Montenegro meaning “Black Mountain” is a country in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Seato the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovinato the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east and Albania to the south-east. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica, meaning the former Royal Capital City.
In the 10th century, there existed three Slavic principalities on the territory of Montenegro: Duklja, roughly corresponding to the southern half, Travunia, the west, and Rascia, the north. In 1042, archon Stefan Vojislav led a revolt that resulted in the independence of Duklja and the establishment of the Vojislavljević dynasty. Duklja reached its zenith under Vojislav’s son, Mihailo (1046–81), and his son Bodin (1081–1101). By the 13th century, Zeta had replaced Duklja when referring to the realm. In the late 14th century, southern Montenegro (Zeta) came under the rule of the Balšić noble family, then the Crnojević noble family, and by the 15th century, Zeta was more often referred to as Crna Gora (Venetian: monte negro). As the Crnojević dynasty disintegrated, Montenegro was ruled by its Bishops until 1696, and then by the House of Petrović-Njegoš until 1918. From 1918, it was a part of Yugoslavia. On the basis of an independence referendum held on 21 May 2006, Montenegro declared independence on 3 June of that year. Montenegro is classified by the World Bank as a middle-income country. Montenegro is a member of the UN, the World Trade Organization, theOrganization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, theCentral European Free Trade Agreement and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. Montenegro is currently an official candidate for membership in the European Union and official candidate for membership of NATO.
Pliny, Appian and Ptolemy mentioned the Docleatae as living in the maritime region, holding the town of Doclea (old Podgorica). In 9 AD the Romans conquered the region. Slavs colonized the area in the 6th century, and had by the 10th century formed a semi-independent principality called Duklja in suzerainty to the Byzantine Empire.
Duklja gained its independence from the Byzantine Roman Empire in 1042. Over the next few decades, it expanded its territory to neighbouring Rascia and Bosnia and also became recognised as a kingdom. Its power started declining at the beginning of 12th century. After King Bodin’s death(in 1101 or 1108) several civil wars ensued. As the nobility fought for the throne the kingdom was weakened and by 1186 it was conquered by Stefan Nemanja and incorporated into Serbian realm as a province named Zeta. After the Serbian Empire collapsed in the second half of the 14th century, the most powerful Zetan family, the Balšićs, became sovereigns of Zeta.
Ottoman rule and Metropolitanate
In the 16th century Montenegro developed a form of unique autonomy within the Ottoman Empire with Montenegrin clans being free from certain restrictions. Nevertheless the Montenegrins refused to accept Ottoman rule and in the 17th century raised numerous rebellions, culminating with the defeat of the Ottomans in the Great Turkish War at the end of that century.
Principality of Montenegro
Under Nicholas I, the Principality was enlarged several times in the Montenegro-Turkish Wars and was recognised as independent in 1878. Under the rule of Nicholas I, diplomatic relations were established with the Ottoman Empire. Minor border skirmishes excepted, diplomacy ushered in approximately 30 years of peace between the two states until the deposition of Abdul Hamid II. During this period, one of the major Montenegrin victories over the Ottomans occurred at the Battle of Grahovac. Grand Duke Mirko Petrović, elder brother of Knjaz Danilo. The glory of Montenegrin victory was soon immortalized in the songs and literature of all the South Slavs, in particular the Montenegrins in Vojvodina, then part of Austria-Hungary. This forced the Great Powers to officially demarcate the borders between Montenegro and Ottoman Empire, de facto recognizing Montenegro’s independence. Montenegro’s independence was recognized by Ottoman Empire at Treaty of Berlin in 1878.
The first Montenegrin constitution was proclaimed in 1855; it was also known as the Danilo Code.
Kingdom of Montenegro (1910–1918)
In 1910 Montenegro became a Kingdom and as a result of the Balkan wars in 1912 and 1913 (in which the Ottomans lost all Balkan land), a common border with Serbia was established, with Shkodër being awarded to a newly created Albania, even though the current capital city of Montenegro, Podgorica was the old border of Albania and Yugoslavia. In World War I in 1914 Montenegro sided with Serbia against the Central Powers, suffering a full-scale defeat to Austria-Hungary in early 1916. In 1918 the Allies liberated Montenegro, which was subsequently merged with Serbia.
During World War I (1914–1918) Montenegro was allied with the Allied Powers. From 15 January 1916 to October 1918, Montenegro was occupied by Austria-Hungary. During occupation, King Nicholas fled first to Italy and then to France, and the government transferred its operations to Bordeaux. When the Allies liberated Montenegro, thePodgorica Assembly was convened and voted to ban the king from returning and to unite the country with the Kingdom of Serbia on 1 December 1918. In the Christmas Uprising, a large part of the Montenegrin population, known as the Greens, rebelled against this decision to unify with Serbia and, led by captain Krsto Zrnov Popović, fought against the pro-unification forces, Whites.
The royal family was rehabilitated in 2011, by the government and today is headed by Crown Prince Nicholas II who has his own foundation.
Kingdom of Montenegro (1941–1944)
In 1941, Benito Mussolini occupied Montenegro and annexed it to the Kingdom of Italy. The Queen of Italy, Elena of Montenegroinfluenced her husband Victor Emmanuel III to suggest that Mussolini make Montenegro independent of Yugoslavia. After the spring of 1942, much of the Sandžak region, which was included in the state of Montenegro, was not actually controlled by its government. The area of the Bay of Kotor (the Venetian Cattaro) was annexed to the Dalmatian province of Italy until September 1943. After the departure of the Italians, Montenegro remained under the direct control of German troops, with a terrible and bloody guerrilla war ravaging the area. In December 1944 the German troops withdrew and Josip Broz Tito’s Partisans assumed control.
President Berisha and his Democratic Party pushed hard for radical reforms to create a market economy and democratic institutions internally, while bringing Albania back into the international mainstream after half a century of isolation.
The status of the union between Montenegro and Serbia was decided by the referendum on Montenegrin independence on 21 May 2006. A total of 419,240 votes were cast, representing 86.5% of the total electorate. 230,661 votes (55.5%) were for independence and 185,002 votes (44.5%) were against. The 45,659 difference narrowly surpassed the 55% threshold needed to validate the referendum under the rules set by the European Union. According to the electoral commission, the 55% threshold was passed by only 2,300 votes. Serbia, the member-states of the European Union, and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council all recognisedMontenegro’s independence. On 3 June 2006, the Montenegrin Parliament declared the independence of Montenegro, formally confirming the result of the referendum. Serbia did not object to the declaration.
Doracium, was an ancient town of Illyricum, which Hierocles calls the metropolis of the Provincia Praevalitana – a title which rightly belongs to Scodra. Wesseling has supposed that it might represent Dioclea, but this is not confirmed. Its precise location is not known.
Duklja or Doclea was once the principal city of the state of Duklja. The city was situated about three kilometers north from today’s Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital.
Malvesa was a town founded by the Romans in the extreme northeastern part of the province of Dalmatia in the 2nd century AD. It was a new town in a relatively remote area intended principally as a mining center.
Other towns were also established around the same time in northeast Dalmatia, also as mining colonies, including Domavia (nowGradina), Argentaria (near a silver mine), and the municipium S. (the name survives only as an abbreviation) near what is now Pljevlja in northern Montenegro.
Medun is a settlement located 13 km northeast of the capital Podgorica, Montenegro. The village houses the archaeological site of the ancient fortified city of Medeon, which was used throughout history until the end of the Middle Ages. It is situated in the clan area of the Gornji Kuči, one of the highland clans. In the 2003 census, it had 108 inhabitants.
Rhizon was an ancient settlement located near today’s Risan in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. Originally an Illyrian settlement, it was later a Roman city.
The Durmitor is a massif and the name of anational park in the northwestern Montenegro. The highest peak, Bobotov Kuk, reaches a height of 2,522 meters.
The massif is limited by the Tara River Canyon on the north, the Piva River Canyonon the west, and by the Komarnica River Canyon on the south. To the east, the Durmitor opens to a 1,500 m (4,921 ft) high plateau, called Jezerska Površ(Plateau of Lakes). The Sinjavina mountain is located to the east of Jezerska Površ plateau.
Biogradska Gora is a forest and a national park in Montenegro within Kolašin municipality.
Biogradska Gora is located in the mountainous region of Bjelasica in the central part of Montenegro between the rivers Tara and Lim, and is surrounded by three municipalities: Kolašin, Berane and Mojkovac.
Lovćen is a mountain and national park in southwestern Montenegro.
Mount Lovćen rises from the borders of the Adriatic basin closing the long ang twisting bays of Boka Kotorska and making the hinterland to the coastal town of Kotor.
Lake Skadar also called Lake Scutari, Lake Shkodër and Lake Shkodra — lies on the border of Montenegro with Albania, the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula. It is named after the city of Shkodra in northern Albania.
Prokletije meaning “Cursed Mountains”are a mountain range in theBalkans that extend from northern Albania to Kosovo and eastern Montenegro. Their highest point, Jezercë in Albania at 2,694 m (8,839 ft), is the tallest peak in the entire Dinaric Alps.