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Lovćen National Park
Mausoleum of NjegošLovćen National Park
Lovćen (Montenegrin: Lovćen, Ловћен, pronounced [lɔ̂ːʋtɕɛn]) is a mountain and national park in southwestern Montenegro.
The Mount Lovćen rises from the borders of the Adriatic basin closing the long ang twisting bays of Boka Kotorska and making the hinterland to the coastal town of Kotor. The mountain has two imposing peaks, Štirovnik (1,749 m) and Jezerski vrh (1,657 m).
The mountain slopes are rocky, with numerous fissures, pits and deep depressions giving its scenery a specific look. Standing on the border between two completely different natural wholes, the sea and the mainland, Lovćen is under the influence of both climates. The specific connection of the life conditions has stipulated the development of the different biological systems. There are 1158 plant species on Lovćen, out of which four are endemic.National park
National Park encompasses the central and the highest part of Lovćen mountain massif and covers an area of 62.20 km². It was proclaimed a national park in 1952. Besides Lovćen's natural beauties, the national park was established to protect rich historical, cultural and architectural heritage of the area.
Lovćen's area abounds in numerous elements of national construction. The old houses and village guvna are authentic as well as the cottages in katuns – summer settlements of cattlebreeders.
A particular architectural relic worth mentioning is Lovćen's serpentine road winding uphill from Kotor to the village of Njeguši, where the birth house of Montenegrin royal family of Petrović is situated.Mausoleum Controversy
The biggest and most important monument of Lovćen national park is Njegoš's Mausoleum. The location for his burial place and the mausoleum at the summit of Jezerski vrh was chosen by Njegoš himself as his last wish.
However, Njegoš's express wish was to be buried in a small chapel which he had built in his lifetime. This was done, but the original chapel was destroyed when the Austro-Hungarian army invaded Montenegro in First World War (1916). Njegoš's remains were then transferred into Cetinje Monastery and buried in the chapel rebuilt by King Alexander in 1920s. Contrary to Njegoš's express wishes to be buried in that chapel, the then communist powers of Montenegro destroyed the chapel and built in its stead a monumental mausoleum in Viennese Secession style. The local Bishopric (Mitropolija) of the Serbian Orthodox Church opposed the destruction and even took the matter to the Constitutional Court, albeit with no success. The design was that of Ivan Meštrović who, although world-famous, had never set foot on Lovćen.
The protests erupted in 1970 with many famous Yugoslav public figures, of both Montenegrin and non-Montenegrin origin, complaining of what they described as barbaric breaking of Njegoš's last will.
Photo: Panorame 360