Risan (Greek Rhizon; Latin Risinium; Risano Italian ) is a small town on the Bay of Kotor on the Montenegrin coast in Montenegro. The 3,500 inhabitants site is part of the greater community ( Opština ) Kotor. Risan is located in the innermost corner of the bay, below almost 1,000 m high limestone walls of the Orjen Mountains.

The peaceful town is a popular tourist destination mainly because of its beautiful beaches. Also for mountain tours to the mountains Orjen Risan is the ideal starting point because from here, a good road to the summit ( 1,594 m) up. This route connects Risan with the Montenegrin hinterland (via Ledenice by Nikšić ) and the Hercegovina (border crossing at Vrbanje ). However, most important transport connection is the coast road around the Bay of Kotor, Risan on to Herceg Novi.


Risan originated in the 4th century BC as a Greek colony. The safe harbor in the Bay of Kotor ( in ancient times sine Rhizonicus ) is the oldest settlement in the area; they served the trade with the Illyrian population. Probably Risan was just an emporium and no independent polis. Anyway, the place was several times under the control of Illyrian rulers. 229 BC Risan was briefly a refuge of Queen Teuta, which was besieged by the Romans. For the middle of the 2nd century of the Illyrians Ballaios is known as the ruler of Risan. He coined here own silver coins, while known by the city itself only bronze coins. In more recent archaeological excavations of the largest Hellenistic hoard yet discovered was excavated according to the Polish archaeologists Piotr Dicek in Risan. This contains over 4,000 coins with a total weight of 15 kg. According to previous findings Risans is assumed that 5,000 residents of the ancient population. That this was a great city at that time, is testified by the remains of a 1 km long wall.

After the Second Roman- Illyrian War came Risan, as the entire eastern Adriatic coast, under the influence of Rome. By the end of the Republic it was satisfied with the protectorate of the individual cities and tribes of the region. Under Emperor Augustus Risan was incorporated into the province of Dalmatia and gained the status of municipium. The Imperial period Risinium Romanized quickly and has preserved its status as a regional trading center to the 6th century. From the Roman era Arthur Evans unearthed parts of villas with significant mosaics, mostly from the 2nd century. A representation of the god Hypnos is the most important Roman mosaic on Montenegrin soil.

In the 6th century, Risan is mentioned as a bishopric ( Risinium ); End of the same century the city but destroyed and abandoned during the invasions of the Avars and Slavs. Risan is then mentioned in the 8th century again, but not as a city but as a Slavic settlement. The political, economic and religious center of the bay is since the Middle Ages Kotor, where a new diocese was established in the 9th century. Risan is since then an insignificant village, but was still attached. A small castle above the village bears witness.

After 1370 Risan part of the Montenegrin Principality of Ballsha Dynasty. After the end ( 1421 ) of the place is Venetian.

At the beginning of the 16th century the Turks succeeded to take Risan. The place was, together with Herceg Novi one of the two Turkish bridgeheads on the Bay of Kotor. Risan had a small Turkish garrison of about 100 soldiers and 300 to 400 mostly Serb inhabitants, most of whom came from Herzegovina in the 16th century. During the Turkish war from 1683 to 1699 the Venetians in 1687 succeeded in taking Risans. The Peace of Karlowitz with the Sublime Porte of the Republic of Venice confirmed the ownership. After the end of the Venetian Republic alternated on the Bay of Kotor Russian, English and French crews. The provisions of the Vienna Congress the bay and thus Risan part of k ( u ) k was Monarchy. Since 1918 Yugoslavia belonging, Risan came in 1944 with the Republic of Montenegro.