1350 steps

People do strange things when on vacation and I can’t exclude myself from that. How often have I asked myself ‘Why am I doing that?’ – while climbing up La Giralda in Sevilla, Spain; while squeezing myself through the narrow corridors of the cupola of the Basilica di San Pietro at Roma, Italy or when climbing to the top of St. Paul’s cathedral in London, United Kingdom. At Kotor, Montenegro it is especially funny: people are brought on cruise ships with all comfort directly to the old city only to climb up to a fortress high above. 1350 steps, 1.2 kilometers steadily up the hill with an elevation of 260 meters.

It seems to be a tradition and everybody is doing it. The fortress Sveti Ivan high above the city dates back to the 19th or 20th century. It is in bad condition and urgently needs some repair works. But the view from there on the bay is fantastic and worth the effort. To get up there you’ll have to follow the ancient city walls. Typically there are steps along the wall and a rocky path next to it. As two persons can’t pass next to each other you’ll sometimes have to stop and let people pass. The conditions of the path in the upper area are rather bad and you’ll have to take care. On the way there is the church Gospe od zdravlja from the 17th century and the fortress tower Kontarina from the 15th century.

Fortress, Kotor
City walls and path to the fortress, Kotor

The path up can be entered at three places of the old town: at the river gate in the northwest, close to the south gate and next to the weapon square (see map above). You can enter from 8am to 8pm and you’ll have to pay an entrance fee of 8 Euros. Make sure that you bring enough water with you – it is an exhausting adventure.

Fortress of Kotor

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