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Panorama of Budva
|• Mayor||Lazar Rađenović (DPS) (DPS – SDP)|
|• Total||122 km2 (47 sq mi)|
|Population (2003 census)|
|• Density||130/km2 (300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+382 33|
|ISO 3166-2 code||ME-05|
Budva (Serbian: Будва, Budva, pronounced [bûːdv̞a] or [bûdv̞a], Italian: Budua) is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has around 18,000 (2011) inhabitants, and it is the centre of Budva Municipality. The coastal area around Budva, called the Budvanska rivijera, is the centre of Montenegro's tourism, and is well known for its sandy beaches, diverse nightlife, and examples of Mediterranean architecture. Budva is 3,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic Sea coast.
There is vast archaeological evidence that places Budva among the oldest urban settlements of the Adriatic coast. Substantial documentary evidence provides historical references dating back to the 5th century BC.
A legend recounts that Budva was founded by Cadmus the Phoenician, a hero exiled out of Thebes, Greece, finding a shelter in this place for him and his wife, Harmonia. Two other civilizations also left innumerable traces: the Greek and the Roman (then named Butua). Upon the fall of the Roman Empire and its division into east and west, the defensive barrier which separated the two powers happened to run across this area, subsequently making a lasting impact on the history and culture of this town. In the Middle Ages, Budva was reigned by a succession of Doclean kings, as well as Serbian and Zetan aristocrats.
The Venetians ruled the town for nearly 400 years, from 1420 to 1797. Budva, called Budua in those centuries, was part of the Venetian Republic region of Albania Veneta and was fortified by powerful Venetian walls against Ottoman conquests. According to the historian Luigi Paulucci in his book "Le Bocche di Cattaro nel 1810" (The Bay of Kotor in 1810), most of the population spoke the Venetian language until the beginning of the nineteenth century. One of the most renowned theater librettists and composers, Cristoforo Ivanovich, was born in Venetian Budua.
In the very turbulent years that followed, Budva saw a change of several of its supreme rulers – Austria, France and Russia. A union of Boka Kotorska (and Budva) with Montenegro took place for a brief period (1813–1814), but from 1814 until 1918 Budva remained under Austrian Empire. After WWI, in 1918 Serbian army entered Budva abandoned by Austrian forces and it came under the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Later, in 1941, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy.
During World War II many people of this area died in the fight between partizans and Axis troops. Budva was finally liberated from Nazi rule on 22 November 1944 and, after belonging once again to Yugoslavia, is now part of the newly independent Montenegro.
A catastrophic earthquake struck Budva on 15 April 1979. Much of old town was devastated, but today there is little evidence of the catastrophe – almost all the buildings were restored to their original form.
Budva is the administrative centre of Budva municipality, which includes the neighbouring towns of Bečići and Petrovac, and has a population of 16,095 (2003 census). The town itself has 14,458(2003)
2003 population Census – 16,095 citizens:
- 7,333 Montenegrins (45.56%)
- 6,510 Serbs (40.45%)
- 460 Others (2.86%)
- 205 Muslims (1.27%)
- 177 Croats (1.10%)
The Old Town in Budva has many different tales and stories of its origin. Scholars and historians believe it to have originally been an island, which later joined the shore to form a sand isthmus. The Old Town, along with the city of Budva was said to have been discovered by a Greek sailor by the name of Boutoua. Eventually the Roman Empire took over the whole Montenegrin coast influencing it greatly.
Much of the architecture in the Old Town is of Venetian design. Doors, hinges, windows, balconies and many other small but noticeable things seem to hold the Roman style of the Republic of Venice. There are also three main churches in the old town. The first is St. Ivan's which was built in the 7th century, second St. Mary's of Punta dating from 840 and the third, The Holy Trinity, which was built in 1804. The venetian walls of the Old town are a famous tourist attraction.
The Old Town is also famous for the earthquakes it suffered in 1979, where the whole town had to be rebuilt; it took eight years (until 1987) for it to be finished.
Budva is the capital of Montenegrin tourism. With over 550,000 guests in the 2010 summer season, it is by far the most popular tourist destination in Montenegro.
Because of sandy beaches in and around Budva which stretch for 11,310 m (37,106.30 ft) as well as its vast cultural heritage, architecture, and vibrant nightlife the city is increasingly turning into the most attractive tourist destination in Montenegro.
Budva's most famous beach is Mogren. Nestled in-between several large cliffs it can be reached by a 500 m (1,640.42 ft) pathway from Budva's Old town. Other beaches within official city boundaries include Ričardova glava (Richard's Head), Pizana, Slovenska plaža. Many other beaches are located just outside of Budva in smaller adjacent towns and villages such as Bečići, Jaz, Trsteno, Maestral, Miločer, Sveti Stefan, Pržno, Kamenovo, Ploče, Crvena Glavica, Drobni Pijesak, Kraljičina plaža, Kraljeva plaža.
Outside the old town, Budva does not offer many historical sights. Instead, much of the city consists of new age Mediterranean-style buildings, or private lowrise dwellings. During the turbulent 1990s, Budva grew and expanded without any form of urban planning, which resulted in parts of town featuring narrow streets and numerous cul-de-sacs. This is the reason of major traffic jams during the summer season.
There are a few notable drawbacks in development of tourism in Budva. The biggest is inadequate infrastructure of the town. The most quoted problem in Budva, as in all of the Montenegrin coast, is a shortage of tap water. Scarse watersheds around Budva became completely inadequate for the growing town in the early 2000s, so taps in Budva become dry during daytime for most of the summer months. Recently, as the number of tourists at peak times reach 100,000 in Budva, electricity shortages also became commonplace.
The other serious problem is traffic and parking in and around Budva. As most of the beaches are located around Budva, tourists returning from beaches in the afternoon usually jam the roads along the coast, so the trip from Sveti Stefan to Budva, some 10 km (6.2 mi), takes around an hour.
Car parking is also a major problem. Increasing number of tourists are coming to Budva with their own car, so there is overwhelming demand for parking space around the town center. Sometimes one has to wait in line to get a space on a parking lot up to an hour.
Hotels are usually spared these problems, as they have privileges when it comes to water and electricity supply.
Budva is connected to inland Montenegro by two-laned highways. There are two ways to reach Budva from Podgorica – either through Cetinje, or through the Sozina tunnel (opened 2005). Either way, Podgorica, the capital and main road junction in Montenegro, is around 60 km (37 mi) away.
Podgorica Airport is 65 km (40 mi) away, and it has regular flights to Belgrade and other European destinations throughout the year.
Budva has a typical Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters, and 230 sunny days in a year. Budva has the typical Mediterranean rainfall pattern, which results in wetter winters and drier summers. Daytime highs in the summer range from 24 to 32 °C (75 to 90 °F) and from 8 to 14 °C (46 to 57 °F) during the winter months. The mean summertime temperature is 25 °C (77.0 °F) and 9.3 °C (48.7 °F) in the winter. The temperature of the sea reaches up to 25 °C (77.0 °F) in the summer months, while it keeps between 17 °C (63 °F) and 20 °C (68 °F) in the autumn.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Presence of millionaires
Locally, Budva is referred to as the Montenegrin Kuwait, because of the number of resident millionaires compared to its relatively small population. Following a real estate boom in the early 2000s, many native families sold their properties in and around Budva to foreign buyers, mostly Russians, Austrians and Italians. Once barren and undeveloped fields of steep hillsides are being sold for hundreds of Euros per square meter. This resulted in a transformation from a once poor fisherman's village to a town with the most millionaires per capita in Europe, approximately 500 millionaires in a town of around 22,000 people. Many of the newly rich re-invested their money in real-estate, buying homes in central Podgorica and Belgrade, which resulted in higher real-estate prices in Podgorica and Belgrade.
- Budva has the distinction of being the smallest town to host a concert of The Rolling Stones. The group held a concert on 9 July 2007, at Jaz Beach, as a part of their A Bigger Bang Tour. The show saw an attendance of some 35,000 spectators, twice the population of Budva town itself.
- Madonna staged a show at the same venue on 25 September 2008, while Lenny Kravitz and Armand Van Helden performed at Jaz beach during the "Live Fest" in August 2008, along with Goran Bregović, Dino Merlin and Zdravko Čolić.
- Budva was host of Class 1 Powerboat Grand prix in May 2008.
- Budva, together with nearby Kotor, was host to the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC) World Carnival City Congress in May 2009.
- Budva Hosted a David Guetta Concert 29 July 2011
- Budva will host the 2014 EXIT Sea Dance Festival.
Gay Pride 2013
The city made the news in 2013 when the gay-platform 'Progress' choose Budva as city to host the Gay Pride Parade. Shortly after this became known 2000 people signed a petition requesting the authorities to forbid the demonstration. Montenegro is candidate member of the European union. That's why the country recently developed a strategy against sexual discrimination. The authorities agreed to the pride.
Zdravko Cimaljevic, chairman of 'Progress', saw the gay pride in Budva as test for the police. Prior to the parade there were riots between police and protesters. One person attacking the police was Montenegrin boxer Nikola Sjekloća. The pride itself became a small battle. About 30 participants were attacked with rocks, bottles and slogans, coming from hundreds of opponents. The police, however, kept their word and protected the pride.   
The last attempt to hold a Gay Pride in Montenegro was cancelled because people were attacked on the streets.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Budva is twinned with:
- San Remo, Italy
- Novi Sad, Serbia
- Velika Plana, Serbia
- Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, since 2001
- Ohrid, Macedonia
- West Palm Beach, USA, since 2012
- Djordje Capin. "Boka Kotorska Census 2003". Project Rastko. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
- "EXIT festival will be held in Novi Sad and Budva". B82. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- (Dutch) Gaysite.nl: Eerste gay pride montenegro, retrieved 24 July 2013
- (Dutch) Telegraaf.nl: Acties tegen gay parade, retrieved 24 July 2013
- (Dutch) Nos.nl: Eerste gay pride in montenegro, retrieved 24 July 2013
- Coc.nl: Eerste gay pride in Montenegro, retrieved 24 July 2013
- (Dutch) Powned.nl: Montenegrijnen slopen gay pride, retrieved 24 July 2013
- Thenews.mx: Budva gay pride event attacked, retrieved 25 July 2013
- Kentucky.com: Extremists attack montenegros, retrieved 25 July 2013
- Nbcnews.com: Violence mars first gay parade in montenegro, retrieved 25 July 2013
- (Dutch) Gaysite.nl: Gay pride montenegro veldslag, retrieved 25 July 2013
- "Banská Bystrica Sister Cities". 2001–2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- Official web site
- Official web site of Budva Tourism Organization
- Official tourist guide
- Budva Travel Agent
- Budva Tourist Guide
- Budva Riviera Tourist Guide
- Budva Photo Gallery
- Budva Photos
- Balkan History Library – Budva
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