Project Description

On a small island, that is, a cliff, northwest of Ulcinj, in the inlet Kruče, there are the ruins of what were thought to be the remnants of the Old Town of Ulcinj – Dolcigno Vecchio. According to the Venetian historical documents, it was assumed that the ancient Olcinium was located between this crag and the shore and that it sank. However, the later archaeological explorations have found that a small signal station (specula) was placed on this rock, that is, on this little island in the ancient times, and that in the Middle Ages a fortress was built there which served as a watchtower.

The Old Town is a core of cultural and historical heritage of Ulcinj. On the upper plateau of the fortress, next to the northern gate, there is a museum complex of the city. This is where the most interesting monuments of the history of Ulcinj are located. There is a church-mosque converted into a museum where all findings from the Old Town are exhibited. An ancient pedestal with a Greek inscription to the goddess Artemis is particularly noteworthy as well as an antique cameo with the image of the goddess Athens with helmet, two axes from the Bronze Age of the Skadar-Dalmatian type. The Collection of Stone Monuments contains Ionic capitals, parts of the ciborium from Mala crkva (the Small Church) from the ninth century and objects from the Turkish period. Right behind the museum there is Kula Balšića (the Balšić’s Tower) whose premises are used today by a gallery. In front of it there is a small square, once known as Trg robova (the Slave Square) which is enclosed by casemates (arches) of the fortress. At the entrance there is a fortress ramp and across from it there is a high wall Balani from the Venetian era. In front of the entrance to the museum there is a Turkish drinking fountain from 1749.

Nearby there is the Ethnological Museum with an extremely rich collection of exhibits. Many streets lead to the lower plateau of the fortress. In front of the southern entrance to the city foundation of Bogorodicna crkva (the Orthodox Church of the Holy Mother of God) from the twelfth century is located which was later converted to the Catholic church of St. Marko. Not far from there, there is a Turkish powder magazine from the eighteenth century covered in irregular-shape calotte. On the place where today’s Palata Venecija (Palace of Venice) stands there were the remains of the building which was assumed to have been the seat of the governor of the city during the Venetian rule. Because of its beauty and functionality subsequent rulers had used the building as palace. Not far from Palata Venecija there is Dvori Balsica (The Balšićs’ Castle) which consists of a large Venetian building.

The Old Town of Ulcinj hosted a famous Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes as prisoner who had subsequently wrote the world famous novel “Don Quixote.” Since the city’s name was Cita di Dolcinio, Cervantes named his hero’s mistress Dulcinea after the city of Ulcinj in which he was imprisoned for five years. Even today in Ulcinj there is a square where slaves were brought and sold and is called Trg robova (the Square of Slaves) or Servantesov trg (the Square of Cervantes).