Prčanj is a small town in the Boka Kotorska (Bay of Kotor). According to the 2003 census, the town has a population of 1244 people. It is located 3 miles (~5 km) west of Kotor, opposite Dobrota and between the settlements of Muo and Stoliv. All its history has been written at sea. It was one of the most important maritime centers on southern Adriatic.
History of Prcanj
Since the fall of the Roman Empire the small village of Perzagno was populated by Dalmatian Italians and was closely related tho the nearby Cattaro (now called Kotor). While under the rule of the Venetian Republic, Prčanj (then called Perzagno) gained its fame in a rather unique way. By the end of the sixteenth century the administration noticed that sailors from Prčanj journeyed to Venice faster than the government ships. It was then decided that Prčanj be given the responsibility of permanent mail service for the Republic. This was further purported by a decree from 1625 that lauds Perzagno inhabitants for conscientious and effective handling of State mail. The decree was of tremendous significance for the town as it freed its denizens from manual labor – a mandatory form of state service at that time. The decree officially made Prčanj a naval town, and its duties to the State were henceforth of maritime nature only. The importance of reliable mail service was of tremendous value to the Venetian Republic. Prčanj became a port from where the mail from Istanbul that arrived over land through Montenegro continued seaborne towards Venice.
Perzagno ships were initially small in size and held a crew of nine. The ships were ready to sail year around and would negotiate the 400 mile journey to Venice by oar and sail. The town’s privileges grew and, in 1704, Perzagno was granted its own municipal district inside the Albania Veneta.
This village is famous for attracting many wealthy sea captains in centuries past. When the Boka Kotorska was part of the Austrian empire, Emperor Franz Josef came here and was greeted by several dozens of uniformed ship captains.