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The town of Herceg-Novi

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General presentationGeneral information
Herceg-Novi, during the history, belonged to many conquerors; these are the multiple influences which created this very particular mixture of architectural styles which offer today the city.
Escutcheon of Herceg-NoviThe name of the town of Herceg-Novi, just as the name of Herzegovina (Hercegovina), is a reference to Stjepan Vukčić Kosača which, in 1448, separated the south-eastern part of Bosnia to form an autonomous region that it named Herzegovina; it allotted the title of duke of Saint-Sava (herceg od Svetog Sava) (Herceg means “duke”, like German Herzog). Under its reign old Castelnuovo knew a great prosperity.

Novi comes from what Herceg-Novi is one of the most recent towns of foundation of the Adriatic coast (novi means “new”).

At the time Venetian, Herceg-Novi named Castelnuovo di Cataro.

Into Serb Cyrillic Herceg-Novi Херцег Нови is written, in Greek Νεοκαστρον, Neòkastron, in Latin Castrum Novum.


Situation of Herceg-Novi. Click to enlarge the image.Herceg-Novi seen since the fortress. Click to enlarge the image.Herceg Novi is a coastal town of Montenegro located at a strategic place, at the entrance of Bouches of Kotor and at the bottom of Orjen mount. The city is with a few kilometers of the Croatian border and not far from that of Herzegovina as Bosnia-Herzegovina neighbor.


The Monastery of Savina (Manastir Savina)
The orthodoxe monastery of Savina, is devoted to saint Sava Nemanja (Sveti Sava), the founder and first archbishop of the Serb Greek Orthodox Church in 1219, and most popular of the saints of Serbia.

The monastery was founded at the 16th century; the current monastery completion date of the 17th century (years 1690), when monks, fleeing the destruction of their monastery close to Trebinje, as Herzegovina, brought their treasures there.

It is in this monastery that the prince-poet Petar II Njegoš accepted his first education.

The monastery is composed of two churches devoted to the Virgin, a cloister and a vault:

  • the small church of the Assumption of the Virgin, the 15th century, perhaps with the site of a older church of the 11th century. It is famous for its Gothic frescos.
  • the large church of the Assumption of the Virgin, the 18th century, built of 1777 to 1799 by the famous architect Nicolas Foretić de Korčula. This large church is famous for sumptuous the iconostase of the Master Siméon Lazović and his son Alexis, of Bijelo Polje.
  • the small vault Saint-Sava, of the 15th century.

The monastery preserves single parts which have escaped with plundering. Among these treasures, always in possession of the monastery, appear in particular a chalice of 1650, a Gospel going back to 1685, a silver miniature of the monastery of Tvrdoš of 1615, in which the monks founders were originating and a cross crystal and silver in the 13th century which would have belonged to Sava saint, a remarkable portrait of the tsar of Russia Pierre the Large one.

The monastic unit Saint-Sava constitutes a good example of architectural mixtures where the Baroque architecture dominates. Its wrought iron works of the 17th century are also famous.

The monastery of Savina is with three kilometers east of Herceg-Novi in the middle of luxuriant Mediterranean gardens overhanging the Mouths of Kotor, on the slopes of the small hill of Savina which gave him its name.

The Church Saint-Michel-Archangel (Crkva Arhangela Svetog Mihaila)
The church Saint-Michel-Archangel. Click to enlarge the image.The church Saint-Michel-Archangel. Click to enlarge the image.The orthodoxe church Serb Saint-Michel-Archangel is on the place Herceg Stjepan which is principal old city; this place is known popularly under the name of Place Belavista.

The church, dedicated to the archangel Michel, is one of the jewels of the architecture of bay of Kotor; built in 1900, it associates three styles: Byzantine, baroque and Gothic.

The Tower of the Clock (Sahat Kula)
The Tower of the Clock. Click to enlarge the image.The Tower of the clock was built in 1667, time when Herceg-Novi was under the Turkish domination, by order of the Mahmud sultan.

The tower, located at the center of the city at the top of monumental staircases, surmounts a door which ensures the passage since the low part of the city towards her high part.

The Tower Kanli (Kanli Kula)
The Kanli Tower is a fortress of the Othoman period (16th century). The tower was used as prison, from where its Turkish name which means “bloody tower”.
The Spanish Fortress (Tvrtava Španjola)
Španjola is a fortress of the Rebirth, built during the Othoman domination with 15th and 16th century; its name comes from what the Spanishs took part in his construction during the only year when they removed Herceg-Novi with the Turks.
One also finds in Herceg-Novi the castle extremely Forte Pond, the Fort of the Sea, Bosnian king Tvrtko, founder of the city.

History and traditionsHistory, literature, arts, traditions, legends, religions, myths, symbols…

Herceg-Novi was founded in 1382, but was conquered by the Turks in 1482. The Turks controlled it during two centuries, until 1687 (except for a short period, of 1538 to 1539.

In 1687, Jerome Cornaro, General governor of Dalmatie, in the name of the Republic of Venice, made fold Turkish resistance after a very hard seat.

With the fall of the Republic of Venice, Castelnuovo was under the Austrian domination until 1806, then of Russia until 1807 and finally of the French until 1813. During the year 1814, the city briefly belonged to the provisional government of Montenegro and bay of Kotor. In 1815, the Congress of Vienna allotted it, like all Dalmatie, with the Austrian Empire.

Engraving of Kotor around 1700, by Pierre Mortar. Click to enlarge the image.Castelnuovo and the gulf of Kotor - Engraving on copper aquarellée by Pierre Mortar (beginning of the 18th century).

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