History of Risan

History of Risan



Ancient Risan dates back to the 2nd century BC. The city was founded by the Illyrians, more precisely by the Illyrian tribe Rizoniti, after which the present-day Risan is name (Risinium). Risan was the center of Illyria's maritime trade, the city also had its own money forge, which testifies to the great wealth of this city.
By 229 B.C. Risan was the capital of Illyrian Queen Teuta. Teuta was a beautiful but dangerous pirate queen. The most famous saying about Teuta was: “Teuta had divine beauty, she was wiser than a serpent and braver than a lion. She had a man's heart in her woman's chest. "

After the death of her husband Agron, Teuta inherited the throne. She built a castle on Gradina Mountain above Risan, the remains of which can still be seen today.
Teuta lost her throne in the battle with the Romans, who were invited by the Greeks because they could not overpower the powerful queen on their own. According to legend, the wise queen, who did not want to surrender to the Romans alive, committed suicide by jumping into the sea from a cliff above Risan. Teuta’s last words were: "I would rather die than put myself into the hands of Roman commanders."

Legend has it that, before committing suicide, Teuta hid all Illyrian riches deep in the bowels of the hill near Risan, with the help of her subjects.  Archaeologists are still looking for this treasure even today. During one of these “treasure hunts”, they discovered an underground lake in Risan, which is connected to the city by canals. They also discovered Illyrian coins, precisely 4650 King Balajosa’s metal coins, a gold ring and the remains of Hellenistic houses. Today, in the underwater, in front of Risan, there is a large number of Amphoras (Amphora is a symbol of the city of Risan), which Illyrians used to transport oil from Ulcinj to Kotor and beyond. Amphoras are protected by law in Montenegro. Some of them can be seen in museums all over Montenegro, but it is certainly not allowed to move Amphoras from the sea, it is punishable by law. Also, in Risan, it is possible to see the remains of the Old Risan which “sank”, as well as old houses and remains of a sailing ship.

Risan had the greatest economic growth during the Romans. Today it is possible to visit Roman mosaics from the 2nd century BC. The most famous of all is a mosaic with the image of the dream god Hypnos.
Risan was under the rule of the Venetian Republic for a very short time, which is why the architecture of this city is completely different from the architecture of the cities of Kotor and Perast.
In the Middle Ages, Risan was an integral part of Travunia. In 1376, Risan belonged to the Duke of Zeta, George Balasic, while in 1491 it fell under the rule of Dubrovnik.  At the end of 1593, the city was surrendered without resistance to the Ottomans. Therefore, even today there is an old Turkish street in Risan, and there used to be several mosques as well. During Napoleon wars, Risan frequently changed rulers, alternating between Austria, Spain, Russia and Austria-Hungary.

It is assumed that in Risan there is a city below the city, and the most famous archeological site is called "Carine".
Risan population today predominantly works in the tourism sector.

In Risan there is a special hospital for orthopedics, neurosurgery and neurology "Vaso Cukovic", and also Grabovac nursing home, which was until recently the only institution for the care of the elders in Montenegro.
The first public library in Montenegro was founded in 1835 here in Risan.

Tourist destinations in Montenegro:


Perast is home to some of the most beautiful palaces along the Adriatic coast. This is the city of steep stone streets, flower giards, the city of churchs, the city of closed jalouisies, tncredible islands of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks, the city of legends, seafaring and glorious captains. Least, but not last, Perast is home of the famous Peras Cake. This old baroque city has attracted many writers, poets, actors and painters with his charm. Intoxicated, they become in love with this little miracle located on the Adriatic shore.

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Risan is the oldest settlement in Boka Kotorska. It is located at the northern point of the bay. Risan is an ideal place for holidays for young people, but also for families with children, because this village is never crowded even during the summer season. The most important tourist attractions in Risan are Roman mosaics from the third century BC, Monastery Banja, the church of St. George and the church of St. Peter and Paul. On the hill Gradina above Risan, there are the remains of the old Illyrian castle.

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Boka Kotorska

Boka Kotorska or simply Boka (in Italian Bocce di Cattaro) is the largest bay of the Adriatic Sea. It consists of four bays: The Bay of Herceg Novi, Tivat Bay, Risan Bay and Kotor Bay. The length of Bokakotorska Bay is 116 kilometers. The maximum depth of the bay is 60 meters. Boka Kotorska is the only fjord in the Mediterranean, surrounded by high mountains Orjen and Lovcen. There are countless small fishing villages and 3 major cities in the bay: Herceg Novi, Tivat and Kotor, as well as 7 islands: Mamula, Our Lady of Mercy, Vedvedje, Saint George, Our Lady of the Rocks and the Island of Flowers. There are also two peninsulas here: Luštica and Vrmac.

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Kotor is a medieval old town known as Montenegrin Venice. Kotor is one of the best preserved old towns and is located in one of the 25 most beautiful bays in the world. The town is 13 centuries old, but on the site of present-day Kotor, people settled much earlier. Surrounded by grandiose walls, intertwined with old cobbled streets where tourists gladly "get lost", it is a favorite port for big cruisers and tourists from all over the world. Kotor is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Tivat is the youngest town on the Montenegrian coast. It is located in the Bay of Boka Kotorska, only 10 kilometers from the city of Kotor. Tivat is home to a famous training ship "Jadran", which in the most beautiful way decorates Tivat waterfront. There are various legends about how Tivat got the name. Some say that Tivat was named after the Illyrian Queen Teuta, who ruled from the neighboring town Risan, but had her summer residence in Tivat. The second assumption is that Tivat is named after a Christian saint Theodorus. What is perhaps the most realistic story is that the name Tivat comes from the Celtic word "teoto", which means „the city“.

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Herceg Novi

Herceg Novi is a city made of rocks, a city of the sea, walls and towers, a city of sun and flower gardens. Herceg Novi is located at the entrance to Boka Kotorska, 51 km from Dubrovnik and 43 km from Kotor. One of the sunniest cities in the Adriatic coast, this city welcomes guests who "sail" into the Bay of Boka Kotorska. Surrounded by the high mountain of Orjen, decorated with greenery and mimosas, palm trees and the open sea. Herceg Novi is home to the tall palm trees that sailors brought from their long voyages; this is home of magnolia, eucalyptus and agave.

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One of the most famous and expensive places in Montenegro is certainly Budva. Budva is called the Queen of the Mediterranean, Montenegrin Monte Carlo and the capital of Montenegrin tourism - what this city really is. This city is adorned with the old city walls, which was ruled by the Venetians, modern discos and clubs, casinos, the best nightlife in Montenegro, luxury hotels and villas. The Budva Riviera is 25 kilometers long and along the coast there are some of the most beautiful Montenegrin sandy beaches.

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Bar is a port city. It is located 60 km from Kotor, and only 30 km from the city of Ulcinj. Bar is known for a large number of olive trees, olive oil, Turkish coffee, the old fortress above the city, the only railway line in Montenegro close to the sea, the port of Bar, the ferry Bar-Bari etc. Bar is known as the city of rich cultural heritage, a city of different nationalities, cultures and traditions. The bar overlooks the open sea and is adorned with beautiful beaches, coves and clear blue sea water.

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