As the only fiord on the Mediterranean, Boka Kotorska was added to the list of twenty five the most beautiful bays in the world in July 2000, the others being mainly in Scandinavia. Kotor is situated on the southeast end of Boka Kotorska. The history of Kotor can be traced to the most ancient times. In the surrounding caves there have been found various tools and ceramics witnessing humane existence from the Neolithic period, as well as drawings on the walls of the cave at Lipci near Risan.
In the antique period the Illyrian tribal state was the first organized humane community on these territories. Roman conquest began by the end of the third century BC and since the year 169 BC these territories had been under the rule of Rome, and then were taken over by the Byzantines. The first Slav tribes settled there in the 12th century. Its first state was Doclea, later called Zeta. Since the end of the 12th century Kotor was in power of the members of the Nemanjic Dynasty until 1420 when the Republic of Venice occupied it and stayed there until 1797, the time of the Napoleon wars in Europe. After the stormy period from 1797 to 1814 when this area was alternately under the Russians, French, Austrians and Montenegrins, at the Vienna Congress in 1814, Kotor became the constituent of the Austro-Hungary Monarchy and remained under the rule of Austro-Hungary until 1918 when this region became a part of Yugoslavia until its disintegration.
For its unique mixture of different cultures, Kotor entered the list of the world cultural heritage under the protection of the UNESCO. In the past, the most developed industry in this area was trade and maritime affairs. Seafarers used to bring different products from overseas which they would exchange for the goods they were in need of. In that way Kotor became one of the most important trading centres in this part of the Adriatic coast.