Pljevlja

City of Pljevlja is located in the picturesque valley of the rivers of Tara, Cehotina and Brznica, entirely surrounded with forests and mountains in the very north of Montenegro. Town of Pljevlja probably got the name after hey circulating from the rich monastery estates where the grain was cultivated. Pljevlja is the most beautiful mixture of Islamic and Christian spirit in every sense and the third largest municipality in Montenegro. Population of Pljevlja Municipality is 32000 which is every 20th inhabitant of Montenegro. The administrative center of the Pljevlja Municipality is town of Pljevlja. During history Pljevlja had changed its name and significance and conquerors, due to its suitable geographic position on the crossroads of important routes, still retaining the recognizable urban appearance. Illyrians, Romans, Slavs, Turks and Austrians heavily fought for this area for centuries and left their traces that are still visible today. The earliest traces of the Illyrian settlements date from the 3rd century BC, while the Romans stayed here in the 2nd century AD about which testify remains of the town of Municipium S in Komini village. The most popular item of that historical period is the Diatret glass cup encircled with glass net and decorated with inscription below the rim „Vivas Panelleni bona“.

The original settlement from the 9th century on the spot of the present town of Pljevlja was named Breznik, after the river of Breznica, and belonged to the Nemanic Dynasty landlords during the time of the Serbian Medieval State. Since the middle of the 10th century this settlement was within the center of the Serbian Raska Medieval State. In the 13th century, the Serbian Medieval State experienced huge economic growth, when the mining was established here in Pljevlja area, performed by the skillful Saxons – miners of the German origin. The present name of the mining settlement of Sula is rightfully connected with the German term determining the Saxon mining school. Traces of mining are preserved in Kozica where by the legend was the Jerina stronghold, whose remains are visible today. After the death of Tsar Dusan in 1355, the Serbian state declined and this area became under the reign of Vojislav Vojinovic, and after his death in 1368 the rule took over the duke Nikola Altomanovic. In 1465 Turks conquered town of Pljevlja previously ruled by lord herzeg Stefan Vukčić Kosača and his sons. At the end of the 14th century the area of Pljevlja came under rule of the Bosnian king Tvrtko I and after his death, at the beginning of the 15th century, Pljevlja area was within the rule of the lord Sandalj Hranic. This area was named Herzegovina after his successor Stjepan Vukcic Kosaca who crowned himself as the Herzeg of Saint Sava. During reign of Herzeg Stjepan trading connections with Dubrovnik Republic were improved that continued in the period of the Turkish administration. Merchants from Dubrovnik used to buy in Pljevlja lead-zinc ore, the iron ore, wax, and wool, various decorative and other products manufactured by the skillful masters of Pljevlja. It is not strange that many documents are kept in Dubrovnik archive thanks to excellent trading relationship between the Pljevlja masters and Dubrovnik traders.

In the 16th century the Turks named the town of Pljevlja Tasludha or Taslidha – after tas – stone and lidza – spa, which means a stone spa, or the a healthy place. In 1912 Pljevlja was liberated from the Turks, after several centuries of slavery and yoke, and at the end of the First WW ceased occupation of the Austria-Hungary Empire.

The settlement of Pljevlja was known in the middle ages for the crossroad, as here were passing mighty trading caravans from the west to the powerful Tsarigrad /Constantinople/, ever since creating the connecting point between the Christianity and Islam. In that historical period were built the most beautiful monuments of both religions in the area of southeast Europe, the symbols of the town and the infinite tolerance, coexistence, multiethnic and multi-cultural society – the Holy Trinity Monastery and the Husein Pasha Mosque. The Husein-Pasa Mosque is the masterpiece of the Oriental architecture of the Balkans which features uniquely harmonious appearance and is regarded as one of the most beautiful in our region. Its founder Husein Pasa Boljevic built it in 1569, one of the most prominent Bosniaks of his time, and the beglerbey of the Bosnian elayet. In the Husein Pasha Mosque in Pljevlja are kept beautiful scripts and documents and its interior is wonderfully and lavishly decorated. Ruins of two fortifications – fortified town from the 15th century – Koznik and Kukanj, as well as a number of stecaks – Medieval stone tombstones in the Mataruge village testify on the rich medieval heritage of this area. The Homeland Museum of Pljevlja possesses rich collections of items and artifacts from all historical periods and its rich legacy is worth visiting.

In close proximity of the downtown of Pljevlja there is one of the most beautiful parks in Montenegro, which first young trees were planted in the famous Milet garden by the Austria-Hungarian soldiers. This nicely arranged green complex makes unique eco zone of Pljevlja and is abundant in various plants, but also in sport and outdoor facilities, nicely appointed walking trails, artificial lake, springs of healthy water….

The Dubočica Monastery with the church dedicated to Saint Nicholas was originally erected around 1570 in the village of Dubočica, during time of Patriarch Makarije Sokolovic, the reestablished Serbian Patriarchate in 1557.   The donor inscription about the “Abbot Archpriest Pavle” testifies on the foundation of the Dubocica Monastery.  There are four historical sources about the Dubocica Monastery and its brethen – church inscription, records in hand-written books, documents in Turkish language kept in the Holy Trinity Monastery near Pljevlja and descriptions from the 19th century. Due to construction of the artificial lake on the Cehotina River in 1983 the church of the Dubocica Monastery was transferred to the village of Otilovići, 11 km southeast of Pljevlja when it was fully reconstructed. This is one nave vaulted structure with adjoined arches, clearly separated narthex in the west and semi-circular apse in the east. The artificial lake in Otilovići village was created on the Cehotina River in 1982 for the purposes of the thermal power plant of Pljevlja. The Dubočica Monastery is famous for the fact there was Vasilije Ostroski performing services for six years. The legend has it that Holy Vasilije Ostroski stayed here in the Dubocica Monastery at least once per year. Special attention of visitors is observation of its frescoes, the iconostasis and the church furniture.

Only some 30 km away is the Ljubisnja Mountain, a proud queen of the Dinaric Mountain system, which features gigantic pine and spruce trees that are rarely found in Europe, and icy potable springs, and the legend about forbidden love, after which it got its name. This mountain is equally attractive in summer and winter, as well as the picturesque Kovac and Kosanica Plateaus /on the road Pljevlja – Đurđevića Tara – Žabljak Durmitor/, the impressive canyons of the Cehotina and Draga Rivers, and especially the fantastic Tara River, spanned with the breathtaking and large bridge which inspired Hollywood film makers in the seventies of the 20th century to create their memorable films.

The Nature was fully generous to the humans in the Pljevlja area. Fishing, rafting, speleology, canyoning, horse-back riding, cycling, mount biking, hiking, trekking, mountaineering, climbing, gliding, jeep tours, excursions, camping…. Are some of activities awaiting visitors in the surroundings of Pljevlja. The rural area of the Pljevlja Municipality includes some 150 tiny villages and hamlets where organic food is produced. Visitors are invited to indulge in nature adventures and in the evening to enjoy in tamburitza music. Make sure not to miss the rich food selection of Pljevlja area, and the far renown Pljevlja cheese /product with geographical origin, traditionally produced from sheep’s milk, although cow’s milk or a combination of cow’s and sheep’s milk is often used nowadays/….

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