Crystal clear Adriatic Sea, mountain landscape, picturesque valleys, comfortable climate make holidays in Montenegro popular for people of any age. There are no communication problems (minimal language barrier), the infrastructure of the resorts is well organized (relaxation is possible at any time of the year), and a huge number of architectural sights of the country are available for viewing. Among them, in the first place are the famous temples and monasteries of Montenegro, hidden in the thickets of luxurious greenery of rare plants, shrouded in an atmosphere of ancient legends, secrets of Montenegro.
An endless stream of tourists, pilgrims go to the main attractions of Montenegro. The cloister of the miracle worker Vasily Ostrozhsky is hidden in a rock at an altitude of 900 m above sea level (his relics are the greatest shrine in the world of the Orthodox Church). It has long been a haven for people who believe in help, the fulfillment of the most secret desires of the miraculous power of the Holy.
In a place filled with prayers of a special energy (next to the holy source, miraculous relics), they find help in solving problems, troubles. A sacred place appeared in the middle of the XVII century. The prison consists of two parts: the upper (older) and lower parts, created in the XIX century. In the lower zone is the church of the Holy Trinity with the relics of a 12 year old boy – the martyr Stanko.
The parts are divided by a steep path, about 5 km long, and you can overcome the distance (going uphill) along a special path in 30 minutes. Before the appearance of Vasily Ostrozhsky, hermit monks lived here in a cave hidden from the eyes of people. Gradually, two churches appeared in the sacred place: Holy Cross Exaltation, Vvedensky (Introduction of the Blessed Virgin Mary). In the last place, the Great Miracle Worker, who died in 1671, prayed. His relics (in the role of the main shrine of Ostrog) are stored in a small cave of the Vvedensky church.
The architectural, historical ensemble of Montenegro is the political, cultural center of the country. Here, on the site of the Zeta (the ancient South Slavic princedom that existed on the site of modern Montenegro), a monastery was built in 1484, which existed until the Turks destroyed it in 1692. The new building was destroyed several times, restored and was the residence of the Metropolitan of Montenegro in its ancient capital – the city of Cetinje, located at the foot of Mount Eagle Cross.
In the Middle Ages, buildings served as a powerful fortress. She was surrounded by a moat with water and stakes, fortified by loopholes. Now you can see part of the brick walls of the fortress. On the historical territory are the Palace-Museum of King Nikola, the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Here are the remains of the king and his wife Milena, gifts from the emperors of Russia, a valuable collection of prints from the 13-19 centuries. The first printing house of Montenegro worked here. The first high school of the country opened in 1880 within the walls of the building. The famous works of the “Oktoih Pyatoglasnik”, “Psalter”, “Prayer Book”, “Four Gospels” are among the protected shrines. Keeps one of the richest collections of shrines of the Orthodox Church.
One of the main Orthodox monuments of the Middle Ages in the Balkans is an architectural complex consisting of the building of the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady, a small church in honor of St. Nicholas and living quarters for monks. It is located along the right bank of the Moraca Canyon in a beautiful mountainous area. All tourist routes try to include in their programs a visit to this unusual place.
The magnificent building with one nave, a cylinder-shaped soda was erected in 1252 from soft tuff covered with plaster. Of the many frescoes (the 13th-century technique of mural painting has no analogues in beauty), created under the direction of Stevan (the son of the Serbian king). His grave is on a local graveyard.
Now 11 scenes related to the life of the prophet Elijah have been preserved from the interior. The main work on the restoration of the destroyed architectural treasures was carried out in the XVIII century by the artists of Montenegro. The exact time of the construction of the small church of St. Nicholas is not precisely determined: the monks consider it to be a more ancient structure than the cathedral. Of interest is the interior decoration made by ancient murals from frescoes.
Among the 1600 church sights of the country there are large, small, included in tourist routes, almost forgotten. You are invited to see them on your own or with local excursions. Such a building, called the symbol of invincibility of the inhabitants of the country, is located near Pluzine in the northern part of Montenegro. Among the pine forests near the “Pivsky Oka” in the XVI century there appeared an ordinary house with narrow loopholes that did not attract the attention of the Turks.
Later (after the construction of the hydroelectric power station on the Piva River) the building was moved 2 km higher. In its former place, a guest house (konak), a bakery, a cemetery have been preserved. Here they helped the rebels, sheltered the rebels, held negotiations with representatives of the Christian world. The building is built of stones of gray, pink shades. It has large dimensions: height 13m, length 23, width 15m. The appearance of the building did not cause enemies to rob him.
Inside, there are many old frescoes, a gold-plated iconostasis with a huge cross. A large number of manuscripts, paintings, books, and jewelry are also stored here. One monk lives here permanently. He keeps order, manages the bells, which are not on the roof of the main building, but under the roof of a separate annex. Come to the center of the spiritual life of Herzegovina (now the existing monastery is owned by the Serbian diocese) is proposed by boat on Lake Piva.
Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica
For a long time in the country there was no main church of the Orthodox Church. Since 1993, the first stone was laid in the future huge building, striking in size, splendor of decoration, design. The construction began in the presence of Patriarch Alexy II. The author of the project was architect Pedja Ristic. The building belongs to the Neo-Byzantine style. It included many new architectural elements. The height of the two levels of the cathedral is 41.5 m, the belfry is made of 17 bells (2 brought from Voronezh), 7 crosses sparkling with gilding.
The monumental view of the building is formed by huge blocks of stone, decorated with antique. The interior is characterized by an abundance of images made of small pieces of granite, marble. Mosaic “Noah’s Ark”, a fresco above the entrance measuring 53.5 m 2. In one of the largest temples in Europe at the same time accommodates up to 5 thousand believers.
Daibabe Monastery in Podgorica
At a distance of 4 km from the capital of Montenegro is an amazing place hidden in rocky caves. You can find it by a small building dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with belfries on the sides. The main premises are underground in caves located in the shape of a cross. Local legends say that as early as the III century, the first Christians were hiding in catacombs with their own source of water. The monastery appeared in 1897 and its first rector was the miracle worker Simeon of Daibab (his relics are stored here).
The first liturgy was performed in the cave church in January 1897. The dimensions of the cave used are 20 m in length and about 3 m in width. Chapels are hollowed out on the side walls; an altar is located in the center. The ceiling, the walls were painted by Simeon, his followers. The surviving murals are of great value. In an atmosphere of silence, peace, numerous pilgrims receive relief, hope for a favorable solution to their problems.
Cathedral of St. Tryphon in Kotor
The ancient building is depicted on the coat of arms of the city of Kotor. Saint Tryphon, repeating the path of Jesus Christ, is considered the patron saint of the city. The cathedral in his honor was laid in 1166. Previously, this place was a church, built in 809 by the noble townsman Andrii Saracenis. It was he who bought the relics of St. Tryphon au merchants of Venice.
The devastating earthquake of 1667 required the rebuilding of the bell tower of the cathedral. They are made in the form of high towers (up to 35 m high) made of special stone brought from the island of Korcula. Above the entrance is a window in the shape of the famous “outlet”. The ancient frescoes of the interior are poorly preserved. But even now, under centuries-old layers of stucco, lime on the apse, nave arches fragments of Byzantine-style paintings are revealed.
The exact time, the author of their writing remains the secret of the cathedral. The origin of the rare wooden crucifix in the church is also unknown. The relics of St. Tryphon are considered the main shrine of the Cathedral. In the sarcophagus, standing to the right of the entrance, lies the body of Andria Saracenis. The Cathedral, as a preserved example of the style of Romanesque architecture, is a World Heritage Site.
Church of St. Luke in Kotor
A modest, not conspicuous temple, standing in the historical part of Kotor, is in fact a famous landmark and the oldest church in Montenegro. It was built in 1195 at the expense of the rich feudal lord Kazafragi (a memorial inscription testifies to this). In the current church there are two altars: Catholic and Orthodox), which is rarely found in temples of the world. The two branches of the Christian religion lived here peacefully, in harmony. The main shrines of the cathedral are particles of the relics of St. Luke, the martyrs of Orestes, Mardarius, Auxentius.
Among the interior, fragments of ancient frescoes by Italian, Cretan masters of the 17th and 18th centuries have been preserved. In a small chapel owned by the church, there is a unique iconostasis depicting Christ in the image of the King. The temple opens on holidays, before the planned excursions, weddings, baptisms. An interesting fact is the burial of local residents inside the building. Its entire floor consists of grave gravestones. During the great earthquake of 1979, this church was the only building that was not damaged.
Church of St. Nicholas in Kotor
On Grets Square in the old center of Kotor rises a relatively young Cathedral building, erected in honor of the patron saint of travelers, sailors St. Nicholas. Historically, the existence of a Dominican monastery in this place, turned into a soldier’s barracks for Napoleon’s army, is historically confirmed. After the destruction of the church was built here, life, which broke off the fire of 1896. A new temple was erected on its foundation in 1909.
The building is in line with the pseudo – Byzantine architectural style. At the entrance are two tall belfries. Among the interior decoration stands the iconostasis of three meters high, created in 1908 by Czech artist Ziegler. The treasury of a beautiful building contains many valuable documents, icons, art objects, clothes. The most interesting are the Three-Handed icon, the book “The Sacrifice of Abraham of 1899”, the image of Nicholas the Wonderworker in the form of a mosaic at the entrance. In the courtyard you can use a source of healing water. Services are held daily.
Church on the Island of the Virgin
The history of the creation of the ancient church on the reef, which turned into an island in the original construction way, annually attracts many tourists to the city of Perast. Virgin Mary, living on a reef, protects the local sailors. As a token of gratitude, the locals regularly spend here a feast of fashinada. On decorated boats, they swim around the island three times and throw stones into the water, strengthening the shore.
In such a strange construction way, for almost two centuries, stones were collected on the sunken ships, reefs, a stable platform was formed. It grew an ancient landmark of the country church. The ground floor of the building is decorated with icons, paintings of artists of the 17th century, an organ sounds, whose age is 300 years. The altar is made of four types of valuable snow-white marble and is decorated with the image of the face of the Holy Virgin. It illuminates the interior of the chandelier made of real Murano glass, made almost 3 centuries ago. The archaeological museum is invited to see old exhibits: Roman crosses, a fountain, silver roots.
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Lifting mechanisms, lights, bells and other elements belonging to ships of different countries at many times. On the second floor are amazing ancient amphoras, jugs, mysterious captain’s chests. A collection of paintings depicting ships, the olive stele of Diva, adorning the bow of a ship in the Middle Ages. Among them is a unique icon of the Holy Virgin, embroidered by a woman from Perast, who had been waiting for 25 years for the return of her sailor husband. Thousands of plates (gold, silver, bronze) are mounted in the walls of the building. They were presented by sailors (the custom still exists) in gratitude to the Virgin for a successful voyage.
Cathedral Church in Bar
A magnificent building was built on the site of the construction of the XVI century in 1863. The last reconstruction was carried out in 2016. The cathedral was consecrated in the name of the first ruler of Montenegro, Jovan Vladimir, who accepted the death of a martyr on the cross. The snow-white architectural creation is decorated with three golden, sparkling domes. They are trophies taken during the Austro-Hungarian occupation in 1918. All bells, guns, cores were remelted and new ones were made. For the past few decades, the cathedral has been the main Orthodox church in the city.
For the manufacture of walls, a beautiful-looking solid stone (red limestone) was used. On the facade there is a window in the form of a “rose outlet”. Inside the cathedral, frescoes with images of Saints have been preserved. The cathedral church is called the largest religious building in Montenegro. Its height is 41 m, an area of 1200 m2. Services are held daily. In a special room of the amphitheater, events are held for cultural and spiritual development of the population.
In 1116, the construction of Hradiste began on the site of ancient buildings (Grajevine) and the old Greco-Roman cemetery. It became a monument of fresco painting of the Middle Ages in Montenegro. The surviving ensemble includes a cell building, the ruins of a protective wall, a cemetery, and the structures of three churches.
- Saint Sava. One-nave building of alternating rows of white, red stone and a belfry with three bells. The iconostasis was painted by Nicholas Aspiotis in 1864.
- St. Nicholas. Built in the XII century, painted by a fresco master from Budimlya. Among his creations is the fresco “Mammal” (patroness of young mothers). In antiquity, mother’s gifts that did not have breast milk were left next to her. A luxurious carved iconostasis appeared here in 1796.
- Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The small building is located on the upper platform next to the cemetery. The frescoes depict saints from the Nemanich family.
The buildings suffered greatly from destruction during the invasion of the Tatars, the French, during the war of 1941, from a severe earthquake.
Podmaine Monastery in Budva
Historical facts indicate the emergence of a Christian structure at the foot of Mount Ostrog or in a place called Maina, around the time of the reign of the Nemanichi dynasty. For a long period of time here was the residence of the country’s metropolitans. Within its walls, Negosh wrote a literary work, “The Crown of the Mountains,” which became the literary monument of Montenegro. The buildings were given a new life by the modern restoration and opening of the complex in 1995. The complex includes two churches dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The large building was renovated in 2000. The icon painter again portrayed the scenes of the Last Judgment, placing among the sinners the image of the communist leader Broz Tito of Yugoslavia. The small church (4 m long and 2.5 m wide) is a catacomb of the first Christians and is located under cells. The building was built in the XII century. A stone water tank is installed in the center. She is famous for amazing stone carving. There is an inscription in the room, indicating that the last restoration took place in 1630.
There is a written mention of the structure that appeared in honor of the soldiers of King Dushan in the middle of the XVI century. The novices of the Decana parish came here after a haircut. The building was often destroyed by wars, natural disasters. Now it is fully restored. On the walls of the south and north sides are visible traces of former buildings, a cell building with narrow windows in the form of loopholes, a belfry with a bell. Inside the old building, fragments of two layers of ancient painting, the original frescoes, have been preserved.
They depict scenes from the lives of saints and are a matter of pride. The vault of the room is decorated with compositions covering important gospel events: the Present, Christmas, and the Crucifixion. On it are six medallions depicting Christ, Our Lady of Oranta, and saints. Two cells are located in the upper part of the building (Saint Sava worked in them before traveling to the Holy Mountain).
On the territory there is a source (Savvina Voda), which helps pilgrims treat diseases of the stomach. According to legend, the soldiers of King Dushan were healed of typhoid fever by this water. It is also proposed to see an old oak tree under which Saint Sava sat. The complex is located on a plateau above St. Stephen.
High in the mountains, near the villages of St. Stephen and Pržno, not far from a stream that smells of peaches (where the name of the building came from), an ancient monastic monastery lurks. The religious shrine of Montenegro appeared in 1059. After severe destruction, a new stage in her life began in 1844. The new church of St. Nicholas (the original construction was carried out in 1413), together with the Holy Trinity Church and monastery cells, are included in the architectural ensemble, which is a landmark of the country.
Along with the tour, you can sit at a stone table where the council of elders made crucial decisions of the Middle Ages. Visit the museum with a treasury. It contains a valuable collection of icons, ancient artworks, ancient weapons. Manuscript books (among them the Gospel of the 16th century), documents of the Pashtrovich era, an old monastery seal, the golden cross of Dushan. In the cells there is a valuable library with a total number of books over 5,000 copies.
In the current monastery for nuns live 8 sisters. They serve the buildings included in the monastery ensemble. Today it includes the construction of three temples. In 2003, a monastery was founded on the site of the ancient church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (built in the XIV century, destroyed by fires, an earthquake). His consecration took place on the Epiphany Eve. You can still consider the preserved foundation of the ancient structure.
During the construction process, the remains of the pastoral martyrs of the XIV century were found. Archbishop Amphilochius laid the foundation in 20005 for a small cathedral dedicated to members of the Romanov family who were martyred. The remains of the XIV century sufferers were first placed under the altar of a large church, and then buried in the foundation of the Romanov temple.
The third temple (paraclis) is located in the cell building. It is dedicated to the famous saint of the VI century, who founded a large number of temples. Located next to Chelobrodo Hill. It offers a panorama of the most beautiful part of the Adriatic Sea of Montenegro.
Church of the Archangel Michael in Herceg Novi
The Orthodox Church, whose age is just over 100 years old, is considered the pearl of the Montenegro region. It stands in the center of the old quarter, on the Stefan Vukmcha square in Herceg Novi. The unusual architectural style is associated with the participation of several architects in its construction. Each of them expressed his preference for the Romanesque, Byzantine, Gothic, Baroque, Islamic architectural heritage. All elements blend in harmoniously and form a unique appearance of the structure.
The interior is striking in its exquisite beauty. The altar and iconostasis were made by master Bilinich from beautiful, rare marble. Many icons are considered rare, unique. They are written by Czech artist Ziegler. The local library holds a large number of church books, including from Russia. The building is surrounded by majestic palm trees. On the beautiful square there are many cozy cafes, places for relaxation, viewing the temple.
Church of the Savior in Herceg Novi
Behind a high stone fence on the main street (Negosheva) is an old temple complex consisting of the churches of the Savior and St. George. The first was built in 1713 from stone blocks brought from the island of Croatia. It received its final appearance in 1864 as a result of a complete restructuring, starting with the foundation. In the middle of the next century, an interesting iconostasis appeared in the building, a belfry with three bells.
Among the many decorations of the interior are several Russian icons. The Church of St. George was built at the end of the 17th century. This place used to be a Turkish mosque. The main shrine is a round icon depicting Saints Peter and Paul. The archives store old books, icons, church dishes made of silver. Behind the fence is an old cemetery, a two-story building of the residence of the bishops of 1700, a school where the future famous poet and priest of Montenegro Negosh studied.
The current complex (10 monks live in it), surrounded by a garden with many exotic plants, is the center of Orthodoxy among the settlements along the Boka Kotorska Bay. It is named after the first archbishop of Serbia, St. Sava. The complex includes three buildings: Malaya Uspenskaya, Bolshaya Uspenskaya and St. Sava Church (it is located next to the upper cemetery). The Small Cathedral (10 m long and about 6 m wide) was built in 1039.
The main preserved value is the ancient frescoes made in the Byzantine, Gothic styles. At the end of the 18th century, under the leadership of the Venetian architect Nikola Foretic, the Great Temple was built in the style of luxurious baroque. The iconostasis of the 18th century, consisting of separate zones created in the traditions of the Orthodox style of the east, has been preserved.
Sacred relics are considered to be a crystal cross belonging to Savva and decorated with rubies, the relics of Tsarina Helena, George the Victorious, the shroud of 1642. Icon collection, library containing over 5,000 rare manuscripts, handwritten gospel. The church of St. Sava was built by him in the 1230s. Now it is used as the parish church of the monastery.
Banya Monastery in Risan
The existing convent, founded in the 15th century, is located on the shore of the Gulf of Risan. In ancient times, there were Roman baths, which gave the name to the new building. In the XVII century, a temple was erected on the foundation of an ancient medieval fortress in honor of St. George the Victorious. Particles of the relics of the great martyr are the main shrine. The existing look was created during the restoration in 1729, carried out at the expense of wealthy sailors of the region.
Now here you can see old icons, clothes used during religious rituals. It is skillfully embroidered with silver, gold threads, decorated with gems. Many faces of saints are made using the techniques of ancient embroidery. The library archive contains a large amount of church literature. It is allowed to visit the interior with a guided tour, groups of pilgrims when performing the prescribed form of clothing and observing all the rules.