We start from our Spiritual Montenegro tour meeting point at 8:30 am.
In order to reach the Old Royal Capital Cetinje, we drive via Budvaand take our first photo stop to enjoy the beautiful panorama of the Budva Riviera from the mountains above.
At 9:45 am we arrive at Cetinje, former capital and true treasure of Montenegrin cultural and historical heritage. The town’s architecture appears to be trapped in 19th and 20th century. There are concerted efforts to keep it that way.
First we enter the small Court Church of Ćipur, which was built by the last Montenegrin King Nikola I in 1890. It was built on the remains of the first Monastery in Cetinje in 1484 by the founder of the town Ivan Crnojević. Nowadays, this church serves as a mausoleum for the King’s and Queen’s remains.
As we walk further, we come to the Monastery of Cetinje.It is the legacy of Ivan Crnojevic, who was the ruler of the state of Zeta at the end of the 15th century. During the last 500 years this monastery has been the seat of all Montenegrin bishops.
In 1701 the Monastery was relocated and rebuiltin the current location.Even though the Turks destroyed it several times, the people continually rebuilt it. Contained inside are relics of Saint Peter of Cetinje, one the illustrious patrons of Montenegrin history. There are also two more extremely revered relics – the right hand of St. John the Baptist and a shard of the Holy Cross on which Jesus was crucified.
The first primary and secondary schools in Montenegro were established in the Monastery. Petar II Petrovic Njegos (1813 – 1851), the most famous Montenegrin ruler and poet, operated a print shop and a workshop for producing zinc cannon balls. The Cetinje monastery also served as a mausoleum to the Petrovic Dynasty - including Prince Danilo Petrovic, his wife Darinka, daughter Olga, as well as the great Duke Mirko Petrovic, bishop Sava Petrovic and others.
Cetinje Monastery represents the spiritual and political seat of the Montenegrin people.
Time for a short walk to our breakfast break.
The Old Royal Capital holds one very important relic – "Filermosa" - an exceptionally valuable icon of Virgin Mary decorated with ancient jewelry. The holy artifact traveled long distances through history to finally reach its resting place in Cetinje.
It is considered to be the first painting of the Mother of Christ painted by evangelist Luka in Jerusalem. Written history of the icon dates back to the 11th century.
It was kept for a long period in the Ostrog Monastery. Today it is located in the “Blue Chapel”, a specially designed room of the Art Museum of Montenegro (National Museum of Montenegro), only a few minutes walk from the Monastery of Cetinje.
After we finish our visit to Cetinje we head towards the capital of Montenegro – Podgorica. It is the administrative, economic, cultural and educational center of Montenegro. The city is located in the central part of the country. Before arriving we’ll have an opportunity to see the biggest lake in the Balkans – Skadar Lake, 70% of which is in Montenegro (30% in Albania)
Our primary point of interest in Podgorica is the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ (Saborni Hram Hristovog Vakrsenja). Arrival is planned for midday with about 45 minutes allotted for our visit.
This is the biggest Orthodox Church in Podgorica and one of the newest in Montenegro. The construction began in 1993 and finished in 2012. In the close proximity of the cathedral, there is an old Christian necropolis with foundations of a cathedral church dating from the first millennium.The temple is dominated by two 26.7 meters high brick towers. 17 bells are situated in its belfry. The weight of the heaviest one is around 11 tons - the largest in the Balkans.
An interesting bit of trivia: The frescos representing "Hell" were painted by Friedrich Engels, Carl Marx and lifelong president of Yugoslavia Tito.
Around 1 pm we begin the one hour journey towards our final destination - Ostrog Monastery. It is one of the holiest sites in Orthodox Christianity and the most popular pilgrimage site in Southeast Europe.
The Monastery is dedicated to Saint Basil (SvetiVasijije) of Ostrog. An amazing view of the Bjelopavlići plain can be seen from the monastery. According to stories of pilgrims and many witnesses, after praying to his relics, numerous have been cured or helped in lessening the difficulties in their lives. It is a meeting place of all theologies: the Orthodox, Catholics and Muslim have all come to pray for miracles in past centuries.
The Monastery was founded and built by Vasilije, the Metropolitan Bishop of Herzegovina in the 17th century. He died there in 1671, and as his body never decomposed, he was glorified as a saint.
The present-day look was given to the Monastery in 1923-1926, after a fire which had destroyed the major part of the complex. Fortunately, the oldest two little cave-churches were spared and they are the focal points of the monument holding the original 17th century frescos.
We have one hour to explore and enjoy Ostrog Monastery and the surrounding views.
At around 3:00 pm we head towards a nearby traditional restaurant in Bogetici to sample the best Montenegrin cuisine. At 4:30 pm we begin our enjoyable and scenic return journey to Kotor, allowing for a few photo stops along the way.
When applying, please consider that due to summer traffic jam and unpredictable delays on sights, the returning time could be later than proposed.
We always do our best to respect the time schedule.
SEE YOU ON THE TOUR!