Budva is a town on the Budva Riviera in Montenegro which is a popular tourist resort in the summer months. Although it contains a number of abandoned properties, it has been undergoing a rapid redevelopment since independence in 2008 and is now the town with the most millionaires per capita in Europe, even more than Monaco.
Locally, Budva is referred to as the Montenegrin Kuwait, because of its number of millionaires as a percentage of its small population. Following a real estate boom in 2000s, many local families sold their properties in and around Budva to foreign buyers, mostly Russians, Austrians and Italians. Once barren and undeveloped fields of steep hillsides are being sold for hundreds of euros per square metre. This boom has resulted in the once poor fishing village of Budva becoming the town with the most millionaires per capita in Europe, about 500 for the population of around 22,000 in the whole municipality. Many of the newly rich reinvested their money in real estate, buying flats in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.
It’s possible you have actually seen Budva before without realising. The James Bond movie, Casino Royale, was shot at the Hotel Splendid in Budva. The fictional Casino Royale was located in Budva in the movie with exteriors also shot around the area.
Budva was first inhabited in the 5th century BC as an Illyrian town. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans had taken over and developed trade routes. Grapes and olives were grown in the region. With the fall of the Roman Empire, Budva came under Byzantium rule which the locals resisted. Serbian influences took over before the Venetian Republic took the city in 1442. Like much of the Balkans, the area spent many years in the centre of battles between empires. The Turks attacked many times during the Venetian rule.
In 1807, Budva was taken by the French and only 6 years later, in 1813, the Austro-Hungarians took the city. Just over 100 years later, archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed in Sarajevo and World War I began. At the end of the war, Budva and the coastal area as far as Kotor was merged into the Oblast of Cetinje in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes which later become the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
During World War II, Yugoslavia was invaded by Italy and remained under the control of the axis powers until 1944 when Yugoslavia became a communist republic. It remained as such until 1991 when Croatia and Slovenia declared independence, followed by Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. A bitter war followed until the Dayton Accord was signed in 1995. Serbia and Montenegro remained as one country until 2006 when they split.
The pictures in this article are of an abandoned mansion on the seafront in Budva. Our research sadly failed to turn up any information about the property or how it ended up in it’s derelict state.