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Cultures that exist in today’s Montenegro contain traces and influences of Mediterranean, Central European, Eastern European and Oriental civilizations from various times.
In the village Lipci near Risan, in a cave, prehistoric man had painted a deer hunt and a ship. In the opposite part of Montenegro, high in the mountain Prokletije, prehistoric man had drawn himself and wolf on a stone plate. At the prehistoric site Crvena stijena (Red Rock) near the village of Petrovići, 30 km from Nikšić, a 31 cultural layer was discovered.
In some parts of the country, in unpopulated areas, you can find large tombstone, standing tomb-stones, altars and foundations of pagan temples. In villages you can still hear many old traditions. Legends say that those who rescued from Atlantis settled in the Bay of Kotor. Some believe that Homer’s Troy once flourished near Skadar Lake. Some claim that the Celts named major mountains and rivers...
The Illyrians, Hellenes, Romans, Slavs, Turks ... they all tended to leave traces of their homeland on these new shores incorporating pieces of their own traditions in Montenegro’s wildness – in stone, language, image, sound, respect for God ... Archaeological sites and museums keep their traces. The remains of old Roman temples have been standing here for two thousand years as well as aqueducts, cities, bridges (Risan, Budva, Akruvium, Ulcinj, Doclea, Municipium S) …
Perhaps this eternal interweaving of cultures and artistic influences is the thing that is most beautiful in Montenegro, what has resulted from continuous movement and touching of tribes and nations. Interweaving of East and West, paganism and Christianity, Orthodoxy and Catholicism, Christianity and Islam, Byzantine and Romanesque postulates, traditions and modern times ... they have all influenced on the development of artists.
The cult of beauty of the word lives even today. Through the centuries of the struggle for the preservation or gaining freedom, through the centuries of poverty and hunger, word managed to preserve its dignity and strength and it is the one which gave meaning to life. That is why it was cherished with special care. Art is also typical to this area. Frescoes and icons of known and unknown artists, ornaments in stone, silver and gold and engraving kept in temples have great value. The new age is marked by painters and other artists who are highly respected in Europe and worldwide.