Adjacent to Cetinje is Lovcen National Park, normally approached by car, but accessible on foot. Covering 6.400 ha, the national park is dominated by Mount Lovcen and the Njegos Mausoleum, descending to the marshes of Skadarsko Jezero (Skadar Lake). Mount Lovcen has twin peaks, Stirnovik at 1.749 Meter and Jezerski at 1.657 Meter. The road from Kotor on the Boka Kotorska to Lovcen mountain is made up of a series of serpentine’s, each curve disclosing a yet more sensational vista below.
When you come out of number 32 you have arrived in the center of the Lovcen National Park, the magnificent summit of which the Montenegrin’s consider their Mount Olympus. It is here on the summit of Jezerski that the Mausoleum of Petar 2 Petrovic Njegos, a symbol to his people and a message to all corners : the heart of Montenegro is unassailable.
Geography and Flora & Fauna of Lovcen
Due to its specific natural characteristics, Mt. Lovcen was pronounced a national park in 1952. It has an area of 6,400 ha and represents a unique whole viewed from bio-geographical and tourist aspects. It is characterized by exceptional geographic phenomena, rich flora and fauna as well as delves and caves. There are 1158 plant species out of which four are endemic. In Ivanova Korita, which is a part of the national park, located at 1200m altitude, there are several tourist facilities designed for recreation.
There is a modern road leading from Cetinje to Ivanova Korita and the Njegos’ Mausoleum, which makes the national park easily accessible during both summer and winter. Beside the natural beauties, there are many sights to explore like old villages, wooden cottages, Holy Transfiguration church, Njegos mausoleum built in 1974 and represents the most stunning attraction of the National Park “Lovcen”.
“I want to tell you something about Lovcen, about a beautiful Montenegrin hill. The first thing that emerges in front of you, that is it; the first spoken Montenegrin word is its name; the first step on the Montenegrin soil is the stone of the Lovcen mountain. Wherever you go, you can see it; it is a polar star for Montenegrins.”
The mausoleum of Petar Petrovic Njegos built of limestone and granite can be found on top of Mount Lovcen. It was Njegos’s last wish, the greatest ruler of the Montenegrins who was a bishop and a poet at the same time to be buried there. The big statue in the mausoleum was sculpted by Mestrovic. The statue was getting dusty for a long time in a store-room but later it was carried up to the peak with the help of big haulers and winches.
The Mausoleum was dedicated by Duke Danilo in 1855 in a church built by Njegos himself. Each Montenegrin sees in this man the personification of all that he or she holds sacred. The road climbs 20 km from Cetinje to the car park, from which 461 step lead to the Mausoleum and, in clear weather, a stunning 360 degrees view of mountains and coast. For an unworldly experience try it in a thunderstorm. On a clear day its even possible to see the Italian coast.
Tourism of Lovcen
When entering the Lovcen national park (in summertime) there must be paid a fee 3 euro a person. The entrance costs for the Njegos mausoleum are 3 euro for adults and 2 euro for children. A tip for those who’d like to taste the traditional smoked ham (prsut) or white grape brandy (rakija): make a stop at the small lodge (Eko Koliba) aside the road. Because here the best is made. In summertime there are also some traditional Montenegrin events held in the park. On 13 July there are the Viteske Igre, sport games with rock throwing, running, shooting etc.
Hiking in the Lovcen Park
The Lovcen park contains marked hiking trials covering the whole park. All starting in Ivanova Korita the center of the park. The red and white dots will lead you through the nicest scenery in the park.