Snapshots of Europe: Lovćen National Park, Montenegro and the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš

Petar II Petrović-Njegoš c. 1851
Petar II Petrović-Njegoš c. 1851

In this land of the Black Mountains (Montenegro) you have spectacular views across this small mountainous nation. Atop the peak of Jezerski Vrh (1,657m) in the Lovćen National Park in Montenegro sits the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. He was a famous Prince-Bishop of Montenegro and also a poet and philosopher whose works are considered some of the most important in Montenegrin literature. He died in 1851 (born 1813) but this the second tomb in which he was buried, was constructed between 1970 to 1974.

Originally he was buried in a small chapel that he had built prior to his death but it was badly damaged during World War One and his remains were removed until it was reconstructed in the 1920’s. There he remained until the then Communist Yugoslav government demolished it in the 1960’s and built the current much larger tomb which was certainly against his final wishes and has always been marred in local controversy!

Montenegrin troops atop Lovćen in October 1914
Montenegrin troops atop Lovćen in October 1914 – I gather that is the original chapel behind them

The journey involved a long winding series of roads up into the mountains from Kotor, then following a brief walk up 461 steps to the top, you are greeted by the Mausoleum. The entrance is guarded by two massive statues of women in traditional costume. Inside is a black granite statue of the Prince-Bishop resting within the wings of an eagle which seats beneath a golden arched ceiling. In the level below is the tomb itself (carved from a single block of stone by Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović).

Mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš Montenegro
461 steps to the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš
Mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš Montenegro
The entrance to the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš
The inner sanctum of the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš
The inner sanctum of the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš
Lovćen National Park Montenegro
Lovćen National Park
Montenegro Lovćen National Park
Look across Montenegro
Lovćen National Park Montenegro
From farms to mountains and forest – Lovćen National Park
Lovćen National Park
Great views
Lovćen National Park
Mountain to city and beyond
Lovćen National Park Montenegro
The land of Black Mountains
Lovćen National Park
A fantastic place to visit on a nice day
Enjoying the views across Montenegro in Lovćen National Park
Enjoying the views across Montenegro in Lovćen National Park

Don’t miss the viewing area behind the tomb. On a clear day you can see most of the country from up there and as far away as Albania to the south and Croatia to the north. Although he may not have wanted to be buried their you would be hard pressed to find a more stunning vista for a final resting place!

 

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