Monastery tour; two main monasteries of Montenegro

Monasteries in Montenegro

My husband and I did not go to the Monastery tour by chance: even before the trip, I thoroughly studied all the sights of Montenegro via the Internet. Of course, I could not help but pay attention to one of the main Orthodox Shrines, located high in the mountains of a beautiful southern country. Therefore, even at home, we planned the first obligatory excursion and then never regretted it.

Price of the excursion: the excursion cost us 25 euros + lunch 10 euros + 5 euros for minibuses to Ostrog and back + candles.

Where to buy: we bought a tour on the Olympus website.

Excursion fees

The departure was early in the morning, at about 7. A comfortable bus picked up passengers along the route of the excursion. To my surprise, there were not so many people who wanted to go to other, even more expensive trips. Either our people are lazy to any kind of active rest (they prefer to sunbathe on the beach, not far from their place of stay), or few people are interested in Shrines and prefer to relax on excursions "Rafting" or "Jeep safari". In my opinion, the Monastery Tour is one of the main trips for everyone who decides to relax in Montenegro and undoubtedly deserves attention.

Since this excursion includes a visit to two Shrines: Ostrog and the Cetinsky Monastery, the guide suggested starting with Ostrog for the simple reason that after lunch we can stand in line for a very long time due to the large number of tourists and pilgrims who want to ...

Path to Ostrog

A few kilometers before the Shrine, we stopped at a roadside cafe, on the opposite side of which there was something like a monastery shop (despite the fact that the cafe itself also had an impromptu kiosk with souvenirs), where the guide strongly recommended buy candles and souvenirs, since according to her, we will not have time to buy all this in Ostrog itself. I admit honestly that at my own peril and risk, I decided not to succumb to her persuasion and buy everything you need on the spot.

After a while, a contented group packed to ears with all sorts of souvenirs was already sitting on the bus and actively asked when we would get to our destination. And now the mountains appeared, and with them a steep serpentine road. It is the path to Ostrog that I consider one of the most dangerous (although there was not a single fatal case), therefore we advise impressionable people to sit on the left and away from the window.

Place of transfer from large comfortable buses to minibuses

Montenegro is an ancient Mediterranean state with an ancient cultural heritage. The history of the region is closely connected with Orthodoxy, which is reflected in numerous architectural religious monuments. On the territory of the small country, there are about 6 dozen Orthodox monasteries, each of which reflects a particle of Montenegrin history.

For a long time, the male monastic communities of Montenegro have played an important role in its history. An inhabitant of one of the ancient monastic communities became the founder of the ruling Montenegrin dynasty. The monks took an active part in the fight against Turkish expansion.

Cetinje Monastery

The spiritual center of Orthodox Montenegro is the monastery in the name of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the city of Cetinje, which until the beginning of the XX century. was the capital of the Balkan state.


The Cetinje Monastery was founded in 1497 by the national hero of the Montenegrins - Ivan Chernoevich. Fleeing in Italy from the Turks who seized his possessions, the ruler made a vow, according to which he promised to build a temple in honor of the Mother of God in case of a safe return to Zeta, as Montenegro was called in ancient times. Upon his return to his homeland in 1484, Ivan builds in a hard-to-reach area at the foot of the Lovcen mountain formation.

Soon, the chair of Metropolitan Zeta was transferred to a small monastery, the center of which was a temple consecrated in honor of the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin. The first building was a fortified fortress with thick walls, in which narrow loopholes were cut. There is a moat and a fence made of stakes around it. At the end of the 15th century. Zeta territory falls under direct Ottoman rule. Gradually, the spiritual fathers of the Montenegrins took over the functions of secular rulers, leading the national resistance to the Turkish invaders.

The last destruction of the main Montenegrin monastery took place during the First World War. It was rebuilt again only after 10 years. The modern look of the Cetinje monastery was formed by the 90s. XX century.

Information for pilgrims

The monastery is included in the program of many excursion pilgrimage and tourist tours. Participants should remember that it is necessary to enter the holy territory in modest clothing that hides the knees, shoulders and chest.

Individual visitors can view the monastery daily from 8 am to 7 pm daily.

Saint Basil of Ostrog ended his earthly journey in the monastery he founded in 1671 and was immediately proclaimed a saint. His relics were placed in the ark, installed in the Vvedensky temple. At the place where he died, a grape vine sprouted from the rock, the fruits of which, according to the testimony of believers, have healing power.

In the lower monastery, which appeared in the 19th century, there is a church in the Holy Trinity and cells of the monastic brethren, consisting of 12 monks. In 2004, a church was erected on the slope in the name of the martyr Stanko, a 12-year-old boy whose hands were cut off by the Turks in 1712 for refusing to release a cross from them.

Montenegro is a pretty safe country. Of course, there is no heaven on earth, there are disadvantages and disadvantages everywhere, but Montenegrins certainly do not deserve what some media say about them.

In this article we will try to honestly talk about the situation in the country, attitude towards Russians, pros and cons. We will try to do without explicit embellishment of reality, but also not to write "horror stories". We often visit Montenegro, we know the local order well and can consider the situation from different angles.

The article was written based on the personal experience of a team of site authors, many of whom have lived in Montenegro for years. We are not against well-reasoned criticism, comments or clarifications, but we will suppress the transitions to personalities or unfounded "horror stories" in the comments.

Please refrain from discussing the political situation in the Russian Federation and Montenegro.

“Dangerous” in Montenegro: Should You Trust the Media?

Every spring, some horror stories about Montenegro begin to be shown on government channels. The facts are either very strongly distorted, or have nothing to do with reality at all. But many believe them. Someone even cancels an already paid vacation and loses money.

Montenegro is much safer than Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Egypt, and many Asian countries. The likelihood of becoming a victim of pickpockets or deception is lower here than in Spain, the Czech Republic or Italy.

Data from the personal experience of the site authors who have lived for a long time or regularly visit each of the countries listed above. Now decide for yourself whether this level of security suits you.

Why is there so much horror in the news then? No one has an exact answer, but we will express our subjective opinion. Here are the main reasons for intimidating Russian tourists:

1 The country's accession to NATO and the focus on integration into the EU. This is not to the liking of Russian politicians, who are used to considering Montenegro "theirs". Many have villas there, etc.

Where to live in Montenegro? Which city to choose? This article will focus on perhaps the most important thing when moving to Montenegro - choosing a place to live. Since Montenegro is very diverse, everyone chooses exclusively to their taste and according to priorities. This article outlines the main criteria that should be followed and what to look for.


As you know, Montenegro is a very small country - both in terms of territory and number of inhabitants (about 600 thousand people in total). Its territory is predominantly mountainous with very few plains. Montenegro is divided into 3 zones: seaside, central and northern.

We will not consider the northern region, i.e. it is more a zone for unity with nature than for permanent residence. I will only mention that the famous ski resorts Kolasin and Zabljak are located here.

It is important to note that the decision about where to live in Montenegro is best made by weighing all your wishes and possibilities, on the one hand, and understanding of the type of activity, on the other.

The capital of the country - the city of Podgorica - is located in the central part, an hour's drive from the coast and from the ski resort Kolasin. This also includes the cities of Cetinje, Danilovgrad and Niksic. The central zone contains financial and economic structures, government agencies, business activity, and production. Of the total population of the country, about 200 thousand people live in Podgorica.

The seaside zone is by far the most popular for foreigners to live in. Mainly focused on tourism and real estate. It can also be conditionally divided into 3 parts:


The cities of Montenegro have an extremely small population. There are 8 criteria to be guided by when choosing a city for living in Montenegro.

CRITERION Population, year-round urban activity, transport infrastructure

The most active cities are Podgorica (with a population of about 200 thousand people), Niksic (74 thousand people) and Bar (45 thousand people).

Podgorica and Bar are popular with expats who value space, urban structure and a sense of active urban rhythm. Other relatively active cities on the coast are Budva, Tivat, Herceg Novi. 75% of the tourist flow in the summer season is directed to the region of Budva and its suburbs. The number of people is increasing significantly. And all the attributes of the resort appear.

Speaking about the tourist attractiveness of a particular country, they always strive to find in it especially beautiful places, unique monuments of history and culture, as well as all the possibilities for a pleasant and useful stay. If we decide to determine the main attractions of Montenegro, then most likely we will have to admit that this country, with its originality and abundance of attractive features, allows us to call it one continuous attraction of the Balkan region.

Judge for yourself. Whichever side we look at Montenegro, we will surely find unique features peculiar only to this country. The beautiful nature both on the coast and in the mountainous part of the country amazes the imagination and is the object of protection even by international organizations. Almost every city has a rich history and many preserved monuments of architecture, religion and culture. The country is simply saturated with a rich spiritual heritage, as evidenced by numerous monasteries. Therefore, if we want to name the main attractions of Montenegro, we will have to describe almost the entire country. It would be more correct to group the most interesting places and objects according to some criteria, this will allow you to better understand the peculiarities of this country, help outline a plan for its study during your tourist visit and form an interesting excursion program.

Natural nature

Probably most tourists come to Montenegro because of its beautiful nature. Someone goes to a warm and clean sea, someone chooses high mountains and deep canyons, and some prefer all at once. Indeed, nature has generously endowed this country with enchanting beauty, because there are quite a few places from where a gorgeous and breathtaking view opens.

The Adriatic Sea is distinguished by its cleanliness, warm temperatures and the absence of large waves during the tourist season. The coast is strewn with numerous beaches, bays and bays, of which there are only the famous Boka Kotorska - the largest bay in the entire Adriatic, striking in its beauty and size, or the world famous sandy island of Ada Boyana, which has become a haven for naturists. The coastline offers both high rocky cliffs and gentle slopes. There are many large and small islands in the coastal zone, some of which, in addition to natural beauty, are interesting for the artificial structures erected on them, and in the rocks there are caves stunning in their beauty.

Most tourists go to Montenegro for the sea

There are several national parks on the territory of the country - thus the state preserves especially significant natural places and, at the same time, makes them attractive for recreation and tourism. The status of a national park is possessed by: Biogradskaya Gora in the north, Durmitor in the north-west, Prokletije in the north-east, Lovcen in the mountains near the coast and Lake Skadar in the south-east of the country.

The space of these parks is the ecologically cleanest corners of nature. In them you can find high mountains and virgin forests, transparent lakes and steep canyons of mountain rivers. In these places you can visit interesting objects, walk amazing routes, see numerous unique natural phenomena. Moreover, both in winter and in summer. However, in addition to national parks in Montenegro, there are enough protected places that can boast of the beauty and purity of the surrounding nature.

Places of worship

Montenegro is a very religious country, throughout its history religion has played a significant role and often even determined the statehood of the country. Therefore, a rich spiritual heritage and many religious sites and shrines have been preserved here. And the main confirmation of this is the abundance of Orthodox monasteries. Small and large, close to cities and in hard-to-reach areas, they are found everywhere. Many of them have a very long history of existence, the majority - in addition to their religious function, preserves the most ancient works of art, and almost all of them played a significant role in the formation of an independent Montenegrin state.

Speaking about the most famous Montenegrin monasteries, one can mention the Cetinje Monastery, the Moraca, Ostrog and Dzhurdzhevi Stupovi monasteries, however, in fact, there are many more of them. Many holy relics are kept in these monasteries to this day, pilgrims from many countries of the world come here, very often, regardless of their confessional affiliation.

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