Herceg Novi

Herceg Novi (Cyrillic: Херцег Нови, pronounced ]) is a coastal town in Montenegro located at the Western entrance to the Bay of Kotor and at the foot of Mount Orjen. It is the administrative center of the Herceg Novi Municipality with around 33,000 inhabitants. Herceg Novi was known as Castelnuovo ("New castle" in Italian) between 1482 and 1797, when it was part of the Ottoman Empire and the Albania Veneta of the Republic of Venice. It was a Catholic bishopric and remains a Latin titular see as Novi. Herceg Novi has had a turbulent past, despite being one of the youngest settlements on the Adriatic. A history of varied occupations has created a blend of diverse and picturesque architectural style in the city.


In Montenegrin, the town is known as Herceg Novi or Херцег Нови; in Italian as Castelnuovo; and in Greek as Neòkastron (Νεοκαστρον), Turkish as Kala-i Novi, all meaning 'new castle'. The name Herceg Novi, in its modern form, was first mentioned in a Turkish document in 1726.


Archeological findings from the Luštica peninsula and the Vranjaj cavern imply that the area was populated during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. In the 3rd century BC, after their victory over the Illyrians, the area was ruled by the Roman Republic. After the split of the Roman Empire, the area fell under the rule of the Western Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area was dominated by the Byzantine Empire. Slavic tribes began inhabiting these lands during the 7th century AD. During these times the small settlement was part of Byzantine-held Dračevica district, which in turn later belonged to the Principality of Travunija. During the 10th century, Dračevica came under the control of various Dioclean/Zetan dukes, who were in turn incorporated into Kingdom of Serbia ruled by the Nemanjić dynasty. After the death of Emperor Stefan Dušan, the Serbian Empire began to fracture into smaller principalities and districts, Dračevica being administered by great duke Vojislav Vojinović. After the rulership of Vojinović, the area, along with most of modern Montenegro, came under the rule of the Balšić noble family.

The medieval town was founded on a small fishing village as a fortress in 1382 by the first King of Bosnia, Tvrtko I Kotromanić and was originally named Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen).

After the death of Tvrtko, Duke Sandalj Hranić of the Herzegovinian Kosačas acquired Sveti Stefan. During his reign, the town picked up trading salt. When Hranić died, his nephew, Herzog Stjepan Vukčić Kosača inherited it. During his reign, the town grew in importance and became Stjepan's winter seat, getting a new name in the process: Herceg Novi.

The Ottomans conquered Herceg Novi before 14 December 1481, and ruled for 200 years, until 1687. They built Kanli Tower on the upper edge of the city. However, there was a short pause between 1538 and 1539 when it was held by the Spaniards before they were defeated in the Siege of Castelnuovo. In their brief overlordship, the Spanish built a Hispaniola fort above the city that is well-preserved today. Evliya Çelebi visits the Bay of Kotor and mentions Croats, Bosnians and Albanians (Arnauts) who live in the Herceg Novi.

In 1608 a earthquake struck Herceg Novi and devestaded it.

Republic of Venice gained control of the city and included it into Albania Veneta, an administrative unit on the territory of present-day coastal Montenegro. In Venice, the city was known as Castelnuovo. The Venetians refortified the old town walls and towers and reinforced the fortress with a Citadella tower (destroyed in an earthquake in 1979). On 24 August 1798, Herceg Novi was annexed by Habsburg Austria but was then ceded to Russia as per the Treaty of Pressburg on 26 December 1805. The Russians officially occupied Herceg Novi between 28 February 1806 and 12 August 1807.

On 7 July 1807, Herceg Novi was ceded to Napoleon I Bonaparte's French Empire as per the Treaty of Tilsit. Official French rule over Herceg Novi began on 12 August 1807, when the Russians left the city. The city was part of Dalmatia until 14 October 1809, when it was annexed to the newly created Illyrian Provinces.

Herceg Novi, as well as the rest of the Bay of Kotor, was overtaken by Montenegrin forces in 1813. It was under control of a temporary government based in Dobrota between 11 September 1813 and 10 June 1814, which was supported by Montenegro. The appearance of Austrian forces in 1814 caused the Prince-Bishop of Montenegro to turn over the territory to Austrian administration on 11 June. After Herceg Novi was retaken, as well as the rest of the bay, it became part of the Dalmatian crownland. The bay was under Austro-Hungarian control until 1918.

In 1900, the two names ERZEG NOVI and CASTELNUOVO PRESSO CATTARO were used in bilingual cancellations.

The Kingdom of Montenegro attempted to retake the Bay of Kotor during World War I, it was bombarded from Lovćen, but by 1916 Austria-Hungary defeated Montenegro.

On 7 November 1918, the Serbian Army entered the bay and were greeted by the people as Slavic liberators. The bay later became a part of the self-proclaimed State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. Within a month, this region united with Serbia as part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, renamed to Yugoslavia in 1929. The bay was a municipality of Dalmatia until it was, like all historic entities, abolished in 1922. It was incorporated into the Zeta Oblast (province), from 1929 style Zeta Banate.

Herceg Novi was annexed by Mussolini's fascist Italy during World War II in 1941. It became a part of the province of Cattaro.

Herceg Novi was later retaken by Yugoslav Partisan forces on 10 September 1943. Within Tito's Communist reformed Yugoslavia, Herceg Novi became part of the People's Republic of Montenegro.

Ecclesiastical history

It once was a Catholic bishopric, but no residential incumbent data are available.

Titular see

In 1933 the diocese was nominally restored by establishing in the Latin Church of the Catholic Church a titular bishopric of Novi (in Dalmatia), listed as suffragan of the Archdiocese of Doclea (which in Classical times controlled its region in the Roman province of Dalmatia Superior).

The following individuals held the titular bishopric. They were either auxiliary bishops or officials of the Vatican:

  • Abel Costas Montaño (1968.11.11 – 1974.12.11), as Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cochabamba (Bolivia) (1968.11.11 – 1974.12.11); later Bishop of Tarija (Bolivia) (1974.12.11 – retired 1995.10.20); died 2015
  • Alfred Gonti Pius Datubara, Capuchin Franciscans (O.F.M. Cap.) (1975.04.05 – 1976.05.24) as Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Medan (Indonesia) (1975.04.05 – 1976.05.24); succeeded later as Metropolitan Archbishop of above Medan (1976.05.24 – retired 2009.02.12)
  • Juan Ignacio Larrea Holguín (1983.08.05 – 1988.03.25) as last Military Vicar of the Military Vicariate of Ecuador (Ecuador) (1983.08.05 – 1986.07.21) and first Military Ordinary of Ecuador (1986.07.21 – 1989.12.07); later Coadjutor Archbishop of Guayaquil (Ecuador) (1988.03.25 – 1989.12.07), succeeding as Metropolitan Archbishop of Guayaquil (1989.12.07 – retired 2003.05.07), died 2006; previously Titular Bishop of Cellæ in Proconsulari (1969.05.17 – 1980.06.28) as Auxiliary Bishop of Quito (Ecuador) (1969.05.17 – 1980.06.28?), Bishop of Ibarra (Ecuador) (1980.06.28 – 1983.08.05)
  • Jan Lebeda (1988.05.19 – 1991.11.05) as Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Praha (Prague, Czechoslovakia) (1988.05.19 – death 1991.11.05)
  • Titular Archbishop: Ernesto Maria Fiore (1991.12.16 – 2001.10.30), while Dean of Tribunal of the Roman Rota (1985.06.06 – 1993.07.02) and on emeritate; previously Prelate Auditor of Roman Rota (1960.06.23 – 1985.06.06)
  • Odilo Pedro Scherer (2001.11.28 – death 2007.03.21) as Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo (Brazil) (2001.11.28 – 2007.03.21) and Secretary General of National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (2003–2007); later succeeded as Metropolitan Archbishop of São Paulo (2007.03.21 – ...)
  • Carmelo Cuttitta (2007.05.28 – 2015.10.07) as Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palermo (Sicily, Italy) (2007.05.28 – 2015.10.07); later Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ragusa (Italy) (2015.10.07 – ...)
  • Titular Archbishop Paul Fitzpatrick Russell (2016.03.19 – ...) as papal diplomat: Apostolic Nuncio (ambassador) to Turkey (2016.03.19 – ...); Apostolic Nuncio to Turkmenistan (2016.03.19 – ...); and Apostolic Nuncio to Azerbaijan (2017.04.07 – ...). The Apostolic Nunciature for all three countries is located in Ankara. Previously, he was chargé d'affaires (head of mission) of the Apostolic Nunciature to China, based in Taiwan (2008.05.02 – 2016.03.19).


The Herceg Novi municipality stretches from Prevlaka to the Verige strait. An almost unbroken string of towns lie along this strip of coast, accommodating the municipality's 30,864 (2011 census) residents.

List of cities by population
Ethnicity 2011 2003
Total 30,864 33,034


Herceg Novi is a major Montenegrin tourist destination. It is well known as a spa and health center; nearby Igalo has an abundance of healing sea mud called "igaljsko blato" (Igalo mud) and mineral springs called "igaljske slatine" (Igalo springs). The most famous tourist attractions in Herceg Novi are castle Forte Mare built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko I in 1382, a clock tower built by Austrians in the 19th century, the Kanli tower built by Turks. Other famous attractions include the various ancient Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries, which include the Church of St. Ilija, the Church of Preobraženja, the Church of St. Đorđa, the Church of the Holy Salvation (St. Spas), the Church of St. Archangel Michael, and the Monastery of Savina.

Whilst the city itself is not a major destination for sunbathing, with no long sandy beaches along the rest of the Bay of Kotor, many beaches are reachable by boat. Tourist companies organise one-day boat trips to Luštica peninsula, which lies opposite to the town. Popular Luštica peninsula beach sites include Žanjic, Mirište and Rose. Herceg Novi accounted for one-third of overnight stays in Montenegro before the Yugoslav wars, but the situation has changed since in favour of Budva, Kotor and other resorts.[]

Local bus station will charge doubtfully legal fee of €2 for entering its platform with printed e-ticket.


"JUK Herceg-Fest" This cultural events center was established on 24 February 1992. Two years later the cultural center joined with the "Orijen" movie distribution and production company. Together they have played a crucial role in enhancing the city's cultural life. Among many annual festivities are the mimosa celebration, local theatrical events, and a film and music fest.

"The Operosa Opera Festival" takes place during the summer in the Kanli Kula amphitheater inside the fortress of Stari Grad (Old Town) and in the Forte Mare fortress.

The Herceg Novi City Archive was returned in 1956 the Archive to Herceg Novi after being temporarily relocated to Zadar, Croatia. The Archive was relocated to Zadar by Italians during the Second World War. The original archive building, built in 1885, suffered severe damage from the 1979 earthquake. Shortly afterward, the building was renovated. Today, the Archive is 700 m2 (7,535 sq ft) in size. The Archive features modern equipment and a library open to the public. The oldest document in the Archive originated in 1685. The library contains approximately 30,000 volumes and 1,000 periodicals.

The Historical Museum was established in 1949 and officially opened in 1953. The museum building, a gift to the city from the former mayor, Mirko Komnenović (1870–1941), and his wife Olga, is at least 150 years old.

The City library contains at least 30,000 volumes. Among the contributors to this collection are Dušan Petković (5,000 books), Veljka Radojević (1,500), Doklestić, Daljev, Lučić, Subotić and others.


Herceg Novi or Igalo is usually the final destination of buses that come from inland Montenegro and Serbia. The Adriatic Motorway, a two-lane motorway that extends for the length of the Montenegrin coast, goes through Herceg Novi before it merges with the Croatian road network at the Debeli Brijeg border crossing.

The ferry operates on the Kamenari – Lepetane line at Verige Strait, eliminating the need to go all the way around Boka Kotorska bay in order to reach Tivat, Kotor, Budva and inland Montenegro.

Tivat Airport is 23 km (14 mi) away (via the ferry). There are regular flights to Belgrade and Zürich, and dozens of charter planes land daily on Tivat airport during the summer season. Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia is some 30 km (19 mi) away, and it maintains regular flights to many European destinations.


The area of the Bay of Kotor has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa) with significantly more rain in the winter than in the summer. Herceg Novi has a specific microclimate, which is a result of southern exposition, proximity to the sea, limestone substratum and mountainous hinterland which prevents the breakthrough of cold air masses.

Herceg Novi has approximately 200 sunny days a year. In July and August there are approximately 11 sunny hours per day. Average annual temperature is 16.2 °C (61.2 °F) (similar to that of Naples and Lisbon). There are frequent slight temperature oscillations; the average daily temperature fluctuation is only 4 °C (7.2 °F). Average temperature from May to September is about 25 °C (77 °F), and the average summer sea temperature is rather high, between 22–26 °C (72–79 °F).

The annual average precipitation is 1,930 mm (76.0 in). Relative air humidity is at its highest level, 80%, in the fall. Its lowest level, 63%, comes in the summer.

Climate data for Herceg Novi (1961–1990, extremes 1948–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.4
Average high °C (°F) 12.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.2
Average low °C (°F) 4.8
Record low °C (°F) −7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 231.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 14 13 13 12 10 8 6 6 8 10 14 15 129
Average relative humidity (%) 72 70 70 72 73 71 64 66 70 72 75 73 71
Mean monthly sunshine hours 110.5 113.7 160.1 191.6 254.2 288.4 343.0 315.8 249.6 190.1 114.3 101.6 2,432.9
Source: Hydrological and Meteorological Service of Montenegro

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Herceg Novi is twinned with:

  • Bačka Topola, Serbia
  • Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Barletta, Italy
  • Beočin, Serbia
  • Bitola, North Macedonia
  • Čajetina, Serbia
  • Centar (Sarajevo), Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Foča, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Guglionesi, Italy
  • Kotor Varoš, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kranj, Slovenia
  • Kristiansand, Norway
  • Levanger, Norway
  • Loznitsa, Bulgaria
  • Mali Zvornik, Serbia
  • Novo Mesto, Slovenia
  • Odesa, Ukraine
  • Osijek, Croatia
  • Prizren, Kosovo
  • Senec, Slovakia
  • Szeged, Hungary
  • Vauréal, France
  • Volgorechensk, Russia
  • Zemun (Belgrade), Serbia
  • Zaječar, Serbia

Notable residents

  • Jovan Vavic – former head coach of the USC men's and women's water polo teams

Sources and external links

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Toby Ashworth
4 August 2011
Yachting club 32 is a really good bar/managed beach, you can get drinks by the water, which is great for swimming...there's also a gym which I didn't use, but it looked good :)
Hakan Kılıçarslan
15 March 2018
her şeyi 10 numara
12 September 2018
Tivata kadar gelmişken feribotla geçip buraya gelmemek olmazdı. 3 4 saat vakit ayırılabilir ????
Яна Быкова
24 August 2014
Прекрасный старый город. Один из живописнейших в Черногории! Горы, старый каменный город!
Kate Vasylchenko
1 October 2013
Очень чистое море, лучше чем в Игало!все было чистенько и опрятненько!я ходила постоянно на пляж возле отеля Sun Resort..этот пляж только для тех, кто умеет плавать!!
Ahmet Deydin
13 August 2015
Kanli Kula'dan şehri izlemeden dönmek olmaz.
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