Old Bar is the largest urban agglomeration of the architectural ruins in Montenegro. Situated 3.5 km northeastward of the modern city of Bar, the old settlement occupies a rocky slope, slanting mildly in the direction northeast-to- southwest, while protected by nearly vertical, inaccessible cliffs on the east and south sides.
First mentions of Old Bar(Stari Bar) in historical sources date back to the 10th century, using the name of Antebareos. However, it is presumed that an earlier settlement had in the writings of the Byzantine historian Procopius As a restored Roman castrum. Until mid-11th century it was under Byzantine rule. From 1042 on, it was on the territory of Zeta and it was there that the king of Zeta Mihailo was recognized as a king(1067). The Byzantine recovered their rule from 1166 to 1183. Subsequently, the town was engulfed in the Serbian state under Nemanjic dinasty. In 1360s, Balsic family came in the possession of it; after them Bar had number of different rulers before Venetians took it over from Stefan Vukcic in 1433. In 1571, Bar was captured by the Turks who held it for the next three centuries. The Montenegrins liberated the town in 1878. The final battles resulted in such devastation that any reconstruction was given up and population moved out of the ruins to the lowland suburb. Bar is located in the south of Montenegro, between Adriatic Sea and Lake Skadar. Bar has the population of 42 048. Total area of Bar municipality is 506 km2, but that partly includes the water area of Lake Skadar (from Bar’s side), so it becomes bigger, at 633 km2. Its central part is mountain massif of Rumija (whose highest peak is 1 595 m high), Sozina (971m), Sutorman (1 185 m) and Lisinja (1 353 m) which also makes nature border between Adriatic Sea and Lake Skadar. As a port-city, Bar is connected by water with shores of Mediterranean Sea and ports from all continents. It is only 180 km away from Otranto doors by aerial line. Tunnel Sozina (4 189 m) connects it to Podgorica. Bar is one of the sunniest cities in Southern Europe. The number of sunny days a year, on average, is 270. Bar climate is characterized by long and warm summers and mild winters. There are very few real winter days (average winter temperature is around 10°C). Snow and frost during winter are rare. Old Bar is the biggest urban agglomeration in Montenegro. In Old Bar the neighborhood Podgrad is found, which dates from medieval ages but is also populated and lived
in today. In neighborhood there are several old taverns, shops, workshops and local market. In Podgrad there are two mosques and Catholic Church of St. Marry. In a settlement near Bar, Mirovici, many famous Bar’s olive trees are located, over 2 000 years old. Virpazar, near Bar, is a famous excursion site and starting point for cruising around Lake Skadar, and biggest Montenegrin market as well. Virpazar is a small and quiet fishing settlement and main trading center of Crmnica area. In it there are many crafts, boats and tourist taxi boats which generally operate in the summer and organize tourist cruises around Lake Skadar. Close to Virpazar fertile Crmnica is located, most famous for its wine Crmnica Vranac, which is among the most respected wines in the world. Sutomore is a very attractive summer place. With its surroundings it is called Spic. In Spic first settlers came in XVI century. Two big vineyards, from the XVIII century, are found on Spic field and in Brca, once the biggest vineyards on the coast. City Sutomore originates from 1882, when the first houses were built on the coast. Complex of court buildings of King Nikola I Petrovic is located near the shore in Topolica and consists of: great castle, small castle, sentry tower, chapels, winter gardens and great park. Even if there is no precise information about when this complex was built it is assumed they were built in 1885 by an architect from Trogir, dr. Josio Slade. Today this complex is used for purposes of Heritage museum of Bar and other cultural uses. Today in Bar there are almost no real beaches since large park of coast is part of the port where there are docs with access to cargo and passenger ships. Bar’s shore extends from cape Stolac, bay Pecin and cape and bay Canj. Most of the beaches are located at distance greater than 2 km from city center.