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Zabljak Crnojevica

Cetinje, Montenegro

Zabljak Crnojevica

Medieval fortress – historic capital of Crnojevic family

It was founded in X century by princes of Zeta to serve military causes. It is assumed that the army of despot Stefan Nemanjic dwelt there. As it rose to become the capital in XV century, battles around and for fortress Zabljak increased. At the time it was a “settlement” with 300 households, at the mouth of Moraca River and Lake Skadar, with developed commerce, a vital economic and trade centre.

Ruler Ivan Crnojevic who ruled form 1465 – 1490 fought with the Turks until 1479, when the fortress fell to Turkish reign. And so it remained for four centuries. The palace of Crnojevic family was turned into the barracks and the churches of Saint Djordje into a mosque, and later on into a school. Only one, heavy iron door leads to the town. Today the fortress is composed from walls high up to 15 meters and 2 meters wide with six towers. Over the centuries it was modified. Turkish modifications evident from reckless construction, and older parts of the wall and semicircle tower are built of cut rubble in limestone plaster. Newer parts have characteristics of Venetian construction.

Zabljak is presently deserted, but its settlement still lives.

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