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KOTOR FORTRESS
STUDIES, CONSERVATION

AND REVITALISATION

Ever since the ancient times, the Bay of Kotor (Bocche di Cattaro)
has represented a strategically important geographic region. Its
three spacious mutually connected bays (Herceg Novi, Tivat and
Kotor bays) form one of the best natural harbors in the world.
The main town and stronghold of the Bay, Kotor (Cattaro), was
founded at the foot of the mount of St. John, on a strategically
suitable alluvial plain among the river Skurda, the sea and the
spring of Gurdic, Ever since the ancient times, this fortified town,
although practically isolated at the deep end of the bay, and for two
centuries surrounded by the Ottomans' territory, had never fallen
in the arms of the enemy.
In uncertain times of building of Kotor, topographical conditions
were a determining factor for the choice of location, urban development and its survival. The oldest fortification »gradina«(remains
of a fortified town) might had been at the top of the mount of St.
John ever since the Illyrian times. Up to the present days, there
have been no traces neither of Roman nor Bisantine fortifications
Economic prosperity of the era of Serbian dynasty Nernanjic
(1168-1371) was a necessary condition for the solid construction of
the town perimeter, whose plan, greatly, corresponds to the contemporary one. Some parts of the town ramparts and two gates
(Gurdic and Valier bastion) have been preserved since those times.
After the fall of Serbian medieval state there was a tumultuous
period, thus Kotor, after numerous requests, managed in 1420 to put
itself under the Venetian protection. The Venetians were gradually
cutting down privileges, which had been recognized at the time of
surrender, and the town was constantly stagnating, because from a
commercial center it became a military one. This, however, had as
its consequence the increase of interest in town fortifications.
On the southern part of the town ramparts, by the sea, close by
the strong spring of Gurdic, a tower was built in 1470 which was
named after that spring. It represents the first large Venetian intervention on strengthening the old Kotor fortifications.
Bastion Valier was being explored on several occasions. In its
interior, the remains of a medieval town rampart were found together with a gate with the characteristics of Romanesque-Gothic
styles of the14th century.
Bastion Gurdic (1470.) sa spoljainjim juinim gradskim vratima (18. v.)
The tower of Gurdic (1470.) with external southern town gate (XVIII c.)

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Vrata od mora - "Porta Martna«, 1555. sa kulom gradske straie i
Provtdurovom palatom ("Palazzo del Provveditore«)
The Seagate - "Porta Martna«, 1555, with town guard tower and the ,A
Mayor Hall (»Palazzo del Provveditore«)
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Going further along the footpath above the main town gate
"Porta Marina«, which is at the same time a gallery providing access
to individual rooms of the Town guard tower complex, Rector's
palace and Town hall you come to one of the most important fortified points of the town - bastion »Citadela« or »Campana«. At the
time of its construction, at the beginning of the 16th century, Citadela was an autonomous town fortification, which was able to
defend itself in case of the siege of the town. Later on, it was linked
with neighboring curtain, northern and western, and in 1613 by the
construction of two big cannon openings, so called "Piazza Soranzo«
was formed, as a lower artillery position towards the port and
town gate. Inappropriate new construction imperiled the building
heritage tissue.
At the other, eastern part, of the northern curtain, there is a bastion Bembo, in some historical sources known even as Vendramin,
which was adapted for the purpose of the town summer theatre
stage.
Protection and revitalization of fortifications on the hillside is
a big problem and in many aspects a non-defined question. This
sector of the fortress is highly inaccessible, neglected and, contrary
to the coastal part, in the last eighty years it has not had any, even
temporary, function.
Nevertheless, numerous monumental values of this part of Kotor
fortifications, together with the attractiveness of the environment
and views, are a solid prerequisite for finding out possibilities and
interests for their revitalization. Naturally, the main problems in this
sense are infrastructure, communications etc., and they have to be
generally resolved. Strategic orientations in the sense of purpose,
in the first place should be linked with tourism, culture and so on.
In the last few years, with the assistance of UNESCO, US Ambassador Fund and the Government of Japan, we have been doing our
best regarding studies, conservation and revitalisation of Kotor
fortress.
Ilija Laiosevic, MSc

.~ v

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Od davnina je Boka Kotorska (Bocche di Cattaro), predstavljala strateski vazan geografski region. Njena tri prostrana, medusobno povezana zaliva (Hercegnovski, Tivatski i Kotorski) cine jednu od najboljih prirodnih luka na svijetu.
Najvazniji grad i uporiste Boke, Kotor (Cattaro), nalazi se u podnozju brda Sv. Ivan na strateski veoma povoljnoj aluvijalnoj zaravni, izmedu rijeke Skurde, mora i izvora Gurdic, Od davnina je jaki
utvrdeni grad, koji iako prakticno izolovan u dnu zaliva i dva vijeka okruzen sa svih strana turskom teritorijom, nikada nije pao
Turcima u ruke.
U nesigurnim vremenima nastanka Kotora, topografski uslovi su
bili odlucujuci faktor za izbor polozaja grada, njegov urbani razvoj
iopstanak. Najstarije utvrdenje - »gradina« moglo se jos od ilirskih
vremena nalaziti na vrhu brda Sv. Ivan, Do sada nisu pronadeni
tragovi utvrdenja rimskog naselja, kao ni pouzdani ostaci utvrdenja koja se mogu hronoloski vezati za period vizantijske vlasti.
Ekonomski prosperitet nernanjickog perioda (1168-1371) bio
je preduslov za solidnu izgradnju gradskog perimetra, cija se trasa
u velikoj mjeri podudara sa danasnjern. Iz tog vremena sacuvani su
djelovi gradskog zida i dvije kapije (Gurdic, bastion Valier).
Poslije pada srpske srednjovjekovne drzave, nastupio je buran
period, pa se Kotor nakon brojnih molbi uspio 1420. godine staviti pod rnletacku vlast. Mlecani su postepeno suzavali privilegije
koje su priznali Kotoru prilikom predaje, a grad je stalno nazadovao,

njevjekovnog gradskog zida zajedno sa kapijom rornano-gotickog
stila 14. vijeka.
Produzujuci setnicorn iznad glavnih gradskih vrata, koja je
ujedno i gaIerija za pristup pojedinacnim prostorima kompleksa
Kule gradske straze, Providurove palate i Vijecnice dolazi se do jednog od najznacajnijih utvrdenih gradskih polozaja, bastiona Citadele (»Citadela« ili »Campana«]. U vrijeme kada je nastala, pocetkom 16. vijeka, Citadel a je bila autonomno gradsko utvrdjenje koje
se mogIo braniti i u slucaju opsade grada. ana je kasnije povezana
sa susjednim kortinama, a 1613.godine otvaranjem dvije velike toparnice formirana je tzv. »Piazza Soranzo« nizi artiljerijski polozaj
prema luci i gradskim vratima. Neprimjerena novogradnja ugrozila je spornenicko graditeljsko tkivo bastiona.
Na drugom, istocnorn dijelu sjevernog bedema nalazi se bastion Bembo, u nekim istorijskim izvorima poznat i pod imenom
Vendramin koji je adaptiran za potrebe gradske Ijetnje pozornice.
Zastita i revitalizacija utvrdenja u brdu veliki je problem i visestruko nedefinisano pitanje. Ovaj sektor tvrdave izrazito je nepristupacan, zapusten i za razliku od priobalnog dijela, u posljednjih
osamdeset godina nije imao nikakvu, cak ni privremenu funkciju.

jer se od privrednog i trgovackog pretvorio u vojno srediste. Ovo
je, medutirn, za posljedicu imalo povecano interesovanje za gradska utvrdenja.
Poslije rnletackog perioda nastupio je austrijski (1814-1918)
tokom koga je Kotorska tvrdava stalno bila u funkciji, a od tada je
permanentno zapustena i izlozena propadanju.
Na juznorn dijelu gradskih bedema pored mora u blizini izvora
Gurdic 1470. godine sagradena je kula koja je dobila ime po ovom
izvoru. ana predstavlja prvu veliku rnletacku intervenciju ojacanja kotorskih bedema. Istrazivanja Bastiona Valijer vrsena su u nekoliko navrata. U njegovoj unutrasnjosti su pronadeni ostaci sred-

Ipak, brojne spornenicke vrijednosti ovog dijela kotorskih fortifikacija, uz atraktivnost prirodne okoline i vizura, solidan su preduslov iznalazenja mogucnosti i interesa za njihovu revitalizaciju.
Svakako da su u ovom pogledu osnovni problemi infrastruktura,
komunikacije i dr., a oni moraju biti generalno rijeseni, Strateska
opredijeljenja u pogledu namjene u prvom redu bi morala biti vezana sa turizam, kulturu i sI.
U posljednjih par godina, uz pornoc UNESCO-a, Fonda Americkog ambasadora i Vlade Iapana ulazu se znacajni napori na proucavanju, zastiti i revitalizaciji Kotorske tvrdave.
mr flija Laloievic

Tvrdava »Citadela« (Sv. Ivan) i dio istocnog bedema
Castle »Cittadela« (St. John) and a part of eastern ramparts

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