Mamula Fortress (Montenegro)
At the very entrance to the magnificent Boka Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world, there is a lonely, uninhabited island with a fortress. The island is called Lastavica, but more often reffered to and better known as simply Mamula. The monumental fortress was built by the Austrian Admiral, Lazar Mamula at the end of the 19th century. At first sight, the fort looks a bit scary, but once you have entered, you will be immediately amazed by the untouched nature and its beautiful surrounding. For years, Mamula has had many purposes. Due to its isolated position, it was used as a concentration camp in both World Wars. Partly, the fort served as a prison, as well. The main reason for building Mamula was, therefore, to stop the enemy ships from entering the Boka Bay. Even so, the fortress never served its purpose, since not a single cannonball was ever shot from it.
Nowadays, Mamula represents one of the most popular tourist attractions of Herceg Novi. While in Montenegro, don’t miss on visiting it, along with Rose, Zanjic beach and the Blue cave. On the other hand, if you are planning to dedicate a whole day to this forbidden island, remember to bring your goggles with you! Visibility is magnificent given that the island is encircled with transparent, clear, blue sea. It is quite easy to reach the island, by boat or kayak. In the summer there are guided tours that will, for little money, take you to all of the mentioned places. They are all worth your time. So, it’s all up to you! If you are far more adventurous and brave, you can have a picnic or even make camp on the island and try living on the basics. Anyway, I recommend you to do this only if you have or rent a boat, in case you need something, you can always get back to the town which is only 3.5 nautical miles away! Exploring this deserted island offers a perfect escape from the modern life. It is quite well preserved and some elements like the old well and its dangerous stairs, still exist. You can feel the atmosphere of the old fort, spaces and historical actions that took place on this little island while walking through the ruins. There is much to see, from the waterfront to the tall walls of the fortress to the old prison cells. Because of its structure and position Mamula is a perfect place for filming movies and survivor shows.
Despite strong attempts to turn this cultural monument into exclusive tourist site, development of this idea did not go any further, so the fortress is still unused today. Even though some residents disagree, Mamula could get a new, modern structure someday. Furthermore, it is already attracting investors for its revitalization, but until then, mother nature will keep an eye on this precious gem and the only inhabitants over there: rabbits and seagulls.