plateaus in Mount Orjen, were crowned by small forts.
There are many interesting places on the shores of the Gulf of Kotor. Herceg Novi has an Orthodox convent of St. Sava nearby (Savina monastery) standing amid beautiful gardens. It was founded in the 16th century and contains many fine specimens of 17th century silversmiths' work. Eight miles east of Herceg Novi, there is a Benedictine monastery on a small island opposite Perast (Perasto). Perast itself was for a time an independent state in the 14th century.