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Cetinje History

The History of Cetinje – Part VII

1907. and 1908 were especially critical for the former Montenegrin president Nikola I, because in those years the opponents of the King have tried, two times, to kill him. In the year 1910. Montenegro was proclaimed  Kingdom, and on Cetinje for that occasion a celebration was held for the golden jubilee, the 50 years of the ruling of King Nikola in Montenegro.

In 1912.for Cetinje and Montenegro very hard time begins, because the state goes into the Balkan war. With the victory in Balkan wars (1912. – 1913), Montenegro expands its territory to 14. 443 km², and liberates 10 cities. Also, in the same 1913, Montenegro on the side of Serbia, participates in the war against Bulgaria. Those events for Cetinje and the state as a whole represented the announcement of the Ist World War, in which Montenegro, in 1916. participating on the side of Serbia, started the war against Austro – Hungary. In 1916. there comes to a great turnover in Montenegro, Montenegrin army surrenders, and because of the circumstances in the country, which inviolably affected the ruler, King Nikola Petrovic goes to exile.

Even though Montenegro managed to liberate itself from Austro – Hungary, immediately after that political event better known as “Podgorica`s parliament”, which was held in November of 1918. it will have a decisive impact on Cetinje as a former capital of Montenegro, as well as the state as a whole. On Podgorica`s parliament, the territory of the state Montenegro was annexed to the state of Serbia and the dynasty Petrovic – Njegos immediately dethroned. Towards the end of 1918. and the beginning of 1919 year, in Cetinje and on the wider area in majority parts of north Montenegro, an event better know as “white terror” (bijeli terror),  occurred, when “in blood” the Montenegrin national revolution was  smothered (crushed), which for a goal had the rebellion against the annex of Montenegro to Serbia. Under the motto “For right, honor and freedom of Montenegro” on the 6th of January, the Christmas uprising was started. Its starters were the members of the Montenegrin Green party, but their efforts to restore the reputation and function to the Kingdom Montenegro, failed immediately, because with the Versailles contract in Paris in 1919. the new state on the Balkans – Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians was recognized, and by that the annex of Montenegro to Serbia was also recognized. That year officially the state of Montenegro ceased to exist, and the capital Cetinje to loose its importance.

The period of the reign of King Nikola, will remain in history of Montenegro and Cetinje remembered not only by and extreme political maturity and wisdom of a ruler, but also by a great development of Montenegro. The period of his reign marked a positive and sudden development of Montenegro with the diplomatic circles in the former Europe. At that time Cetinje is being composed architectonically and urbanistically, so the first legations of the foreign countries are being built: Austro – Hungary, Russia, Italy, England, France, Bulgaria and many others. The buildings, in which the legations of the leading European countries were seated, exist even today. In some of then culturally – historical institutions of Montenegro are placed, and some of them are waiting to be renovated or adapted.

In 1921, King Nikola, the ruler of Montenegro until 1919, dies in exile, while in Cetinje the heir of the throne Danilo Petrovic, abdicated in benefit of his nephew Mihailo, who is considered to be the last Montenegrin king, without his kingdom.
The influence of Serbia and its politics on the events in Montenegro and Cetinje was constant until the World War II in 1941. year, when on 12th of July, Montenegro under the leadership of the Communist party of Yugoslavia, was proclaimed a sovereign state.

Already near the end of 1941. year, Cetinje is being taken by the Italian occupying army, the town lives in fear and under the command of the new occupiers. Organized in smaller saboteur groups people from Cetinje during the World War II were trying in various ways to stand up to the enemy.
It was like that until the liberation of the town in 1944., when the troupes of partisans and the rebels from the area of Cetinje brought freedom to the town – a hero, as Cetinje is called today.

In the Republic of Montenegro, after the World War II, Cetinje is no longer the capital city of that Republic, but its functions are taken over by Podgorica. Since then, and until 1989. Cetinje is more a business, historical, and cultural center. However, by the breaking out of the war in the area of the former SFRJ (Socialistic Federative Republic of Yugoslavia) in 1991., those functions too slowly begin to dye. With the ending of the work of big economic enterprises like holding company “Obod”, transport enterprise “Bojana”, shoe factory “Kosuta” etc. Cetinje becomes poorer and poorer and its former reputation and significance disappear.

Even though in the last years something has been done for the revitalization of the vital functions of the town, Cetinje is still considered to be a town of rich history and culture but its social and economic life is still not well developed.

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