If you are planning a visit to Bar, Montenegro, we suggest the following top 5 places in and around Bar that should definitely be visited:
To stay in Bar, and not visit its old part, that is, the Old Bar, it is the same, people from Bar say, as if you haven`t been in that town at all. The Old Bar, which is 4 kilometers away from the center of the New Bar, is situated on a very steep cliff in the base of the mountain Rumija. The town has been successively built for several centuries. Primarily the area that the Old Bar encompassed was much closer to the shore, but because of the frequent pirate attacks, population had to move to interior, so today the Old Bar is almost 5 kilometers away from the sea. Bar is constituted of the fortified city lake, encompassed by the walls from the XI and XII century, which were renewed in the XIV and XV century. During the visit of that part of Bar, you`ll see an old city gate from the XI century. Beside the gate, there is a Citadela, which had exclusively defensive character. As a part of the Old Bar is annexed it the Venetian era, during the XV century and in the first half of the XVI century, a great number of monuments authentically testifies of that time.
There are two still very well preserved churches: the church of St. Katarina from the XVI century and the church of St. Veneranda from the Xv century. In the old part of the town there is a Turkish bathroom – a steam bath from the XVII century, a powder magazine, as well as some other interesting buildings, like the remains of the church St. Nikola, which in the year 1288 was built by the wife of the Serbian emperor Uros, better known as Jelena Anzujska or Jelena Kurtnejska. Below the Old town there are the remains of aquaduct from the XVI and XVII century, through which the water was brought to town.
The Old Bar, in which today no one lives, used to be full of inhabitants who were engaged in various kinds of trading, selling olive oil, salt, craftworks…
In the Old Bar there is also a place Podgrad (Undertown), which dates from the middle century, but in which people live even today. In the community there are several old inns, shops, craft shops, s well as meat market. In Podograd two mosques and a catholic church of St. Marija are situated.
Especially during the last few years, the society of friends of the Old Bar, and the descendants of the families that used to live in it, have set in motion an action for revival of the Old Bar, as an ancient architectonic compound and the oldest settlement on the territory of that town. From summer to summer Old Bar has become very interesting to architects, archeologists, cultural and public workers, who reveal interesting ideas and create various projects for the revitalization and preserving Old Bar from oblivion. That is the way to introduce younger people from Bar but also numerous tourists with all that Old Bar used to signify.
If you wish to meet the surroundings of the Old Bar, then we recommend that you easily take a stroll to a place called Mirovica, where the famous trunk of an over 2.000 years old Bar olive tree is located.
Today is more of a museum building which testifies that the Montenegrin state under the reign of King Nikola I Petrovic, attached great importance on contemporary social, cultural but also architectonical trend of the XIX century and the first few decades of the XX century. “The castle on Topolica” as, because of where it is located, King Nikola`s castle else is called, was built by Prince Petar Karadjordjevic, Nikola`s brother-in-law, in order to buy it from him in the in 1885. The building has also a small castle, chapels, sentry boxes, and winter gardens. At the beginning of the year 1919, next to the castle spacious ball saloon was added onto. The King`s castle makes the Mediterranean park, which is rich with marvelous vegetation extraordinary. Today, the complex of the castle is used for the cultural necessities of Bar. The King Nikola`s castle also represents a Homeland museum, and in the saloons of the castle special literary evenings, musical concerts, festivals, happenings, art exhibitions are taking place…
As the castle is situated next to the seashore, it used to have a wooden floodgate, which was used for docking in of the ships, because King Nikola owned 10 yachts. It is interesting to point out, that the famous yacht “Sibil” King Nikola bought from the novel writer Gil VERNE, and his last Yacht “Rumija, was sank by Austrian – Hungarian navy in 1915, on the site of the today`s aquatorium . Nearby there is a flower house, of the non-corrosive construction, which was a gift of the Italian King Emanuel, which today stands as the representative resort compound better known as Prince`s garden”.
If you wish to escape from the summer heat and the throng which prevails both on the beaches and in the whole town, we recommend that you set yourself from Bar through the tunnel Sozina, with your own car or tourist taxi or van transport and go to a place called Virpazar. It is a picturesque place, and in the past it was famous for the biggest Montenegrin market. Today Virpazar is also a famous vacation area, and in the past it was a transitory station for the cruise over Skadar Lake.
Many famous and less famous people, who came to Virpazar, kept coming back to it, because it is a beautiful place, which simply attracts people in warm summer days as well as in early autumn and spring. Also in the cold winter days, grey from the rain or first snow, Virpazar look attractive. Family houses from which one can see the smoke coming out of the chimney, which keeps home warm during the winter, numerous canoes, barges and bigger taxi boats, which usually transport tourists who wish to see the beauties of Skadar Lake, stand tied to the shore, and only some hard working and persistent inhabitant of Virpazar, is trying to set out to the lake water in hope that he`ll find in his net numerous: carps, bleaks or some eel. Still, all the magic of Virpazar or Vir, how that place was named in the past, you`ll experience best during the summer.
Whether you`re staying in the hotel “July 13” or if you`re comfortably accommodated in the famous motel “Pelikan” (“Pelican”), you`ll quickly leave your hotel room, because the call of the Skadar Lake and its numerous historical monuments will immediately draw you to a cruise. When you embark on one of the tourist taxies below the formerly built bridge, the captain and at the same time the tour guide, while skillfully navigating the vessel, will try to explain you, in best possible way, the past of Virpazar and Skadar Lake, and very often in several foreign languages. He`ll introduce you with some details like: with the fact that Skadar Lake is the largest lake on the Balkans, and second largest in Europe. You`ll find out that at the lake there are 200 various bird species. Because of that fact, in the recent years, especially among tourists bird watching is very developed or watching of the birds – with binoculars or special gear intended for tracking their flying direction. Skadar Lake today is the biggest settlement of pelicans in Europe. . There 12 kinds of snipes, 3 kinds of ducks and 160 more of other kind of birds. Among the bird inhabitants in the region of the Skadar Lake we have: cormorants, gulls, different kinds of ducks, gooses, and pheasant. Often you can see storks, herons (white, yellow and gray), grebes and other kinds of birds, which are rare in world, are often found here. On the Skadar Lake fishing is very frequent. The fishes most frequently caught are carps and eels.
Driving over the lake, you can meet beautiful flora. If you express a wish, captain will slow down for a moment, so that you can easily pick a water lily or a beautiful white lotus flower which can be found all over the lake.
Beside the decorative stalks of the blossomed reed, the memory of the staying in ecological areas of the Skadar Lake will also be a souvenir like kasoranja (a black, irregularly shaped bristled fruit), that is to say, sea walnut. Usual tourist tour over the lake, understands stopping by the island Grmozur – that used to be a prison, then a visit to churches whose endowers where old Montenegrin rulers Balsici, a visit to a beach named Murici where you can refresh yourself in the lake water, take a rest under the hundred years old trees or repose with a marvelous lake lunch (usually thick fish soup and roasted carp)!
On your way back to Virpazar, captain will suggest swimming in the water where the lake is warmest, he`ll also suggest observation of rare kinds of birds, sightseeing of old churches… and when satisfied with what you`ve seen you come back to Virpazar, we recommend that you inevitably visit motel “Pelikan” because, beside the extraordinary lake specialties like: thick fish soup, smoked or roasted fish, homemade bread…, the kind hosts will serve you with something else. The interior of the restaurant, which is in the motel, testifies about the fisherman life of this region. Over the walls various hats, aromatic and healing herbs, old items are hanged… If you notice that motel “Pelikan” is an unusually interesting place and you publicly say that, the hosts will take you to a hidden place called Odzaklija (Chimney house), an old house that is situated in the attic of the hotel. About that place we`ll reveal only that much that beside the past of the Montenegro, tools, weapons, and folk costumes there are for e.g. kept many old items, some even several centuries old. The rest of the story we wish that you find out and experience by yourself. And of course to enjoy!
This place in Bar and the surroundings is better known as cape Ratac. It is situated several kilometers away from Bar on the highway Bar – Sutomore. Today this place is known as a sanctuary (there is a benediction convent dated from IX century, the convent of mother of God of Ratac) but because of the beautiful verdure, Ratac is considered to be a favorite tourist site for camping or some other type of recreation. Recently Ratac has become more and more interesting to nudists, because of the nude beach which is located on the south side of the cape, but also because of the unusually bluish color of the sea in that area of the Bar shore. Numerous tourists visit Ratac, because of the very clean seawater, as well as because of the ecologically natural environment. According to the words of many visitors, especially campers, Ratac is a God given place, because already for several years on a part of the beach there is a real nature park. If you do not wish to sunbathe and swim on the nude beach, 300 meters away from the cape Ratac there is the most beautiful Bar beach, which because of the unusual color of the sand is called Crvena plaza(The Red beach). Even though the beach is not too big, from year to year, it becomes more and more favorite at people from Bar and their guests. One of the reasons of the arrival of the increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists on the Red beach is an extremely clear and transparent seawater and thick verdure, which surrounds it.
On the other hand, Ratac has a significantly great religious meaning. In the area around the ruined convent of mother of God of Ratac, you can almost every day see a lighted candle. Religious people come to that space, with wishes and requests to the mother of God for recuperation, success, or forgiveness of the committed sins. It is often that religious people write their wishes on a piece of paper and leave them in the cracks of the monastery stonewalls.
A place, which is only few kilometers away from Bar, thus it, is considered its suburbs. Sutomore is an extremely interesting and attractive place during the summer, so numerous tourists instead staying in Bar, accommodate themselves in the hotels along the Riviera in Sutomore, or in some of the private houses or villas. On the very brim of the sea in Sutomore there is a long sandy beach, an unusual sight stretches out toward the open sea. If you wish to just go through Sutomore then the best part f your summer vacation you`ll with no doubt spend on the Sutomore beach enjoying sunbathing, swimming or relaxing with the clod fruit drinks on some of the numerous terraces of the restaurants. However, if you wish to go towards places Zagradje or beach Maljek you`ll find the space for camping. Straighten your thing from the bag and camp as much as you wish.
If Sutomore attracts you so much, that you`re planning to stay a little bit longer, beside in the hotel, you can find an adequate and not so expensive accommodation in private houses or apartment villas. Also, if you inform yourself with the amiable locale people, from Sutomore you can go to coast or mountain part of the community Brca. In the foothill of that community there are nicely arranged private houses or apartment buildings, which provide services of accommodation and of boarding house. The mountain part is prevailed by summerhouses, but above them there is a very old community of an interesting architecture, characteristic only for that part of the Bar area. The community Brca as well as entire Sutomore you`ll experience as interesting places for rest, which beside attractive beaches and the surrounding offer rich resort and amusement offer.
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