Cattaro (Slavic, Kotor), a town of Dalmatia, Austria, capital of a circle of its name, at the foot of the Montenegro mountains, at the S. E. extremity of the gulf of Cattaro, 337 m. S. E. of Trieste, and 43 m. N. W. of Scutari, Albania; lat. 42° 25' N, lon. 18° 46' E.; pop. about 3,000; of the circle, 30,000. The town was almost entirely destroyed by the earthquakes of 1563 and 1667. The streets are narrow, but the town is fortified by a castle on a clitf in the vicinity, and the port was made a naval depot in August, 1854. The harbor, although one of the best in the Adriatic, is little frequented by shipping; but it has a fair share in the commerce of Dalmatia. The trade of Cattaro is carried on by tribes: the Dobrotas, who trade with Trieste, the Perastros, with Venice, and several others. The principal articles of trade are wine, oil, figs, wool, silk, honey, wax, tallow, smoked meat, dried fish, butter, eggs, cheese, and charcoal. Outside the E. gate of the town is the bazaar, which is supplied with provisions by the Montenegrins. The principal buildings are the cathedral, a collegiate church, numerous other Roman Catholic churches, 2 Greek churches, 6 convents, a hospital, a gymnasium, and the residences of the governor and the bishop.
The popular language is the Slavic dialect of Herzegovina, but Italian is the language of the educated classes, and used in the transaction of public affairs. The majority of the population of the town and circle consists of descendants of the Slavs who invaded the country in the 7th century; the rest of Italians, Bosnian Greeks, Serb Morlaks, Jews, Greeks, and gypsies. The Roman Catholic is the established religion, but about a quarter of the population profess the Greek faith. - In the middle ages Cattaro was the capital of a prosperous republic. In 1420 it submitted to the Venetians; in 1797 it was annexed to Austria; in 1805, by the treaty of Presburg, it was incorporated into the French kingdom of Italy, but did not pass into the possession of the French till 1807, having been occupied by the Russians in the interval. Finally, in 1814 it reverted again to Austria. In 1849 Cattaro organized an independent government, but in January, 1850, was brought back under the sway of Austria. The circle of Cattaro was the seat of the Dalmatian insurrection of 1809. - The gulf of Cattaro, or Bocche dl Cattaro, the Rhizonic gulf of antiquity, is a tortuous inlet of the Adriatic, 30 m. long, forming three basins connected by narrow straits, with an entrance from the sea only a mile and a half wide.
It is surrounded by mountains, and is renowned for the beauty of its scenery. The fort of Castelnuovo defends the entrance.