The Skadarsko Lake and Rijeka Crnojevica

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The last habitat of the pelicans in Europe, the biggest bird reservation in Europe, one of the last freshwater marshes in the Mediterranean, the largest lake in the Balkans, one of the biggest natural and historical attractions in Montenegro! All these superlatives are ascribed to Skadar lake.

The lake is located in the Zetsko – Skadarska valley 7km far from the sea. Two thirds of it belongs to Montenegro and 1/3 is located on Albanian territory. Depending on the water level, the lake surface varies from 370 to 530km2. A Montenegrin part of the Skadar lake, with 40 000m2 surface together with the coast, was proclaimed national park. The lake has crypto-depression which means that some parts of its bottom are below sea level. There are around 30 such places and they are called “oke”. The deepest “oko” is Radus, at least 60m deep. The average depth of “oko” is 6m.

While cruising along the lake, one can notice its jagged coastline with many bays, islands and peninsulas projecting into it. The coast is swampy, covered with high reeds, while the lake surface is covered with a carpet made of swampy plants with yellow and white chestnuts, and a special plant called kesoranja. The southern part of the lake is rocky and it contains the forests of the horse chestnuts.

By Ramsar convention in 1996, Skadar lake was included in the swamps world list as an important habitat of water birds. The trademark of this lake is the curly pelican. Around 40 fish species live in the lake and the most interesting among them are autochthonous species such as carps and bleaks. It is interesting that even some saltwater fish might be found here – eel, salmon and many other species.

In the basin around Skadar lake, there were around 20 monastery complexes. That is why this area was called “Zeta’s Holy Hill” (Zetska Sveta Gora). Lesendro and other fortifications bear witness to battles fought here between Montenegrins and Turks. Monasteries, churches, fortifications and sacral monuments recall memories of the old rulers, the Balsic family and the Crnojevic family.

Islands

These numerous island are not only interesting as bird paradises but also as cultural and historical monuments that bear witness to the earlier importance of this area.

Vranjina island is a picturesque fishing colony. St. Nikola’s monastery, recently restored by father Nikola, who was a treasurer in Hilandar for ten years, is situated here. King Nikola’s daughters used to spend summer vacations on the island, in a palace which was destroyed.

Grmozur islet is called “Montenegrin Alcatraz”. It is the islet with the remains of an old Turkish fortress used as a prison for King Nikola’s political opponents who were non-swimmers. Grmozur is also a “bird island”.

On Starcevo islet, there is a renovated church from XIV century, renovated tavern and the tomb of Bozidar Vukovic – Podgoricanin, the printer of the first Cyrillic books.

Krajinski archipelago is comprised of a series of around 50 islands and crags along the southwestern coast.

Golubovo lake (Dove’s lake) is the biggest nesting area of the silver seagull in Montenegro. It is interesting that the saltwater birds build their nests on this freshwater island. It is possible to photograph the nests and birds, but one should not touch the eggs because seagulls are a protected species.

On Beska island, there is a memorial church of Jelena Balsic. If you are lucky, you might see flocks of rock doves or little owls.

Fifteen minutes southeast from the seagull island, there is a heron island known as Omerova gorica. Among the laurel trees, there is a colony of 40 nests of gray herons described during the 70’s as the only known colony of herons built on laurels. In recent years white herons might be seen among the gray herons. As an endangered species, herons are protected by the law.

The best place to finish your visit to the island is Muricka beach, the only sandy beach on the island which can be compared with the most beautiful Adriatic beaches. On the island, there is a restaurant where one can enjoy carp from Skadar lake served under the open sky. If you want to visit bird island, the boats can be rented from local fishermen. If you do not like long cruises, you may reach the beach from land.

Rijeka Crnojevica On the lake coast, there is a place known as a metropolis of Montenegrin medieval state, Rijeka Crnojevica. This small fishing place used to be a very important trade center. The Montenegrin rulers enjoyed the climate here. Here the first book in Cyrillic script was printed. The fishing places on “oke” were of great importance for this area. There are many of them in this area and they abound with fish. Prior to Balkan wars, Rijeka Crnojevica had many workhouse, and the first pharmacy in Montenegro was open right here as well as the first arms workhouse. In the “Marica” factory, pearls from fish scales were made.

The tourist agency MONTENEGROEXPRESS organizes cruises, lake visits, lunch in Montenegrin ethno style and many additional excursion programs. Tel: (381 81) 245–470.

Perast

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Perast is  situated  12 km  west  from  Kotor  and  represents  the  best  preserved  baroque  area  in  the  Adriatic. The  town  reached  the  highest  point  in  it’s  development  in  the  17th and  18th century  along  with  the  strengthening  of  it’s  own  navy. At  that  time  the  most  beautiful  buildings  arose  in  this  fortified  town. The  palaces  of  the  famous  naval  captains  from  this  area  belong  to  the  baroque  style  and  they  were  built  at  the  time  of  the  navigation  flourished. The  most  famous  of  them  are: The  Bujovic  from  the  year  1693, The  Zmajevic, Badovica  and  Smekia.

Perast

The  most  prominent  cultural  monuments  are:

– The  Church  of  St. George’s
– The  Parsons  Church
– The  Lady  of  Skrpjel
– The  Church  of  St.George’s is founded  in  the  period  from  15th -17th century. It  has a rich  church  treasure.

The  Parsons  Church, whose  building  started  in  the  year  1740,  by  the  project  of  the  Venetian architect Gisele  Beati. Only the belfry  and  apse  were  built  whereas  the  shape  of  the  church  as  a  whole  is  known  thanks  to  well-preserved  wooden  schemes.

The St. George’s church erased up  in  the  islet  in  front  of  Perast. It  belonged  to  the  Benedictine  moister  built  in  the  12th century.

The  Lady  of  Skrpjel, the  baroque  church  built  in  the  year 1630, in  the  artificial islet  in  front  of  Perast, in  which  there  was  the  small  chapel  in  1452. It  owns  a  rich museum with a collection of paintings of the famous  Italian  artist. The  church  has  been  decorated  with  68  paintings  by  Tripo  Kokolja  a  painter  from  Perast the  most  famous  name  of  our  baroque  painting  art  from  the  end  of  the  17th century.

 

Mimosa Festival

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For four decades, traditional festival of mimosa has been organized in Herceg Novi from the end of December till early March every year. Tourist representatives of this town and a group of journalists founded this festival in honour of the first winter flower – mimosa – the herald of spring. The Mimosa festival starts in carnival atmosphere, and ends with public trial to the carnival at the main City Square.

Mimosa Festival

In the meantime, during the eight-nine weeks of the festival, many theatrical, music, literary and sports events, as well as fine art exhibitions, are organized in the town. Still, masked balls for children and adults, organized in the “Plaza” (“The Beach”) hotel, fishing festivals and mimosa picking along the Herceg Novi Riviera, are the most attractive parts of the festival, as well as a several day long exhibition of flowers in the “Topla” hotel.

Herceg Novi winter art salon, gathering only the artists from former Yugoslavia for the time being, is also organized within the festival in gallery Benkovic every year. Three most successful artists between two Salons are awarded for painting, graphics, and sculpture.

During the Mimosa festival, special caravan with girls (“mazoretke”), trombonists and masks, carrying first mimosas, are guests in bigger towns of Montenegro, Serbia and abroad. At the same time, the caravan is an original way of promoting attractive tourist offer of Herceg Novi Riviera and Bay of Boka, and Montenegrin seaside in general.

Kotor Carnival

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Every year in February, during the season of carnivals, there is a carnival in famous Promenade of Kotor, which gathers hundreds of local residents and guests in masks. Apart from the traditional procession down the city streets and squares, the main “culprit” for all last year problems – the Carnival, is burnt in the Promenade.

Kotor Carnival

Especially for this occasion, the owners of small boats redecorate the boats, contributing in that way to this interesting happening. The event ends with traditional evening masked ball in the hotel “Fjord”, where the most successful carnival masks are awarded.

www.kotorkarneval.com

Theater City Festival

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An international, worldly known festival of theater, music, literature and fine arts, is organized outdoors in Budva every summer, from July 1, till August 20. Numerous plays, dominant in theater life in Montenegro and Serbia, have been created on Budva’s stages. Owing to the visits of distinguished theatrical ensembles from the neighboring and other countries, this metropolis of Montenegrin tourism becomes an international capital of most distinguished artists during summer.

Theater City Festival

Apart from the plays, numerous concerts of domestic and worldly known ensembles and most prominent performers of classical music, are also held. Often, the artists give a performance in very acoustic ambiance of ancient sacral buildings in Budva. There are also many fine arts exhibitions in Budva’s galleries. Already affirmed painters, as well as those just graduated from the Cetinje Academy are presented here.

Within the Theater City event, the famous Square of Poets also has a long tradition, and gathers the most eminent writers from Yugoslavia and other countries. The most successful authors are awarded the prize of the Square of Poets. On the same occasion, the prestigious Stefan Mitrov Ljubisa prize is awarded for literature.

www.budvatheatre.cg.yu

Film Festival

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Since 1998, every year, early in August, Yugoslav Film Festival has been organized in the Kanli tower in Herceg Novi. It has a competition character, and it gathers many domestic filmmakers. Almost all segments of film production are assessed, and a five-member jury awards the most successful ones festival Grand Prix, as well as golden, silver and bronze “Mimosas”.

Film Festival

Except for nominations and presentation of domestic films made between two festivals, numerous shows and discussions on the film production, as well as on other topics related to this subject, are also organized.

The organizer of the Yugoslav Film Festival is JUK Herceg Novi, supported by the Ministry for Culture of the Republic of Montenegro and the Assembly of Herceg Novi Municipality.

Muzika

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Istorijske prilike u Crnoj Gori i vjekovne borbe za oslobodjenje, nijesu pogodovale intezivnijem razvoju muzičke kulture. Arhivski podaci o kotorskim orguljama iz 1488. i “Oktoih”, “Psaltir” i druge crkvene knjige, stampane na Cetinju ili Obodu izmedju 1494. i 1496. najstariji su značajni tragovi muzičke kulture u Crnoj Gori.

Sedam velikih liturgijskih inkunabula venecijanskog izdavaca L. A. Djunte s kraja XV i početka XVI vijeka, sačuvanih u samostanu Sv. Klare u Kotoru, kao i 15 orgulja gradjenih kasnije na crnogorskom primorju, ukazuju na kontinuiranu crkvenu muzičku praksu u nasim krajevima. Osnivanje franjevačke “skole pjevanja” u XIX vijeku u Kotoru, uslovilo je i prve pokusaje stvaranja na području duhovne muzike. I pored njegovanja horske muzike i povremenog okupljanja grupa tamburasa i duvača, svjetovna muzička praksa gotovo do polovine XIX vijeka najvise zivi u narodnoj pjesmi i igri, a naročit udio u njoj ima guslarska pjesma.

montenegro attractions

Najstarije pjevačko drustvo, kotorsko “Jedinstvo” osnovano je 1839. godine. Godine 1870. na Cetinju su započele pripreme oko osnivanja Prve crnogorske vojne muzike. Sa regrutovanjem kadra islo je veoma tesko jer se u Crnoj Gori vise cijenila puska, nego duvacki instrument. Druga crnogorska vojna muzika osnovana je 1889. Muzičkom obrazovanju najvise paznje poklanjano je u Djevojačkom institutu na Cetinju (1869 – 1913).

Prvi crnogorski skolovani muzičar bio je Jovan Ivanisevic (1860-1889). Ovaj pasionirani stvaralac, autor horova, minijatura za klavir, za orkestar i solo pjesama koje su se sa uspjehom izvodile u Pragu tokom njegovih studija na Orguljskoj skoli, tragično je zavrsio zivot prije svoje tridesete godine. U XIX vijeku nastalo je nekoliko operskih djela prema libretima inspirisanim Crnom Gorom. Drugoj generaciji crnogorskih muzičara skolovanih u Pragu pripadaju Aleksa Ivanovic (1888-1940) i Jovan Milosevic (1895-1959). Kao pedagozi i horovodje, oni su svoju dugogodisnju plodnu djelatnost najvise vezali za Podgoricu i Cetinje.

svjetskog rata bile su u Crnoj Gori dvije muzičke skole: na Cetinju od 1929. (pri pjevačkom drustvu “Njegos”) i od 1937. u Podgorici (pri pjevačkom drustvu “Branko”). Poslije Drugog svjetskog rata, naročito se ističu kulturno-umjetničko drustvo “Njegos” na Cetinju, “Nikola Djurkovic” u Kotoru i, naročito, “Stanko Dragojevic” u Titogradu (Podgorici), koje nastavlja crnogorsku muzičku tradiciju, učestvujuci na festivalima i takmičenjima amaterskih horova u zemlji i inostranstvu.

Bisernice Boke: www.bisernice.cg.yu

Posebnu ulogu u muzičkom zivotu Crne Gore odigrao je Radio Titograd, koji je svoju prvu emisiju dao 30. IV 1949. godine, a u okviru kojeg tada djeluje vise zapazenih vokalnih i instrumentalnih ansambala i čija se redakcija narodne muzike uspjesno bavi sakupljanjem i ozivljavanjem narodnog melosa. Visegodisnji saradnik Radio Titograda bio je Ilija Lakesic (1908 – 1973), autor jedne simfonije i vise orkestarskih djela. U okviru Radio-Titograda, 1959. je obnovljen Simfonijski orkestar sa kojim saradjuju, kao dirigenti ili solisti, eminentni crnogorski i evropski umjetnici.

Godine 1946/47. na Cetinju je osnovana muzička skola koja je 1949. prerasla u srednju muzičku skolu (od 1951-58. djelovala je u Kotoru, od 1958. u Titogradu). Nize muzičke skole osnovane su: 1947. u Titogradu, 1948. u Kotoru, zatim u Herceg Novom, Niksicu, Tivtu, Ivangradu (Beranama), Pljevljima, Budvi, Baru, Bijelom Polju.

Geografski polozaj i kulturno-istorijski razvoj Crne Gore bili su vazni faktori u oblikovanju narodne pjesme i svirke. Razlikuje se nekoliko muzičko-folklornih područja” centralno, sandzačko, primorsko, plavsko-gusinjsko itd. Takodje, ima nekoliko različitih skupina crnogorske vokalne narodne muzike, a sto se tiče vokalno-instrumentalne, osnovni i najčesci oblik je pjevanje uz gusle i nesto manje značajno, pjevanje uz diple u predjelima oko Durmitora.

Danas su u Crnoj Gori prisutni svi savremeni muzički tokovi.

Dva velika muzička festivala, Festival mediteranske pjesme (koji se odrzava u Budvi od 1992.) i Festival “Sunčane skale”(Herceg Novi, od 1994.) predstavljaju krunu popularnih muzičkih desavanja u Crnoj Gori.

Top Ten Attractions

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1.  Durmitor Mountain

The most exciting mountain of the Mediterranean World Heritage

2.  TARA CANYON

Rafting down the only rival river to the Colorado Wordl Heritage

Kotor Carnival

3.  BIOGRADSKA GORA

The last virgin forest of the last Montenegrin king

4.  ADA BOJANA

Amazon atomosphere

5.  KOTOR

A town and a bay Ancient Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Boreque in the southernmost fjord of Europ Wordl Heritage

6.  BUDVA

Old town, Night life of St. Tropes and Monaco

7.  SVETI SVEFAN

Hotel island , Dolce vita of Eruopean aristocracy

8. CETINJE and Lovcen Mousoleum

Conversation with gods and thunders, a visit to the greatest poet and ruler of Montenegro

9.  OSTROG MONASTERY

For good fortune and long life: unique shrine of the Orthodox, Catholics and Muslims

10. LAKE SKADAR

The last resort of pelicans

Saint Tryphon Festivities

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Saint Tryphon festivities are the most significant celebration in Boka Kotorska Bay, which has been taking place ever since the 9th century, and which is linked to the cult of St. Tryphon, who died a martyr at the time of the Roman emperor Decius, in the third century. The cult of St. Tryphon is very strong in Kotor, Boka Kotorska and Bari, and it has given a special mark to Kotor. The relics of St. Tryphon were brought to Kotor in 809, thus this town gets the relics before Dubrovnik, Zadar and Bari. Legend has it that Kotor Navy took part in welcoming the ship with the relics of the saint on 13th January 809, and its participation in the festivities has been kept until the present days. At the beginning of the 9th century, a nobleman from Kotor, Andrija Saracenis erected a church, in Tryphon’s honour, which is testified by the Byzantine emperor-writer Constantine Porphyrogenet, and after the 1979 earthquake, during the course of researches in the cathedral, the archaeological remains of that church were found.

That temple most likely disappeared in a fire, at the end of the tenth century. The citizens of Kotor built a new cathedral in the 12th century. Following a meticulous restoration, undertaken after the 1979 earthquake which badly damaged the building, the cathedral was handed over to believers and cultural heritage, and the life of Kotor and Montenegro in December 2000.

Theater City Festival

St. Tryphon festivities since 2001

St. Tryphon festivities started in Kotor on 27th January with “Lode” – lauding the glory of St. Tryphon, the patron saint of Kotor and Kotor Diocese, read by “young admiral” of Kotor Navy. On that day, in 1192, accompanied by the sound of St. Tryphon dance, the white flag with the image of the Saint was lifted on the mast of the cathedral for the first time. The celebration begins on 2nd February with a Holy mass in Kotor cathedral and the blessing of the Saint, followed by the solemn transfer of the relics and incensing of the holy relics (the relics will be incensed by six Orthodox and six Catholics).

On Saint Tryphon Day, 3rd February, there are holy masses in the cathedral, and Kotor Diocese announces that this year, for the first time after half a century, there is going to be external celebration of the festivity. On Sunday, 4th February, the program will begin in front of the main town gate, by welcoming of the Bokelian Navy and the brass band from Tivat, and it will continue on the square in front of the cathedral, where the Navy will perform its traditional dance. Solemn Pontifical Mass in the cathedral will be lead by the archbishop metropolitan of Split, Monsignor Marin Barisic accompanied by the cathedral choir.

After that, there will be the procession along the streets and squares of the town carrying the relics of Saint Tryphon, which will signify the renewal of the tradition interrupted in 1946. The end of the festivities will be marked by lowering of the flag from the cathedral mast on 11th February.

The restored cathedral, dedicated to the Saint, which is the symbol of the town and its most significant monument, is the place of gathering of believers and all the people of good will, since the festivities of the patron saint of the town are celebrated by all, and not only by Catholics.

Fiat

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FIAT is an outstanding and prestigious festival of the alternative theater, which gathers the most famous alternative ensembles and projects from the country and abroad. During the FIAT, audience has an opportunity to see the latest modern theatrical tendencies.

Film Festival

Usually, this festival takes place in the Home of Youth “Budo Tomovic”, where further information regarding the festival can be obtained. The plays also take place in other theaters in the capital of Montenegro.