Top Historic Sights in Ulcinj, Montenegro

Explore the historic highlights of Ulcinj

Ulcinj Old Town

Ulcinj is an ancient castle and neighborhood. Today mostly inhabited by Albanians, it was built by the Illyrians and Ancient Greeks on a small peninsula at the right side of the Pristan Gulf. Today, oldest remains are the Cyclopean Wall. The castle has been restored many times since it was first built although major changes were made by the Byzantinians, Serbs, Venetians, and Ottomans. The modern city of Ulcinj was built ...
Founded: 300 BC | Location: Ulcinj, Montenegro

Ulcinj Church-Mosque

During the rule of the Venetians the Church of St. Maria was built in the Old Town in 1510. It was turned into a Mosque of the Sultan Selim II as soon as the Turks conquered Ulcinj in 1571. It used to be the so-called Xhamia Mbretrore – Imperial Mosque, as it did not have any Wakf from which it could have been financed at the beginning, so that its employees were paid from the state budget. Hajji Halil Skura added a min ...
Founded: 1510 | Location: Ulcinj, Montenegro

Lami Mosque

The Lami Mosque is one of the six mosques in Ulcinj. It was built by Hajji Alia in 1689. In 1968, the anti-Albanian Yugoslav government wanted to destroy the mosque, but the bravery of Imam Ibrahim Llolla to stand in front of the Yugoslavian police saved the mosque, as he was ready to sacrifice himself for the mosque.
Founded: 1689 | Location: Ulcinj, Montenegro

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).