Cetinje is the old royal capital of Montenegro.  It was protected by mountains from the Turks; in that way Montenegro could maintain some degree of independence.

Historically the capital is not in Podgorica because in the late 1800s Cetinje had the monetary from which the country was ruled by the Njegos clan of Montenegro’s Prince Bishops.  They ruled the country in an odd succession, uncle to nephew. The family had to have two sons.  The eldest became the Prince Bishop and the youngest had to have two sons.  The final Prince Bishop decided to get married and declared himself King.

The city has old embassies and other public buildings.  When we first visited the city in 1997 they were in various stages of disrepair.  One Montenegrin proudly told me that the city was “the Williamsburg of the Balkans.”  I suppose it is if you have enough imagination.

I love the old cemetery.  One monument has a crashed plane at the top of the stone.  In this cemetery the religious and communist rest side by side with their own icons on their markers.  The monument in town is for Montenegrin soldiers who were killed in a shipwreck on the coast of Albania during the First World War.

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