Montenegro’s connection with German speaking countries dates back to the 16th century, when the Boka Bay first came under Austro-Hungarian rule. Following liberation in the early 20th century remnants of this era were left along the coastline and today visitors to the area can visit the disused Austrian forts at Rose, Mamula and Arza.
Tivat’s original Arsenal, now home to Porto Montenegro, was first created as an Austro-Hungarian naval base. Built under the guidance of Admiral Maximilian von Sterneck between 1889 and 1918, the site was sought out for its unusually deep and protected waters – ideal conditions for a navy base.
More recently in 2006 when Montenegro gained independence from Serbia, the country briefly adopted the Deutsch Mark as currency. Whilst in 2002 as Germany changed to the Euro, Montenegro followed suit once again, years before the country was granted candidate status (2010).
Due to its rich historical affinity, the relation between Montenegro and German speaking countries have withstood the test of time, with Austrians and Germans representing one of the main tourist groups on the Montenegrin coast each summer. Many visitors may even notice some words in Montenegrin are versions of German, such as “Palatschinken”, meaning strudel or crepes.
After the Balkan conflict of the early 1990’s, Montenegrin tourism inevitably suffered but a renaissance is now in full swing, spearheaded by luxury developments such as Porto Montenegro, all of which has helped swell visitor numbers from the rest of Europe. Additionally, new and direct flight connections between Montenegro and southern German airports such as Munich and Frankfurt are doing their part to make the region ever more accessible for short trips.
Successful international brands are starting to see the potential of this booming tourism economy too; Engel & Voelkers, an Austro-German real estate and yacht brokerage company opened their first location at Porto Montenegro this summer for example. As the demand for yachts between 24 to 70 meters grows steadily in this part of the Mediterranean, it was only natural for Engel & Völkers to open an office within the marina village. Operating independently, the office has both new build and second hand yachts on sale, and via their own yacht service company, they also offer charters and yacht management.
In addition, famed Stuttgart-based Mercedes-Benz Style are bringing their famous pavilion to Porto Montenegro this summer to promote their forthcoming 14 meter Granturismo motoryacht that will be based in the marina from summer 2014 onwards. New S-class cars will also be available for a select few customers to test drive and there will be three top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz cars on display around the marina as well.