Next door was the Royal Theater; notice the Cyrillic writing above the front door.
Getting ready for a long, cold winter ahead.
The National Museum of Montenegro is actually a collection of five museums housed in a clump of important buildings. We purchased the Museum Pass ticket which was valid for all of the museums for only 10 euros each. What a great value especially since it was also good for the next day as we didn't have time to see them all before they closed at what we were told initially was 5:30!
Two museums were housed in the former Parliament Building built in 1910. The History Museum was on the first floor and the Art Museum was upstairs. We were the first to admit that we didn't expect much at all from either one. Were we wrong!
The History Museum was very well laid out following a timeline from the Stone Age to 2006.
Copy of a frescoe from the monastery in Gradiste.
Fourth to second century BC pottery vessels from Budva. We had just visited Budva, near Kotor, if you recall.
On July 13th, 1941, the largest uprising, up to then, against any occupying forces in occupied Europe took place in Montenegro. More than 30,000 people took up arms to fight for freedom from Italy and, in just a few days, succeeded in liberating almost the entire country with the exception of a few major towns. The uprising began in Cetinje. The Italians were stunned by the size of the reaction and brought in additional forces. Because of their superior manpower and quality of arms, the uprising was doomed to failure.
In December, 1941, headquarters of the Liberation Army of Yugoslavia established the title of People's Hero as the greatest recognition to fighters, commanders and others. During the war from 1941-45, 250 soldiers and one city, Cetinje, were awarded with the Order of the People's Hero for witnessed heroism and merit.
In 1993, Yugoslavia saw the greatest ever recorded hyperinflation at an annual rate of 120 billion per cent and the beginnning of the controversial privatization while the foreign savings accounts of its citizens were robbed.
UN Resolution 1244 in June of 1999 established peace in Kosovo. According to the information at the museum, 136,812 refugees, 80,000 from Kosovo alone, found shelter in Montenegro from areas affected by war and political unrest from 1991-95. It was a huge burden on Montenegro considering the size of the small country's population.
Here are some paintings and sculptures that caught my eye or struck my fancy.
'Blood and Blood'
I was repeatedly drawn to this figure and couldn't quite decide if I was horrified, repulsed or what. It was certainly one of rhe strangest pieces of art I've ever seen. If the artist meant for the viewer to remember it, he certainly achieved his goal in my case!
Even though the palace was looted during WWII, enough plush furnishings, stern portraits and taxidermied animals remained for us to cpature the spirit of the court!
The furniture in this room looked initially like rattan, but it was only upon closer examination that it was very ornately carved wood.
A view of Cetinje Monastery from the palace:
It was neat seeing the arrows pointing to some of the world's most famous art museums in the square where the King Nikola Museum and the next museum on our list, the Njegoš Museum, were located. We've been fortunate enough to already have seen some of the museums listed and hope to make it to more of them in our future travels.
Since we thought all the museums closed at 5:30, we really had to scurry through at a quicker rate than we normally feel comfortable. We went next to the castle-like Njegoš Museum, dedicated to the man whose Mausoleum we had hiked to that morning. Njegoš was a prince-bishop and famous poet beloved by all Montenegrins.
The building was financed by the Russians in 1838 and contained the nations's first billiard table, hence the museum's alternative name, Biljarda!
The first steamboat to sail the Adriatic:
Copies of Njegos' epic poem 'The Mountain Wreath' translated into many languages:
This one was the Braille edition!
Steven could figure out on the huge map where exactly Cetinje was because he was able to match the map up with the one on his ipad.
We had read that the chapel holds the monastery's proudest possessions, a shard of the true cross and also the mummified right hand of St. John the Baptist. The hand has had a fascinating history, having escaped wars and revolutions and passed through the hands of Byzantine emperors, Ottoman sultans, the Knights of the Hospitalier, Russian tsars and Serbian kings! The hand was in the small fabric-covered casket by the chapel window in the photo below. The casket is only opened occasionally for veneration. I think we were just as glad we missed out on seeing it as it wouldn't have been a very pleasant sight!