MONTENEGRO

Date of establishment: June 3, 2006

Brief history:

9th century: Founding of the Principality of Zeta, a forerunner of Montenegro.

15th century: Formation of the Principality of Montenegro and the establishment of the Montenegrin state.

1878: Independence of Montenegro from the Ottoman empire recognized by the great powers.

1910: Montenegro became part of the Kingdom of Serbia.

1918: Montenegro merged with the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia).

World War II: Montenegro was occupied by Axis forces and the partisan resistance movement was active.

1945: Montenegro became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

1991: Dissolution of Yugoslavia and the formation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro).

2006: Referendum on Montenegro’s independence, leading to the creation of the independent state of Montenegro.

2017: Montenegro became a member of NATO.

Current situation: Montenegro has been accepted as a candidate for EU membership.

 

International abbreviation: MNE

 

Currency: Euro (EUR)

The official currency of Montenegro is the euro (EUR). The Montenegrin government unilaterally decided to adopt the euro as its currency in 2002, even before declaring independence in 2006. It is not however a member of the Eurozone.

 

Internet domain: .me

 

Dialing code: +382

 

Time zone: +1 GMT

 

Geography:

A mountainous country located along the Adriatic Sea in the southwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula, Montenegro is in southeastern Europe and is among the smaller European countries. It shares borders with Serbia and Croatia to the north and Albania to the south.

The country is home to several major rivers, such as the Tara, Morača, Zeta, and Bojana. The largest cities include the capital Podgorica, followed by Nikšić, Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje, and Kotor, an ancient city on the Adriatic coast.

The Montenegrin coastline in the south is one of the most beautiful in Europe and is dotted with numerous sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and picturesque bays. More than half of the tourists visiting Montenegro head to cities like Budva, Herceg Novi, and Kotor.

 

Highest peak: Bobotov Kuk at 2 522 meters (8 274 feet) above sea level.

The highest peak is Bobotov Kuk, which stands at an elevation of 2,522 meters (8,274 feet) above sea level. It is located in the Durmitor National Park, in the north of Montenegro. It is part of the Durmitor mountain range, which is renowned for its rugged beauty, alpine landscapes, and diverse flora and fauna. Climbing Bobotov Kuk is a popular activity for mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts, and the peak offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

 

Climate:

Montenegro has a mixture of climate zones, ranging from Mediterranean on the coast to continental and mountainous in the interior, which means that on the coast it generally has mild winters and hot and dry summers. Summer temperatures along the coast average around 25-30°C (77-86°F), and winter temperatures range from 5-10°C (41-50°F). In mountainous areas, the climate is cooler and more humid, with average temperatures decreasing with altitude.

August is usually the hottest month, with average temperatures around 30°C (86°F) and the driest period, while winters are mild, with average temperatures around 10°C (50°F), but nights can drop below freezing. Precipitation is most significant in spring and autumn. Inland average winter temperatures are in the range 0°C to 10°C (32-50°F).

In the mountains the climate is alpine, characterized by cold winters with heavy snowfall and relatively cool summers. Average temperatures in these regions vary depending on altitude, with temperatures dropping below freezing for much of the year at higher elevations.

 

Fauna and flora:

Animals found in Montenegro include brown bears, Balkan chamois, wolves, peregrine falcons, European hawks, Eurasian otters, European wildcats, European ground squirrels, European badgers, wild boar, and others.

Mountainous areas comprise of mixed forests, coniferous forests, and deciduous forests, and are home to many species of birds and mammals. Orchids and other flowers also occur in the mountains.

In the Adriatic Sea region, various fish species can be found, including tuna, sardines, mackerel, dolphins, and loggerhead sea turtles. The coast is also home to many different species of seabirds, such as the common tern, great cormorant, grey heron, and European shag.

Among the plants found in Montenegro are the common oak, mountain elm, black pine, Norway spruce, bird cherry, sycamore maple, European yew, mountain cauliflower, Alpine colt’s-foot, and winged gentian.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture in Montenegro focuses on the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, and olive trees, as well as livestock breeding and beekeeping. Viticulture has also been developing in recent years.

The areas around the cities of Bar, Podgorica, and Nikšić are significant agricultural regions. Crops grown include peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, zucchinis, citrus fruits, pomegranates, and grapes.

Olive groves are prevalent, especially along the coast, in areas such as Budva, Bar, and Ulcinj. Montenegrin olive oil is considered of high quality and its production is an important part of the local economy.

Sheep and goat farming are present in the Durmitor and Biogradska Gora areas. The Montenegrin mountains also have rich pastures that allow for cattle and sheep farming.

In recent years there has been a growing emphasis on organic farming and sustainable agriculture, driven by both domestic demand and export opportunities.

 

Natural resources extraction:

The most important resource extracted in Montenegro is bauxite, which is used for aluminum production. The mining area is located near the city of Nikšić, and mining operations started in the 1920s. Bauxite mining remains significant for the Montenegrin economy, and Montenegro is among the major bauxite producers in Europe.

Salt is another important resource, extracted in the Solana area near the town of Ulcinj. Solana produces various types of salt, including salt for the food industry, cosmetics, and medicine.

The Podgorica region has stone quarrying, particularly marble, which is used as a building material and for the production of sculptures and monuments. Limestone and cement raw materials are also quarried in the region.

 

Industry:

The food industry is the largest industrial sector in the country, employing over half of the industrial workforce. Major products include various types of cheeses, sausages and cured meats, sweets and confectionery, as well as beer and wine.

Wood processing is the second most significant industrial sector in Montenegro. The industry focuses on processing beech and pine wood and produces furniture, doors and windows, as well as firewood and paper.

Metallurgy is mainly developed in the bauxite mining area. The country has two steel mills that specialize in steel production from secondary iron and steel scrap.

Other smaller industrial sectors include cement production, electricity generation, and chemical production.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: Tourism and services

 

Natural and historical attractions:

The most significant tourist area in Montenegro is the Adriatic Sea coast, where popular resorts such as Budva, Kotor, Tivat, and Herceg Novi are located. The beaches are clean and beautiful, the sea waters are azure, and there are many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in the vicinity.

The main historical attractions in the country are Kotor Old Town, Ostrog Monastery, and Budva Old Town.

Mountainous regions such as Durmitor, Bjelasica, Prokletije, and Biogradska Gora are also popular tourist destinations. These areas feature stunning landscapes, waterfalls, lakes, and mountain peaks, attracting tourists for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities.

 

 

Form of government: Parliamentary Republic

Montenegro is a parliamentary republic with one chamber of parliament and a presidential system. Legislative power is vested in the parliament, called the Assembly. The Assembly consists of 81 members elected for a four-year term.

Executive power is vested in the government, led by the prime minister. The government consists of 16 ministers appointed by the president upon the prime minister’s proposal.

The president is the head of state and is elected for a five-year term through direct elections. Their powers are predominantly ceremonial, but they can play a role in resolving political crises or act as a guarantor of the constitution.

The judiciary is independent and is ensured by independent courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country and decides on the highest legal cases.

Montenegro is divided into 23 municipalities, and each municipality has its mayor and representative bodies. The municipalities are responsible for local matters such as urban planning, transportation, water management, and waste management.

 

Capital City: Podgorica

It is located in the central part of the country, in the valley of the Morača River, and has a population of approximately 190 000.

The city’s history dates back to Roman times when a fortress and trading station stood here on an important trade route. Over the centuries, the city has been destroyed and rebuilt several times and has been part of various empires, including the Ottoman, Austria-Hungary, and Yugoslavia.

Currently, Podgorica is a modern city with many cultural landmarks and museums, such as the National Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Miodrag Dado Đurić Art Gallery.

Podgorica is also a significant transportation hub as major roads and railways connecting Montenegro with other countries in the region intersect here. The city also has an international airport serving as a gateway to Montenegro for tourists and traders.

 

Area: 13 812 square kilometers (5 333 square miles)

 

Population: 617 000 (2022 estimate)

Approximately 43% of the population lives in the capital city, Podgorica. Other major cities include Nikšić, Pljevlja, Bar, and Herceg Novi.

Montenegro’s population is relatively homogeneous and consists mostly of Serbs (approximately 45%), who are the largest ethnic group in the country. Another significant ethnic group are Montenegrins (approximately 29%), who are considered the local population. There are also Bosniaks, Albanians, Croats, and Roma living in the country.

Most people live in urbanized areas, but there are still smaller rural areas.

Montenegro has a low birth rate and relatively high mortality rate. As a result, the average age of the population is high, reaching 41 years in 2021.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 4

 

  1. Natural and Cultural-Historical Region of Kotor and its Fortifications (1980) – The site includes extensive fortifications surrounding the historic center of Kotor, built during the Middle Ages. Kotor is known for its historical monuments, churches, and cathedrals and was an important port on trade routes in the past.
  2. Durmitor National Park (1979) – The national park is located in the western part of Montenegro and includes numerous mountain peaks, glacial lakes, wild rivers, and valleys. Durmitor is also home to many species of plants and animals and attracts tourists for hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities.
  3. Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards (2016) – This site includes many stone tombstones made during the Middle Ages, scattered throughout the Bay of Kotor region. These tombstones are significant examples of medieval funerary art and feature various ornaments and symbols.
  4. Venetian Works of Defense between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra (2017) – It includes a series of defensive structures built by the Venetian Republic during the 16th and 17th centuries. These fortifications were constructed to protect the territory of the Venetian Republic.

 

National Parks: 5

 

  1. Durmitor National Park
  2. Biogradska Gora National Park
  3. Lovćen National Park
  4. Lake Skadar National Park
  5. Prokletije National Park