The interesting story about the Austro-Hungarian fortresses around the Boka Bay I have heard for the first time a few years ago while hiking on the Vrmac – mount that divides Kotor and Tivat bay. There, our starting point was just in front of an old, large fortification that looked well-preserved and attractive to explore. This splendid building was Vrmac Fortress - an important defensive point.
I have never heard of such a fortress before, and soon I realized that unfortunately, not many people are aware of the value and significance of these constructions. Thanks to my hiking adventures, I discovered most of them, and I still don’t miss a chance to visit them, when there is an opportunity.
Vrmac fortress is similar to Gorazda Fort. It was built a few years after Gorazda, between 1894 and 1897. Before the fortress was built, an old Austrian battery was positioned there. Throughout the history, the strategic position of the Mt. Vrmac had an important role for the military control, so no wonder that the Austro-Hungarians had chosen exactly this location for their defense.
Together with Trašte Fort, Gorazda and Vrmac created a special defensive border with the common aim to protect the bays from the east. A ditch around the fort made the attacks more difficult, leaving the enemies an option for the attack only from one side of the fort, which of course had the strongest defense.
Vrmac Fortress was renovated at the end of the 19th century, but during the First World War it was again damaged, as the Vrmac Mountain was one of the central points of the Montenegrin and Austro-Hungarian conflict. After the war, it was used by the Royal Yugoslav Army for some years.
Unlike Gorazda Fort, whose interior looks unharmed, Vrmac Fortress was after the wars damaged inside, and even though it is possible to explore the interior, it is highly advisable to bring a lamp and to have a good pair of shoes. The terrain can be wet, and sometimes there are the holes covered with a bunch of leaves or smaller rocks, that are not visible in the darkness. So, be very careful, if you decide to explore the insides. And of course, going in there alone is not the best option either.
There are three floors inside the fortress. You can visit the rooms, recognize the toilets and bathrooms. There is even a space for an elevator, which was probably used for supplying some part of the basement, and a large room for the artiller, that is very spacious and looks a bit creepy.
Vrmac Fortress, as well as the Vrmac Mountain itself, are must-see alternative tourist spots in the southern part of our country. Even from the outside, one can explore the fortress, peep inside through the windows and get a general impression of its significance, as it was an important defensive point in the past.
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