At the foothill of Mt Lovcen  there is  town -museum and century-old Montnengrin capital  Cetinje. Cetinje is mentioned for the first  time in a document from 1440. Church Vlaska with necropolis tombstone is also mentioned.  At first , Cetinje was built as a defensive rampart, when under the attacks of Ottoman Empire, Ivan Crnojevic moved the center of Zeta state from Zabljak to Obod ,nearby Rijeka Crnojevica and then to the Lovcen  valley where he had built his  residential   palace  in 1482. Two years later he had built the monastery and in 1485 he displaced  the seat of a metropolitan's residence of Zeta out of  Vranjina . Construction of Cetinje marked the end of history period of medieval Zeta, and  the period of Montenegrin history started. Nothing is saved of the Ivan Crnojevic  residence . According to engravings of Octoih , Crnojevic castle was a very impressive structure  built in the Gothic-Renaissance style, such as a monastery  did. Djurdje, Ivan` s son, established the first state printing press where were printed some Cyrillic religious books  of exceptional  beauty. The state of the Crnojevics ended in 1496, after  that  an urban stagnation period began and it  lasted next two centuries. However ,during the difficult period of a constant Turkish invasion historical and political importance of Cetinje  was growing. It became a place which eradiate  national energy and consciousness  of freedom.                                                                                                                                                        With Bishop Danilo, who was elected for Metropolitan by Montenegrin assembly in 1697.started a new epoch in the history and the  development  of Cetinje  and Montenegro. The idea of Montenegrin statehood originated during  the rule Crnojevic  started to be realized. Bishop Danilo, a founder  of the dynasty Petrvic- Njegos built  New Cetinje Monastery  in 1701 as a religious and political centre of Montenegro .To the records of many travelers who had shown interest in  Cetinje  and Montenegro  at the beginning of nineteenth  century Cetinje had about  seventy stone houses  beside the Monastery. During  the  period of Petar I Petrovic Njegos, the first profane house «Sionica» was built for the needs of Senate. The intensive construction  in Cetinje began only during the rule of Petar II Petrovic Njegos, who had built a bell-tower (Kami tower) in monastery complex, Tablja (1883)- a watchtower above the Monastery and his residence Biljarda. In that period also, the number of houses increased, there was the first Montnengrin   school  opened in the Monastery and a printing firm began with work. According to the   reformist  ideas , the school were opened, Legal Code was published and the town centre was  expa nding.The city core gained a specific cultural and historical appearance during the reign of King Nikola. In 1863, the first hotel «Lokanda» was built (torn down in 1979) . At the same year began a  construction of the palace of Prince Nikola. Soon after construction Maidens‘ Institute (1871) and Hospital Danilo I (1873) in 1875, Spiridon Gopcevic designed the first urban  plan of Cetinje.                                                                        The Decree of Berlin Congress (1878) on the recognition of Montenegro as the 15th European state in that time, can be taken as a formal beginning of International legal existence and political independence of Montengro. State independence had a strong  influence  on urban development of Cetinje. Next 30 years were marked by intensive construction of «the smallest capital in the world» which architectonic panorama displayed space and fine arts reflection of the social development of that period in general. Administrative, cultural and other public buildings were clustered around two main streets, Dvorska and Katunska. Many residential  buildings were erected, two parks were created, the main water supply was built, electricity supplied, a modern marketplace opened (Balsica Pazar). The construction of Zeta's House also began, and in 1896, on  the celebration for  opening  of Blue Palace, Prince Nikola proclaimed Cetinje as  a  permanent capital what urged an individual construction. In period that spanned the end of the 19th century and first 3 decades of the 20th, Cetinje experienced the urban change in total. What makes Cetinje special are the legation edifices, which were built in all larger European countries at  that time. It was also the period of the greatest cultural prosperity in which new schools were opened (Maidens’ Institute, Theological- Teacher-training school, and Grammar School). Zeta’s House was the first cultural object which housed the reading- room, library, museum and theater. Cultural- entertaining associations gave a strong seal on the cultural life of the city. In Cetinje there were a dozen tennis  courts ,Skating klub ,Ski society ,Golf club  and it started to play football. Six newspapers  and several magazines were published . But the  city`s development was slowed by The Balkans wars and The I World War .In the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slavs, Cetinje became the capital of Zeta state  and so it was  settled by the clerks from the other parts of the Kingdom. The Hipotekarna Bank ,two schools and many private houses were built  in that time. Soon after the administrative center was moved to Podgorica in 1950 ,Cetinje lost the role of the capital, but it still was the spiritual and cultural center of Montenegro. The Constitution from 1992, defined Cetinje as the capital again.                                                      Cetinje is on  671m above sea level, between Bay of Kotor and Skadar Lake, on the south karst continental piedmont area of Lovcen at the bottom of the Plain of Cetinje. Climate is influenced by the vicinity of the sea and Skadar lake, relief configuration is characterized by warm summer and moderate cold winters with a lot of snow. Cetinje is the city with the most atmospheric rainfall in Europe (4000 mm on a m2), but also with two thirds of sunny days per year.

The town  is spread over 910 km2 and has  20 thousand inhabitants. It is not far from Podgorica or Budva with which is connected by highways. From Podgorica you can reach Cetinje using an old road which leads through picturesque area beyond Skadar Lake and beautiful small town Rijeka Crnojvica. An old road from Kotor with over 20 serpentines, climbs up the cliffs of the Mt. Lovcen provides unforgettable view on the Bays of Kotor and Tivat. When these fantastic scenes vanish from the sight, the road leads through rocky landscape, right across a beautiful settlement Njegusi. The municipality of Cetinje includes The Lovcen National Park and a part of the Skadar Lake National Park.

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