Jump to content

Bar, Montenegro

Coordinates: 42°06′N 19°06′E / 42.10°N 19.10°E / 42.10; 19.10
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bar, Montenegro
From the top, Stari Bar, Church of St. Jovan Vladimir, The Port of Bar
Bar, Montenegro is located in Montenegro
Bar, Montenegro
Location within Montenegro
Coordinates: 42°06′N 19°06′E / 42.10°N 19.10°E / 42.10; 19.10
Country Montenegro
Municipality Bar
 • MayorDušan Raičević (DPS)
 • City and municipality598 km2 (231 sq mi)
 (2023 census)
 • Rank3rd in Montenegro
 • Density67.0/km2 (174/sq mi)
 • Urban
15,868 Increase
 • Rural
30,303 Increase
 • Municipality
46,171 Increase
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code+382 30
ISO 3166-2 codeME-02
Car platesBR
ClimateCsa, Cfa
WebsiteOfficial website

Bar (Montenegrin: Bar,[a] Бар,[b] pronounced [bâr], Albanian: Tivar/-i) is a town and seaport in Coastal region of Montenegro. It is the capital of the Bar Municipality and a center for tourism. According to the 2023 census, the city proper had 15,868 inhabitants, while the total population of Bar Municipality was 46,171.[1]


Bar is supposed to be a shortened Slavic variant of Antivari.[2][3] The name is thought to be derived from the Latin Antibarum or Antibari, which later in Greek was transformed into Antivárion / Antivari due to its pronunciation. "Antibari", meaning "opposite Bari", is a name taken because of it is location across the Adriatic Sea from Bari in Italy.[4] Variations are in Italian, Antivari / Antibari; in Albanian, Tivari or Tivar; in Turkish, Bar; in Greek, Θηβάριον, Thivárion, Αντιβάριον, Antivárion; in Latin, Antibarium.


Ancient times[edit]

Bar is a historic city. It has not been historically established when it was created, but archaeological findings of substantial extent prove the presence of life in this location during prehistoric times.[3] Local archaeological findings date to the Neolithic era. It is assumed that Bar was mentioned as the reconstructed Roman castle, Antipargal, in the 6th century. The name Antibarium was quoted for the first time in the 10th century.[citation needed]

Middle Ages[edit]

In the 6th and 7th centuries, Slavs occupied the Balkans. Duklja, a Slavic state, was mentioned in the 10th century. Jovan Vladimir (ruler 1000–1016), of Skadarska Krajina is the first ruler of Duklja whose history is known. Stefan Vojislav (ruler 1018–1043), the eponymous founder of the Vojislavljević dynasty, defeated the Byzantines in a battle on a hill near Bar. He made Bar his seat of power. Vojislav then expanded the area under his rule. Mihailo I of Duklja (ruler 1050–1081), Vojislav's son, established the Archdiocese of Antivari. He continued to fight the Byzantines in order to secure the town's independence. This led to a union of states known as the Serbian Grand Principality. From 1101 to 1166, the principality was ruled by the Vukanović dynasty. However from 1166 to 1183, Bar was under Byzantine rule. In 1183, Stefan Nemanja conquered and destroyed Bar. Until 1360 it was ruled by the Nemanjić dynasty. From 1360 onward, it comes under the control of the Balšić noble family, and Queen Jelena and Balša III establish the capital there.[5][3]

Venetian and Ottoman period[edit]

Between 1405 and 1412. Venetians controlled Bar, and this was also the time when the city had the most growth. The Venetians granted the Barans rights in an effort to appease and win them over, and as a result, Bar developed into a city-state. Barans had their own Statute of Communes, were in charge of their own defense, possessed judicial authority, printed their own currency, and were exempt from military service in times of war. After the Venetians, Bar was again ruled by the Balšićs.Stefan Lazarević and Đurađ Branković also occupied Bar in the first half of the 15th century.[3]

Bar in 1863

From 1443 to 1571, the region was ruled by the Venetians, who called it Antivari, and it was part of the Albanian Veneto. It was a town with its own coat of arms, flag, statute and mint. In 1571, the Ottomans captured Antivari and held the town until 1878.[6] The archdiocese was preserved. With the Ottoman conquest, the Catholic Church in the border area and the Archdiocese of Bar began to collapse, because indigenous people who began to migrate as Ottomans to that area brought a new ethnic and religious element. Because of a lack of Catholic priests, entire parishes were converted to Orthodoxy.[7] One of the archbishops during this period was Andrija Zmajević.

In 1571, The Ottomans expelled the Orthodox and Catholic population.[8]

In 1878, The Ottomans ceded Antivari to Montenegro at the Treaty of Berlin, after losing the Russo-Turkish War. Montenegro's initial main goal in the negotiations was its expansion into Herzegovina and the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, but Austro-Hungarian expansion made it unrealistic. The Ottomans, represented by Alexander Karatheodori Pasha, declared that they would cede the port of Spizza to Montenegro but not Bar and other areas because they claimed they were primarily inhabited by Catholics and Muslim Albanians. After negotiations between Foreign Ministers Gyula Andrássy (Austria-Hungary) and Pyotr Andreyevich Shuvalov (Russia), it was agreed that Bar would be ceded to Montenegro in return for Russian support for Austrian control over Herzegovina. The city-port of Bar itself became militarily neutral, the total number of Montenegrin vessels in the port was placed under limitations and Austria-Hungary acquired the right of patrol of Bar's coastline.[9]

In 1885 The castle of King Nikola was built. The king had it constructed for his daughter Princess Zorka and his future son-in-law Prince Petar Karadjordjevic. It has a chapel, watchtower, winter garden, small and huge castles, and a park. A wooden pier for docking ships was located in front of the structure. Additionally, there is a sizable flower shop with unique construction, a gift from King Emmanuel of Italy, and a catering establishment called "Knjaeva bata." The former castle complex is now the Bara Heritage Museum, which hosts cultural events.

In the new Montenegrin Orthodox state, Bar went through urban depopulation because many of its urban inhabitants were Muslims, who either left or were expelled from the town. In the late 1850s, the town had 4,000 inhabitants, 62.5% of which were Muslims. More than half of its population left or was expelled after 1878. The first population register of the town under Montenegrin administration in 1879, counted 1,879 inhabitants. Muslims were 30.9% of the population, 24.6% were Catholics (mostly Albanians) in addition to Orthodox (mostly Montenegrins and Serbs).[10][need quotation to verify]


When the Montenegrins recaptured the city after Russo-Turkish War, life could not be organized in it due to the destruction of war. The population first moved to Podgrađe, and the urban core was formed at the beginning of the 20th century below Volujica. The settlement is called Pristan (Novi Bar).[3]

Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian scientist and pioneer in wireless telegraphy, using Nikola Tesla's patented technology, made a radio connection between Antivari (Bar) and Bari on 30 August 1904. In 1908, the first railroad in this part of the Balkans was put into operation there.[citation needed]

On 8 August 1914 Austria-Hungary responded to Montenegro's declaration of war by sending their protected cruisers SMS Zenta and SMS Szigetvár accompanied by the destroyer SMS Uskoke and torpedo boat 72F to conduct an unopposed bombardment of the port of Antivari, targeting its wireless station and harbour facilities. They were driven away by coastal batteries and destroyed only a wireless station. The Austrians declared a formal blockade of the Montenegrin coastline on August 10. On August 16, SMS Zenta and an accompanying destroyer were ambushed and trapped off Antivari by a very large French fleet (over twelve battleships), and in the subsequent Battle of Antivari the Zenta was sunk with considerable loss of life. The destroyer escaped. On the 18 September following, the Austro-Hungarian coastal battleship SMS Budapest with supporting warships bombarded Antivari, the port and facilities, causing major damage, and on October 17–18 the destroyers SMS Scharfschutze, SMS Streiter and SMS Ulan bombarded Antivari's harbour. On November 18 the destroyer SMS Uskoke also conducted a brief bombardment. The Austrians made their largest raid to date on the evening and night of 1–2 March 1915 when their destroyers SMS Csikós, SMS Streiter, and SMS Ulan covered a raid by three torpedo-boats into Antivari harbour. The latter destroyed the main wharf and stocks of food and ammunitions along the waterfront, and captured the Montenegrin royal yacht Rumija, which was later torpedoed. The destruction of the wharves prevented larger ships from unloading supplies at the port restricting Allied shipments of food and munitions to the Montenegrin army. The Allies realised that with the Austro-Hungarian naval base of Cattaro close by there was little they could do.[11]

In 1918, Bar became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

In 1945, Albanians in Bar were massacred by Yugoslavs partisans. This event is known as the Bar massacre.

In 1976, Pristan was demolished, with the aim of expanding the Port in its place. The population was mainly moved to Topolica, where until urbanization there was only a complex of the Castle of King Nicholas.[3]

After the catastrophic earthquake of 1979, especially conditioned by the work of the Port of Bar, the city experienced a demographic boom. In the period until 1990, Bar was one of the crucial ports of SFR Yugoslavia, which was invested in and which became the political, industrial, tourist, cultural, sports center of the region. This was especially contributed by the opening of the roads Bar-Titograd in 1959 and Bar-Belgrade in 1976.[12]

When Montenegro signed an agreement with the Chinese Government to build a motorway from Bar to the Serbian border (part of the Belt and Road initiative) in 2014, large tracts of land around Bar were agreed as collateral in the event of the Montenegro government defaulting on payment of the 1 billion dollar loan. The project was financed by the Export-Import Bank of China.[13][14] Contractual disputes can only be resolved through a Chinese court.[15]


View of Bar from Vrsuta mountain


Bar is located on the coastal western border of Montenegro on the shore of the Adriatic Sea. It is approximately 53 kilometres (33 mi) from Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. To the east is the largest lake in South Europe, Lake Skadar. To the west, across the sea, is Italy.[16]


Bar has a borderline humid subtropical (Cfa) and Mediterranean climate (Csa) in the Köppen climate classification, since the driest month has 37 mm (1.5 inches) of precipitation, preventing it from being classified as solely humid subtropical or Mediterranean.[17] Winters are cool and rainy, with an average high of 12.3 °C (54.1 °F) in January and a low of 4.3 °C (39.7 °F). Snow is very rare occurrence in Bar, it usually snows once in a few years. The highest recorded snowfall occurred during January 2000, when 9 centimetres (3.5 in) was measured. Summers are generally warmer, drier and sunnier than the winter months. During summer, the highest temperatures are around 27 to 28 °C (81 to 82 °F) and the lowest 18 °C (64 °F). Precipitation is low during the summer months, although rainfall can still occur, with July averaging 4.5 days with measurable precipitation. Spring and fall are transitional seasons that feature mild weather that can often be wet and unpredictable. There are, on average, 2523 hours of sunshine per year, ranging from a low of 111.6 hours in December to a high of 350.3 hours in July.[18]

Climate data for Bar, Montenegro (1961–1990, extremes 1949–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.2
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 12.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.3
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 4.3
Record low °C (°F) −7.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 155.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 13 13 12 12 9 7 5 5 7 9 14 14 120
Average relative humidity (%) 65 64 67 71 73 72 68 69 70 68 69 68 69
Mean monthly sunshine hours 120.9 124.2 170.9 198.9 259.7 297.4 351.5 317.3 252.1 198.8 124.6 111.6 2,527.9
Source: Hydrological and Meteorological Service of Montenegro[18][19]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Olea europea, ancient olive tree

The coastal part of Bar supports maquis shrubland with oak, holm oak, laurel, myrtle, Spanish broom, oleander, hawthorn, sloe, thorn, butcher's broom and asparagus. To the north and the mountains, there are oak and beech forests. Citrus fruits including tangerine, orange and lemon grow in the Bar area as do pomegranates, olives, grapevines and figs. Ginkgo biloba grows in the park of King Nikola's palace.[citation needed]

Skadar Lake is rich in bird life including the pelican. Game animals are found in Ostros, Rumija, Lisinj, Sutorman and Sozina and include rabbit, badger, fox, wolf and boar. At the Bar sea shore one finds various kinds of shells, snails, echinodermata, cephalopoda and crayfish.[citation needed]


Historical population

Bar is the administrative centre of Bar Municipality, which includes the town of Sutomore and other small coastal towns. A census in 2023 recorded 46,171 people in the Bar Municipality. Bar city had 15,868 inhabitants.[1][20]

Divisions and settlements[edit]

The municipality of Bar is divided into 12 communes (mjesna zajednica), consisting of 83 settlements:

Commune Settlements
Bar I central business district
Bar II Polje, Burtaiši, Čeluga, part of Rena;
Bar III part of Bjeliši, Sokolana, Stara Ambulanta, Zgrade Prvoborca;
Bar IV Popovići, part of Bjeliši, Ahmetov Brijeg, Vuletića Brijeg, part of Rena and Trsanj
Bar V Sustaš, Zupci, Marovići, Tuđemili
Šušanj Žukotrlica, Novi Pristan, Zeleni Pojas, Ilino, Šušanj, Carevići, Vitići and Paladini
Sutomore Brca, Zelen, Obala Željezničke Kolonije, Mirošica I, Turke, Pobrđe, Gorelac, Miljevci, Sozina, Zankovići, Suvi Potok, Mirošica II, Zgrade, Bjelila, Papani, Haj-Nehaj, Zagrađe, Mišići, Đurmani and Čanj
Stari Bar (Old Bar) Stari Bar, Baukovo, Belveder, Velembusi, Gretva, Brbot, Turčini, Menke, Mikulići, Podgrad, Bartula, Rap, Gornja Poda and Donja Poda, Tomba, Gornje Zaljevo and Donje Zaljevo
Mrko(je)vići Pečurice, Dobra Voda, Grdovići, Pelinkovići, Dabezići, Velje Selo, Kunje, Velja Gorana and Mala Gorana
Krajina Arbneš, Veliki Ostros, Mali Ostros, Martići, Runji, Koštanjica, Bobovište, Ckla, Tejani
Šestan Livari, Gornja i Donja Briska, Gornji Murići, Donji Murići, Besa, Pinčići, Bapsulj, Šestan
Crmnica Virpazar, Orahovo, Bračeni, Mikovići, Zabes, Boljevići, Sotonići, Bukovik, Mačuge, Dupilo, Popratnica, Komarno, Trnovo, Gornji Brčeli, Donji Brčeli, Brijege, Ovtočići, Tomići, Utrg, Godinje, Seoča, Krnjice, Limljani, Gluhi Do


Ethnic composition of the town in 2011:[21]

Ethnicity Number Percentage
Montenegrins 6,901 51.11%
Serbs 4,487 33.23%
Bosniaks 410 3.04%
Ethnic Muslims 273 2.02%
Albanians 121 0.89%
Croats 121 0.89%
Other 78 0.58%
Not declared 787 5.82%
Total 13,503 100%


St Jovan Vladimir church

The main religion in Bar is Orthodox Christianity. However, there are churches from both the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions as well as mosques built by Ottomans in the Islamic tradition. Bar is the birthplace of Saint Jovan Vladimir. In 1089, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bar, was founded and included most of Montenegro and Serbia.[citation needed]

Religion Number Percentage
Eastern Orthodox 10,499 77.7%
Islam 1,433 10.6%
Roman Catholic 745 5.5%
Atheist 250 1.85%
Agnostic 19 0.14%
Other 59 0.4%
Undeclared 459 3.3%


Stari Bar (the Old Town of Bar)
A fragment of the town walls of Stari Bar
King Nikola's Palace

The economy of Bar relies upon the Port of Bar, the Belgrade–Bar railway and the Sozina tunnel. The Port of Bar is the most recognizable feature of the city. It occupies 3,100 m (10,170.60 ft) of seacoast, land area of 800 ha and aquatorium of 200ha. It is capable of reloading 5 million tons of goods annually. In 1976, the Belgrade – Bar railway was opened. It made the Adriatic coast accessible to tourists, and transport to the Port of Bar. The food company, Primorka has been operating in Bar for more than 50 years. It produces olive oil and pomegranate juice. There are 95,000 olive trees, about 80,000 citrus trees (lemon, orange, tangerine and grapefruit) in the municipal area. The centre for subtropical cultures, founded in 1937, is the oldest scientific institution in Montenegro. Tourism is also a major part of Bar's economy.[citation needed]


Bar has a ferry line to Bari, Italy which is operated by Montenegro Lines.[22] In season, ferries also go to Ancona, Italy. Bar is well connected with inland Montenegro, as well as with the rest of the Montenegrin coast. The Sozina tunnel, completed in 2006, shortened the road connection with Podgorica to around 50 km (31 mi). Bar is connected to other coastal towns by the Adriatic motorway, which extends from Ulcinj to Herceg Novi, and on to Croatia. Bar is also the final station of the Belgrade–Bar railway, which connects Bar with Podgorica, northern Montenegro and Serbia. Podgorica Airport is about 40 km (25 mi) from Bar. There are regular flights to Belgrade, Budapest, Zürich, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, London, Paris, Rome and Vienna.[citation needed] As well the Blueline bus company provides public bus service with the central city of Bar as well as near the city of Sutomore. There is also inter city buses as well as international buses such as Flexbus.


Indoor Topolica Sport Hall

Bar has over fifty sports clubs, and associations including a chess club. The town's major football club is FK Mornar who share the Stadion Topolica with lower league sides FK Hajduk Bar and Stari Bar team FK Sloga Bar. Bar once had two teams in the top tier, with OFK Bar featuring in the 2010–11 season alongside FK Mornar. KK Mornar Bar is the local basketball club.[citation needed]

There are numerous sports facilities in the Bar hotels and schools. In the centre of town, most of the facilities are in the Sports and Recreation Centre. Water sports such as diving are common.[citation needed] Sports tourism is promoted because of the proximity to the sea and lake. Bar hosted the 2010 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship and the 2010 Men's u18 European Handball Championship.

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Bar is twinned with:[23][24]


  1. ^ Written identically in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian.
  2. ^ Written identically in Serbian Cyrillic.


  1. ^ a b "Preliminary results of the 2023 Census of Population, Households, and Dwellings". Monstat. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  2. ^ Room A. Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings of the Names for 6,600 Countries, Cities, Territories, Natural Features and Historic Sites. 2nd edition, 2005. ISBN 0786422483
  3. ^ a b c d e f "History".
  4. ^ Pouqueville, François Charles Hugues Laurent (1829). Viaggio in Morea a Costantinopoli ed in Albania non che in molte altre parti dell'Impero Ottomano negli anni 1798, 1799, 1800 e 1801 (in Italian). Vol. VIII. Stamperia. Alliana. pp. 189–192.
  5. ^ Lovorka Čoralić, Vol. 23, 2005. Izbjeglištvo kao sudbina – Barani u Mlecima (XIV.–XVII. st.) https://hrcak.srce.hr/7449 #page=89
  6. ^ Vasić 2005, p. 101.
  7. ^ Ivan Jovović, 2013, Dvooltarske crkve na crnogorskom primorju, {Glavni razlozi propadanja katoličke crkve na graničnim područjima, kao što je na primjer barska arhidijeceza jeste emigracija starosjedilačkog stanovništva, ali i imigracija ovog etničkog i vjerskog elementa, koje dovode Turci, "The main reasons for collapse of the Catholic Church in border areas, such as Archdiocese of Bar, are emigration of the indigenous population, but also immigration of new ethnic and religious element, brought by the Turks"} https://www.maticacrnogorska.me/files/53/06%20ivan%20jovovic.pdf #page= 67
  8. ^ Vasić 2005, p. 128.
  9. ^ MacKenzie, David (1967). The Serbs and Russian Pan-Slavism, 1875-1878. Cornell University Press. p. 317. ISBN 0801402832.
  10. ^ Palairet, Michael R. (2003). The Balkan Economies C.1800-1914: Evolution Without Development. Cambridge University Press. p. 31. ISBN 9780521522564.
  11. ^ Noppen, Ryan K., Austro-Hungarian Cruisers and Destroyers 1914–18, Osprey Publishing, U.K., 2016, pp. 27–29. ISBN 978-1-4728-1470-8
  12. ^ Guide to Places of the World. London: Reader's Digest Association Ltd. 1995. p. 73. ISBN 0-276-42213-9.
  13. ^ "The billion-dollar motorway leading Montenegro to nowhere". euronews. 2021-05-07. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  14. ^ "How A Chinese-Built Highway Drove Montenegro Deep Into Debt". NPR.org. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  15. ^ "Focus - Montenegro's highway to debt: Unfinished Chinese road comes with strings attached". France 24. 2021-08-30. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  16. ^ Montenegro Google map accessed 23 October 2015.
  17. ^ Peel, M. C. et al Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 2007, Volume 11(1027–5606) pp1633–1644 DOI 10.5194 Hess-11-1633-2007.
  18. ^ a b "Climate: Bar" (in Montenegrin). Hydrological and Meteorological Service of Montenegro. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Dnevni prosjeci i ekstremi" (in Montenegrin). Hydrological and Meteorological Service of Montenegro. May 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  20. ^ Становништво, упоредни преглед броја становника 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2003, подаци по насељима. Подгорица: Републички завод за статистику. 2005. COBISS-ID 8764176.
  21. ^ "2011 Montenegrin Census" (PDF) (in English and Montenegrin). Monsta. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  22. ^ Bar-Bari Ferry Montenegro Lines.com
  23. ^ "Međunarodna saradnja Opštine Bar". bar.me (in Montenegrin). Bar. Retrieved 2022-10-21.
  24. ^ "Bratimljenje" (PDF). database.uom.me (in Montenegrin). Zajednica opština Crne Gore. January 2013. p. 29. Retrieved 2019-12-29.


External links[edit]