Destinations / Central region
Interesting Buildings in Cetinje, MontenegroSaturday, September 10, 2011 · Region Central region · Comments
When Montenegrin independence was recognized by the decision of the Berlin Congress in 1878 many European countries have established diplomatic relations with Montenegro. For the new international consulates and their personnel either well-built houses or brand new objects were provided. Those regarded as most beautiful are buildings of the consulates of Austria-Hungary, Russia, France, Italy, Turkey and England. All these buildings were designed to show the power and the wealth of the countries they represented. They are surrounded by tennis courts.
The former Italian Consulate
The building of the Italian consulate was built in 1910 according to the project of Italian architect Corradini. It was located on the outskirts of Cetinje and surrounded by woods. The building itself appears simple without any decorations. The interior though is rather luxurious. Its festive halls and numerous rooms are decorated with plastering. Nowadays, it houses the National Library "Djurdje Crnojevic".
Former Austro-Hungarian consulate
The first one to be built was Austrian-Hungarian. It was built according to the plan of renowned architect Josip Slade in 1899. It’s a large building consisting of the ground floor, first floor and the attic. By its northern side there's a Roman Catholic Chapel. Today, there is the Republic Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage.
Former Russian Consulate
In 1903 a building of the Russian consulate was built according to the project of Italian architect Corradini. This luxurious building consists of the ground floor, first floor and the beautiful attic decorated with rich Baroque ornaments with various fantastic motives and wreaths. That’s why it is considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings at Cetinje. Today, it houses the Faculty of Arts.
The French Embassy is a remnant of Cetinjie's past as a capital city, together with other embassies. It's no longer a functional one, but it is one of the most impressive "illustrious" buildings left. It was built in 1910 and designed by the French architects Paul Gaudet and August Perret. What makes this building stand out is the fact that its facade is cmpletely covered with polychrome ceramic tiles. Today the Embassy has become the home of the Department of Old and Rare Books of the Central National Library of Montenegro.
Zestski Dom - National Theatre
The premier theatre play at Cetinje was held in 1888 in the new-built theatre called "Zetski dom". It was "The Empress of the Balkans" written by Prince Nikola. Thanks to the Amateur Society of Cetinje founded by the end of the 1883 the theatre of Cetinje had remained active up to the end of Montenegrin independence in 1916. The theatre stopped working during the Austrian-Hungarian occupation. The building itself was destroyed as well as its inventory. The theatre was reconstructed in 1931. After the Second World War "Zetski dom" was regarded as the republic theatre. From 1958 on it became semi-professional theatre. In the nineties the theatre was renewed once again and its scene was enlarged. It was given its old name "Royal Montenegrin National Theatre".
The Kings Palace
The Palace of King Nikola I (the last king of Montenegro) is also the home of a small museum. In the palace, you will see original pieces of furniture and artifacts and the house as it was during the reign of King Nikola, along with several portraits of the ruling family. Montenegro's most important treasures, such as many Turkish banners that were captured in battle, military uniforms and weapons of the royal family, gifts to Montenegro from other countries, and works of art can be found inside.
Former Serbian embassy
As an old capital, Cetinje was a home to many foreign embassies. The former serbian Embassy is now a beautiful Villa.
Former England consulate
The English consulate was built in the typical English simple style in 1912.It was built according to the project of English architect Hartey. The simplicity of the exterior that resembles the English summerhouse characterized also the interior that is subordinated to the function. Today it houses the Music Academy.
Njegos residence known as Biljarda is located nearby the Monastery of Cetinje. It was built in 1838. In the beginning it was called the New House but soon it was named Billiard after Njegos billiards. Billiard was brought from Vienna in 1839. It was situated in the largest room of Billiard House. Njegos used to demonstrate on it his skill playing with his distinguished guests.
Billiard has a look of a medieval castle. The building itself was impressive for the time it was built in. It was over 70 meters long and 7 and a half meters wide, with 25 rooms, 11 of which were on the ground floor and 14 on the first floor. Billiard was a residence to Njegos successors Prince Danilo and Prince Nikola as well till 1867. This remarkable building also housed some state institutions. The printing house has operated here for some time, then Seminary, Gymnasium and Girls Institute for a short period.
By time, both exterior and interior of Billiard have been changed. First significant change was made at the time of Prince Danilo when they built a new building by the west-fencing wall and removed southwest tower. That building was preserved up to the present day. At the beginning of the 20th century a large military building was built by the southeast wing of Billiard when they removed the another tower. Drastic changes were made in 1910 when its fencing wall and the other two towers were removed in order to open its view to the monastery. On the centenary of Njegos death in 1951 Billiard was given its original look.
In 1951 Njegos Museum were founded in Biljarada. Certain number of valuable objects and part of the Library of Petar I Petrovic Njegos from Monastery was transferred here. In Museum you can see and learn about the life and work of the bishop, ruler and poet Petar II Petrovic Njegos.