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Crna Gora
Црна Гора
Flag of Montenegro Coat of arms of Montenegro
Flag Coat of arms
AnthemOj, svijetla majska zoro
"Oh, Bright Dawn of May"

Location of Montenegro
Location of  Montenegro  (orange)

on the European continent  (white)  —  [Legend]

(and largest city)
Image:Grb Podgorice2.png Podgorica1
42°47′N 19°28′E / 42.783°N 19.467°E / 42.783; 19.467
Official languages Montenegrin
Demonym Montenegrin
Government Parliamentary republic
 -  President Filip Vujanović
 -  Prime Minister Milo Đukanović
 -  Speaker Ranko Krivokapić
 -  Independence of Duklja (Montenegrin predecessor) from Byzantine Empire 1042 
 -  Duklja recognised as a kingdom by the Pope 1077 
 -  Zeta (former Duklja) annexed by Serbian Empire 1186 
 -  Independence of Zeta (later called Montenegro) from Serbian Empire 1356 
 -  Cetinje founded 1484 
 -  Annexed by Ottoman Empire 1499 
 -  Independence recognized 1878 
 -  Unification with Serbia 1918 
 -  Independence from Serbia and Montenegro 2006 
 -  Total 13,812 km2 (160th)
5,019 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.5
 -  July 2008 estimate 678,177[1] (162nd)
 -  2003 census 620,145 
 -  Density 50/km2 (121st)
115.6/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $7.16 billion [2] (102)
 -  Per capita $10,600 (2008 estimate) (60)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $3,557 billion [3] (138)
 -  Per capita $ 5,735 (58)
HDI (2006) 0.822 (high) (64th)
Currency Euro ()3 (EUR)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .me (.yu)4
Calling code 382
1 The traditional old capital of Montenegro is Cetinje.
2 Commonly considered as the Ijekavian dialect of the Serbian language.
3 Adopted unilaterally; Montenegro is not a formal member of the Eurozone.
4 .me became active in September 2007. Suffix .yu will exist until September 2009.

Montenegro (en-us-Montenegro.ogg /mɒntɪˈneɪgroʊ/ or /mɒntɪˈniːgroʊ/), Montenegrin/Serbian: Црна Гора, Crna Gora (pronounced [ˈt͡sr̩naː ˈɡɔra], CrnaGora.ogg listen ), Albanian: Mali i Zi ([ˈmali i ˈzi])) (meaning "Black Mountain" in English) is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, and Albania to the south. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica (Пријестоница), meaning the former Royal Capital City.[4].

Montenegro is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, CEFTA, Council of Europe and Montenegro is also a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. It is also a potential candidate for membership in the European Union and NATO.

The thousand-year history of the Montenegrin state begins in the 9th century with the emergence of Duklja, a vassal state of Byzantium. In those formative years, Duklja was ruled by the Vojislavljevic dynasty. In 1042, at the end of his 25-year rule, King Vojislav won a decisive battle near Bar against Byzantium, and Duklja became independent. Duklja's power and prosperity reached their zenith under King Vojislav's son, King Mihailo (1046-81), and his son King Bodin (1081-1101).[5]. From the 11th century, it started to be referred to as Zeta. It ended with its incorporation into Raska, and beginning with the Crnojevic dynasty, Zeta was more often referred to as Crna Gora or by the Venetian term monte negro. A sovereign principality[6] since the Late Middle Ages, Montenegro saw its independence from the Ottoman Empire formally recognized in 1878. From 1918, it was a part of various incarnations of Yugoslavia. On the basis of a referendum held on 21 May 2006, Montenegro declared independence on 3 June. On 28 June 2006, it became the 192nd member state of the United Nations,[7] and on 11 May 2007 the 47th member state of the Council of Europe.[8] On 15 December 2008, Montenegro presented its official application to the European Union, with the hopes of gaining EU candidate status by 2009.[9]


[edit] Name

Montenegro's native name, Crna Gora, sometimes transliterated as Tsrna Gora ("Black Mountain"), is mentioned for the first time in 1296 by Serbian King Stefan Uroš II Milutin in his edict to the Serbian Orthodox Zeta Episcopate seat at the Vranjina island in Lake Skadar from 1296[10]. The origin of the term lies in the Slavic reference to excessively mountainous regions, often emerging in the medieval Serbian realm. Mentioned afterwards in most House of Nemanjić's edicts and in subsequent Venetian sources in the 13th and 14th centuries, signifying the area of the Upper Zeta, the name stabilized itself for a Principality in the second half of the 15th century under Lord Ivan Crnojević, mostly confounding erroneously the term with the dynasty's name, which both have similar roots. The region itself became remembered as Old Montenegro (Стара Црна Гора/Stara Crna Gora) as by the 19th century the The Highlands were added to the state, and Montenegro further increased its size several times by the 20th century during wars against the Ottomans, expanding its name to and annexing Old Herzegovina and parts of Old Serbia, most notably Metohija and southern Rashka. The state changed little to modern day reference, losing Metohija and gaining the Bay of Kotor. The name of the region gave the name to its people, the Montenegrins (Црногорци/Crnogorci).

The country's name in most Western European languages, including English, reflects an adoption of the Venetian term monte negro, meaning "black mount", which probably dates back to the era of Venetian hegemony over the area in the Middle Ages. Other languages, particularly nearby ones, use their own direct translation of the term "black mountain" (e.g. Albanian: Mali i Zi, Bulgarian: Черна гора, Cherna gora, Czech: Černá Hora, Greek: Μαυροβούνιο / Mavrovoúnio, Polish: Czarnogóra, Romanian: Muntenegru, Slovenian: Črna Gora, Slovak: Čierna hora, Turkish: Karadağ)). Names from further afield include Russian: Черногория, Chernogoriya, Icelandic: Svartfjallaland and Chinese: 黑山 (pinyin: "hēishān".[11]).

The ISO Alpha-2 code for Montenegro is ME and the Alpha-3 Code is MNE.[12]

[edit] History

The first recorded settlers of present-day Montenegro were Illyrians, the Docleata. In 9 AD the Romans conquered the region of present-day Montenegro. Slavs massively colonized the area in the 5th and 6th centuries, forming a semi-independent principality, Doclea, that was involved in Balkan medieval politics with ties to Rascia and Byzantium and to a lesser extent Bulgaria, becoming a monarchy in the late 11th century. In the 9th Century, most of the territory of modern Montenegro was part of the Kingdom of Croatia as the region known as Red Croatia. By 1183, fully incorporated into a Serbian realm, the newly acquired land, then called Zeta, was governed by the Serbian Nemanjic dynasty. After the Serbian Empire collapsed in the second half of the 14th century, another family came to prominence by expanding their power in the region, the Balšićs. In 1421 it was annexed to the Serbian Despotate, but after 1455 another noble family from Zeta, the Crnojevićs, ruled Montenegro. They were to rule Montenegro until 1499, making it the last free monarchy of the Balkans before it fell to the Ottomans, who annexed it to the sanjak of Skadar. For a short time Montenegro existed as a separate autonomous sanjak in 1514–1528, another version of which existed again some time between 1597 and 1614.

In the 16th century Montenegro developed a form of special and unique autonomy within the Ottoman Empire: the local Montenegrin clans were also free of many bonds due to Montenegro's autonomy. Nevertheless the Montenegrins refused to accept Ottoman reign and in the 17th century raised numerous rebellions, culminating with the Ottoman defeat in the Great Turkish War at the end of that century. Montenegro became a theocracy led by the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitans, flourishing since the Petrović-Njegoš became the traditional Prince-Bishops (whose title was "Vladika of Montenegro"). The Venetian Republic introduced governors that meddled in Montenegrin politics; when the republic was succeeded by the Austrian Empire in 1797, the governors were abolished by Prince-Bishop Petar II in 1832. His predecessor Petar I contributed to the unification of Montenegro with the Highlands.

Nicholas I of Montenegro, the only king of Montenegro.

Under Nicholas I, the Principality of Montenegro vastly advanced and enlarged several times in the Montenegro-Turkish Wars and achieved recognition of independence in 1878. Modernization of the state followed, culminating with the draft of a Constitution in 1905. Political rifts for the first time emerged between the reigning People's Party that supported democratization of the ruler's autocratic regime and unconditional union with Serbia and the minor pro-monarch True People's Party. In 1910 Montenegro became a Kingdom. It initiated the Balkan wars in 1912 and 1913 in which the Ottomans lost all lands in the Balkans, achieving a common border with Serbia, but the Skadar was awarded to a newly created Albania. In World War I in 1914 Montenegro sided with Serbia against the Central Powers, suffering a full scale defeat to Austria-Hungary in early 1916. In 1918 the Allies liberated Montenegro, which was subsequently merged with Serbia. In 1904 Montenegro declared war on Japan in support of Russia. However, Montenegro inexplicably failed to adhere to the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 and so remained at war with Japan until 1918, although no hostilities occurred.

In 1922 Montenegro formally became the Zeta Area of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and in 1929 it became a part of a larger Zeta Banate of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In World War II Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis forces in 1941, who established a puppet Independent State of Montenegro, liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans in 1944. Montenegro became a constituent republic of the communist Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), its capital renamed to Titograd in honor of Partisan leader and SFRY president Josip "Tito" Broz. More and more autonomy was established, until the Socialist Republic of Montenegro ratified a new constitution 1974 (however, this RFM remained a constituent republic of the SFRY).

After the dissolution of the SFRY in 1992, Montenegro remained part of a smaller Federal Republic of Yugoslavia along with Serbia.

In the referendum on remaining in Yugoslavia in 1992, 95.96% of the votes were cast for remaining in the federation with Serbia, although the turnout was at 66% because of a boycott by the Muslim, Albanian and Catholic minorities as well as the pro-independence Montenegrins. The opposition claimed that the poll was organized under anti-democratic conditions, during wartime in the former Yugoslavia, with widespread propaganda from the state-controlled media in favor of a pro-federation vote. There is no impartial report on the fairness of the referendum, as the 1992 referendum was totally unmonitored, unlike the 2006 vote, which has been closely monitored by the European Union.

During the 1991–1995 Bosnian War and Croatian War, Montenegro participated with its police and military forces[clarification needed] in the attacks on Dubrovnik, Croatia and Bosnian towns along with Serbian troops. It conducted persecutions against Bosnian refugees who were arrested by Montenegrin police and transported to Serb camps in Foča, where they were executed.[13]

In 1996, Milo Đukanović's government severed ties between Montenegro and the Serbian regime, which was then under Milošević. Montenegro formed its own economic policy and adopted the German Deutsche Mark as its currency. It has since adopted the Euro, though it is not formally part of the Eurozone currency union. Subsequent governments of Montenegro carried out pro-independence policies, originally restored by the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro, and political tensions with Serbia simmered despite the political changes in Belgrade. Despite its pro-independence leanings, targets in Montenegro were bombed by NATO forces during Operation Allied Force in 1999, although the extent of these attacks was very limited in both time and the area affected.[14]

In 2002, Serbia and Montenegro came to a new agreement regarding continued cooperation and entered into negotiations regarding the future status of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 2003, the Yugoslav federation was replaced in favor of a looser state union named Serbia and Montenegro and a possible referendum on Montenegrin independence was postponed for a minimum of three years.[clarification needed]

[edit] 21st century independence

Front page of Pobjeda following the successful independence referendum

The status of the union between Montenegro and Serbia was decided by the referendum on Montenegrin independence on May 21, 2006. A total of 419,240 votes were cast, representing 86.5% of the total electorate. 230,661 votes or 55.5% were for independence and 185,002 votes or 44.5% were against.[15] The 45,659 difference narrowly surpassed the 55% threshold needed to validate the referendum under the rules set by the European Union. According to the electoral commission, the 55% threshold was passed by only 2,300 votes. Serbia, the member-states of the European Union, and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have all recognised Montenegro's independence.

The 2006 referendum was monitored by five international observer missions, headed by an OSCE/ODIHR monitoring team, and around 3,000 observers in total (including domestic observers from CEMI, CEDEM and other organizations). The OSCE/ODIHR ROM[clarification needed] joined efforts with the observers of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE) and the European Parliament (EP) to form an International Referendum Observation Mission (IROM). The IROM—in its preliminary report—"assessed compliance of the referendum process with OSCE commitments, Council of Europe commitments, other international standards for democratic electoral processes, and domestic legislation." Furthermore, the report assessed that the competitive pre-referendum environment was marked by an active and generally peaceful campaign and that "there were no reports of restrictions on fundamental civil and political rights."

On June 3, 2006, the Parliament of Montenegro declared the independence of Montenegro,[16] formally confirming the result of the referendum on independence. Serbia did not obstruct the ruling, confirming its own independence and declaring the union of Serbia and Montenegro ended shortly thereafter.

On September 6, 2007 an adviser of the Prime Minister of Serbia called Montenegro a 'quasi-state'[17]. Montenegro gave a protest list[clarification needed] to the Serbian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Božidar Đelić, has apologized for this.[clarification needed][18]

[edit] Geography

Map of Montenegro
Lake in Durmitor National Park

Internationally, Montenegro borders Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Albania. Historically, its territory was divided into "nahije".

Some of the biggest cities and towns in Montenegro are:

Montenegro ranges from high peaks along its borders with Serbia and Albania, a segment of the Karst of the western Balkan Peninsula, to a narrow coastal plain that is only one to four miles (6 km) wide. The plain stops abruptly in the north, where Mount Lovćen and Mount Orjen plunge into the inlet of the Bay of Kotor.

Montenegro's large Karst region lies generally at elevations of 1,000 metres (3,281 ft) above sea level; some parts, however, rise to 2,000 metres (6,560 ft), such as Mount Orjen (1,894 m/6,214 ft), the highest massif among the coastal limestone ranges. The Zeta River valley, at an elevation of 500 meters (1,640 ft), is the lowest segment.

The mountains of Montenegro include some of the most rugged terrain in Europe. They average more than 2,000 metres (6,560 ft) in elevation. One of the country's notable peaks is Bobotov Kuk in the Durmitor mountains, which reaches a height of 2,522 metres (8,274 ft). The Montenegrin mountain ranges were among the most ice-eroded parts of the Balkan Peninsula during the last glacial period.

[edit] Government and politics

Local self-government in Montenegro; red represents the municipalities in which the ruling DPS governs and blue are administered by the pro-Serbian opposition
See also: Foreign relations of Montenegro, Military of Montenegro

Montenegro is defined as a "Civic, democratic, ecological state of social justice, based on the reign of Law". It is an independent and sovereign Republic. It proclaimed its new Constitution on 22 October 2007.

[edit] Government

The current Government of Montenegro (Vlada Crne Gore) is composed of the prime minister, the deputy prime ministers as well as ministers. Milo Đukanović is the Prime Minister of Montenegro and head of the Government. The ruling party in Montenegro ever since multi-party system was introduced is the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) (Demokratska Partija Socijalista Crna Gore), in coalition with the much smaller Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP) (Socijaldemokratska Partija Crne Gore).

[edit] President

President Filip Vujanović

The President of Montenegro is elected for a period of five years through direct elections. According to the constitution, the President will represent the republic in the country and abroad, promulgate laws by ordinance, call elections for the Parliament, propose candidates for the Prime Minister, president and justices of the Constitutional Court to the Parliament, propose to the Parliament calling of a referendum, grant amnesty for criminal offences prescribed by the national law, confer decoration and awards, and perform all other duties in accordance with the Constitution. The President shall also be a member of the Supreme Defence Council.

[edit] Parliament

The Montenegrin Parliament (Skupština Crne Gore) passes all laws in Montenegro, ratifies international treaties, appoints the Prime Minister, ministers, and justices of all courts, adopts the budget and performs other duties as established by the Constitution. The Parliament can pass a vote of no-confidence on the Government by a majority of the members. One representative is elected per 6,000 voters, which in turn results in a reduction of total number of representatives in the Parliament of Montenegro. The current president of the Parliament is Ranko Krivokapić.

The present parliament contains 81 seats instead of 75 in the previous parliament. Parliamentary elections were held on 10 September 2006 and were the first since the proclamation of independence. The constituent parliamentary session took place on 2 October 2006.

[edit] Symbols

A new official flag of Montenegro was adopted on July 13, 2004, by the Montenegrin legislature. The new flag is based on the royal standard of King Nikola I of Montenegro. This flag was all red with a silver border, a silver coat of arms, and the initials НІ in Cyrillic script (corresponding to NI in Latin script) representing King Nikola I. The border and arms were changed from silver to gold in the modern flag and the royal cypher in the centre of the arms are omitted from the modern arms and replaced with a golden lion.

The national day of 13 July marks the date in 1878 when the Congress of Berlin recognised Montenegro as the 27th independent state in the world[citation needed] and the start of one of the first popular uprisings in Europe against the Axis Powers on 13 July 1941 in Montenegro.

In 2004, the Montenegrin legislature selected a popular Montenegrin traditional song, Oh, Bright Dawn of May, as the national anthem. Montenegro's official anthem during the reign of King Nikola was Ubavoj nam Crnoj Gori (To our beautiful Montenegro). The Montenegrin popular anthem has unofficially been Onamo, 'namo! since King Nikola I wrote it in the 1860s.

[edit] Municipalities

Montenegro is divided into twenty-one municipalities (opština), and two urban municipalities, subdivisions of Podgorica municipality:

Municipalities of Montenegro

[edit] Economy

Budva is one of the main tourist destinations

As a relatively small principality and kingdom, Montenegro made its first steps towards an industrial economy only at the turn of the 20th century. However, the extensive urbanization and industrialization did not take place until the SFRY-era. An industrial sector based on electricity generation, steel, aluminium, coal mining, forestry and wood processing, textiles and tobacco manufacture were built up, with trade, overseas shipping, and particularly tourism, increasingly important by the late 1980s.

While the deficiencies of a centrally planned economy were beginning to show in the late 1980s, it was the Yugoslav wars that caused the rapid and complete deterioration of the Montenegrin economy. The loss of previously guaranteed markets and suppliers after the breakup of Yugoslavia left the Montenegrin industrial sector reeling as production was suspended and the privatization program, begun in 1989, was interrupted.

The disintegration of the Yugoslav market, and the imposition of the UN sanctions in May 1992 were the causes of the greatest economic and financial crisis since World War II. During 1993, two thirds of the Montenegrin population lived below the poverty line, while frequent interruptions in relief supplies caused the health and environmental protection to drop below the minimum of international standards. The financial losses under the adverse effects of the UN sanctions on the overall economy of Montenegro are estimated to be approximately $6.39 billion. This period also experienced the second highest hyperinflation in history (3 million percent in January 1994). During this time, the economy of Montenegro mostly depended on smuggling of user goods - especially those in short supply like petrol and cigarettes.

In 1997, Milo Đukanović took control over the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) and began severing ties with Milošević's Serbia. He blamed the policies of Slobodan Milošević for the overall decline of the Montenegrin economy. Montenegro introduced the German mark as response to again-growing inflation, and insisted on taking more control over its economic fate. This eventually resulted in creation of Serbia and Montenegro, a loose union in which Montenegro mostly took responsibility for its economic policies.

Despite implementation of reform laws and privatization of most publicly-owned companies, the living standard of Montenegrins did not improve significantly during this period. The government, with Milo Ðukanović still as the Prime minister, blamed the slow progress on Serbia, and pushed the country towards full independence, which was finally achieved in 2006.

Following the independence referendum, Montenegro's economy has continued to transform into a more service-based one, with the proclaimed goal of becoming an elite tourist destination and joining the European Union.

[edit] Tourism

Montenegro is well suited for development of all kinds of tourism, as it has both a picturesque coast and a mountainous northern region. The country was a well-known tourist spot in the 1980s, yet, the Yugoslav wars that were fought in neighboring countries during the 1990s crippled the tourist industry and destroyed the image of Montenegro as a tourist destination.

It was not until 2000s that the tourism industry began to recover, and the country has since experienced a high rate of growth in the number of tourist visits and overnight stays.

The Government of Montenegro has set the development of Montenegro as an elite tourist destination a top priority. It is a national strategy to make tourism a major, if not the single largest, contributor to the Montenegrin economy. A number of steps were taken to attract foreign investors into Montenegro's tourism industry.

Some large projects are already under way, such as Porto Montenegro, while other locations, like Jaz Beach, Buljarica, Velika Plaža and Ada Bojana, have perhaps the greatest potential to attract future investments and become premium tourist spots on the Adriatic.

Some of the problems that currently hamper the development of Montenegrin tourism are inadequate infrastructure, notably the road infrastructure in the north, and electricity and water supply in the south of the country. The informal construction is also a problem.

[edit] Demographics

Ethnic map of the Republic of Montenegro according to the 2003 census.      Montenegrins      Serbs      Bosniaks      Albanians      Muslims      Croats      Romas      No ethnic majority      No inhabitants or unknown

[edit] Ethnicity

According to 2003 census, Montenegro has 620,145 citizens. If the methodology used up to 1991 was used in the 2003 census, Montenegro would officially have 673,094 citizens. Most recent estimates stake somewhere below 700,000 inhabitants.

When the census was taken Montenegro was a non-national civic state. In the meantime, the Constitution was changed, hence it now recognizes the major ethnic groups living in it: Montenegrins, Serbs, Bosniaks, Albanians, Muslims and Croats. Ethnic composition according to the 2004 official data:[19]

Number %
TOTAL 620,145 100
Montenegrins 267,669 43.16
Serbs 198,414 31.99
Bosniaks 48,184 7.77
Albanians 45,163 5.03
Ethnic Muslims 24,625 3.97
Croats 6,811 1.1
Roma 2,601 0.42
Yugoslavs 1,860 0.3
others 38,818 6.26

[edit] Language

Linguistic map of the Republic of Montenegro according to the 2003 census. Blue: Serbian language Red: Montenegrin language Violet: Albanian language Green: Bosniac language Yellow: Bosnian language

Most citizens speak the Serbian language of the Iyekavian dialect. However, as of 2004 the moves for an independent Montenegrin language were promoted and with the new 2007 Constitution it became Montenegro's prime official language. Next to it, Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian are recognized in usage. All of these languages except for Albanian are virtually identical in common usage.

Number %
TOTAL 620,145 100
Serbian 393,740 63.49
Montenegrin 136,208 21.96
Bosnian/Bosniac 34,078 5.49
Albanian 32,603 5.26
Croatian 2,791 0.45
other 20,725 3.34

[edit] Religion

Most Montenegrin inhabitants are Orthodox Christians, followers of the Serbian Orthodox Church's Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral. The religious institutions all have guaranteed rights and are separate from the state. There is a sizeable number of Sunni Muslims in Montenegro that maintain their own Islamic Community of Montenegro. There is also a small Roman Catholic population, divided onto the Archdiocese of Antivari headed by Primate of Serbia and the Diocese of Kotor that is a part of the Church of Croatia. Religious determination according to the census:

Number %
TOTAL 620,145 100
Orthodox 460,383 74.24
Muslim 110,034 17.74
Roman Catholic 21,972 3.54
other 27,756 4.48

According the newest report, there are 24,610 total refugees from the Yugoslav wars in Montenegro, forming 4.2% of the total population. 16,136 are refugees from Kosovo after 1999 and 8,474 expelled from Croatia and Bosnia.

[edit] Culture

The Church of Our Lady of the Rocks, an example of Roman Catholic architecture in Montenegro.
National Museum of Montenegro in Cetinje (Former Palace of King Nikola I)

The culture of Montenegro has been shaped by a variety of influences throughout history. The influence of Orthodox, Slavonic, Central European, Islamic, and seafaring Adriatic cultures (notably parts of Italy, like the Republic of Venice) have been the most important in recent centuries.

Montenegro has many significant cultural and historical sites, including heritage sites from the pre-Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque periods. The Montenegrin coastal region is especially well known for its religious monuments, including the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor[20] (Cattaro under the Venetians), the basilica of St. Luke (over 800 years), Our Lady of the Rocks (Škrpjela), the Savina Monastery and others. Montenegro's medieval monasteries contain thousands of square metres of frescos on their walls.

The traditional folk dance of the Montenegrins is the Oro, a circle dance that involves dancers standing on each other's shoulders in a circle while one or two dancers are dancing in the middle.

The first literary works written in the region are ten centuries old, and the first Montenegrin book was printed five hundred years ago. The first state-owned printing press was located in Cetinje in 1494, where the first South Slavic book, Oktoih, was printed the same year. Ancient manuscripts, dating from the thirteenth century, are kept in the Montenegrin monasteries.[21]

Montenegro's capital Podgorica and the former royal capital of Cetinje are the two most important centers of culture and the arts in the country.

[edit] Education

Education in Montenegro is regulated by the Montenegrin Ministry of Education and Science.

Education starts in either pre-schools or elementary schools. Children enroll in elementary schools (Serbian: Osnovna škola) at the age of 6; it lasts 9 years. The students may continue their secondary education, which lasts 4 years (3 years for trade schools) and ends with graduation (Matura). Higher education lasts with a certain first degree after 3 to 6 years.

[edit] Sport

Serbia and Montenegro were represented by a single football team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament, despite having formally split just weeks prior to its start. Following this event, this team has been inherited by Serbia, while a new one was organized to represent Montenegro in international competitions.[22] On March 24, 2007, the Montenegrin national team came from behind to win its first ever fixture, 2-1, in a friendly game against Hungary at the Podgorica Stadium.[23] On their 119th Session in Guatemala City in July 2007, the International Olympic Committee granted recognition and membership to the newly formed Montenegrin National Olympic Committee. Montenegro made its debut at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Water polo is one of the most popular sports in the country. Montenegro won the European Championships in Malaga, Spain on July 13, 2008 over Serbia 6-5 in a game that was tied 5-5 after four quarters. This was Montenegro's first major international competition for which they had to qualify through two LEN tournaments. Montenegro’s first division in water polo consists of five clubs, all with an annual budget of one million Euros and more - VK Primorac Kotor (2007 and 2008 Montenegro champions), VK Jadran Herceg Novi (2006 champions of Serbia-Montenegro), VK Budvanska Rivijera Budva, VK Prcanj and VK Bijela. From the coming season 2008-09 they will be joined by a sixth club, VK Cattaro. Additionally, they qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing but did not win.

[edit] In popular culture

The first official international representation of Montenegro as an independent state was in the Miss World 2006 celebrated on September 30, 2006 in Warsaw, Poland. Ivana Knežević from the city of Bar was the first Miss Montenegro at any international beauty pageant. Both Montenegro and Serbia competed separately in this pageant for the first time after the state union came to an end.

Part of the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale is set in Montenegro, although the filming was done in Czech Republic.

Nero Wolfe, the eccentric fictional detective created by American writer Rex Stout, is Montenegrin by birth. One Nero Wolfe novel, The Black Mountain, takes place in Tito-era Montenegro.

Jay Gatsby, the main character of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby, had been given a medal of honour by the Montenegrin King Nicholas I.

The setting for Franz Lehár 1905 operetta The Merry Widow is the Paris embassy of the Grand Duchy of Pontevedro. Pontevedro is a fictionalized version of Montenegro and several of the characters were loosely based on actual Montenegrin nobility.

[edit] Montenegrin holidays

A view of Sveti Stefan island in the Budva municipality.
Date Name Notes
1 January New Year's Day (non-working holiday)
7 January Orthodox Christmas (non-working)
14 January Julian New Year's Day
25 April Orthodox Good Friday Date for 2008 only
27 April Orthodox Easter Date for 2008 only
28 April Orthodox Easter Monday Date for 2008 only
1 May Labour Day (non-working)
9 May Victory Day
21 May Independence Day (non-working)
13 July Statehood Day (non-working)

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ CIA World Factbook: Montenegro
  2. ^ Data refer to the year 2008. PPP GDP 2008, CIA The World Factbook, The World Factbook, 2008. Note: Per capita values were obtained by dividing the PPP GDP data by the Population data.
  3. ^ Data refer to the year 2007. Total GDP 2007 & Population 2007, World Development Indicators database, World Bank, July 1, 2008. Note: Per capita values were obtained by dividing the Total GDP data by the Population data.
  4. ^ Basic data of Montenegro
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ List of members to the United Nations by joining date
  8. ^ Directorate of Communication - The Republic of Montenegro becomes 47th Council of Europe member state
  9. ^ Montenegro files EU membership application
  10. ^ Geography
  11. ^ this literal translation is used in Mainland China and Hong Kong; Taiwanese Mandarin uses 蒙特內哥羅 "méngtènèigēluó", a phonetic transcription of "Montenegro"
  12. ^ ISO 3166-1 Newsletter No. V-12, Date: 2006-09-26
  13. ^ "Porodica Nedžiba Loje o Njegovom Hapšenju i Deportaciji 1992". Godine [1][clarification needed]
  14. ^ "Russia pushes peace plan". BBC. 1999-04-29. 
  15. ^ BBC News: Montenegro vote result confirmed
  16. ^ BBC News: Montenegro declares independence
  17. ^ Index - Diplomáciai botrány Szerbia és Montenegró között
  18. ^ Vijesti: Crna Gora tražila javno izvinjenje zbog afere "kvazidržava"
  19. ^ Official results of the 2003 Montenegrin census
  20. ^ Kotor
  21. ^ Montenet - History of Montenegro: Crnojevic Rule
  22. ^ UEFA: Montenegro set for big adventure
  23. ^ Montenegro take a bow at victory

^ Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2006 census - [h]

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

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