One of the oldest settlements on the Adriaticcoast,first mentioned inthe historical records as the “Town of Illyria” more than two and a half thousand years ago,this is a place that must be visited during astay on theBudva Riviera. A legend tells that Budva was established by Cadmus, a son of the Phoenician king,Agenor, and his Queen,Telephassa. Cadmus was the ruler of the Greek province of Boeotia and, when he was exiled from the city of Thebes, together with his wife Harmonia, he found refuge with an Illyrian tribe, called theEnchelei. According to the legend, Cadmus arrived with a heard of oxen, which is where Budva got its name from (bous is Greek for ox). The older names of Budva were Butua, Buthos, Butoba andCivitas Antique (the Old Town).
Throughout history, it has been a target of different conquering nations (Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Saracens, Turks, Venetians, Austro-Hungarians, French…) and as a result it has belonged to many different states. Thanks to the immigrants from different parts of the world, who gradually came together with these changes, the structure of the original Illyrian population also changed.
The Old Town presents a unique architectural and urban unity, surrounded by medieval walls, with a fortress, towers and gates. During the course of its history, the Old Town suffered the most damage in an earthquake in 1667, while the consequences of the 1979 earthquake were also severe.
Along the narrow streets and at the small piazzas and squares, there are lines of cafes, boutiques, bars, restaurants, galleries etc. while the town becomes a genuine “Theatre City” during the summer months, thanks to the numerous plays, concerts and exhibitionswhich Budva hosts too. This is also the name of the festival which has been enriching this old costal town since 1987, giving it a special note and charm.
Its many religiousbuildings – the oldest Church Santa Maria in Punta, the Catholic cathedralSveti Ivan and the Church SvetiSava Osveceni– have the special value. Next to the Church Sveti Ivan are the remains of an early Christian basilica while the remains of the Church Santa Maria are located on the Citadela. Between the churches is a stage which is where the plays of the “Theatre City” take place.
Original Roman columns, set into the walls of Budva’s oldest gate, can also be seen in the Old Town. The main cultural institutions include the City Museum of Budva, with its archaeological and ethnographic collections, the Modern Gallery and the memorial home of “Stefan MitrovLjubisa.”