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Castle of San Giovanni - Kotor Fortress

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Exploring the Magnificent Castle of San Giovanni - Kotor Fortress in Špiljari

If you're a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, a visit to the Castle of San Giovanni, also known as Kotor Fortress, in Špiljari, Montenegro is sure to leave a lasting impression. This magnificent historical site is located in the town of Kotor and offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history of the region.

Historical Significance and Architectural Features

Constructed during the Byzantine era, the Castle of San Giovanni has seen various architectural influences over the centuries, including Illyrian, Venetian, and Austrian styles. Its strategic location on a hilltop provides breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the Bay of Kotor.

The fortress is part of the larger fortifications of Kotor, which were built to protect the medieval town. Visitors can explore the castle's well-preserved walls, towers, and citadels, which were once used to defend the town against invasions. The fortress also houses a cistern, a castle, and other ancillary buildings that add to its historical significance.

Things to Do and See

One of the highlights of visiting the Castle of San Giovanni is the opportunity to walk along the fortified walls. As you make your way to the top, you'll be rewarded with stunning vistas of the town, the bay, and the surrounding mountains. The hike to the fortress takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, with 1350 steps to conquer. Along the way, you'll pass the Church of Our Lady of Remedy, adding to the charm of the journey.

Fun Facts

Did you know that the Castle of San Giovanni is often linked with the Kotor City Walls walk? The stair pathway that leads to the fortress zigzags up to and along the City Walls, offering a unique perspective of the town and its surroundings. In the past, it was even possible to hike up the Ladder of Kotor and cross over to the City Walls through a "window" entry point, although this is no longer officially allowed.

When to Visit

To fully appreciate the beauty and historical significance of the Castle of San Giovanni, it is best to visit during the spring or autumn months when the weather is mild and the tourist crowds are smaller. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as there are many steps to climb, but the effort is well worth it for the breathtaking views and the chance to step back in time.

Nearby Attractions

While visiting the Castle of San Giovanni, take the opportunity to explore the charming town of Kotor itself. Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, narrow streets, and picturesque squares, Kotor offers a delightful blend of history and culture. Don't miss the chance to visit the Maritime Museum, St. Tryphon's Cathedral, and the lively Old Town.


The Castle of San Giovanni - Kotor Fortress in Špiljari is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and stunning views. With its rich historical significance, well-preserved walls, and panoramic vistas, this fortress offers a unique travel experience. So, lace up your hiking boots, embark on the journey to the top, and immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of the Castle of San Giovanni.

Updated on 26 June 2024

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