Kotor's Historical Churches Walking Tour (Self Guided), Kotor

Although Kotor is a small city, it is home to a surprising number of beautiful churches. Many of these buildings are decorated with amazing frescoes dating from as far back as the 14th Century. Take this self-guided walking tour to see the most impressive places of worship in the city.
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Kotor's Historical Churches Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Kotor's Historical Churches Walking Tour
Guide Location: Montenegro » Kotor (See other walking tours in Kotor)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 Km or 0.3 Miles
Author: emily
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Saint Tryphon Cathedral and Square
  • Church of St. Michael
  • Church of St. Clara
  • Church of St. Nicholas
  • Church of St. Luke
  • Church of St. Ozana (St. Maria of River)
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Saint Tryphon Cathedral and Square

1) Saint Tryphon Cathedral and Square (must see)

Another one of the main squares of old town Kotor, Saint Tryphon's, is home to the Saint Tryphon Cathedral. Since it is one of the most impressive and imposing buildings in the city, it is also sometimes called the Kotor Cathedral.

The cathedral stands out in this historic city as it embodies the tumultuous past of the area. The site began in 809 when Venetian merchants brought artifacts back from Constantinople.

A local citizen built a church here for exhibiting the relics, and this church was mentioned in the writings of Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus. Those writings were the only evidence of that first church until archaeological researchers found new evidence in 1987.

The cathedral was completed in 1166 and was built in the Romanesque and Byzantine styles. Like many of the structures in town, it was severely damaged by many earthquakes over the centuries. With each repair and restoration, the style of the building changed. Occasionally rebuilt would uncover elements of the original building.

It wasn't until the 1979 earthquake that the building was reconstructed to preserve the original 1166 structure.

Inside, a Ciborium from 1362 dominates the cathedral. You'll also see many paintings from medieval times. There is also a reliquary that has many relics from the 15th through the 18th centuries.

There are other important structures located on the square in front of the cathedral, as well. The Bishop Palace was the official residence of the bishops and is located adjacent to the cathedral. It was owned by the noble family Drago, whose palace is also on the square.
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Church of St. Michael

2) Church of St. Michael

The Church of St. Michael was erected on the site of a former Benedictine monastery at the end of the 14th Century. As well as admiring the building itself, visitors can also see a collection of stone monuments inside the church.
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Church of St. Clara

3) Church of St. Clara

The Church of St. Clara attracts many visitors to see its beautiful Baroque altar. This amazing marble piece was sculpted by Francesco Cabianca. The 14th Century complex also boasts a rich library full of wonderful old books.
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Church of St. Nicholas

4) Church of St. Nicholas

Even though its Byzantine styling makes it look much older, the Church of Saint Nicholas was built from 1902 to 1909. It was built to replace an 1810 church that existed on the same site but was destroyed by fire in 1896. Before that, the site was occupied by a 16th-century monastery.

Saint Nicholas is a Serbian Orthodox congregation. The Serbian flag hangs over the main entrance.

The building is framed by two large bell towers with black domes. Atop the domes are gold crosses that were a gift from Russia.

The church's interior is adorned with an impressive collection of beautiful silver pieces, from candle holders to impressive chandeliers. The iconostasis was made by the Czech painter Frantisek Ziegler in 1908.

Despite these embellishments, the church is relatively unadorned, as is the custom in Orthodox churches. The plain grey walls capture light from simple stained glass panels, which create a calming and mystical effect.
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Church of St. Luke

5) Church of St. Luke

Saint Luke's is one of the oldest structures in Kotor. The small church, with its Roman and Byzantine architecture, is full of interesting history and artifacts.

It was first built in 1195 as a Catholic church. Some of the original 12th-century frescoes are still present. You can also see two lovely iconostases, one from the 17th century and one from the 18th.

From 1657 to 1812, it housed side-by-side Catholic and Orthodox altars, and the two faiths took turns holding services. It was then gifted to the Orthodox church. The church stands now as a testimony to the harmonious co-existence of the Orthodox and Catholic people.

The floor of the church is made from tomb panels. Until the 1930s, the burring of Kotor citizens was held in the church itself.

St. Luke's stands in Greca Square, immediately across from St. Nicholas's Church. The most notable thing about this church is its small stature--compared to the buildings around it, including the grand St. Nicholas', it looks tiny.

The building is one of the only structures in town not to have been damaged by earthquakes, including the most recent in 1979.
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Church of St. Ozana (St. Maria of River)

6) Church of St. Ozana (St. Maria of River)

The Church of St. Ozana was built on the site of an ancient Christina Episcopal basilica in the early 13th Century. Its structure represents a fine example of Romanesque architecture. Visitors here will also get the chance to see the relics of St. Ozana, which are housed inside.

Walking Tours in Kotor, Montenegro

Create Your Own Walk in Kotor

Create Your Own Walk in Kotor

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kotor is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Kotor Palaces Walking Tour

Kotor Palaces Walking Tour

This magnificent historic city is home to a number of wonderful palaces. Many of these beautifully ornamented mansions belonged to wealthy and influential families. Visitors can trace the history of each building by looking at the coats of arms of noble families and the paintings on the walls. Take this self-guided tour to see these beautiful historical palaces in Kotor.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles
Kotor Old City Walking Tour

Kotor Old City Walking Tour

Nestled on the shores of the Bay of Kotor and at the foot of the surrounding mountains, the beautiful fortified city of old town Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While it receives less attention than many other settlements from the same period, Kotor is visited by more tourists every year.

The port here has been in use since Ancient Roman times, but most of the fortifications were built...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles