In front of the old Vlaška church, around which the city of Cetinje was formed, a completely modern monument, called the “Lovcenska Vila”, was erected. Surprisingly, the historical church and the monument of the XX century are in good harmony with each other. This monument was erected in honor of the patriots who responded to the call for help from the Montenegrins and laid down their lives in battle with the elements. At the end of 1915, the Allies gathered troops to fight the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Former Montenegrins who emigrated to the United States in search of a better life, did not remain aloof from the calls of their fatherland and went on a ship to help brothers. They almost reached their destination when offshore Albania, probably due to technical problems their ship sank. Out of more than fifty people, only 164 volunteers were saved.
They decided to mark the monument to the faithful sons of their homeland in 1939. The famous local sculptor Risto Stiyovich tried to embody the main idea of the memorial in a sculpture depicting a young woman: in one hand the lady holds a sword, which symbolizes the determination and pressure of people who left a well-fed and prosperous America for the sake of suffering Montenegro, and in the other - squeezes a laurel wreath, than emphasizes the gratitude of the locals and the eternal memory of the heroes. The monument is installed in such a way that the woman looks towards the sea - to where the emigrants came from and where they died. Reliefs are set next to the memorial, which depict scenes of this tragic journey.
Attractions, Caravanning, Travel Report to Montenegro, Cetinje, Montenegro, Budva
After our sad adventures of the first day, everyone wanted only one thing - the sea and pleasant doing nothing. What we did with great pleasure, Sutomore is a wonderful place and I will certainly tell you about it separately. And in this article I want to talk about Cetinje, where we went on the fourth day, already decently getting bored from a beach holiday.
It takes about an hour to go from Sutomore, at first the road to Podgorica through the Sozin tunnel more than 4 km long, then the navigator took us not along the sea, but through the mountains, so it’s shorter and more interesting, or rather, more extreme. Then more than once we used this route through the mountains. The views from there are gorgeous, of course:
To the signpost to “Brceli” the road is very good, but then what we call the “goat paths” begins.
This trail runs along the very cliff:
Then among the mountains through small dark tunnels:
Something like this:
We had to stop at this place, because Ivanitch fell ill with fear. Our assurances that this is not the worst road did not help, but for the highlands it is even very good! Only the promise that we will return back in another way helped. I understand his fears very well, when in 2011 in Greece we climbed such a path to the top of the mountain, I thought I would tear the door handle out. This is now I'm an experienced navigator :))
On the way we meet such a hut, the dogs guard it, the owners are still sleeping at such an early hour:
Sorry, we would definitely buy something from them. For example, brandy for Ivanovich, otherwise he was already holding on with all his might. But the Montenegrins, like the Greeks, do not get up early, 9 in the morning for them is still night. And we, on the contrary, love to leave early, while the sun is not so hot.
It was also deserted in Cetinje, we parked the car and began to adjust the route along the way.
The previously planned climb to Lovcen, of course, was canceled. Ivanych would certainly not have survived such a shock; his mother supported him in solidarity. Well, okay, so we’ll take a walk around the city longer.
After visiting the Vlaška church, I was so impressed and interested in the history of the city that I really want to share this with you. Why, I’ll tell you later, but now everything is in order.
The city of Cetinje is conveniently located at the foot of Lovcen Mountain, in a unique climatic zone at an altitude of 670 meters above sea level, and is considered a museum city. It is always several degrees colder than on the coast, and it rains much more often.
The city received its name thanks to the Cetiné river flowing through the valley, and in written sources it was first mentioned in the 1440s.
Its origin and development is associated with the name of Ivan Tsrnoevich, who decided to transfer the capital of the state of Zeta to this inaccessible place. In 1482, the courtyard of the ruling dynasty of the Tsrnoevichs is located here, and later the Tsetinsky Monastery is being built.
The reign of the Tsrnoevich dynasty ended very soon - already in 1499, power over the territory of Zeta passed to the Ottoman Empire. But the territory of Lovcen Mountain between Boka Kotorska and the Tsrnoevich River, where Cetinje is located, remained autonomous and became known as Montenegro.
The heyday of Cetinje was associated with the dynasty of Petrovichy Negosha, who replaced the Tsrnoevichs. In 1838, Peter II built the building of his residence here - the Billiards Palace. And in 1878, after the recognition of the independence of Montenegro, Cetinje became the capital of a new European state. Until 1014, the city remained the center of the cultural and social life of the South Slavic states.
After the First World War, Montenegro joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and the territory of the city increased significantly. However, after World War II, in 1946, the capital of Montenegro was moved to Titograd, which is now called Podgorica. Many of the residents still do not accept these changes and still consider Cetina to be their capital.
The oldest building in the city is the Vlaška Church, built in 1450 by the Lovcen shepherds. For which, in fact, it got its name - "vlashka" in Old Serb means "shepherd."
First of all, we went here, we were very pleased with the minister of the church - an old Serbian man with a very peculiar appearance, as if his head was cut in half, and then inaccurately returned everything to its place. Scary at first glance, but he was so cordial and talkative that we listened to his stories for a good half hour. He spoke in Russian and Serbian, but everyone understood what was being said.
We listened to the history of the construction of the church, marveled at the preserved unique murals and icons created by Greek masters.
And the fence of the church, it turns out, is made of captured weapons of soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, assembled by local residents during the period of the liberation wars of 1876-1878.
It is here that there is a very valuable iconostasis created in 1878 by the Macedonian craftsman Vasily Dzhinovsky.
The church contains the remains of the last Montenegrin prince, King of Montenegro, Nicola I and his wife Milena. They were transported here from the Russian church in the Italian city of San Remo in 1989.
Around the church is a small ancient cemetery:
This is something small that I managed to remember from the story of the minister. By the way, his name is Mila, he is 75 years old, and he has been a minister in this church all his life. He was very happy for our arrival, and not only met everyone by name, but also demanded to tell us who we belong to each other. I was very glad that we were from Russia, and lamented that he himself had not gotten a family ... If you are in Tsetin, be sure to visit him! I left the church with such a bright feeling, as if I had been born again!
The only thing I regret, we could not thank him for the tour. He categorically does not take money, although on the iconostasis I saw euryka left by someone. But he didn’t take it from us, shook hands with us and thanked, thanked ... It only dawned on me that I just needed to buy something from souvenirs — a bracelet, a coin, a cross or a photo of King Nikola ... If I return to Montenegro, the first thing I’ll go to Cetina, I promise!
In the square in front of the church stands the monument “The Spirit of Lovcen” (“Lovcenska Vila”) - a female figure with a laurel wreath and a raised sword, looking towards Lovcen.
This monument was erected in 1939 in memory of Montenegrin emigrants who during the First World War considered it their duty to return to their homeland as volunteers. But the ship on which they sailed from America was sunk off the coast of Albania and all passengers died.
The main symbol of Cetinje is the Cetinje Monastery dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The monastery was founded by Ivan Tsrnoevich in 1484 and was originally located in another place. In 1692, the building was destroyed by the Turks to the very foundation, and already in 1701 it was transferred to the slope of Mount Orlov Krsh, to the former place of the Tsrnoevich palace. And during the construction, the architectural elements of the destroyed monastery were used.
And in 1714, the monastery was again burned down; upon restoration, its appearance repeatedly changed and acquired its modern appearance only by 1927.
On approaching the monastery, on Revolution Square, there is a sculpture in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Peter II Petrovich Negosh. It was installed recently, in 2013:
And the bust of Petar Lubarda - one of the largest Serbian and Yugoslav artists of the XX century:
The park itself is very beautiful, against the backdrop of high mountains:
The territory is very green and well-groomed, I like to slowly walk around such places, breathe history!
Next to the monastery, on the ruins of its first structure, is the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin on Chipur - the burial place of the last rulers of the Montenegrin dynasty Petrovich Negoshy. And here the data of the sources differ. Somewhere it is indicated that the remains of King Nicholas I and his wife Milena are buried here, and not in the Vlaška church ... And in the floor in front of the iconostasis is the tomb of the founder Tsetina Ivan Tsrnoevich.
Not far from the church is the Billiard Palace, the former residence of Peter II Petrovich Negosh. It was built in the form of a medieval castle, and got its name thanks to the first billiard table in Montenegro installed in it. This table, unfortunately, burned down during the Second World War.
In the square of King Nikola, or Palace Square is the Palace Museum of Nikola I, now its facade is bright burgundy, and a few years ago it was light green. The palace was built during the heyday of the cultural and political life of Montenegro, since 1926 the museum has been located here.
In honor of the 500th anniversary of the city of Cetinje in 1982, a monument to the founder of the city, Ivan Tsrnoevich, was erected on the square in front of the palace. This is a male figure with a sword - a symbol of justice, and a shield with a double-headed eagle symbolizes protection.
Already returning back to the parking lot, we passed the National Museum of Montenegro. It includes a whole complex of museums - historical, art and ethnographic. By the way, a ticket to each of the museums costs 2-5 euros, but you can buy a single ticket to visit the three museums, Billiards and the Palace of King Nikola I for 10 euros.
Summing up the trip, I want to say that it is not in vain that many Montenegrins still do not accept Podgorica as the capital of their country. Cetinus has a special spirit. And not even because of the unique location in the mountains, but precisely because of its history, which we were lucky to touch so close.
We returned on the other road along the Yadran path, and Tsetina gave such wonderful views in parting:
And more views of Becici and Budva, and the island of St. Nicholas:
Ivanovitch admired the gorgeous views from above and enjoyed the good road. And we realized that this trip would not be the last for him, but this is a completely different story ...