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Lake Skadar: The mills and bridges of Poseljani
Last weekend the weather was sunny and we thought it a good idea to make a walking tour to the village of Poseljani. With its authentic architecture, stone mills and arched bridges, this village is a secret treasure in the central part of Montenegro. It is situated in the hidden, narrow valley of the Seljani stream that goes down to Lake Skadar.
You can reach Poseljani from two directions. Driving along the old caravan road from Virpazar to Rijeka Crnojevića, there is a yellow signpost on the right side of the road after about 15 km, showing you the trail to the village and the mills. We preferred to do it the other way round: coming from Rijeka Crnojevića we parked the car after the turn towards the village of Čukovići, around 9 km from Rijeka Crnojevića, and followed the footpath on the left side of the road downhill. The signpost indicated that the walking tour to Poseljani would take 30 minutes and another 10 minutes to the banks of Lake Skadar, but it took us about one hour to get there.
The first part of the trail took us along the clean and transparent Seljani river, through lush vegetation. Soon we discovered the first stone mill that was recently reconstructed. We saw the mossy ruins of mills surrounded by waterfalls, wild karst rocks, terraces and pools filled by the river water … A shepherd with his goats came down from the mountains and greeted us cordially. And then we spotted the first houses of Poseljani with their characteristic stone arches and bridges. The panorama was magnificent and we enjoyed the tranquility and the unspoiled nature of this beautiful place.
The story of the Poseljani mills is remarkable. At one time, there were fourteen of them, operating day and night. People say that a traveler could not pass this way without coming across someone at the mills. Once, there were three gambling houses and three coffee-houses where those who were waiting for their wheat or corn to be ground spent their time. This could have taken as long as seven days. The oldest mill is said to be 300 years old. Nowadays there is only one family living in this village and the mills stopped their activity a long time ago.