Cetinje has always been and remains the cultural and spiritual center of Montenegro. The city located at the foot of mount Lovcen, was founded in 1482 when during the battles with the Turks the ruler of the country Ivan Crnojevic had to move the capital from the Zabljak fortress (Lake Skadar) to a more inaccessible place. The city gained its name from the name of the river Cetina flowing through the valley. Cetinje isn’t a tourism center as most of the coastal cities, but its value in the touristic sphere is still quite significant. The city stores many cultural and historical values that have a great meaning for Montenegro – many museums, monuments, ministry of culture and the official residence of the countries president.
From the time of its foundation the city was the center of Yugoslavian Orthodox church and also the main base of the battles with Turkish invaders. The city developed the most during the ruling of king Nikola I Petrovic Negus – many buildings that were ruined by the Turks were reconstructed at that time. After World War II the city became developing as the industrial center of Yugoslavia – a textile and shoe manufacture were opened here, they closed after the break-up of Yugoslavia and nowadays the city lives mostly by tourism.
Since 1946 the countries capital is Podgorica – a big, dynamic, modern, fast developing city, but Cetinje remains one of the most attractive touristic places due to its museums, galleries, archives, art academies and faculties.
Almost every building in Cetinje has a great historical value as they have witnessed all the major historical facts and happenings.
- The oldest sight of the city is the Vlaska church built in 1405. It stores the frescoes of Greek masters, and its fence was built from the weapons that were taken from the Turkish warriors after the battles.
- The main sight of the city is the Cetinje monastery built in 1483. It stores one of the main Orthodox sanctuaries – right hand of John the Baptist and the particles of the True Cross and also the remains of St Peter of Cetinje. There used to be the first publishing house of Montenegro, the first book on the Cyrillic alphabet was printed here.
- Not far away from Cetinje you can see the glass pavilion with the relief map of Montenegro. It was made by the Austrian officers in 1917, nearly every building of that time can be seen in the smallest details.
- King Nikolas Palace (1867) is an important historical monument. The museum opened in the palace stores exhibits of archeological, ethnographic, historical value, among them are the collections of artifacts, weapons, stamps, emblems, flags and photographs.
- The Biljarda palace (1838) is worth seeing. Nowadays the formal residence of Peter Petrovic Negus the Second stores the exhibition of the works written by this Montenegrian ruler, poet and writer.
- Eagle cliff is a place where the founder of the Petrovic dynasty – Danilo I is buried. From here there is a wonderful view of the city.
- A must-see is the Lovcen mausoleum on the so-named mountain. It is located at a height of 1660 m above the sea level within 15 km from Cetinje. The famous ruler – Peter Petrovic Negus the Second is buried here. The mausoleum was built by a project of the famous sculptor Ivan Mestrovic and there is a spectacular view opening from here – you can see Podgorica, Lake Skadar and in the most clear days the coast of Italy on the other side of the Adriatic sea.
There are many festivals and celebrations, dedicated to music, art and sculpture held mostly during the summer period.
Cetinje is a symbol of Montenegrian nation and state, founded in the Middle Ages in the time of struggle for independence and freedom. The city is a symbol of honor, courage and loyalty towards ones country!