What Should I Know About Montenegro?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

The Republic of Montenegro, is a Southeastern European country. It borders Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia, and has a coast on the Adriatic Sea. It was an independent country from the Middle Ages through 1918. For nearly nine decades thereafter, Montenegro went through various unions and connections with Yugoslavia and Serbia.

Man holding a globe
Man holding a globe

On June 3, 2006, the country became independent once again. Later that month, it joined the United Nations. In May of 2007, Montenegro also joined the Council of Europe.

Although Montenegro was once a communist state, it now defines itself as a "democratic, welfare, and ecological state." The government is now composed of a president who is elected for terms of five years, and a parliament. In 2004, a new flag was created. The capital of Montenegro is Podgorica. The former royal capital of the country is Cetinje. Both cities are currently important culture centers within the country.

This country has a very interesting culture that has been shaped by the many different peoples and influences that have entered the country through the course of history. Culture in this country in the recent centuries has been directly influenced by Adriatic peoples, South Slavic Orthodoxy, and the cultures within Central Europe.

The coast of the country has been noted for its religious monuments. The basilica of St. Like, Our Lady of the Rocks, the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, and the Savina Monastery are all such monuments. The medieval monasteries in Montenegro have an incredible number of ancient frescoes. Although there are peoples of other religions who reside in the country, the country is primarily Orthodox. Their observed holidays follow the Orthodox holy calendar.

Although there is not a major literary movement in the country, the country does have a very interesting literary history. Works were written in Montenegro as long as 1000 years ago. In 1494, the state purchased a printing press and began creating books. The very first Slavic Book, Oktoih, was printed in that year. There are many ancient manuscripts, some dating back 700 years, that are housed and protected in the country’s monasteries. These historic texts are of particular interest to many scholars, especially those interested in historic religious texts.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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