Gornja Lastva is a small settlement of the Mediterranean type in the hill of Vrmac separating Kotor and Tivat bays. It is located at an altitude of 300m above sea level, 3 km away from the Adriatic highway. The settlement is located on the sunlit slope of Vrmac commanding a spectacular view of Tivat bay and even farther, over the peninsula of Lustica, of the open sea. The settlement has existed here ever since the ancient times.
Stone, as basic building material, and Mediterranean flora, hiding the settlement from view, reflect the recognizable Mediterranean atmosphere. From the early days of the settlement, stone houses were built and torn down only to be replaced by new, modern ones. Although many of the houses and pertaining stone walls were deserted and destroyed in time, the authenticity of the traditional method of building and overall environment was never disturbed. The best preserved and the most prominent houses today date back mostly to the 19th century. The olive mill dates back to the same period and nothing has changed in it until the present day, olives are being milled in the same way as they used to be a long time ago, the mill being man-powered. Thus, during olive milling days many inhabitants gather in the mill, socialise, sing songs making this occasion a cultural event of its kind.
St. Mary's parish church was built in the 14th century. Lastva inhabitants adorned their church with numerous valuable objects of art, like Romanesque golden cross, multi-coloured marble altar, altarpiece with the picture of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary believed to be the work of Andrea Trevisano, etc.
St. Vid's Church is older and it was built in the 9th century on top of the hill above Gornja Lastva bearing the same name.
During the period of its full life, in the first half of the 20th century, Gornja Lastva had about 500 inhabitants and more then 100 residential units. It was a self-sustainable system, enough food was being produced to satisfy the needs, there were seven olive mills, one water mill for grain threshed on 12 threshing floors, 24 wells and 5 capping. On nearby slopes there were numerous vineyards, olive groves, orchards…Gornja Lastva had its own local government until World War II, it had had its own school since 1845, parish priest, tamburitza orchestra… People from Gornja Lastva were good craftsmen, masons in particular. Many of them navigated on board Bokelian ships.
Ater World War II, Gornja Lastva, following wider economic and political movements, people started leaving the village. The population moved closer to the sea, most often to Donja Lastva or to Tivat. The inhabitants of Gornja Lastva moved also to other places of Boka Kotorska Bay, and often even farther.
Majority of inhabitants of Gornja Lastva live today mostly at Donja Lastva and Tivat but they come to Gornja Lastva on a daily basis. Gornja Lastva was spared the sale and destruction of valuable units of architectural heritage, which happened elsewhere even to whole villages of exceptional environmental value. Rich cultural and economic past has got the strength which moves even the present day generations of the inhabitants of Gornja Lastva…