Cetinje Monastery

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Cetinje Monastery
Цетињски манастир
Cetinje monastery.jpg
Basic information
Location Cetinje, Montenegro
Affiliation Serbian Orthodox Church
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral
Architectural description
Completed 1701–1704

The Cetinje Monastery (Serbian: Цетињски манастир/Cetinjski manastir) is a Serbian Orthodox monastery in Montenegro. It is located in Cetinje and is the seat of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral and its name derives from Saint Peter of Cetinje. A center of historical and cultural importance, it was founded between 1701 and 1704 by Prince-Bishop Danilo I on the site of the former court of Ivan Crnojević.

There are several relics in the monastery: remains of St. Peter of Cetinje, right hand of John the Baptist, particles of the True Cross, icon of the Philermos Mother of God, remains of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš (relocated), royal crown of Serbian king Stephen Uroš III Dečanski,[1] among others.


The medieval Cetinje Monastery, also known as the Old Cetinje Monastery, was built by Ivan Crnojević in 1484, and founded on 4 January 1485, at Ćipur, and dedicated to the birth of the Virgin Mary (Hram Roždestva presvete Bogorodice). During his stay in Ancona, Crnojević was inspired by Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto where he took an oath that he will build a church also dedicated to Virgin Mary upon his return in Zeta.[2] It became the seat of the newly founded Eparchy of Cetinje, a successor to the Metropolitanate of Zeta. Its episcope was Visarion (fl. 1485). It is believed that the monastery was about twenty metres long and about six metres wide based upon the monastery's original designs by the Venetian engineer, Barbieri. In an etching in the book Oktoih, it seems the medieval Cetinje Monastery was a three-naved basilica, with a cupola on the center nave with elements of renaissance architecture. Around the monastery was a 1,400m2 complex with two smaller churches and an inn.

During the Morean War (1692) the Venetian forces demolished the medieval monastery. Vladika Danilo reestablished it, in 1701 or 1704, not far from the first location, with stone from the old one, and added a tablet with the coat of arms of the Crnojević family, and a dedication to Ivan Crnojević. Before 1714, it was burnt, and then it was reconstructed around 1743 by Metropolitan Sava Ivanović Njegoš. It was the center of spiritual, cultural and political life of the Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro. It has been built on several times, the current appearance dates to 1927.


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Coordinates: 42°23′N 18°55′E / 42.383°N 18.917°E / 42.383; 18.917