Visit to Montenegro’s Former Capital, Cetinje

Sunday, we took half a day off and went to Cetinje. Cetinje is located about 30 minutes from Podgorica and was the capital of Montenegro from 1878 to around 1920, when Montenegro was a principality and later a kingdom, before it got incorporated into former Yugoslavia. It remained Montenegro’s administrational center until the parliament moved to what is now Podgorica (then Titograd) in 1946. It is a very pretty town and peaceful that now only has about 15,000 inhabitants but with a number of buildings that truly fit a capital. When I go to the newly independent states (but also here in the U.S.), I often think about the different ways that the countries are drawing from history and mythology to create national symbols and a unique identity. In the case of Cetinje, the symbols were instead foreign flags hanging outside some of the town’s most grandiose buildings, in an attempt to show where the former embassies had been; the embassies in themselves being a proof that this once was the capital of Montenegro.

Below are one of the main streets in the town center, Cetinje’s theater, the former Russian embassy with the flag still hanging outside, the former Palace, and Cetinje’s famous monastery. Beautiful park areas contributed to the peacefulness of the town. The grandiose buildings in combination with the small population almost gave the feeling of being in a place that had fallen asleep, but maybe it was because we were there on a Sunday. The day ended at a small vinoteca where we had a lovely meal with a number of traditional dishes.

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