How was Kotor created? Here’s what the legends say!

In addition to being known for its indescribable beauty, the Boka Kotor Bay can also boast many legends hidden in its bay. 

On one occasion, we already told you the story of the Three Sisters, which is connected to the town of Prčanj, and now it is time to devote ourselves to the ancient city of Kotor, located between the steep cliffs of the mountains and the sparkling sea. This is a place where history and legend intertwine, and as you wander its streets, you will hear whispers of stories passed down through the generations.

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But how did this enchanting city come about? To find the answer, we will have to dive into the world of legends that shaped its past.

 

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Boka Kotor Bay, Photo: Adria.fun

 

THE LEGEND OF THE FAIRY ALKIMA

According to local legend, the origin of Kotor is shrouded in mystery and magic, and all of it is due to the fairies that are mentioned in as many as two legends.

The first legend tells the story of a fairy who lived in the Vilinica cave, one of the many caves where fairies hid throughout Boka.

When the first sailors reached Boka, they wanted to build a city on the cliffs of Pestingrad to have a great view of the bay. However, the fairy Alkima stopped them and instructed them to build it by the sea because there is neither water nor salt there.

They listened to her and built Kotor, and the fairy then built a door from which she still watches the whole of Boka, waiting for the golden ship with which she would sail away.

It is this legend that is connected to Fairy’s Gate (Vilina vrata), a stone arch located on the cliffs above Kotor.

 

Kotor, Photo: mana5280, Unsplash

 

THE LEGEND OF THE VILLA AND KING Stephen 

In another legend, in which another fairy plays an important role, King Stephen is also mentioned. Touring the coast of his kingdom, he stopped in the Bay of Kotor and decided to build a fortress here. However, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t because they couldn’t reach the ground from of all those cliffs.

After a few years, the king realized that he could not build anything and went for a walk to clear his mind. During that walk, a fairy appeared to him and told him that he would never be able to build a city on the cliffs and that he should go down to the sea where she would help him build a fortress in one night. The fairy then tells him to go to rest and dream about what kind of fortress he wants to have.

The king, all confused and in disbelief, asked the fairy why she was helping him. She tells him that it is because of his modesty, but warns him that he must not change because she will take everything away from him.

 

Kotor, Photo: falco, Pixabay

 

When the king woke up in the morning, he saw the completed fortress and was delighted to throw a party for his subjects. While they were having fun, the king boasted that he had built the fortress. At that moment, a fairy appeared in front of the door and told the subjects that she was responsible for their new home. The king called her a liar and a witch and chased her out of the fortress.

To punish him, the fairy turned everything drinkable at the party and in the city into salt water, from wine to water from wells. The king immediately ran to the fairy and asked her to return the water to normal and rather to take the fortress because his subjects were thirsty. When the fairy saw that the king was sincerely repentant, she returned the water to its normal state.

As all the subjects immediately ran to the water, the king waited his turn until they all finished drinking. Then he admitted that it was the fairy that built the city.

Many say that this magic can still be felt in Kotor today because, in the summer, all the water in the wells becomes saltier.

 

Kotor, Photo: Evelyn Paris, Unsplash

 

THE LEGEND OF THE COLCHIANS AND ARGONAUTS

Although there are many legends about Kotor and Boka Bay, according to one legend, this city was built by the Colchians, members of the Phoenicians tribe, an ancient civilization that ruled the Mediterranean, together with the Argonauts, a group of heroes who were in search of the golden fleece.

 

Kotor, Photo: falco, Pixabay

 

We believe that if you find yourself in Kotor, you will find out about a few more!

The Kotor Museums even published a children’s book that presents a series of legends from the area of Kotor and Boka Bay.

 

 

 

 

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Once I saw that there was a bigger world out there, so I made myself be a part of it.

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