Lovcen

lovcenLovcen is a National Park that overlooks the Adriatic Basin as well as Boka and Kotorska Bays. It sits close to Kotor and has two peaks, Jezerski vrh and Stirovnik. The slopes on Lovcen Mountain are very rocky and have many pits and fissures. These give it a spectacular look and the mountain itself is a major tourist attraction. Many tourists visit simply to get pictures of the mountainside.

Lovcen Mountain combines climates from both the Adriatic Sea and the mainland. There are more than 1200 different plant species on the mountain, four of which are endemic. The National Park contains the highest peak and most of the central mountainside. It covers more than 60km. The region of the mountain was proclaimed a National Park in 1952 and was established to help protect the region’s heritage.

The area around the mountain holds many small villages and old houses and the road that climbs the mountainside from Kotor to Njegusi is where the Royal Family of Petrovic was established. The mountain has rich historical and cultural influence. During the Great War, the Montenegrin Army was situated directly across from the mountain when it began firing on Austro-Hungarian forces. Many military coups were achieved using the mountain as protection from enemy forces.

Early in 1916, the Austro-Hungarian forces launched their offensive strike against Montenegro, again using the mass cover of the mountains to protect them from enemy fire. The bombardment of the mountain played a major role in how the war was won.

Hiking is a popular pastime on the mountain and the reason that many visit this region throughout the year. Many hiking tours are offered from Kotor and other surrounding towns and hiking to the top of the mountain allows visitors to view scenery that includes the Bay of Kotor and the landscapes surrounding the region. The top of the mountain is also where many visitors trek to view Petar II Petrovic Njegos’ Mausoleum.

The Mausoleum was constructed in 1845 on the mountain’s peak and dedicated by Petar II Petrovic Njegos to his uncle, Petar I Petrovic Njegos. Peter II asked upon his death that he be buried in the church on the mountain so that he could view all Serb lands while resting in peace. He died in 1851 and was first buried in a monastery in Cetinje because his people feared that the Turks would come and decapitate his body. In 1855, his remains were transferred to the Oath Chapel on top of Mount Lovcen. The chapel was destroyed by Austrian forces in 1916 however and his remains were again transferred to the monastery in Cetinje. King aleksandar Karadjordjevic had the chapel rebuilt in 1925 and it was replaced with the Njegos Mausoleum in 1974. The building and the panoramic view can be reached today by stairs that tunnel into the mountainside. There are a total of 461 steps leading up to the mounatin’s peak and the statue of Njegos which was carved from granite and stands nearly four meters tall.

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