A state with a long tradition, the meeting point of different cultural and religious influences on the border of Orthodox East and Catholic West, today’s Montenegro is a multi-confessional and multi-ethnic environment functioning in perfect harmony.
Montenegrins have accumulated a rich cultural and historical heritage, which dates from the pre-Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque periods. The Montenegrin coastal region is especially known for its cultural monuments, such as the Cathedral of St. Tryphun; the basilica of St. Luke (over 800 years); Our Lady of the Rock (Shcrpjelo); the Savina Monastery; and others. The Byzantine influence in architecture and in the monastery paintings is especially felt in continental part of Montenegro. Montenegrin medieval monasteries are decorated with thousands of square meters of frescos on their walls.
Cetinje is the center of the culture and art in Montenegro, whereas the administrative and center of education is Podgorica.
Today’s cultural heritage of Montenegro offers an abundance of archaeological, written and artistic objects of great value by means of which one can discover the cultural history of these parts. Diverse architecture of cultural and historical monuments, as well as the richness of the museum, archives and library holdings provide material evidence of the specific cultural milieu of Montenegro.
Montenegro’s first literary pieces date back 1,000 years, while the first Montenegrin book was printed 500 years ago. In 1494, the first state-owned printing press, in Cetinje, was established; the same year the first South Slavic book was printed. Ancient manuscripts dating from the 13th Century are preserved in the country’s monasteries.
One of the most important figures in the history, politics and literature Montenegro, certainly Peter II Petrovic Albin. Albin has laid the foundations of modern Montenegrin state. It brought together secular and religious authority. Njegoš is considered as one of the greatest Montenegrin poet. His most influential poetic work is Gorski vijenac, published in 1847.