Montenegro is famous not only for its resorts but also for its rich cultural heritage, which is impressed in numerous historical monuments located throughout the country. Orthodox monasteries of Montenegro are among the most visited sights of the country.
Today, many travelers make pilgrimage tours to Montenegrin monasteries where the most valuable Orthodox shrines are kept. In general, the country has about 60 monasteries, almost each having its own historical heritage.
On the map below you can see Montenegrin monasteries in detail:
For example, you can worship the relics of St. Simeon of Dajbabe in the Dajbabe Monastery, the uniqueness of which lies in the fact that most of it is located in ancient caves under the ground.
The Daibabe Monastery was named after the mountain, where it is located. You can get there from Podgorica on the road leading to the coast.
The Rezevichi’s active monastery located near Budva is another unique shrine of Montenegro. Its property includes the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, the ritual cross of 1850, and the Four Gospels.
But, as in any Orthodox country, the most prominent shrines are concentrated in Montenegro attracting pilgrims from all over the world.
The miraculous monastery of Saint Basil of Ostrog
The Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro is located at a distance of 8 kilometers from the road connecting the cities of Nikšić and Podgorica. It is rather difficult to get there by transport, because the holy place is at an altitude of one kilometer in the mountains, and almost impassible winding paths lead to it.
Travelers can get to Ostrog independently on a rented car (which will cost about 200 Euros) or by public transport. You can also take the Podgorica-Nikšić intercity bus and warn the bus driver that you need to get out at the turn to the Ostrog Monastery, and then take a taxi to the shrine itself.
In addition, each traveler has the opportunity to book a bus tour to the shrine: its price varies from 25 to 30 Euros.
The monastery got its name in the honor of the Orthodox St. Basil of Ostrog, whose relics are visited by thousands of pilgrims annually. People come to the Basil of Ostrog Monastery to pray and get rid of all the troubles and tribulations.
There are many legends about how even the most hopeless and desperate people could find happiness thanks to the shrine. You can take communion: many write their wishes on paper, and then leave it in the crevices of the rocks.
Each pilgrim has the opportunity to take holy water with him/her. Many visitors to the shrine gain peace of mind, hope, and faith there.
On the map, the Monastery of Ostrog in Montenegro is more noticeable than other monastic complexes.
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The Morača Monastery
The Morača Monastery derived its name for a reason: after all, it was erected in the valley of the river of the same name, which is located in the central part of Montenegro. It is built on a flat plateau among the mountains and forests, so it is considered to be one of the most picturesque places in the country.
The monastery is located near the town of Kolasin, therefore, to get to the shrine, you must take the bus following the Podgorac-Kolasin route. In addition, you can reach it independently by a rented car on the highway connecting the capital of Montenegro with the northern part of the country, or by rail.
As a rule, tourists may enjoy a bus tour to the monastery, which also includes a visit to the Morača canyon, and the Tara River canyon. The price of such a tour is 50-60 Euros.
Despite its unsightly appearance outside, the main temple is decorated with rich frescoes inside. The monastery is also famous for its unusual architectural style, so pilgrims can not only pray there but also contemplate an entire historical epoch in paintings and buildings.
Monastery of Cetinje in Montenegro
The Monastery of Cetinje is located in the historical and cultural capital of Montenegro at the foot of the Eagle Cross mountain 30 kilometers from the sea. For over 500 years, it has been the seat of Montenegrin metropolitans. Near the white-stone monastery, a beautiful Vlaška church is located, where tourists have the opportunity to get acquainted with the frescoes of Greek artists.
You can get to the city of Cetinje on an intercity bus, either from Budva or from Kotor. Both roads are mountainous and dangerous, but on the way, there is an opportunity to enjoy the picturesque Montenegrin views.
Upon arrival to the historic capital, hundreds of taxis will be at the disposal of any tourist, some of which use the city bus from the station to the center.
You can order the excursion to the monastery of Cetinje from the guide: its price will be only 25 Euros.
Shrines of the Monastery of Cetinje
Many pilgrims come here since the Monastery of Cetinje keeps many valuable Orthodox shrines.They include:
- the imperishable right hand of John the Baptist (his right hand, which he had laid during his baptism on the head of Christ),
- the relics of the metropolitan of now St. Peter of Cetinje,
- parts of the Holy and Life Giving Cross, where Jesus Christ was crucified, and
- Relics of St. Theodore Stratelates.
Schedule of worship:
- 5:00 – Orthros,
- 6:30 – Divine Liturgy (on holidays at 9.00),
- 17:00 – All-night vigil (only on the eve of a holiday or Sunday).
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In Montenegro, other no less important monasteries are concentrated, where Orthodox pilgrims from all over the world often come.They include:
- Savina Monastery in Montenegro located in the east of the city of Herceg Novi.
- The monastery houses the finger of St. Thomas the Apostle, part of the relics of the Great Martyr George the Victorious, and the right hand of the Serbian Queen Helena.
- Morning services start at 6.00, the evening ones – at 18.00.
- Monastery Žanjice dedicated to the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The old monastery complex was built on the small island of Žanjice in front of the Bay of Kotor and has a unique historical value.
Montenegro is really a controversial country, combining modern world-class resorts and ancient monuments that reflect its rich cultural past. Today there are a lot of travel agencies offering pilgrimages to monasteries of Montenegro the price of which starts from 700 Euros.
Indelible impressions enough to last lifetime remain in the memory of every traveler who visited the Montenegrin holy places.