Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Drowning in Culture

We decided to go to the former Royal Capitol of Montenegro, Cetinje, because that is where the majority of museums depicting the history and culture are located. Cetinje is about an hour away by bus. We went to the bus station, bought our tickets, and headed out. When we arrived, we managed to navigate the area until we found the Centar (centar of town, every Balkan town seems to have one). This statue is of the founder of Cetinje. We had a lovely little book detailing all of the museums in Montenegro which we had been given when we visited the art musuem here in Podgorica, and it had a map to the museums in Cetinje.
Turns out that there are five major museums, all within a short distance of each other. There is even a sign that gives the distance to other major musuems, including the Pergamon, the Vatican and the Louvre. We were able to buy a pass that gave us access to all five museums, and so we visited the Ethnography (or culture) museum first. Here on display were tools used in the production of wool, linen and hemp garmets, bags and other cloth goods (from shearing or hacking to spinning, weaving, and knitting) and an array of the produced articles themselves.
The next two museums detailed the lives of two important rulers of Montenegro, King Nikola, the last Monarch of Montenegro who was exiled just before World War I, and Peter II Petrović Njegoš, the last Prince Bishop (religous and government leader) of Montengro. He is the one who is burried at Lovćen. In King Nikola's home there were many lavish rooms full of beautiful furniture, rugs and valuable vases and other artistic items. Some very intricately carved weapons, as well as stamps, money and costumes of the time period were on display at both museums. There were also some custom made objects for Peter who was 6'8", including his vestments. Our final two museums were in the same building, and we were beginning to run out of steam, but still went through the history museum and the art museum. The monastery was not included on our ticket, and it was pretty much closing time for the day, so we just took this picture from the outside. Neither one of us was really longing to see the preserved hand of a dead saint anyway.
As we waited at the busstop for the next bus to Podgorica, it started to rain. It had been a lovely, sunny day until then, so we felt particularly lucky that it held off so we could enjoy our day in Cetinje.

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