On the 16th km on the road from Cetinje to Podgorica there is a visibly marked board, on which there is a road sign for Rijeka Crnojevica. That area of Montenegro and Cetinje, will hardly be uninteresting for you, because in the past, especially in the period of the reign of King Nikola it was used as a winter king’s residence, and because of its unusual beauty and natural surrounding it got the name “Montenegrin Nice”. The beauty of Rijeka Crnojevica, no matter how well its beauty is described, it can hardly be imagined by anyone until one gets there and sees that for himself. Of that best speaks its more and more used name ‘Little Venice” on which quickly and easily almost all visitors and tourists got used to. It is best to go to Rijeka Crnojevica by your own car, rent – a car vehicle or taxi van. If you wish to come to Rijeka Crnojevica from Cetinje or from the Coast, and you are a passionate devotee of nature then it is best that you stop at the very turning towards the Rijeka Crnojevica, and easily walk down the curvy road to the very destination.

On Rijeka Crnojevica the time that has stopped and human oblivion have kept the beauty of the nature intact, but have also influenced that only ruins can now speak of the famous history of what used to be the strongest trading center.

Pavlova Strana Viewpoint, Near Rijeka Crnojevica
Pavlova Strana Viewpoint, Near Rijeka Crnojevica

Rijeka Crnojevica has its own very tempestuous but above all significant history for the people of Montenegro. Namely, that place at the beginning of the XV century was the capital city of the founder of Cetinje Ivan Crnojevic. The Orthodox bishopric was at that time moved from Vranjina (a place famous because of the shooting of the Montenegrin movies of the director Zivko Nikolic) to Obod, a hill above Rijeka Crnojevica.

Thirty years after Gutenberg, on Obod Cyrillic leaden letters were cast and the work of the first printing shop at south Slavs began.

On Rijeka Crnojevica there used to be a winter home of the famous Montenegrin dynasty Petrovic, because in this place there was almost no wind, and the climate was even milder than on the coast. The famous bridge across the river was built in 1853. by Prince Danilo, while the bigger bridge, that connects River with Virpazar was built by Prince Nikola in 1905.

Rijeka Crnojevica Bridge
Rijeka Crnojevica Bridge

During the XIX and at the beginning of the XX century Rijeka Crnojevica was the most important market in this part of the Balkans. On the Italian dining tables a product from these areas – dried bleak was much appreciated. In River all three confessions lived and traded happily, and the Muslims were thought to be the best tradesman.

A great fortune of this area were houses that were situated on the lake “eyes” (little pools) which there are many in this area and that are very rich with fish. Before the Balkan wars the River was filled with manufacture shops, and right here the first pharmacy in Montenegro was opened, as well as the first gun shop. In the factory “Marica” situated in Rijeka Crnojevica, the pearl made of fish scales was produced.

That Rijeka Crnojevica is a fishing place mainly, we can see by the fish factory “Ribastvo” (Fishing), which is found just next to the road towards it. What used to be a trading and fishing borough, until recently it was very devastated, but it was renewed and a boardwalk was built, as well as Danilo's bridge, and from both sides of the River the stone walls were constructed.

Rijeka Crnojevica, Lake Skadar
Rijeka Crnojevica, Lake Skadar

Tourists, everyday, especially during the summer gladly visit Rijeka Crnojevica. The devotees of nature, the funs of good photograph and unusual landscapes come here. Often on Rijeka Crnojevica they can stay for a whole day, and take pictures with their cameras without getting tired. The famous director Emir Kusturica and the world champion in canoe riding are frequent guests of Rijeka Crnojevica and especially the Dobrosko village, which is surrounded by small vineyards form whose type the famous vines and brandies of Montenegro are made. Fiord of the Rijeka Crnojevica, for years has been thrilling numerous individuals that are engaged in various types of art, and it is not strange that the motifs of the well known Danilo's bridge on the River are found on the calendars, postcards and atlases that are found and bought all over the world.

If you take the wooden canoe and from the very nicely built port you set yourself out down the water you can ride in the direction of the famous place Karuc, where the well known summer cottage of St. Peter from Cetinje is placed, which even though it is neglected has something from the old times in itself.

In that area for ever the fishermen have been living. They have famous vineyards. For the refreshments and a break from the trip or the ride, in Karuc there is a small house – restaurant, with only 3 or 4 tables but rich and various meals are offered to tourists. Mostly that is fish from the River and red Montenegrin vine, which the owners of the restaurant make by themselves. When you are going through the Rijeka Crnojevica it is nice to visit the village Dodosi, in which famous clappers of the Montenegrin – French movie “The Unseen Miracle” of the director Zivko Nikolic were made. In the village there are unusually built houses, which lean one onto the other, and all over the area the smell of the fish, smoked or fried bream, or the well dried salty bleaks spreads around.

There are various initiatives for the revitalization of Rijeka Crnojevica. The new look of the River means the posing of the new drinking fountain on the place of the old one, the adaptation of the dilapidated green areas and the renewal of the facilities and houses. The local residents of the Rijeka Crnojevica are hoping that the asphalt road from the Wells to Obod will be made, so that the tourists and visitors could see the old mills, which will, instead for milling will serve to restaurant owners to make the attractive restaurants and places for rest Also, on the locality called “Zabran Kralja Nikole” (The Ban of King Nikola), close to Rijeka Crnojevica, a part of the fence will be repaired and a house for the placement of the food and the watering halls will be built, which will be mostly used by the passionate hunters (safari – hunt) and numerous funs of game (venison), who will come to River to observe the deer game, with which the ban will be soon enriched. The reservation is rich with deers, and there is an idea with which that space could be turned into the ZOO. Until then we should enjoy in the things that River offers us now.

On Rijeka Crnojevica an unusual emotion is being created. Sometimes it is hard and sometimes it is easy to describe it. The peacefulness of the entire area blends into some weird tones. A divine is a feeling that reminds you to the spirits of the past times spiced with some strange peace, which is reinforced with the vision that is made by water that almost doesn’t flow. About that maybe the best witnesses are permanent residents of the sleepy River and its water: cattail, water mint, its beauty is best singled out by the fine leaves of white and yellow water lily, and below the fishing canoes the specimens pf lake fishes like: carp, bleak, eel, bream, salmonidae… can be found often. All of that is beautified with a green fiord and mild climate that sometimes knows to be even more pleasant than the coastal climate, because it is made by the mountain freshness and easiness of the south currents.

That tranquil of peace and nature, knows to be interrupted by some old fisherman or several of them, who going into their wooden canoes start spreading their nets or preparing harpoons, in order to skillfully catch the fish, and so on!

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