Category Archives: Art and culture

24th Kotor Children’s Theatre Festival

The Festival is traditionally held the first twelve days of July in Kotor – a magical backdrop, a UNESCO World Heritage site in one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It begins with the mayor of Kotor handing the keys of the Old Town to the children and thus, symbolically, the care of the town to them. The Festival was established in 1993 just a dozen steps from the building of the Kotor theatre in which the first puppet show was held in 1829.

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It is the most important festival dedicated to the theatrical arts and to children and young people in South-Eastern Europe. It has been declared a cultural event of special significance in Montenegro and is supported by the European Union Culture Programme 2007-2013. It is held during the summer holiday season in the most beautiful locations in the Old Town.

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The walls, squares, piazzas and piazettas become stages, and the theatre brings together all the arts in the joy of creativity and the creation of joy. After 200 years it brings the theatre back to Kotor to stay. The Festival is devoted to children and young people, but also to all those who nurture the child within them. It seeks to safeguard the values of peace, tolerance, equality and education. It serves to recognise and encourage the interdisciplinary abilities of children and their contribution to the future development of society. Or to use the words of UNICEF: Today’s children: Tomorrow’s world. It encourages the professional development of children’s and youth theatre, presenting the best in puppet, dramatic and multimedia shows from Europe and the world over.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/mmm.jpg
In its 23 years, the Festival has:
– been attended by more than 350,000 people at 50 locations
– staged more than 435 theatrical performances
– taken more than 20,000 children through 750 artistic programmes
– hosted 2,700 artists from 43 countries.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/iii.jpg

Roman mosaics and 2nd-3rd century Villa Urbana in Risan

The rapid Romanisation of Risinium began after the subjugation of the Illyrians under King Gentius in 167 BC. Risinium became a typical Roman town, surrounded by walls, with a town centre – a forum in the Carina fields. Ancient tombs – necropolises – were located outside the walls, and in the southern side of town there was a residential area containing the villas of rich Risan landowners and traders. The remains of the eastern portion of a Roman urban villa were found in the early 20th century. Between 1956 and 1962 the mosaic flooring in four rooms of the villa was fully restored and conserved, and the first protective awning built. Another mosaic floor was discovered in 1972, on which conservation work was also done and a roof added.

risa2                                                                                            Photo by TOKO

Partial restoration and conservation of all the walls of the villa around the central yard – the atrium – was also carried out.
Roman mosaics decorate the floors of four of the five rooms in the eastern part of the villa, as well as two rooms in the western part. There are only traces of mosaic flooring in the remaining rooms. The technique used was one of large cubes of local grey and black stone, with motifs of the labrys – a double-bitted battleaxe originating from Crete. In the eastern wing of the villa a mosaic was laid displaying plant motifs, using stone cubes of varying size and colour (red, yellow, green, blue, black and white). In the middle there is a circular medallion depicting the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, in the form of a winged boy leaning on the head of the bed. It is likely that this room was the bedroom of the villa’s owner – the dormitorium. Geometric chessboard-like patterns decorate the mosaic floor of the southern room, and beyond that there are a further two rooms with mosaics featuring geometric motifs and stylised sea life (cuttlefish and squid). It is thought that one of the corner rooms that do not have mosaics was the dining room (triclinium), with typical Roman couches.

risan                                                                                              Photo by TOKO

 

Artistic and Archaeological Riches of Montenegro

Montenegro has a tradition of art going back to prehistory, as testified to by the archaeological finds of paintings by prehistoric man in Lipci near Risan dating to the 8th century BC. The drawing represents a deer hunt, and also features a symbol of the rising sun and others. Another drawing has been discovered on a stone tablet in the Prokletije mountains in the north of Montenegro, depicting a prehistoric man and a wolf.
The Crvena Stijena (Red Rock) site in Petrovići is around 30km from Nikšić and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe. Remains from the Middle Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze ages have been found here, and are highly significant, testifying to the beginnings of life not just in this part of Montenegro but on the planet as a whole. For many years, local and foreign expeditions have been coming to this unique and internationally significant site. More than 26,000 items from the time of prehistoric man have been excavated here. A great many items used in everyday life have been discovered, such as for the procurement and preparation of food, but also non-utilitarian items. These include handmade stone items, snails and shells, as well as ceramic vessels.
The numerous medieval fortresses in Montenegro are an art-form in their own right. They feature Byzantine, Romanic, Gothic and Baroque construction styles, as well as stone forms and paintings. Through the ages these fortresses have played a military and feudal role, or were built as town fortifications. They are built of stone and feature surrounding walls and towers. These fascinating structures were raised in numerous coastal towns, where Illyrian, Austro-Hungarian, Turkish and Spanish influences predominate, such as in Bar, Ulcinj, Herceg Novi, Budva, Kotor, Risan, Perast, as well as in the north of Montenegro: Rijeka Crnojevića, Podgorica and the Lake Skadar area.


The National Museum at Cetinje includes: King Nikola’s Museum, the Museum of Petar II Petrovic Njegoš, the birth house of Njegoš, the Njegoš Mausoleum on Lovćen, Bishop Danilo’s Mausoleum on Orlov Krš, the Art Museum together with the Dado Đurić Contemporary Art Gallery, the Ethnographic Museum and the newly-opened Archaeological Museum and Lapidarium.
The National Museum houses collections of weapons, medals, flags, crests, stamps, photographs, as well as archaeological, numismatic, ethnographic and applied art collections. There are also the residence and the chapel raised in honour of the secular and spiritual leader, poet and philosopher Petar II Petrović Njegoš. During the 1970s the Montenegro Art Museum was known as the Art Gallery, and houses some 3,000 exhibits, including some of the most important works in contemporary Yugoslav and Montenegrin fine art.

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24th Kotor Children’s Theatre Festival

The Festival is traditionally held the first twelve days of July in Kotor – a magical backdrop, a UNESCO World Heritage site in one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It begins with the mayor of Kotor handing the keys of the Old Town to the children and thus, symbolically, the care of the town to them. The Festival was established in 1993 just a dozen steps from the building of the Kotor theatre in which the first puppet show was held in 1829.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/6c281c_92eef60bb3e1485caff10dd7f73361c0.jpg
It is the most important festival dedicated to the theatrical arts and to children and young people in South-Eastern Europe. It has been declared a cultural event of special significance in Montenegro and is supported by the European Union Culture Programme 2007-2013. It is held during the summer holiday season in the most beautiful locations in the Old Town.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/vvv.jpg

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/6c281c_691df92f78d74497ae4f6c55cb5d3b20.jpg
The walls, squares, piazzas and piazettas become stages, and the theatre brings together all the arts in the joy of creativity and the creation of joy. After 200 years it brings the theatre back to Kotor to stay. The Festival is devoted to children and young people, but also to all those who nurture the child within them. It seeks to safeguard the values of peace, tolerance, equality and education. It serves to recognise and encourage the interdisciplinary abilities of children and their contribution to the future development of society. Or to use the words of UNICEF: Today’s children: Tomorrow’s world. It encourages the professional development of children’s and youth theatre, presenting the best in puppet, dramatic and multimedia shows from Europe and the world over.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/mmm.jpg
In its 23 years, the Festival has:
– been attended by more than 350,000 people at 50 locations
– staged more than 435 theatrical performances
– taken more than 20,000 children through 750 artistic programmes
– hosted 2,700 artists from 43 countries.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/iii.jpg

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5 Destinations That you Should not Miss in Montenegro

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1. Perast – a unique town, guarded by UNESCO and by the affection of all those who have spent time there. It is thought to be the oldest human settlement in the Bay of Kotor – the remains of a Neolithic culture (3500 BC) and archaeological finds are evidence that the site where the town stands has been settled since Illyrian, Roman and early Christian times, right up to the present day. Perast is best depicted by its numerous important buildings – fortresses, churches, residences and museums testify to the turbulent history of this region, and to the rule here of Napoleon, the French, the Austrians and other conquering nations. Two small islands, called Our Lady of Škrpelj and Saint George’s, face Perast in the bay, lending the town a special charm and authenticity.

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2. Mirišta and Plava Špilja – the former, an island close to Herceg Novi, on which the 14th-century Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God monastery is situated (some even say it dates from the 11th century), the latter the “Blue Cave”, a unique natural feature on the Luštica peninsula. Two exceptional tourist attractions of this town which are well worth visiting. The entrance to the Blue Cave is guarded by cliffs reaching up to 40 metres above sea level. The deep blue emanating from the waters in the cave leaves visitors speechless.

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3. Porto Montenegro Tivat – the most luxurious marina in the Adriatic. It has been built to receive mega yachts but also smaller sailing boats. This modern tourist complex was built to the highest architectural and engineering standards, whilst retaining Mediterranean charm and warmth. The marina is designed to provide fun and relaxation, with everything you could ever need all in one place, from numerous international restaurants, cafes, organic food shops, clothes shops offering top international fashions, pools, galleries and museums – everything you need for a quality holiday. The combination of quality service and the magical setting will afford you an experience that rivals any of the elite European tourist centres.

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4. Sveti Stefan – the islet and the town sitting atop it. Once a fishing village situated on a rock just off the shore, connected to it by a narrow isthmus, in the seventies and eighties Sveti Stefan (Saint Stefan) became a famous resort for the world’s rich and famous. Famous actors, artists, kings and princes from all over the world have come to holiday in this magical seaside village, including, notably, Sophia Loren, who has been a frequent guest.

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5. Biogradska Gora National Park –
Between the rivers Lim and Tara, in the middle of the Bjelasica mountain range, is the Biogradska Gora National Park, and within it, one of the last three European old-growth forests.This area has been protected since 1878, when it was encompassed by the so-called King’s Reserve – a gift to the then-king, Nikola. In the very heart of the forest, at 1094m above sea-level, is the Biogradsko Jezero lake. Its unique turquoise colour comes from the dense forest reflected in its waters. The woods are home to 86 tree species, many of them protected (incidentally, the Biogradska Gora National Park harbors 20% of all species endemic to the Balkan Peninsula). Nature-lovers can enjoy walksamong spruce, firs, beech, elm, oak and linden, while bird-watchers will want to look out for eagles and kites in flight. Large mammals include deer, chamois, bears and wolves. No less than 80 species of butterfly can be seen here too – 40% of all the species present in Montenegro.

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Explore the amazing Adriatic old town of Herceg Novi

Fortress, small squares, old churches, narrow streets, exotic vegetation – all features of the town of Herceg Novi. Situated at the very entrance to one of the most beautiful bays in the world, the Boka Kotorska (the Bay of Kotor), it abounds in historical heritage, unique and varied flora and day trip that are destinations surrounded by nature and suitable for visits all the year round due to the exceptionally mild, warm climate. The average annual air temperature in Herceg Novi is 16 degrees centigrade.

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Whether you are coming from East or West, as you turn off the main highway into the centre of town itself, the first thing to greet you will be the magnificent Kanli Kula fortress. It is often said that the fortress, owing to its size and position, rules over the town. It dates from the 16th century, and like most of Herceg Novi is built of stone, with thick walls and towers. Kanli Kula is known across the Adriatic as a fantastic summer theatre stage, into which it was adapted in 1966. Every summer evening Kanli Kula is the venue for all kinds of concerts, film events and more besides. During the day visitors can tour the walls and enjoy the splendid view over the town for only €1 – the price of the entrance ticket. From here you can take the most beautiful photographs of the city and of the mouth of the Bay of Kotor. Descending the steps from Kanli Kula to the main town square, Nikola Đurković Square (previously called the Salt Square), our gaze alights on the Sahat or Sat Kula (the Clock Tower).

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The old clock at the top of the tower long withstood the rigours of time, only being replaced in 1995 with a new, electric one, and has always been one of the hallmarks of Herceg Novi. Built in 1667 during the time of Turkish rule, this tower, with steps running through it, is unusually positioned, and this fascinating structure has served as the main entrance to the town ever since it was built. The square is home to numerous cafes, banks, clothes stores and bookshops. Nearby is also the town market, where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables every day, mostly home-grown, as well as freshly caught fish from local fisherman.

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As soon as we get to the bottom of the steps from the main square, through the Clock Tower, we come across a second Old Town square called Belavista, meaning “beautiful view”. Belavista Square is dominated by the Orthodox Church of the Holy Archangel Michael, unique for its stone iconostasis. The Old Town square is a jewel of architecture. The water fountain in the centre of the Belavista Square was recently reconstructed and is a real attraction for tourists.

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You can get down to the town promenade and beaches via any number of narrow passageways and steps. One of the most interesting is the passageway from Belavista  Square through Marka Cara Street (named after the writer) and the Catholic churches of St. Jerome’s (with its rich treasure-store) and St. Leopold Mandić’s. In this street lives a veritable dinosaur among trees – a Gingko biloba that has found its place amongst the numerous palms and seaside plant life.

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This passageway will also take you to the 15th century Forte Mare fortress by way of a symbolic little bridge that connects the fortress with the Old Town. Built on a rock, it rises steeply above the shore itself, towering over the Town Beach and the harbour (the Škver). At the lower side of Forte Mare there is a door that leads from the promenade to the top of the fortress, built into the walls themselves, and the upper door is also known as the Sea Door (Porta di mare) The Forte Mare Fortress is visible from all around and, as its name suggests, is a true sea fortress. Beginning on 1st July every year, films are shown here, turning it into an open-air cinema under the starry sky – a unique experience. It can be toured between 7 am and 7 pm every day. Tickets for individual visitors are €2 and €1 per person for group visits.

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Descending to the Pet Danica Promenade, if we look towards the eastern part of town we can see the Citadela fortress. Standing in the sea itself, connected to the town centre by its walls, this tower was built during the time of Venetian rule. The earthquake which struck Herceg Novi  in 1979 completely demolished this fortress, the old walls of which still lie in the sea.

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If you decide to head in the other direction, toward the town harbour and the open-air water polo pool, you will see the Railway Station on your right, now wonderfully renovated as a tourist facility. This was a unique railway station in view of the fact that it was built on the very shores of the sea, next to the town harbour.

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Little-known is the fact that trains once ran in the Boka along the Pet Danica Promenade and that the main station was in Zelenika, a few kilometres along the coast . The railway was officially opened on 16th July 1901 when the first train arrived in Zelenika carrying high officials of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which ruled the Bay of Kotor at the time. The railway station building in Herceg Novi was built in 1934 thanks to the much-respected mayor of the time Mirko Komnenović. It was built of stone and reconstructed and reopened in 2005.

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From the terrace of the “Station” there is a view of the small marina and lighthouse, where fishing and tourist boats and yachts moor. The Škver, as it is popularly known, is the best place to rent a craft or hop on one of the small boats that take trippers to popular spots around Herceg Novi that are most easily accessed by sea. In the summer months, when the town is very busy, Rose, Mamula and Žanjice are three not-to-be missed destinations, offering natural beauty, historical sights and a relaxing atmosphere.

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Not only is Rose a beautifully-preserved little Mediterranean village, it is also one of the oldest settlements in the region.It is mentioned as far back as the 4th century by the name of Resnium. Around Rosa, both on land and in the sea, there are some very important archaeological sites. A great many divers come here to explore underwater and to tour the old shipwrecks from times gone by that lie on the sea bed. Rosa is also home to a very well-known diving camp. Alongside the beach, where there are several restaurants, there is the old Forte Rose fortress where there is also a restaurant and tourist amenities.

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The little rocky island of Lastavica on which the Mamula fortress stands is set on the sea route to Žanjice, at the very mouth of the Bay of Kotor. Although the Mamula fortress has a dark history it is an impressive sight. It is one of a series of important fortifications (together with Arza and Prevlaka) constructed by the Austro-Hungarian army in 1853 in order to defend the mouth of the bay. It was symbolically named after the Austrian general Lazar Mamula whose idea it was to raise a fortress on the island. Its remarkable architecture makes this fortress one of the most attractive in the Adriatic. The entrance to the fortress is on the north-eastern side of the island, where there is also a drawbridge. Although difficult to access, the site should not be missed, both for a tour and for some swimming in the summer months.

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If we continue towards the open sea we will reach the Žanjić beach, one of the most popular in Montenegro. This beach is special because of its crystal clear sea, naturally white pebbled beaches and ancient olive groves growing right next to the beach. You can take a look inside the Church of St. John, dating back to 1881 and located in the olive groves just a few steps from the beach. There you can hear the interesting story about this church and the idyllic location that is Žanjice, or take a stroll through breathtaking natural surroundings to the nearby Mirišta beach.

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Roman mosaics and 2nd-3rd century Villa Urbana in Risan

The rapid Romanisation of Risinium began after the subjugation of the Illyrians under King Gentius in 167 BC. Risinium became a typical Roman town, surrounded by walls, with a town centre – a forum in the Carina fields. Ancient tombs – necropolises – were located outside the walls, and in the southern side of town there was a residential area containing the villas of rich Risan landowners and traders. The remains of the eastern portion of a Roman urban villa were found in the early 20th century. Between 1956 and 1962 the mosaic flooring in four rooms of the villa was fully restored and conserved, and the first protective awning built. Another mosaic floor was discovered in 1972, on which conservation work was also done and a roof added.

risa2                                                                               Photo by TOKO

Partial restoration and conservation of all the walls of the villa around the central yard – the atrium – was also carried out.
Roman mosaics decorate the floors of four of the five rooms in the eastern part of the villa, as well as two rooms in the western part. There are only traces of mosaic flooring in the remaining rooms. The technique used was one of large cubes of local grey and black stone, with motifs of the labrys – a double-bitted battleaxe originating from Crete. In the eastern wing of the villa a mosaic was laid displaying plant motifs, using stone cubes of varying size and colour (red, yellow, green, blue, black and white). In the middle there is a circular medallion depicting the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, in the form of a winged boy leaning on the head of the bed. It is likely that this room was the bedroom of the villa’s owner – the dormitorium. Geometric chessboard-like patterns decorate the mosaic floor of the southern room, and beyond that there are a further two rooms with mosaics featuring geometric motifs and stylised sea life (cuttlefish and squid). It is thought that one of the corner rooms that do not have mosaics was the dining room (triclinium), with typical Roman couches.

risan                                                                                 Photo by TOKO

24th Kotor Children’s Theatre Festival

The Festival is traditionally held the first twelve days of July in Kotor – a magical backdrop, a UNESCO World Heritage site in one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It begins with the mayor of Kotor handing the keys of the Old Town to the children and thus, symbolically, the care of the town to them. The Festival was established in 1993 just a dozen steps from the building of the Kotor theatre in which the first puppet show was held in 1829.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/6c281c_92eef60bb3e1485caff10dd7f73361c0.jpg
It is the most important festival dedicated to the theatrical arts and to children and young people in South-Eastern Europe. It has been declared a cultural event of special significance in Montenegro and is supported by the European Union Culture Programme 2007-2013. It is held during the summer holiday season in the most beautiful locations in the Old Town.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/vvv.jpg

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/6c281c_691df92f78d74497ae4f6c55cb5d3b20.jpg
The walls, squares, piazzas and piazettas become stages, and the theatre brings together all the arts in the joy of creativity and the creation of joy. After 200 years it brings the theatre back to Kotor to stay. The Festival is devoted to children and young people, but also to all those who nurture the child within them. It seeks to safeguard the values of peace, tolerance, equality and education. It serves to recognise and encourage the interdisciplinary abilities of children and their contribution to the future development of society. Or to use the words of UNICEF: Today’s children: Tomorrow’s world. It encourages the professional development of children’s and youth theatre, presenting the best in puppet, dramatic and multimedia shows from Europe and the world over.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/mmm.jpg
In its 23 years, the Festival has:
– been attended by more than 350,000 people at 50 locations
– staged more than 435 theatrical performances
– taken more than 20,000 children through 750 artistic programmes
– hosted 2,700 artists from 43 countries.

http://blog.montenegro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/iii.jpg

Artistic and Archaeological Riches of Montenegro

Montenegro has a tradition of art going back to prehistory, as testified to by the archaeological finds of paintings by prehistoric man in Lipci near Risan dating to the 8th century BC. The drawing represents a deer hunt, and also features a symbol of the rising sun and others. Another drawing has been discovered on a stone tablet in the Prokletije mountains in the north of Montenegro, depicting a prehistoric man and a wolf.
The Crvena Stijena (Red Rock) site in Petrovići is around 30km from Nikšić and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe. Remains from the Middle Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze ages have been found here, and are highly significant, testifying to the beginnings of life not just in this part of Montenegro but on the planet as a whole. For many years, local and foreign expeditions have been coming to this unique and internationally significant site. More than 26,000 items from the time of prehistoric man have been excavated here. A great many items used in everyday life have been discovered, such as for the procurement and preparation of food, but also non-utilitarian items. These include handmade stone items, snails and shells, as well as ceramic vessels.
The numerous medieval fortresses in Montenegro are an art-form in their own right. They feature Byzantine, Romanic, Gothic and Baroque construction styles, as well as stone forms and paintings. Through the ages these fortresses have played a military and feudal role, or were built as town fortifications. They are built of stone and feature surrounding walls and towers. These fascinating structures were raised in numerous coastal towns, where Illyrian, Austro-Hungarian, Turkish and Spanish influences predominate, such as in Bar, Ulcinj, Herceg Novi, Budva, Kotor, Risan, Perast, as well as in the north of Montenegro: Rijeka Crnojevića, Podgorica and the Lake Skadar area.


The National Museum at Cetinje includes: King Nikola’s Museum, the Museum of Petar II Petrovic Njegoš, the birth house of Njegoš, the Njegoš Mausoleum on Lovćen, Bishop Danilo’s Mausoleum on Orlov Krš, the Art Museum together with the Dado Đurić Contemporary Art Gallery, the Ethnographic Museum and the newly-opened Archaeological Museum and Lapidarium.
The National Museum houses collections of weapons, medals, flags, crests, stamps, photographs, as well as archaeological, numismatic, ethnographic and applied art collections. There are also the residence and the chapel raised in honour of the secular and spiritual leader, poet and philosopher Petar II Petrović Njegoš. During the 1970s the Montenegro Art Museum was known as the Art Gallery, and houses some 3,000 exhibits, including some of the most important works in contemporary Yugoslav and Montenegrin fine art.

Autumn and Montenegro travel

Yellow, red and golden colors predominate in autumn, and why miss this magical time of year in Montenegro when it is perfect for experiencing adventure? The best time to travel is often said to be between September and November, and it is not different in Montenegro. The beautiful weather, the sunny days and the cool but still-mild evenings are perfect for 4×4 safaris, photo safaris, mountaineering or simply hiking the mountain trails, visiting cultural and historical sites with our tour guides or exploring bays and concealed beaches. Here you can bathe since the average temperature of the Adriatic Sea is still 23 °C in October. For visitors who want to spend their days in complete relaxation of body and soul, we can recommend one of the spa and wellness hotels offering a variety of treatments, massages, saunas, refreshing pools or relaxation in a whirlpool bath in beautiful mountain or seaside surroundings.

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What are the advantages to traveling to Montenegro in autumn?

Prices of flights and accommodation are lower.
Roads, cafes and restaurants are significantly less busy.
You can visit one of the numerous festivals and other cultural events in Montenegro.
You can tour several destinations, towns and visitor attractions when there are no crowds.
You can travel and spend time outside in light clothing, without the summer heat.
You can enjoy autumn foods and the fruits of the harvest.
You can best experience daily life and authentic local culture.

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