Hotel Stara Čaršija as a return to the original architecture of Stari Bar

How to fit the new into the old? Here is a successful example in Montenegro in which no wood was removed, and recycled building materials were used.

On the foundations of several smaller, ruined houses, on the slopes below the road leading to the fortification, surrounded by olive groves, a new resort was gradually created in Bar – hotel complex Stara Čaršija, the first five-star hotel in that Montenegrin coastal town.

With an orientation towards magnificent fortification, which behind its walls preserves history, culture and authenticity and a view of the massifs of Mount Rumija, this complex exudes a fusion of past and present, tradition and modernity.

This project is architecturally signed Zlatko Vujotic and a bar architectural studio “B2B”, while the execution of works was entrusted to a Podgorica company “ZV Design”, with whom we talked about the Old Bazaar and the context in which it is located.


After the earthquake, quick and by no means stylistic construction solutions were resorted to; Photo: Sergei Zabiako

The disappearance of the original architecture of Bar

The Old Bar used to rest on typology of Eastern architecture, most of which is known as Ohrid architecture. The legacy of distant Byzantium, the continuation of Ottoman construction, and the people of this area under the same influence it is characteristic of the Balkans to whom Bar belongs.

He resisted that style for a long time, until the devastating 1979 earthquake, when it can be said to disappear. At the same time, the existing and newly arrived population resorted to fast and by no means stylish construction solutions, in order to create basic living conditions.

“From then until today the original architecture of the Old Bar is disappearing, and understanding this situation was our guiding idea to return the art of this fairytale place in a more modern way. The surrounding architecture could hardly be called the one from before, and only in the facades of the facades along both sides of the street that intersects the bazaar – poorly cobbled with inadequate stone. The rest is not for comment “, our interlocutors state.

Therefore, their work on this project aimed to restore the former appearance, with the allowed changes, the benefits of modern construction, but also help those who intend to they change their objects and return them to the old.

New and seems authentic; Photo: Stara Čaršija promo

No trees have been removed, and more new crops characteristic of this part of the Mediterranean have been planted.

During the construction of this complex, special attention was paid to Fr. environment and natural resources. No trees were removed, and they were planted more new cultures characteristic of this part of the Mediterranean.

They were used for construction exclusively natural materials: stone, wood, wrought iron, terracotta… Old crafts have been revived, which can be seen in performance and the smallest details at the hotel complex Stara Čaršija.

Skilled craftsmen who built the ‘Old Bazaar’ are the pillar of this vision. With his skills and abilities they left a mark in every stone“, Our interlocutors note.

Energy savings of up to 80 percent

Wrought iron fences in the complex are handmade and forged, and all stone plastic on window frames, doors, volts, poles, etc. it is handmade.

All roofs were originally covered with materials from the world leader in roofing hydro, sound and thermal insulation – Isotecom, and on them are rustically produced canals or popularly known “Ceramamide”.

Each object is the so-called passive object and saves energy up to 80%. The production of exterior carpentry was entrusted to the Slovenian company Inles.

“Multi-layer glass breaks, extremely high quality meranti wood and the color we choose, they do ideal combination of all natural materials selected for construction “, they say to the Podgorica company.

An ideal blend of natural materials selected for construction; Photo: Stara Čaršija promo

Wooden beams from the demolished hotel

The construction of all buildings is reinforced concrete, and the constructive system is massive in some parts and skeletal in some. Also, they were performed static measurements and calculations.

Concrete cages are filled Ytong silicate blocks, later waterproofed and lined with segments – mostly carved stone, the same stone cloth resembling a nearby fortress.

We realized the wall surfaces, which used to be made of chakma demit facades and a top coat similar to the ones from before.

“We applied old wooden beams facade parts and doxa material that we bought from the demolished hotel Durmitor in Zabljak, and which are hand-carved some 100 years ago“, Our interlocutors point out.

Hotel interior, traditional motifs derived from a combination of stone and wood, exudes elegance and elegance, giving visitors a feeling warmth and comfort.

The complex unites 5 buildings and several diverse facilities; Photo: Stara Čaršija promo

The biggest challenge was to fit the newly purchased old building into the already completed concept – it started with two levels and ended with eight.

It was designed and built in phases from 2018 to 2021, and house by house was bought and so the complex expanded.

The biggest challenge, according to the authors, was to fit newly purchased (old, existing) building in an already done concept. It started with two levels, and ended with 8. The maximum number of storeys in individual buildings is His + P + 4.

Old Bazaar at night; Photo: Promo

The first five-star hotel in Bar

The Stara Čaršija complex unites, in three basic units (restaurant, hotel and central building), five buildings and more facilities – 37 accommodation units, Spa with indoor pool, outdoor swimming pools, cafeterias, pizzeria, restaurant facilities with indoor and outdoor spaces, parking lots, panoramic terraces, congress hall and VIP terraces.

The hotel was officially opened in July 2019 when it had ten accommodation units. “Stara Čaršija” now has five separate buildings with 37 accommodation units in ten categories, with capacity for 102 people. Each accommodation unit, regardless of category, has a view of the Old Town Fortress.

It’s a hotel restaurant capacity 280 guests, and the Spa & Wellness area has an indoor pool, a Finnish sauna, a steam bath and oriental hammams. It is the “Old Bazaar” the first hotel complex in Bar categorized with 5*.

Photo gallery


  • object name: Stara Čaršija Resort & Spa
  • the city: Stari Bar, Bar, Montenegro
  • investor: Hajriz Brčvak
  • project authors: Zlatko Vujotić and architectural studio “B2B”, Bar
  • year of design: 2018–2020.
  • Year of construction: 2018–2021.
  • floors: His + P + 4
  • performers: “ZV Design” and subcontractors

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