HISTORY / CULTURE / TRADITION
The shores of the bay of Tivat have passed through different eras: Illyrian, Roman-Byzantine, Serbian, Venetian-Turkish and Austrian. Numerous archaeological findings, monuments of ancient architecture and written historical sources testify to this. There are different opinions and historical data about the origin of the name Tivat. As the most beautiful legends are told about this area, which have been passed down from generation to generation over the centuries, one of them says that Tivat was named after the Illyrian queen Teuta.
The people of Tivat have always proudly celebrated and maintained their traditions and customs. Festivals are organized to celebrate life. You can experience our traditional cuisine, folklore and music together on site or learn more about the cultural heritage by visiting various institutions, museums or exhibitions: There are, among others, the Maritime Heritage Collection, the Submarine Museum, the Buća Summer House from the 15th century, the Museum Collection “Ethnographic Heritage of Tivat” and the Gallery, which are part of the JU “Museum and Gallery”. And of course, religious buildings such as churches and monasteries, which tell a lot about the most important stages of the area in which they are located and the times from which they come.
Tivat is a city of culture and music, and always has been. The tradition of the performances of the theater “Purgatory”, the famous float of the Navy of Bokel, the sounds of the town music and the concerts of the Music School of Tivat characterize the cultural events in our town.
– The Bokel navy was founded in the 9th century (809 AD) and since then it has been operating as the oldest seafarers’ organization in our country and in the world. The costumes are made of expensive materials (chocha, velvet, silk) and are richly decorated with gold embroidery, and they are produced in artisan workshops. In 2013, it was declared an intangible asset of Montenegro. Its members follow traditional festivities, both in Tivat and beyond.
Town music – At the end of the 19th century, with the first signs of the development of industry and seafaring in agricultural Tivat, traditional songs, bagpipes and lyres, as the only form of musical research, were replaced by new sounds. In 1891, Antun Žeželić managed to gather music-loving locals, young and old, and form the first orchestra. Church ceremonies, weddings, serenades, and appropriate evening parties in the villages of Tivat were enhanced by orchestral music. Traditional dates were celebrated with music, she welcomed and saw off numerous statesmen, kings, politicians, workers, etc.
– The Tivat Music School has its roots in the tradition of the first orchestra in Tivat, founded in 1891 under the supervision of musically educated teacher Antun Žeželić. It was first founded as an elementary school on October 29, 1964. The founder of the school is the Municipality of Tivat. From the school year 2005/06, the regional department of the school in Radovići was opened. It is the first music school in the country to open a brass department, specifically horns and trumpets, and after a short period of operation, this department began to achieve significant results at numerous competitions in the country and abroad. The school is the organizer of many concerts, seminars, humanitarian projects, as well as international workshops for wind instruments in Tivat.
– “Purgatory” Theater Festival – This festival grew out of the theater, which previously existed and defined the culture of Tivat for decades. Tivat has become the regional center of Mediterranean theater where many artists meet.
*You can find more about history, culture and tradition in the PDF brochures: „TIVAT-culture/history/tradition“ i „ I love Tivat“ at the link
Institutions of culture
JU Center for Culture Tivat
The Tivat Culture Center was established in 1970. Since then, it has gone through various organizational forms so that today this Public Institution unites: the National Library and reading room, the production of theatrical and documentary film productions, the Mediterranean Theater Festival “Purgatory”, publishing and regular program-repertoire activity which includes; music concerts, literary events, reception and organization of guest programs, promotions and provision of technical services and support to numerous users of the spatial capacities of the Center and the city as a whole.
Theatrical production of the Tivat Culture Center has become a brand of its own, which was additionally complemented by fifteen years of experience in the realization of the Mediterranean Theater Festival, “Purgatory”, which in its jubilee year was evaluated as the most successful summer exhibition of theatrical creativity in the territory of the former SFRY.
Center for culture
|Switchboard:||+382 32 674 587|
|City library:||+382 32 674 588|
|Library opening hours:||8h-19h|
|Management:||+382 32 674 590|
|Organization:||+382 32 674 555|
|Ticket reservation:||+382 69 342 799|
|Address:||Luke Tomanovića 4.|
JU Museum and Gallery Tivat
The museum collection “Ethnographic Heritage of Tivat” – in the museum and gallery exhibition space of the medieval Buća complex, visitors have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with exhibitions of art, ethnology, archeology and documentary nature. Through its exhibition activities, the ethnographic collection deals with: traditional clothing, crafts, notable personalities who influenced the folk life of this region, as well as intangible heritage.
|Address:||Trg od kulture 4|
|Phone:||+382 (0) 32 674 591|
Maritime Heritage Collection, Porto Montenegro – A unique museum, the Maritime Heritage Collection in Porto Montenegro depicts rich maritime traditions and reminds of the extraordinary nautical past of the Adriatic. There is also the Museum of Submarines – the old pride of the Yugoslav Navy, the submarine P-821 Hero, as a museum value leaves visitors to Porto Montenegro breathless.
|Phone:||+382 (0) 32 661 000|
Galerija „Gayo”, Porto Montenegro – The walls of the galleries of Gayo are decorated with works of art of the greatest artists of the world from China, Russia and Italy. However, as Gayo is the first private gallery in Montenegro, many works of Montenegrin artists are also exhibited here. The identity and credibility of Gayo Gallery has developed over many years, so it is not surprising that foreign navigators enjoy this artistic place in Porto Montenegro both in season and out of season.
|Monday – Saturday:||14h-20h|
|Phone:||+382 (0) 69 040 240|
Sacral heritage in Montenegro has always been and will always have a special value. All cultural assets, the legacy of previous generations, are wealth for both present and future inhabitants of every climate. This is also the case in Tivat – a city that has a large number of sacral buildings of inestimable value throughout its territory.
Did you know that the most churches in Tivat are dedicated to the Mother of God – as many as 11? That the legend of Pope Liberia is connected to the Lady of the Snow? That there are numerous churches on the territory of Tivat that are cultural property and protected by law? That one of them is the oldest church in this region, built by the Greeks in the 7th century?
We will guide you through the story to the churches, temples, chapels and monasteries throughout the city, but also the countryside. Each of these buildings has a special value for the population – both throughout history and in the present moment.
Archangel Michael Monastery
Archangel Michael Monastery is located on the Prevlaka peninsula, where different cultures existed from the Hellenistic to the Medieval period. Opatija St. Mihailo was founded in the early Middle Ages by Benedictines. At the beginning of the 13th century, the town became the center of the Zeta bishopric, and in 1346 it received the status of a metropolis. During the third peasant uprising in Grblje in 1452, the monastery was razed by the Venetian galleys. Architectural and archaeological research revealed that the monastery church was a representative three-nave basilica with three altar apses. The remains of the church of St. Arch. Mihaila were preserved and the restoration of the monastery began in 1997 with the construction of a new inn.
The church of St. Trojice is located about fifty meters away from the once large and richly decorated basilica of St. Michael the Archangel from the 12th century. It was built in 1833 as a foundation of Countess Ekaterina Vlastelinović, widow of Kotor landowner Count Ilija Vlastelinović. Sv. Trojica is a single-nave building with a semicircular apse and a nave with three openings for the bells. Hewn stone from the ruins of a nearby temple was used for the construction of the church. In 1847, Countess Ekaterina, the founder of the temple, donated her part of Prevlaka to Bishop Petar II Petrović Njegoš in her will. The Church of the Holy Trinity was legally protected as a cultural property in 1976.
Church of St. Nikole is located on a steep slope above the village of Gornji Krašići next to the old, once important road that connected Krtole with Luštica. Bogomolja, dedicated to the patron saint of travelers and fishermen, was built in the 18th century according to some indications on the foundations of an old building. In the interior of the church, there are two stone altars decorated with polychronic marble and artistically valuable palas. The painting on the main altar represents the queen of St. Rosary with a child in arms in front of St. Nicholas in formal clothes and St. Luke the Evangelist.
The Church of the Martyrs of Bokel is located on the sea coast of Donji Krašić. Its founder is the Austro-Hungarian naval admiral Maximilian von Sterneck, the founder of the Arsenal in Tivat. The church, dedicated to the early Christian martyrs of Bokelje, the Holy Brothers Peter, Andrija and Lovrijenac, was completed in 1897.
St. Luke’s Church is located on an imposing hill above the village of Krtolje in Gošići, from where there is an impressive view of the coast of the Bay of Tivat. According to tradition, St. Luka, one of the oldest churches in the area, was built by the Greeks in the 7th century. Various relics are kept in the church: a gold-woven felon, a gift from Peter I Petrović Njegoš to the then parish priest of Krtol; six diaries printed in Moscow in 1749, a gift from Bishop Sava Petrović; the ritual book Triod printed in 1751, a gift from the Russian Queen Elizabeth to Metropolitan Vasilij Petrović and a larger Four Gospels book from the beginning of the 20th century. The church is a cultural property protected by law in 1976.
The church of St. Gospodje is located in a prominent place in Nikovići, a part of Radovići, a village in Krtol. It is not known when it was built. The first mention is found in a purchase contract from 1594. The church was renovated in the middle of the 19th century, when it was extended in the western part and a massive bell tower was built. The bell tower was then extended by another five meters according to the design of the Italian architect Mattarelli.
The iconostasis is attributed to Nikola Aspiotis, a Greek icon painter from the second half of the 19th century. Century. In 1955 the church was protected by law, and in 1963 the iconostasis and a collection of five crosses and four church books were registered as movable cultural property.
Church of St. Spasa is located in Radovići and is the cathedral of the Orthodox population from the area of Krtola. In historical records, it is stated that it was built in 1767 and it is considered that it was created as a reminiscence of the old church of St. Spasa, not far from the Prevlaka peninsula, on the foundations of which the Ivanović princes built a residential complex, today known as Grgurevina.
Church of St. John the Baptist is located on a hill on the border between Bogišić and Đurašević. Until the eighties of the 18th century, there were two altars in the church – Orthodox and Catholic. The earthquake in 1979 severely damaged the church. St. fell on the main altar. Ivan from 1855, a valuable work of the Croatian painter Đovani Skvarcin.
Church of St. Jovana Preteče is located in the Kotor village of Bogišići next to the church of St. Ivana. It was built in 1776 and is dedicated to Christ’s forerunner and baptizer.
The Church of St. Michael the Archangel is located on a separate plateau in Bijelići, above Solil. The date of its origin is unknown. In the past it was a cathedral. The church, renovated today, has a one-piece bell tower, and simple stone elements are preserved on the main facade. In the church there is a healing icon of St. Michael, a gift to the monastery of the Russian city of Yaroslavl.
Church of St. Vrača is located on the southern slopes of Vrmac. The church is dedicated to St. Doctors, brothers Kozma and Damjan, patrons of the medical profession.
Church of St. Petra is located on the Gradac hill on the slopes of Vrmac. The remains of the frescoes indicate high-quality painting, which, according to eminent experts, can be compared with the most beautiful works of Rasa-Byzantine art of the 13th century. The Church of St. Peter is a cultural asset, protected by law in 1958.
Church of St. Jurja is located above the village of Gornji Bogdašići. The time of construction of the church is not known. The current building was built on the foundations of an older place of worship, traces of which are visible next to the apsidal space. Folk tradition says that the original church was dedicated to Our Lady.
Church of St. Agate is located in the village cemetery in Mrčevac settlement in Gradiošnica. According to tradition, it was built on the estate of the Verona lords of Prčany, as a family chapel. Cult of St. Agate, born in the city of Catania, was very widespread in Sicily. She is considered the protector of nursing mothers and a protector against fires and earthquakes.
Church of St. Vida is located on the plateau of the highest elevation of Vidovo hill in Gornja Lastva in the northeastern part of the Tivat Bay. It was mentioned for the first time in 1327 in the notary books of Kotor. According to historical data, it is believed that it was built in the 9th century and that it was destroyed and looted during the Turkish domination. St. Sight is considered a protector of the eyes and a healer of weakness and eye diseases. On the territory of Montenegro, there are few churches dedicated to this saint. This church is a cultural asset, protected by law in 1957.
Chapel of St. Terezije is located in the courtyard of the former summer house of the Kotor lord Zmajević – Jakonja in Donja Lastva. From the former complex, a fence wall with an arched portal and a residential building located in the central part, to which a paved path leads, bordered by a stone colonnade, have been preserved. Along the path, on the left, is a chapel built by the pastor of Gornja and Donja Lastva, Don Đuro Perušina, in 1934.
Chapel of St. Mihovila is located in the local cemetery in Donja Lastva, not far from the church of St. Deadline. It was built by the locals in 1901, as a small building without an apse, with a one-piece bell tower. In a more recent painting, which is in the chapel, the saint is shown in war gear with wings, killing an evil spirit with a spear.
Church of St. Roka is located in Donja Lastva on the sea coast. It was built in 1901, on the foundations of an old chapel built on their estate by the Bolica noble family in the middle of the 16th century. The church is dedicated to the patron saint of patients and doctors, it is a one-nave building with a rectangular apse, against which the sacristy leans. The spacious interior of the church is decorated with a central altar where the fallen St. Rock, the work of painter Mihailo Flori from Prčanje from the 19th century. The saint is depicted sitting under a tree with a shepherd’s staff and a dog, looking at an angel descending from the clouds.
The chapel of Our Lady of Carmen is located by the sea in the village Bašići in Donja Lastva. It belonged to the summer house of the famous Peraš shipbuilders Bašić. From the former estate, a preserved palace and a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Carmel, the patroness of the Roman Catholic order of the Carmelites, remain.
Chapel of St. Ane is located next to the main road in the Lepetane settlement. The time of its creation is not recorded in historical records. It is a small building with a rectangular apse. In the altar area of this chapel, the venerable table is leaning against the wall, above which is the church of St. Anne, a gift from Ivo and Tona Miholović from 1964.
The Church of St. Anthony of Padua is located in a striking position in the Lepetane settlement. According to sources, the parish church was built in 1760. Vaulted with a slightly broken arch, it has a single nave base with a square apse and a southern chapel. The interior of the church is characterized by a spacious southern chapel, dedicated to Queen St. Rosaries. The marble baroque altar in the chapel was erected by benefactors from Lepetan in 1869. The altarpiece of the Virgin and Child is the work of an unknown author from the second half of the 18th century.
The monastery of Our Lady of Mercy is located on an island in the Krtoli archipelag not far from the island of Sveti Marko. It is popularly known as the Lady of the Island. The archaeological find of the altar of Juno Lucina, the patron saint of women in childbirth, which is kept in the vestibule next to the entrance door to the church, points to the assumption that there was a sanctuary here in ancient times or that the altar was brought from nearby Prevlaka at an unknown time. The monastery was renovated several times, and a major renovation took place in the middle of the 19th century after the belfry collapsed due to a lightning strike and damaged the church and the monastery buildings. This monastery has a large number of stained glass windows, a small collection of silver plates and a very valuable library.
The Chapel of St. Antuna is located in the coastal belt of the Kalimanj basin, within the medieval complex of Pimain in the village center of Belani . The summer house with the chapel originally belonged to the famous Pasqvali family from Kotor, as indicated by the engraved family coat of arms on the bell tower of the church and the inscription with the year 1373. The chapel changed owners. Today is badly devastatedTand in poor condition due to the strong influence of humidity. Two tall cypress trees, organically fused with the facade, form an unusual whole in symbiosis with the church. The Chapel of St. Antuna is a cultural asset protected by law since 1957.
The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is located in the central part of the village of Gornja Lastva above Tivat. It was built in 1410, as evidenced by a preserved inscription carved in stone from a medieval place of worship. It is a single-nave building with a rectangular apse and a side chapel in the northwest. The interior of the church is decorated with three altars. The central baroque and richly decorated work of Venetian masters was made in 1720 for the church of Our Lady of Škrpjela in Perast.
Church of St. Ilije is located in the hinterland of Lepetan, from where there is an impressive view of Bay of Kotor. According to folk tradition, the church is about eight hundred years old. Today it is in a bad state, with a collapsed roof structure.
The chapel of Our Lady of the Snows is located on the sea coast, in the strait of Verige. In preserved documents, it is mentioned in 1469 under the name “De Rexa”. It suffered during the attack on Perast, but was soon rebuilt. It is vaulted with a slightly broken vault and is decorated with a small decorative rosette. People often call her the Lady of Smiles because, according to tradition, a smile appeared on the faces of sailors, passing through Verige after long journeys, when they saw her.
There are several legends about the origin of the church. The most interesting is the one about the captain who swore to Our Lady on a stormy night that he would build her a church if he saved the crew and the ship loaded with rice near Perast. According to that legend, the chapel is also called Our Lady of Rice. The celebration of Our Lady of the Snow is linked to a legend that originated in 352, when the Virgin appeared to the then Pope Liberius and the patrician Ivan, ordering them to build a church in her honor on the spot that would be marked by snow. Then, in the middle of summer, on the night of August 5, snow fell on the Esquilini hill in Rome, on which the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was built.
The Church of Our Lady of the Angels is located within a fortified complex on the cape of the southern shore of the Veriga strait, from where there are impressive views of Perast and the Boka coast. It is mentioned in archive documents in 1469 and 1526 as an independent building. This is a one-nave building with a pronounced square apse. Gothic architectural features with a slightly broken vault and an arch on the bell tower suggest that the church was built in the 15th century. The church is a cultural asset, protected by law in 1976.
This is only part of the sacred heritage of Tivat. That’s why every walk through this city will bring you a new experience and another experience of the centuries that are behind us.
Source: Sacral heritage of Tivat, publisher Tivat Culture Center and Buća Museum and Gallery
Financing of projects for the valorization of cultural heritage
Together with the Municipality of Tivat, the Tivat Tourist Organization has issued a public call for participation in the procedure for the distribution of funds for the implementation of projects for the enhancement of cultural heritage. The procedure is based on the Article 8 of the Law on Residence Tax, according to which 10% of the amount of the residence tax is distributed for this purpose in 2019. The projects concern archaeological research, conservation and restoration works, reconstruction and promotion of cultural heritage on the territory of the Municipality of Tivat. Based on a public call, three projects were selected for the funds allocated in 2016:
- Remains of the Roman water system – JU “Museum and Gallery”
- Cultural valorization and presentation of the St. Vid locality – NGO „Dijela, ne riječi“
- Valorization of the memorial of Tivat in the function of tourist offer – NGO Montemisija“
On the basis of a public call, three projects were selected for the realized funds from 2020 and 2021:
- “Development of the project (technical documentation) of the reconstruction of the old water tank in the Great City Park” – NGO “European Home”
- “Natural and cultural historical heritage on the territory of the municipality of Tivat” – NGO “KZD Napredak Gornja Lastva”
- “Cultural heritage of ancient Rome in the area of Tivat Municipality” – NGO “Crni Plat”