Monasteries in Montenegro

Podmaine Monastery

Serbian Orthodox Podmaine Monastery was built in the 15th century by the Crnojević noble. The monastery has two churches, smaller and older church of Presentation of the Mother of God was built by Crnojević noble family in the 15th century while bigger church (of Dormition of the Mother of God) was built in 1747. The name Podmaine (Pod-Maine) means beneath Maine. Maine was a small tribe with territory below Lovćen, b ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Budva, Montenegro

Cetinje Monastery

The Serbian Orthodox Cetinje Monastery was founded between 1701 and 1704 by Prince-Bishop Danilo I on the site of the former court of Ivan Crnojević (founded 1485). Cetinje was attacked by Ottomans on 25 September 1692. Instead of fighting, Venetians entered negotiations, and reached an agreement to abandon the monastery under honorable terms. However, they mined a monastery with a time bomb, which set of in the evening ...
Founded: 1701-1704 | Location: Cetinje, Montenegro

Savina Monastery

Savina Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox monastery of three churches located in one of the most beautiful parts of the northern Montenegrin coast. It was founded by Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, the Duke of Saint Sava (r. 1448–1466). The small Church of the Assumption is 10m high and 6m wide. Its foundation dates to 1030, although the oldest record of it is from 1648. Its reconstruction began in the late 17th century, with t ...
Founded: 1030 | Location: Herceg Novi, Montenegro

Pljevlja Monastery

It is not exactly known when the Holy Trinity Monastery in Pljevlja was founded. Today"s see of the Eparchy of Mileševa was established before the 1465 Ottoman conquest of the city. Since the Ottoman law forbade the building of new churches, but permitted the rebuilding of those which had existed at the time of Mehmed the Conqueror, it is certain that a church had existed on the site of the present monastic church, ...
Founded: before 1465 | Location: Pljevlja, Montenegro

Morača Monastery

Morača Monastery is one of the best known medieval monuments of Montenegro. The founding history is engraved above the western portal. Stefan, a son of Vukan Nemanjić, the Grand Prince of Zeta (r. 1190-1207), founded the monastery in 1252, possibly on his own lands (appanage). The region was under the rule of the Nemanjić dynasty. Monastery was burned by the Ottomans for the first time in 1505, during a turbulent peri ...
Founded: 1252 | Location: Kolašin, Montenegro

Banja Monastery

On the way from Risan towards Perast, along the shore of the sea is located Banja monastery. The foundation of monastery is related to Stefan Nemanja who lived in the 12th century. It is thought that the monastery got its name by the Roman bathrooms, which in one of the severe earthquakes fell into the see together with the antique Risan. At the beginning of 17th century Petar Kordic from Risan raised a church an alta ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Risan, Montenegro

Miholjska Prevlaka Monastery

Miholjska prevlaka, also known as 'Island of Flowers', includes a monastery dedicated to Archangel Michael. It was founded by Serbian Archbishop Sava (s. 1219–35). The church base was built earlier, reconstructed in the 9th century and destroyed in the 11th century. The monastery was the seat of the Eparchy of Zeta between the 13th and 15th centuries. Under planned restoration, the monastery was destroyed by ...
Founded: c. 1230 | Location: Tivat, Montenegro

Rezevici Monastery

Reževići Monastery is a medieval Serbian Orthodox monastery located in Katun Reževići village between Budva and Petrovac. The monastery has two churches. According to another legend, Stefan the First-Crowned, the first king of Serbia, drank wine from this wine vessel during his visit to his cousin, Venetian Doge Dandolo. Later, in 1223 or 1226, he allegedly built "The Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God ...
Founded: 1223-1226 | Location: Budva, Montenegro

Bijela Monastery

Bijela is a Serbian Orthodox monastery near Bijela village in Šavnik. The monastery was first mentioned in 1656 while according to some legends it was built in 1010 by duke Vulović from Bijela and ban Kozlina of Tušina, financially supported by Jovan Vladimir. The reconstruction of the monastery began at the end of the 20th century. Its church is dedicated to Saint George, a saint of Drobnjaci clan.
Founded: 1010 | Location: Šavnik, Montenegro

Rustovo Monastery

Rustovo Monastery is located around three kilometres above the Praskvica Monastery. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God and it has been convent since 2004. The graves of monks were discovered in the monastery yard, which proves that a number of monks lived here as early as in the Middle Ages. Within the Monastery complex, there is a little chapel dedicated to St Benedict of Nursia, as well as a mo ...
Founded: 2003 | Location: Budva, Montenegro

Duljevo Monastery

According to oral tradition, Duljevo Monastery was erected in the 14th century during the reign of Tsar Dusan, at an altitude of around 450 metres, on a plateau above the Monastery of Praskvica. The Monastery was a part of the Decani Monastery and, after taking their vows, the monks often went from here to Decani. As opposed to the other monasteries in Pastrovici, Duljevo has only one church – dedicated to the Saint Ar ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Budva, Montenegro

Beska Monastery

Beška is a Serbian Orthodox monastery on Beška island on Skadar Lake. It has two churches within its complex, the Church of St. George and the St Mary"s Church. The Church of St. George was built at the end of the 14th century by Đurađ II Balšić the Lord of Zeta from 1385 to 1403. His widow Jelena Balšić reconstructed it before she built St Mary"s Church. The St Mary"s Church was built in 1439/14 ...
Founded: 1385-1440 | Location: Lake Skadar, Montenegro

Podlastva Monastery

Podlastva Monastery was mentioned for the first time in 1417, and the Code of Grbalj was adopted there in 1427. In the past, it was the spiritual and political centre of Grbalj. Next to the church, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, there are residential quarters, which previously included a school. The monastery suffered serious damage in the earthquake of 1979, and subsequent archaeological explorations r ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Budva, Montenegro

Ostrog Monastery

The Monastery of Ostrog is a monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church sitatued against an almost vertical background, high up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda. It is dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog, who was buried here. Ostrog monastery is the most popular pilgrimage place in Montenegro. The Monastery was founded by Vasilije, the Metropolitan Bishop of Herzegovina in the 17th century. He died there in 1671 and som ...
Founded: 1671 | Location: Bjelopavlići, Montenegro

Dobrilovina Monastery

The Dobrilovina Monastery is located on the left Tara river banks, at the beginning of the Tara River Canyon, the deepest river canyon in Europe. The village of Dobrihnina (later Dobrilovina) was mentioned in 1253, though the oldest preserved mention of the monastery dates back to 1592, when the Ottoman authorities allowed the locals to rebuild their monastery in Dobrilovina. In 1609, the current standing church dedicated ...
Founded: 1592 | Location: Mojkovac, Montenegro

Stanjevici Monastery

The Monastery of Stanjevici is located above the village of Pobori, on the slopes of Mount Lovcen. It was first mentioned in the 18th century, when Bishop Danilo rebuilt the ruins of the former court of the Crnojevics and built a church. After Cetinje was raided in 1714, Bishop Danilo moved to Stanjevici and, in the following 125 years, this monastery was the second main residence of the Montenegrin bishops, a spiritual a ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Budva, Montenegro

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) is a 17th-century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the most important monasteries and mannerist buildings in the country. The monastery also contains the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.