Strait of Verige (Verige)
- the narrowest and most picturesque place of the Boka Bay of Kotor, which intersects the Tivat, Risan and Kotor bays. The average depth of the strait is 30 meters, and the width is not more than 250 meters. Despite its size, the Strait of Verige is quite restless due to the constant strong current. Veriga is a long strait surrounded by beautiful scenic forests. Since the water in it is fresh, the canal is full of fish and other underwater inhabitants, some of whom prefer to remain unnoticed and hide in algae.
The Verige strait in Montenegro is located opposite the ancient city of Perast between the villages of Kamenari and Lepetane and was originally a natural barrier on the border between the Bosnian and Serbian kingdoms. Later on, there was a border point between the warring Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire - the city flourished, it had its own fleet, several hotels and even a theater. Life in Kamenari raged both day and night. During the reign of Austro-Hungary, this region continued its development, and the strait began to be used for transport connection of the two banks. Roads and villages were built along the bay, the rhythm of life accelerated and under a significant reduction of the path, which at all times gave the crossing in this place, began to accommodate a larger transport. In the beginning of the 20th century, primitive coupled boats, knocked down by boards (katarra), began to walk through the Strait of Verige. They could carry a maximum of one coach or a car. It is believed that the first ferry pier on both banks of the Verige Strait was built in 1898 by the inhabitants of Kamenari Shpyro Milosevic and Shpiro Sekulovich. They also built the first rafts on the basis of boats. It is interesting that the horses that transported people and carriages had no place on the then floating crafts and they crossed the strait, tied for a bridle to the ferry.
Before and after the Second World War floating platforms for 3-4 cars appeared, in the basis of which were also initially small boats, and then tugboats. The size of the machinery and the intensity of traffic in the Bay of Kotor increased and needed fundamentally new solutions for ferrying vehicles across the strait. As always, advanced military technology has come to the rescue. The modern era of the ferry crossing began in 1966. It was this year in Montenegro that the construction of the Adriatic Highway, which connected all the coastal cities of Kotor Bay, as well as Budva and Bar, was completed. Currently, the modern ferry crossing "Kamenari-Lepetani" continues to operate through the strait, and in the future, a bridge is planned to be built on this site.
For the inhabitants of Montenegro, this is not just a water channel, but a historically significant monument, since in ancient times chains were stretched here so that enemy ships could not enter the bay. For this reason the strait was named after "Verige", which means the chain.
According to one of the legends, the name "Verige" appeared in 1381 and is associated with the nearby city of Perast. This seaside town was once the most famous in the southern part of the Adriatic: sailboats from Perast came to all the harbors of the Mediterranean. In the city lived wealthy people, the wealth of which attracted pirates and other greedy robbers. One day, when the sailors-perashchan were on a voyage, a gang of pirates decided to attack the city. Then one old captain suggested by chains (i.e. verigami) to block the enemy entrance to the bay in its narrowest place. The idea of the old captain was effective. The combination of many chains resulted in a long defensive chain, and the inhabitants of Perast took positions on both sides of the strait. The pirates tried unsuccessfully to dismantle the barrier from the chains, and this was their last occupation in life: they were all killed.
Since then, the strait began to be called Verige, ie. chain.
On the shore of the Verige Strait, not far from the village of Kostanjica, there is a viewing platform, from which magnificent panoramic views open and where buses with tourists always stop. If you also want to take a ferry ride, capture stunning views of Kotor Bay surrounded by mighty mountains, take pictures of the panorama of the ancient city of Perast and see its two famous islands - the island of St. George and the island of Gospa od Skrpel, then you should definitely visit the Strait of Verige.