History PDF Print E-mail
The sources of written information regarding the periods and the methods of settlement in this area can be found in documents of the nearest ancient cultures of Southern Europe. The Slavs settled in these areas in the 6th and 7th centuries, they advanced along Roman roads and merged with the Illyrians and other ethnic groups which existed in the Roman colonies. A great ethnic mixture was obtained in this way and later the arrival of the. Turks, the frequent migrations, the crusades and other factors increased this mixture even further.
Montenegro is therefore ethnically heterogeneous and this is one of its main demographic characteristics. The number of inhabitants changed continuously and it is difficult to determine precise data for a given period of time, especially since censuses did not exist and the territory was divided up among the occupying forces. According to recent statistics, in 1971 there were 500,000 Montenegrins in Yugoslavia, of whom 70% lived in their republic and the remainder in the other republics. In Montenegro there were also 70,000 Moslems, nearly 40,000 Serbs and nearly 35,000 Albanians. The lowest percentage of Montenegrins (2.39%) compared to the total population of Yugoslavia was calculated in 1945, after the liberation; this is explained by the heavy losses suffered during the war and the heavy emigration after the war. The density of the population (38.4 per km2) is half that of the whole of Yugoslavia. Among the demographic characteristics we observe a continuous tendency to a decrease in the number of the members of a family (now 4.2) and continuous emigrations towards areas which are more economically developed. In Montenegro one citizen in three is less than 15 years old and one in twelve is over 65. In the last thirty years great changes have occurred in the social structure. In 1931, four fifths of the population worked in agriculture, today only one third of the population. In 1939, furthermore, those employed in industry numbered 1,386, in 1971 this number was reached in Kotor alone.
The centuries old history of the community and the changes brought about by the influence of different civilisations can be seen in the appearance of the cities. Some disappeared in cataclysms and in wars, others were rebuilt on the ruins and in new places they developed according to the role and importance they had in their individual historical period.
The cities of Duklja and of Medun in the interior, date back to the time of the Illyrians; after the Greek and Roman colonizations, cities were formed along the coasts and the trade routes in the continental area (Pljevlja and NikSic.) Nevertheless Duklja is the most important monument of Roman townplanning. It was an ancient palaeochristian city, in which some 40,000 inhabitants lived. It was built in the same style as the cities along the coast; we can still see its large palaces, narrow streets, basilicas, arcades, squares and baths, swimming pools with mosaics and aqueducts .... the remains of what was not destroyed in the catastrophic earthquake of 518. Some other traces of items which were spared from the earthquakes and pillaging, can be seen in the museums and in excavations. Medun, the main centre of the Illyrian tribes, was founded in the 4th century B.C.: studies about this are still at a preliminary stage, but the Cyclopean walls and the legends which have grown up about the city bear witness to its ancient power. The Slav tribes who engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding inherited land which was organised according to an urban concept. They changed from indigenous Illyrian and Roman populations, acquired urban habits, learnt navigation and trade and, with the advent of Christianity, a new philosophy of life. Despite this the Slavs left their own imprint on many town institutions, enriched the architecture, built many temples and in the Middle Ages developed mining activities and trade. The arrival of the Turks in the Balkans slowed down the growth of the cities. Many were transformed into military bases (Podgorica, Spul, NikSic, Pljevlja). The cities along the coast flourished under the Republic of Venice, but never reached large dimensions or importance because the mountains separated them from the hinterland. After the fall of Zabljak, the capital was transferred to Cetinje, but it was never able to develop naturally as it existed in a continuous state of war.
Montenegro, situated between two great powers, was divided first between Turkey and Venice and then between Turkey and Austria. It was used as a frontier region for both parties, left outside the centres of progress, on the periphery of culture, and without economic prospects. Many fortifications have been built in Montenegro, in the beginning situated along the frontier, today in the heart of the country, from the plains of Bjeloplavic to NikSic, these fortresses bear witness to the respect which these brave people inspired in the occupying forces.
These forces built fortified walls to defend the cities. Cetinje was the only city not to be fortified. After the world had recognised the sovereignty of Montenegro (1878) its intense development began. 
 
< Prev   Next >

           

 

 
 home   •  browse properties   •  top offers   •  property listings   •  sights & sounds   •  info zone   •  old listing   •  software   •  rm zone   •  privacy policy •  sitemap