The old town of Budva is located on a rocky peninsula dominated by high cliff from the east and connected with the mainland at its west side. The place is in the middle part of the Montenegrin seaboard.
Archeological finds have confirmed that an original settlement on the site had been formed prior to Greek colonization of the Adriatic: it had existed as Illyrian town under the name of Butua or Budua. The first written reference to the Illyrian Budva was made by Sophocles in the 5th century BC. In early 4th century BC a Greek emporium was established in Budva(that was trading center), and the city was subsequently often mentioned by the writers of the antiquity( Pseudo - Scylax, Philo, Ptolemy). Pliny the Elder wrote about Budva as a fortified city of the Roman citizens; so did Stephen the Byzantine, a geographer Ravenna, and others.
In early Middle Ages this Adriatic city was ruled by Byzantium. The Vojislavljevic family took control over it in the 11th century. Between 1184 and 1186 it became subjugated to the state of the Nemanjic dynasty and remained so until mid-14th century when the Balsic family took over the rule. Later is ruled by Radic Crnojevic, Sandalj Hranic and Djurdje Stracimirovic- all in late 14th century and for a short while each. When Djurdhe Stracimirovic dided, Budva was taken by Benice and in 1403 passed to Balsa III; with small interruptions, Balsa III held it until 1419, but Venetian administration was restituted. It was only for a short period that Despot Djuradj Brankovic governed the city, before Venice regained the rule (1442) and maintained it as long as until fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797. From 1797 to 1806 Budva was occupied by Austria. For about one year there was joint administration of Russian and Montenegrins, but as soon as in 1807 French occupation began, which lasted until 1813. The Austrian occupation that followed was maintained from 1813 to 1918.
The entire Old City is girdled with ramparts. The fortification also include towers, gates and a citadel. It is likely that some of them rest on foundation from the ancient times. The ramparts we know today mostly date from the Middle Ages. The oldest parts are in the lower zones and they date back to the Byzantine period. Over the many centuries of their rule, Venetians frequently undertook reconstruction works and erected superjacent structure on the ramparts, thus improving them in keeping with the ever modernizing forms of warfare.
As a part of fortification system, the citadel too dates from the medieval times. It was erected on the ancient foundations, but various buildings interventions changed its original form. The alterations were particularly often introduced during the Austrian occupation and it was in those times that it was given its present look. Within the medieval citadel, there was a church dedicated to St Mary(some remains have survived to these days), and it was after building that the citadel is named St Mary's Castle. In old times, the city could be entered through four gates, one on each main point of the compass - as was the custom in classical architecture. The East and South Gates have been walled up, so that two are left to use today: the West Gate, facing the mainland, and the North gate, facing seaward. Inside the ramparts, the medieval network of narrow streets has survived. There are no large squares in Budva; neither are there period marked buildings. The lack of such features somewhat reduces the value of the overall architectural achievement. On the other hand, however, the city's sacral architecture deserves full attention: the aforementioned ( and oldest) Santa Maria in Punta, a little medieval church with fresco remainders dedicated to St Sabas of Jerusalem, onetime cathedral church of St John( SV. Ivan) with its eye-catching high and slender bell tower, and the large Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity( erected in early 19th century).
Owning to the preserved traces of its exceptionally long and turbulent history, the Old City of Budva is an agglomeration of urban structures of high historical and cultural value, made even more attractive by its appealing Mediterranean coloring