Herceg Novi – The ancient new fortress from Adriatic
Few cities in the world can say that nearly seven centuries old is a sign of novelty, but if the city is on the Mediterranean coast, inhabited by thousands of years, several centuries does not mean very much. Herceg Novi, now part of Montenegro, is now called Castel Nuovo Italian, but has a history laden than many other places with more reasonable name.
Located in a bay of the Adriatic Sea, the place of the small town of 33,000 inhabitants was inhabited until the fifth century BC by the Illyrians and Greeks, are then integrated into the Roman Empire. In the seventh century, Slovene tribes who settled in the area took over, and the following centuries the area was successively under the influence of several Balkan nations.
The cornerstone of the port was made only in the XIV century, when a Bosnian decided that the money can be used to build a large port and gave her first name, Sveti Stefan (St. Stephen). One of the newest cities of the Adriatic, Herceg Novi received shortly from the build of the first fort the name of Castel Nuovo or Castrum Novum from Italian merchants.
In 1492, the city was conquered by the Turks, who failed to take the fortress more than 50 years. Turks were followed by Spaniards, who were the owners for nearly 200 years, until the late seventeenth century, when it was conquered by the Venetian Republic. After that, Herceg Novi was controlled successively by Austria-Hungary, Russia, France and Austria-Hungary then again, who retained control until the end of WWI.
The high number of conquest has left its mark on the town with a very diverse culture, with many left over from all the people who had power over the small port. Total lack of sandy beaches, Herceg Novi remains a major sea resort in Montenegro, thanks to the spectacular landscape and the many springs with therapeutic properties nearby. Moreover, even if is not the most appropriate stay on the sun, lots of top quality beaches are located at just a few kilometers away, by sea or road.
The main attractions of the area are mostly historical, especially notable being the old fortress, Forte Mare built the foundation of the city in 1398. Clock Tower built in the 1800′s by Austrian Kanali tower, built by the Turks and Serbs built cathedral are just some of the testimonies succession of power in the region. Hotels, restaurants and cafes abound, tourist tradition dating back to the Austrians time: one of the first “inns for foreigners” at the Rose Sjora, is attested from 1872.