Cetinje is a world apart from the stunning Montenegrin coastal towns - it's more sober and less eye-catching - but definitely not uglier. it is much quieter, though... it is located on a high plateau between Kotor Bay and Shkodra Lake, is surrounded by mountains and was once the capital of Montenegro.
Fondest memory: About 20 kilometres from Cetinje there's a great mountain called Lovcen - it's a national park - that you can drive onto, and on top of it you can find the mausoleum dedicated to the hero Petar II Petrovic Njegos. The views, on a clear day, are wonderful.
Dynasty Petrovic-Negos was ruling Montenegro, and brought western ideas of statehood and culture.
Bishop Danilo Petrovic the founder of the Petrovic- Njegos dynasty, was appointed as a Metropolitan in 1697. With this election Metropolitan throne became inheritable within the dynasty. When Bishop Danilo came to religious and secular power, long-lasting and dramatic struggle for independent and free Montenegro began. Having devoted himself to the liberation of Montenegro, Danilo became a great supporter of the idea of independence.
His successors was Lord-Bishop Sava, then Lord-Bishop Petar I (Saint Petar of Cetinje), Prince-Bishop Petar II Petrovic, Prince Danilo I and last was Prince and then King Nikola I.
Petar II Petrovic Njegos was the most remarkable figure from the Petrovic Njegos dynasty. He was ruler, a bishop, a writer and a philosopher. He is the author of the most patriotic Serb epic "The Mountain Wreath."
Nikola I Petrovic Njegos ruled Montenegro for nearly sixty years. Military successes and glorious victories in the liberation wars between 1876 and 1878 gave him war glory and made him one of the greatest Montenegrin rulers. On the fiftieth anniversary of the reign of Prince Nikola, the National Assembly proclaimed Montenegro kingdom and Prince Nikola King. Besides successful management of state affairs the Prince i.e. King Nikola I Petrovic was also known as a man of letters. He wrote lyric poems, drama in verse and in prose.
Through marriages of his daughters with European dynasties King Nikola of Montenegro was called, "The Father in law of Europe." Famous Italian Queen Elena of Savoy was King Nikola's daughter.
The first state printing house in Europe and also the first Cyrillic printing house famous as the Printing House of Crnojevici (Crnojevica stamparija) was founded at Cetinje in 1492. It was 38 years after Gutemberg discovered movable type press. This printing house has operated at Cetinje between 1492 and 1496. As a Cyrillic-printing house it was preceded only by the one that operated in Krakow between 1491 and 1493.
Montenegro was the only free country in the Balkans while the Turks occupied the others. In those dramatic times when the existence of Montenegro and its people were in danger, Djurdje Crnojevic bought the press and started printing theological books. Seven monks skilled in printing with Makarije as their leader printed five unique incunabula between 1493 and 1496. These were: Oktoih the First Courier, Oktoih the Fifth Courier, Psalter, Prayer book (Molitvenik), and Four gospels (Cetvorojevandjelje). Printed incunabula are characterized by high printing quality. This fact proves that the printers of Cetinje were familiar with all the secrets related to the art of printing, everything from cutting and casting the types to cutting the title braid and illustrations. Syllable in the Cetinje Printing House was cut like Slavic manuscript and constitution, but on the other hand also upgraded under the influence of Italian Renaissance printing.
Psalter is famous for its exceptional banners and initials while Oktoih the Fifth Courier is known for its beautiful engravings.
The first public reading room in Montenegro known as "The Reading Room of Cetinje" was founded in 1896. Since its founding it has been the cultural center of Montenegro. The fruitful activity of this reading room was continued by the Town Library and the reading room called "Njegos", which disposes of over 63 000 books and volumes of periodicals.
Also, the school libraries of Cetinje have a long tradition. The library of the oldest school at Cetinje today known as "Njegos elementary school" dates back to 1834 and the library of the clerical college and the Girls Institute "Carica Marija" dates back to 1869 and the library of the Gymnasium to 1880.