Bar is a coastal seaport town in southern Montenegro. Visitors can reach Stari Bar (Old Bar), the largest concentration of architectural ruins in all of Montenegro. The historic settlement is set on a rocky slope and protected by vertical cliffs.
Stari Bar’s turbulent history dates back to the 10th century when the settlement was known as Antebareos. The town was under Byzantine rule until the early 12th century when it became a Serbian state under the Nemanjic dynasty. Bar changed hands between dynastic rulers until the Venetians took over in 1433. Turks captured Stari Bar in 1571 and held power for three centuries. Montenegrins liberated the town in 1878 but the battles were so destructive that efforts to reconstruct the town were abandoned. People moved away from the ruins and established modern-day Bar. The great earthquake of 1979 also devastated Stari Bar, but it has since been restored into a beautiful historic and cultural site.
Today, visitors to Stari Bar can find old taverns, shops, workshops, and a local market. Two mosques and the Catholic church of St. Mary lie in the neighbourhood of Podgrad, which dates to Medieval times. Don’t miss a visit to King Nikola’s Palace, which serves as a local heritage museum. Bar is also the perfect launching point for excursions to Lake Skadar, the fishing settlement of Virpazar, the Crmnica wine region.