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Montenegro - the land of wild beauty
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MONTENEGRO

Name Montenegro means black mountain and is a sovereign country located in Southeastern Europe. Montenegro is bordered by Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. Its capital, also the largest city, is Podgorica. Officially, Montenegro is the smallest state among all Slavic countries and also one of the smallest in whole Europe.

If you wish to relax on Adriatic coast, then visiting this place is ideal for you. Even tough it is relatively small, Montenegro is a country filled with rich history, nature and wonderful landscapes making it also an ideal place for sightseeing.

FUN FACTS

  • Montenegro is the only country in the world that was declared an ecological state.
  • Montenegro is home to one of the few remaining rain-forests in Europe.
  • Bojana river is the only river in the world that due to the configuration of the terrain flows both downstream and upstream.
  • Montenegro is one of the founding members of the Red Cross.
  • The Tara canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe.
  • In Montenegro there is 1.6 mobile phone per person making it the worlds best when it comes to that.
  • Montenegro is famous for exporting wine “Vranac” and smoked ham.
  • Mountain Visitor has unified floating islands.
  • In Ulcinj is one of the longest sand beach in Europe.
  • The first national printing house was in Montenegro.

WHY VISIT

1. You can hike the Durmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park is great place for adventurers. It was formed by glacier and the largest lke is Crno Jezero. You can hike and enjoy stunning natural beauty.

2. You can visit the Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor is an old quaint town but at the same time a busy harbor. Walking down the cobbled city streets you can see walls and buildings built during the 15th century. The whole city is surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery and a beautiful bay.

3. It has a must-see coastline

In Montenegro there are many sandy beaches for sun lovers, culminating in a 12km of continuous stretch leading to the Albanian border.

4. Authentic food

Montenegro has authentic cuisine. It is typically Mediterranean, but there are also specialties that are not typically from this area.

5. Stunning nature and topography

This country may be small, but it pack a lot in this small area. It is filled with beautiful natural sites, beaches, rivers and unique canyons as well as clear lakes and mountains.

6. It’s great for sailing

This country offers brilliant weather conditions making it also a great place for sailing.

7. Tara River Canyon

The Tara River Canyon is a natural wonder of epic proportions. At 1 300 meters deep it is one of the deepest river canyons in Europe and at 82 kilometers in length

8. People

People here are really warm and friendly and they will definitely make you feel like at home.

9. Architecture

Visiting Montenegro will feel like you are going back to past. Whilst most of the buildings have different uses they still have an aura of what they used to be.

10. Old churches

Kotor may be a small city but it has a surprising number of beautiful Orthodox and roman Catholic churches. Some frescoes that are decorating them date as far back as the 14th century.

PODGORICA

Podgorica is the capital and largest city of Montenegro. The city was also called Titograd when it was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The name Podgorica means “below the little hill”, Gorica being the name of the cypress-covered hill that overlooks the city centre. It is located in central Montenegro. The area is crossed with rivers and the city itself is only 15 kilometres north of Lake Skadar.

As it was part of the Ottoman Empire, Podgorica has many examples of Turkish architecture. The oldest parts of the city, Stara Varos and Drac are typical of this with two mosques, a Turkish clock tower and narrow, winding streets.

WHY VISIT

1. Millennium Bridge

A more recent addition to the cityscape is the stark white piece of modern architecture which now stands as on of Podgorica’s most notable landmarks. The elaborate and innovative cable-stayed bridge, has one main 57 meter high pylon, with 12 cables on one side supporting the roadway deck and 24 cables on the other side acting as ocunter balances.

2. Vladimir Vysotsky Monument

Fellow lovers of the weird and offbeat, will find the Vladimir Vysotsky Monument interesting. Situated close to the Millennium Bridge, the monument is a gift from the Russians and was erected in 2004. This Russian singer and songwriter is surrounded by a gleaming metal frame, and standing barefoot and bare chested, with a guitar in one hand and the other raised in jubilant celebration.

3. King’s Park

It is recently renovated urban imporved project which represents an oasis in the center of Podgorica. It has a pavilion covered with red Spanish tile, a fountain, plenty of benches, playground and much more. King’s park is a perfect place for relaxing.

4. Old Town

Over 400 years ago, Podgorica’s Old Town, or Stara Varos, was once a thriving Ottoman Turkish town. While not much remains today, it’s a great area to explore and get feel for its Ottoman past. Notable sights include the Doganjska Mosque and Osmanagic Mosque, from the 15th and 18th centuries, as well as the old Bridge and Clock Tower.

5. Old Bridge

The origins of this Old Bridge are debatable, some think it dates back to the time of Roman rule and other that it was built by the Ottomans during the 15th century. It has similarity to the other arched bridges in the region so it si most likely built by Ottomans. But still this is the oldest bridge in Podgorica and a must-see when you visit Podgorica. In addition to the Old Bridge, you can explore the remnants of the surrounding Ribnica fortress and walk along the river path.

6. Clock Tower

Aside from the Old Bridge, the Clock Tower, or Sahat kula, is one of the few remaining Turkish landmarks in Podgorica that wasn’t destroyed during WWII. The impressive 16 metre-high tower, nestled in the center of Becir Beg Osmanagic square, was constructed in 1667. The clock, said to have been imported from Italy, was the only public clock in the city and signalled times for the Muslims call to prayer. In 1890, a cross was bizarrely placed on the top of the tower.

7. St George Church

At the foot of Gorica Hill is St George Church, built in the 10th century. The oldest Orthodox church in Podgorica has been rebuilt several times over and feature some beautiful 17th century frescoes by an unknown artist. Surrounded by stone walls, the untended cemetary behind the church is also worth checking out

TOP PLACES

1. Kotor

Kotor is considered for one of the best preserved medieval town on the Adriatic coast. It is situated against the steep mountains surrounding the deep channels of the Bay of Kotor. Architecture perfectly reflects years of various empires that ruled over this region. The best known is Cathedral of Saint Tryphoon. The Cathedral’s carved stone altar is an exquisite example of the stone masonry skills Kotor was known for in the Middle Ages.

2. Budva

Budva is located in the center of Montenegro’s coastline and has a great combination of Old town looks, great beaches and several cultural institutions. But still, Budva is most famous for its vibrant nightlife hence making it a really popular place to visit.

3. Durmitor National Park

This Natioanl Park is centered around the mountain village of Zabljak and is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Since it is located in the Diniric Alps, the park includes the high-altitude peaks of the Durmitor Massif and is also home to the world’s second deepest gorge. The park’s wildlife also includes over 160 bird species, mammals ranging from wild boars to brown bears and most varieties of butterflies found anywhere in Europe.

4. Perast

Northwest of Kotor we have Perast which shares the same stunning fjord-like bay. Compared to Kotor it is a small town but still notable for its stone-crafted villas and historic churches. Tow of the citiy’s famous chapels are situated on tiny islets, Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George. There are less than 500 people and the town is closed to cars making it a perfect place for sunbathing and relaxing.

5. Ostrog Monastery

Ostrog Monastery is the one of the most unusual architectural sites and represents a major Christian pilgrimage destination. It is situated high up in the large rocks of Ostroska Greda. The entire monastery was carved out of a cave in a nearly vertical mountain cliff. It was built in the 17th century as a refuge against the Ottoman Empire. The monastery includes two inner cave churches decorated with frescoes, of which some were painted directly on the rock walls.

6. Cetinje

City of Cetinje is best known for the many European embassies built when the city served as Montenegro’s capital. During the late 19th and early 20th it served as a great strategic spot since it was at the edge of Ottoman Empire. Today, those mansions have been converted into museums, academies and administrative buildings.

7. Mountain Lovcen

Mountain Lovcen is a National Park and is a symbol of national pride. It represents one of the most striking natural features in Montenegro. It offers a panoramic view of the fortified city of Kotor, surrounding hill and the Bay of Kotor. For those who love sightseeing you can visit the nearby Njegos Mausoleum. He is famous and loved for writing “The Mountain Werath”, Montenegro’s national epic poem.

8. Sveti Stefan

Sveti Stefan is an incredible picturesque place along the Budva Riviera. It is situated on a rock island crammed full of terracotta - roofed houses. From the 15th century Sveti Stefan housed a simple fishing community, but in 1950s some had the idea to nationalize this small village. Residents were evicted and Sveti Stefan was transformed into a luxury town-hotel. Among its guests were Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Kirk Douglas.

9. Biogradska Gora National Park

This beautiful National Park features shimmering lakes, streams, lush green meadows and one of the few remaining primeval forests in Europe. Even tough it is one of the smallest national parks in Montenegro, it can offer great diversity when it comes to flora and fauna.

10. Ulcinj

Ulcinj is located at the southern tip of Montenegro near the Albanian border. It is an ancient seaport which was once known as the pirate capital of the Adriatic Sea. Now, city is famous for its beautiful beaches. The offshore island of Ada Bojana has several picturesque beaches as well. Minarets rising from the mosques in this largely Muslim city add to Ulcinj’s unique appeal.

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