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Clark Weeks Brief History Of Montenegro

Since Clark Weeks has been to Montenegro a number of times because that is where his wife’s family is from, he as decided to let people know a little more about the country. Today it is a brief history of the country of Montenegro, one of the newer countries in the world and yet a very old region.

It is very rare to come across a straightforward Balkan history and Montenegro is no exception. Boundary lines in present-day Montenegro have been drawn and re-drawn since time immemorial. Montenegro finally became an independent country in 2006 when it gained independence from Yugoslavia.

Clark Weeks history of Montenegro - Perast Montenegro
Perast Montenegro

Early History

Early history records show that the area that we call Montenegro was first inhabited by the Illyrians. During the Bronze age, the Illyrians made conquests through the Mediterranean and set up trade practices. The Romans finally won over the Illyrian kingdom in the 2nd Century BC. The Roman Empire’s history chronicles mention the region. Their name for it was the territory of Duklja or Doclea.

The Middle Ages

It was the Slavs who entered this region in the 7th century and gave it the name of Doclea. They are also credited for the spread of Christianity. Soon Christianity became the main religion of the Montenegro region. In the 9th century, the Slavs also managed to establish this territory as an independent dukedom of Doclea. The 11th century saw Byzantine occupation as the Serbian realm fell. In 1077, the Catholic world recognized Montenegro as an independent kingdom by the catholic world. However, this did not last long. By the 12th century, the kingdom became a subject of Rascia.

Clark Weeks history of Montenegro - Budva church Montenegro
Budva church

Modern Period

Venice controlled the coasts of this diverse land of modern-day Montenegro from 1420 to 1797. A portion of this area was also under the realm of the Ottoman empire till as late as 1912. The last portion of Montenegro became partially independent in 1516 and gained the status of a theocratic state.

The lower levels of priests were not based on heredity and could marry. Then there were Vladikas. These were princes and they also had the title of bishop. Rank has privileges. However, the top levels in the church, including the Vladika remained celibate. Vladikas were the rulers yet they were elected until 1696. In 1696 the current Vladika changed it to a hereditary system. A rather odd hereditary system because the Vladika was supposed to be celibate. That meant the next Vladika was usually the nephew of the current Vladika.

Throughout history, Montenegro has been under constant attack from invaders like the Venetians and the Ottomans. However, the region stood its ground and successfully succeeded in maintaining itself as a partially independent state throughout much of history.

Historians consider Nicholas I to be the most prominent leader in the modern period. Under him, the country not only was granted the status of a kingdom but also established its first-ever constitution in 1905. However, some feel that king Nicholas abandoned the country during the 1st world war. In 1941, during the second world war, Montenegro came under Italian occupation. At the same time Montenegro started fighting a civil war. After World War II, Montenegro became a republic of Yugoslavia. In spite of being the smallest republic in terms of area and population, Montenegro gained economic strength.


While Montenegro saw nearly seven incarnations as different occupants adorned its lands throughout history. The one thing that remained consistent was its striving for freedom. On May 21, 2006, the republic sought a referendum and most of its citizens voted for independence. This varied history has made it an interesting destination that attracts numerous travelers every year. Clark Weeks hopes you liked this history of Montenegro and recommends that you visit Montenegro between June and September.

We hope you like the other posts in this blog.


Clark Weeks Intro to Montenegro – Things to Do and Sights to See

Clark Weeks Intro to Montenegro - Photo of Kotor
Kotor Montenegro

Clark Weeks’ wife is from Montenegro and they wanted to give an intro to Montenegro and share this wonderful country with the world. It has a beautiful coastline with charming towns, mountains with ski resorts and the people are friendly.

Picture this: a quite riverside village basking beneath the golden sun, the water upon the horizon glistening and dancing beneath the distance image of a smaller isle of green and shoal. The buildings climb up the cobblestone streets and walls, and a bell tower with an orange roof stands proud above the streets and seas, the simple imagery causing the sound of bells ringing far away in the distance to resonate in your ears.

This seems like a picture you’d only see on one of those hokey inspirational quote posters from the early 2000s, but what if I told you such a place exists in the country of Montenegro? One of the newer countries in Europe after becoming an independent land in 2006, chances are you’ve seen a picture from this beautiful place, but never knew its name until now.

It boasts some of the most breathtaking views Europe has to offer, from the gorgeous country sides that look as though they were shaped by divinity and finished with an emerald touch, or the old villages whose architecture has withstood the test of time.


Even a day trip around Montenegro won’t be enough to show you all it has to offer, but it can show you a lot! You could begin your day by venturing out to Perast, a sleepy little seaside town where a day in the life of the locals is easy to observe, fishing and sailing the tranquil waters, and selling their goods to one another at arguably some of the best prices you’ll find around! It’s a lovely place to go, and there’s a lot less tourist density here, so if you are one to escape the mundane crowds, this is certainly among the best places you could visit!

If religious sites and architecture are more your venture, you’ll find no shortage of famous houses of worship that will not only leave you in awe, but look truly unique in your photo album! “Our Lady of the Rocks” is like something out of a postcard that you just don’t believe is a real place, and when you hear about its origins, you may still question it. Built upon a manmade island of blocks and stone over half a millennium ago by fishermen just off of Perast, it is one of the few Catholic Church located in the country, which is Orthodox in majority.

Bobotuv Kuk and Kotor

But if you want to see from the eyes of heaven itself, the most adventurous thing to do in any country is to climb to a really high place and take it all in, right? Bobotuv Kuk is quite an endeavor to make, but for the thrill seekers and moderately seasoned hikers, you will never see a better view than this place. It will take several hours, and you will most definitely need proper climbing equipment to make it to the summit, but the view is ultimately worth the journey if you want to see the sunset horizon bask the glacial lakes in amber glow. Another spot that offers incredible views is the Castle of Giovanni in Kotor. It’s not a long hike to the formidable fortress but it is incredibly exhausting as the hike has 1355 stairs to climb and 70 switchbacks. But hey, the stunning sunset view on the castle is spectacular! I’d say it’s worthwhile.

Montenegro is a hidden gem among European travel destinations, and may not be for everyone. A lot of tours don’t appear to divulge much about the nation’s history or culture, but maybe in time that will change as tourism becomes more popular. It’s definitely a must see for anyone who appreciates the simple beauties of the world, or maybe just to someone looking for inspiration from more than just a picture with some nice words on it.

Clark Weeks and Wife Hope You Enjoy this Blog

From various trips to Montenegro, Clark Weeks has come to see why Montenegro is so special to her. We hope that with this blog we can help show you why they love the country.…