The Austro-Hungarians, during their rule in Montenegro, built many fortresses around the Boka Bay. These forts were their main defensive points in the 19th century. One of the most impressive of them is Gorazda Fort, located on the hill overlooking the bays of Kotor and Tivat.
At first sight, Gorazda Fort does not seem particularly big. However, as one approach it, it becomes obvious that this must have been one of the most important fortifications in the Boka Bay. Like other fortresses, Gorazda also has a geo-strategic significance. With the plateau on which the citadel is located, at the same time two bays are visible: the Bay of Kotor and the Tivat Bay. The fortress is negligent, but open and can be explored both from the outside and from the inside.
Gorazda Fort was built from 1884 to 1886. The upper part is quite indistinguishable, as the roof of the fortress is covered by the grass, built in such a way that it would not be too noticeable from the air or the land. The fort is impressive, and there are many features still visible, which are the proofs of the detailed and systematic planning. There are holes on the roof, through which the light entered the fort. Through the small windows, it was possible to watch whole bays and its surroundings. They had a well inside the citadel, so that they had no need to go outside for the water, and as they had underground tunnels, the ventilation system was arranged as well.
There is a legend about the construction of the fortress. When the Austro-Hungarians were digging the trench around the fortification, one shepherd who was near with his sheeps came and asked them what they are doing and why. They replied that they dig a channel that should prevent the enemy from choosing from which side to attack them. The trench is all around the fortress, and only the main gate where they would place the greatest defense would be possible to reach. The shepherd laughed at them and said that it will not be the way they had imagined it, because the trench is too narrow and could be skipped by anyone. In an exchange for a warm meal, the shepherd proved it to them. The generals then decided to make the channel wider, after which they were punished later because they exceeded the budget that was originally planned.
Gorazda Fort looks like a labyrinth inside. It is huge, with long halls and spacious rooms. Several pairs of stairs are leading from the roof to the basement, but some parts of the fortress are not reachable, and one has to be careful while exploring around. Walking through, one can imagine how a life was organized here and have a better understanding of how the army controlled this region.
The fortress was upgraded and used during the First and Second World War. Nowadays, it is abandoned and awaits a new adaptation and valorization. Overlooking the bays of Kotor and Tivat, Gorazda Fort is still a very interesting spot to explore.
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