Montenegro is one of the prettiest countries I have ever traveled to. The name, Montenegro, means back mountain. It gets its name from the dense pine forest that covers its mountains. Besides being very mountainous, the country also has some beautiful ancient towns and cities that line its Adriatic Coast. I traveled to Montenegro twice in the same month, July of 2012, first traveling to Budva from Croatia, than later traveling to Kolasin, Cetinje, and Kotor from Kosovo.

First inhabited by the Celts, Montenegro became part of the Roman Empire, and was known as the province of Duklja, in the 1st Century CE.  When the Roman Empire collapsed in the 500's, the area became part of the Byzantine Empire. In the 7th Century, the Slavs settled in the area. It was at this time that many of the people converted to Christianity. In 1040, the area gained its independence and was given the name Zeta. In the mid-1100's, the Byzantines re-conquered the area. It regained its independence in the 14th Century becoming a feudal state that expanded against some its stronger neighbors. In 1496, after a long sedge, the Ottoman Turks finally conquered the area. However, unlike Albania, the area retained a large degree of autonomy under Ottoman rule. In 1645, it again became an independent state. Montenegro would remain independent, being ruled jointly by both Kings and Bishops of the Catholic Church until the end of World War I. After the war, Montenegro became part of Yugoslavia. At the end of World War II, Yugoslavia became communist under General Tito. When Tito died in 1980, Yugoslavia slowly began to come apart. However, Montenegro decided to throw its lot in with Serbia. As a result, the area suffered when sanctions were placed on Serbia after they were linked to massacres in Bosnia and Kosovo.  Finally in 2006, its citizens voted for independence and Montenegro once again became an independent state. Currently, the country is doing quite well and has asked for membership into the European Union. The country is expected to became a member of the EU before 2020.  

  Budva 2012

Kotor 2012

Cetinje 2012