St. Tryphon's Cathedral is known to be the most impressive sight in Kotor. TIt is supposed to be older than Notre Dame by several decades.
St. Tryphon's Cathedral has wonderful old stone carvings and frescoes and great small museum with some good pieces of sacred art and artifacts (Two Euro entry fee, but you're free to take photos once you're inside).
Hello there, I would like to help a bit.
I checked some forums and it seems easy to find small boat to take tourists to island from Perast.
But do not be surprised with the fact that you might be allowed to visit only one island "Gospa od Skrpjela". It happened that the other one "Sanctus Georgius de Gulfo" is not always opened for visitors.
Have a nice stay in Kotor.
The Bay of Kotor which also is called Kotor Fjord is the largest and southernmost Fjord in Europe. The Fjord is known since the Antiquity and its 87 sq km big, 30m deep, 28km long and is surrounded by mountains up to 1900m high.
I sailed into the Bay of Kotor by ship and the views are simply spectacular, make sure you visit the St. John Fortress or any other high view point as they offer phenomenal vistas of this picturesque area.
A short distance away from Kotor situated on two islands in the middle of Kotor Fjord. The island of St. George is an intense, stalwart, dark and inward-looking natural island while Our Lady of the Rock is a slender, happy, light-filled “floating” island that was man made.
The Abbey of St. George was established by the Benedictines, the abbey was first mentioned in 1166 in documents describing the consecration of the new, second Romanesque church of St. Tryphon in Kotor. However, in studying various ornamentation on this structure, it can be concluded that the abbey was already in use by the Benedictines as early as the 9th century. Except for certain details, the appearance of the old church has not been preserved. The island was constantly under attack both by invaders and earthquakes, especially the great earthquake of 1667 when the ceiling and apse collapsed during the Easter service. Following this catastrophe, a simple church was built. The island remained a burial place until 1866, when a new graveyard was built in the northern part of the town.
150 meter away is the Abbey of St. George. The island was built artificially by scuttling old ships and depositing stones around a small crag.
Most of the present-day church was erected after the great earthquake of 1667 when the original sanctuary was destroyed. It is a single-nave, modestly proportioned church in the Byzantine style. An octagonal 11m domed presbytery and a bell tower were added around 1725. These gave the Our Lady of the Rock the distinctive baroque appearance that can be seen today. The interior of the church was decorated by Tripo Kokolja, a famous 17th-century painter from Perast. On the altar is the famous icon of Our Lady of the Rock, a 15th century work by Lovro Marinov Dobricevic. It is the most valuable work of art in the church because its history is so closely related to that of the island.
Kotor is protected on its northern and south-western side, towards the waters. The walls are fortified by bastions, most prominent the Kampana tower and citadel (13th to 14th century) near the point where the river enters the bay. Close to it is the Sea Gate (also Main Gate) from 1555 allowing access from the bay, the two other gates to the city are the River Gate (also North Gate) from 1540 with the nearby Bembo Bastion from 1540 and the Gurdic Gate (also South Gate), the latter modified many times and fortified by the Gurdic Bastion from 1470.
The circumference of the outer wall is 4.5 km, with a thickness between 2 to 16 m, and a height up to 20 m.
Towering high above Kotor one of the must sees is the walk up the fort. Be aware however that if it is raining the walk up can be quiet slippery and you definitively should be good on your feet if you attempt the walk up.
The Castle of St. John occupies a location that has been fortified in some manner for centuries. The current fortifications date from Venetian rule in the 15th century. The castle is only one part of the fortification of Kotor. The walls travel down the mountain of St. John and surround the city, where towers and other defense structures have historically provided protection for residents and buildings.
The views from the top are simply spectacular with vistas over Kotor, the Fjord and the mountains.
I was delighted to participate in a walking tour of Old Kotor on the second day of our cruise. It was my dream to visit the walled town and I was more than happy to learn about the medieval city situated in beautiful Boka Kotorska.
Our tour guide, Stefan, met us outside the ship and we all proceeded to The Sea Gate (West Gate) where the walking tour commenced. We then visited the Trg od Oruzja (The Square of Arms), Kotor's main square with its cafes, restaurants and hotels and also the old Clock Tower with its past torturous links.
We then saw the Gothic Pima and Buca palaces on Flour Square which were built in 1500s and continued onto St Tryphon Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in the area. We had a look inside and saw the relics of St Tryphon, the Patron Saint of the city.
We moved onto Musuem Square and visited the Maritime Museum in Grgurina Palace. We learnt about the Boka Kotorska seafarers that shaped Kotor and the surroundings areas economically and culturally. After Museum, we visited the Church Square where two important Orthodox churches, St Luke and St Nikola are located. St Luke's Church is interesting because it had both Catholic and Orthodox alters for serving the needs of locals of both faiths at one point in its history. St Nikola Church was named after the Patron Saint of seafarers and travellers and was built in the early 20th Century.
We had fun exploring the backstreets of the old town and observed how local residents got on with their daily lives. Eventually the tour concluded at Trg od Oruzja (The Square of Arms).
I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and after exploring a bit independently I returned to the ship.
This palace is situated between the Square of Arms and Flour Square in the old town. The palace has Gothic and Venetian influences suggesting a number of different occupiers to the palace over the centuries. There is a legend relating to the Beskuca family which tells of a count who wanted to change the family name to Stokuca after acquiring wealth. However, he was unable to obtain 'one-hundred houses' and fell sort by one! And for which 'stokuca' means in Slavic (Source: About.com).
The Sea Gate is one of the main walled city entrances to the old town and leads you to the main square. The Sea Gate and the fortifications were built in the 1500s. At the top of the gate is the former Yugoslavian emblem and not far on a fortification is a Venetian Lion. These emblems have shaped Kotor's and Montenegro's past and present history. Once you've entered the gate you reach Trg od Oruzja (The Square of Arms).
Through the wall this is the first square people arrive at and is Kotor's biggest square. It mainly houses cafes, restaurants and hotels. It is hub of Old Town Kotor and notable buildings are the Old Clock Tower and the Napoleon Theatre.
This Palace was built in the 18th Century and situated in the Old Town's central area. The palace houses the Maritime Museum. This interesting musuem exhibits the Boka Kotorska seafarers who shaped Kotor Bay economically and culturally and I thoroughly enjoyed looking round.
Pima Palace is considered the most beautiful palace in Kotor and is situated on Flour Square. It's designed in a Gothic with baroque features and was owned by the Pima family during the 14th to 18th Century. Renovations were done during the time and the present facade is from the 17th Century.
The church is named after the patron saint of seafarers and travelers who shaped Kotor's history of trade and travel throughout the centuries. This Orthodox Church was built in 1909 as a tribute to the patron saint.
I didn't go inside the church but should a visit inside is planned look out for the two silver candelabras.
This former Medieval torture tower has two clock face, which were added in the 18th Century. On the front of the tower it has a crest from the ruling prince at the time and a pilar of shame where local criminals were publicly punished and tied.
This church is designed in a Roman and Byzantine style in the 12th Century. This church was built by Mauro Kacafrangi and his wife Bona who believed this church would be 'for the salvations of their souls'. Miraculously it was the only building that survived the 1979 earthquake.
I didn't go inside the church but inside is paved with gravestones when people were buried before the 1930s.