St John’s Fortress (Sveti Ivan) or as the locals call it San Giovanni Fortress is located on top of the Kotor Old Town starting from the east part of the town and going up to 280 metre above sea level. When you are climbing up to the fortress you’ll witness a picturesque view of Kotor and the Bay of Kotor. There are 1350 steps going up which may be challenging for some but there are places to rest on the way. If you are determined to go up to the end make sure you have comfortable walking shoes and some water.
On the way up to St John’s Fortress you’ll run into the church of Church of Our Lady of Remedy at the altitude of 100 metre which dates back to 1518.
When was the Kotor fortress built?
St John’s Fortress was built to protect Kotor town from the invaders. The construction started in the 9th century and ended in the 15th century.
When you reach the top you’ll see a hole on the north side which lets you to go to the other side of the wall where there’s a small Catholic Church. When you are going down you can follow the trail from here down to Kotor center. It takes about 2 – 2.5 hours round trip. The distance from the start of the Ladder of Kotor to Sveti Ivan Fortress is 1200 metres.
The best time to hike to the fortress is in the morning during summer and at noon between October and April.
From the old town of Kotor to reach St John’s Fortress you can follow the signs to find your way to the Ladder of Kotor which will take you up to the fortress. You can follow the entrance from the River Gate or behind Salad Square (Trg od Salate). You can find Kotor Fortress Map on the top right of this page.
When are the Kotor Fortress opening hours?
Kotor St John’s Fortress opening hours from May to September is between 08:00am and 08:00pm.
What is the admission fee for Kotor San Giovanni Fortress?
St John’s Fortress entrance fee is 3 Euros per person.