If you feel in your soul the need to trod sacred paths, you will undoubtedly arrive at a destination known as interfaith harmony! Montenegro proudly offers you its religious coexistence to guide you on your path to enlightenment - as alive as it was in the past!
A number of Orthodox buildings:
A number of Catholic places of worship:
A number of mosques:
Do you know about two-altar churches?
There are churches in Montenegro where Orthodox and Catholics pray together, and if necessary, priests from both religions will rotate out with each other if one of them is unavailable.
Montenegrins and religion
Don't be surprised if you come across magnificent religious edifices in villages that only contain a few dwellings for its inhabitants. Religion has always played an important role in Montenegro, and it still does! You might be lucky enough to attend one of the country's many religious holidays, which demonstrate just how integral religion is to the Montenegrin way of life.
Up on the cliffs, there's the Ostrog Monastery
Desire to learn more about Montenegrin Meteors? Then we welcome you to St. Vasilije of Ostrog Monastery! St. Vasilije the Miracle Worker’s following is immense that the monastery is one of the most visited in the Orthodox world! This is a place where no one will question your faith because people of all faiths whisper their wishes and prayers on the saint's stage every day, and he selflessly works miracles and helps all who come to him today, just as he did in the seventeenth century.
Take on the role of a pilgrim and climb up the 3 kilometers through the forest up to the monastery to earn the attention and mercy of Saint Vasilije! A meeting with a miracle worker, s beautifully frescoed cave churches from the 17th century, and a bird's eye view (900 m above sea level) of both the Zeta river valley and the high mountains of central Montenegro, await you.
Cetinje Monastery - Guardian of Montenegro's Spirituality and History
Do you know where Orthodox Montenegro's heart and soul are? In the Cetinje Monastery. If there is one monastery in Montenegro that can be said to have written the history of the country, this is it! For centuries, this was the headquarters of Montenegrin rulers, and the epicenter of both state and church leadership.
Aside from the relics of the local saint and former ruler Saint Petar of Cetinje, some of the greatest saints of the Christian world are kept here, including John the Baptist's right hand and a portion of the Holy Cross on which Jesus was crucified! Don't miss this unique opportunity to see them and honour the stories they tell.
During your pilgrimage, local priests will reverently tell you how these shrines were found in this monastery after nearly 2,000 years and a long journey around the world.
One very special mosque - Husein Pasha's Mosque
In Pljevlja, find an incredibly valuable masterpiece of Islamic architecture - Husein Pasha's mosque from the 16th century. Admire its harmonious proportions, finely hewn stonework, and 42-meter-tall minaret, the largest in the Balkans!
Feel it's priceless, one-of-a-kind carpet under your feet, custom made and ordered from Egypt circa 1573, reinforced with leather, and weighing 400 kg! Another treasure for avid admirers of valuable antiquities can be found here: a 16th-century manuscript of the Koran that is considered one of the most beautiful examples of calligraphy of its time.
Cathedral of St. Trifun - older than Notre Dame
You will be left breathless when, while happily wandering the charming streets of Kotor, your eyes suddenly light upon the austere yet majestic Cathedral of St. Trifun!
This ancient Kotoran edifice, older than Notre Dame and scarred by earthquakes, holds priceless works created by artists, fresco painters, stonecutters, and goldsmiths through the centuries - and of course, the immensely treasured relics of saints and patrons of the city.
Magnificent Cathedral of Christ's Resurrection
This temple will appear in front of you as a riddle to be solved, almost like a figment of your imagination! Why? Because this Cathedral gathered the best of the Orthodox traditions from around the world in one place. Nothing in it was done by chance or without purpose. For example, the iconostasis, or the wall of icons, was fashioned in the same style as that of the Church of Christ's Resurrection in Jerusalem.
There is also an underground church, or crypt, that serves to solemnly remind visitors that Christians used to hide underground, secretly professing their faith for fear of persecution. This massive religious structure over 5,000 m2 in size contains vibrant frescoes on a gold background, the beauty of which must be experienced in person!
Coexistence of 3 religions in Bar
If you want to see how all three religions coexist in Montenegro, look no further than the city of Bar. No matter what religion they practice, the faithful here celebrate the holidays together. Bar locals demonstrate that religion is not all about words, and their deeds go to demonstrate that. Within a very small radius, you will find three impressive, recently built religious edifices.
St. Jovan Vladimir's Church
The Church of St. Jovan Vladimir (2016) is dedicated to the following of the local saint and 10th-century Montenegrin ruler, and the funds for its construction were provided not only by Orthodox donors but also by local Catholics and Muslims. Isn't that the most wonderful proof of religious coexistence? Furthermore, every year on Trinity Day, the cross of St. John Vladimir is carried to the top of Mount Rumija above Bar, and in this procession, you guessed it, representatives from all three religions take part!
Catholic Church of St. Peter the Apostle
The Catholic Church of St. Peter the Apostle (2017) is located near the Church of St. Jovan Vladimir, and it should come as no surprise that religious organizations from Italy, Germany, the Vatican, and the United States were in charge of its construction. It is part of the Bar Archdiocese, the country's oldest religious institution. Ordained celebrants led Mass in three languages when the church was first opened: Montenegrin, Albanian, and Latin.
On your way to Stari Bar (Old city Bar), stop by the country's largest mosque, Selimija Mosque (2014). It is part of a sizable complex that includes classrooms, computer rooms, a kindergarten, a library, a restaurant, a sharia wedding hall, apartments, sports facilities, and a congress hall. It's no surprise that the building's surface area exceeds 4,000 m2! That is why it is difficult to call Selimija a mosque; it is the very center and meeting place for all devout Muslims in Montenegro.
Find out more!
Montenegro's sacred sites hide so much and are just waiting for you to discover them! Visit the Morača Monastery to see intricate frescoes, one of which won the prize for the most beautiful Byzantine-style fresco at the international fresco exhibition in Paris!
Enjoy the painting of the saint who painted the cave church in the shape of a cross with unique, almost-childlike frescoes at the Dajbabe Monastery! Witness the brutalistic style of the Catholic Church of the Heart of Jesus in Podgorica is, built at a time when followers were not viewed favourably, or discover a plethora of sacred treasures with fascinating stories. You'll find plenty of them!
Learn more about Montenegro's history & traditions:
Looking for ideas for your trip?
See how others experienced their time in Montenegro. We would love hearing from you - share your Montenegro moments with following hashtag: #MontenegroWildBeauty #GoMontenegro