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Sovereignty Day of Montenegro – July 13, 2023

Sovereignty Day of Montenegro is celebrated on July 13 to mark the day when the Berlin Congress recognized Montenegro as an independent state on July 13, 1878. Do not, however, confuse this day with Montenegro’s Independence day which falls on May 21. The locals celebrate the occasion with two days of freedom from their regular work by grooving to the tunes of local music. Politicians and civic leaders come out to deliver speeches on this day while colorful parades occupy the streets in different parts of the country. Fairs also take place in various areas where you can find food stalls serving a melange of local delicacies.

History of Sovereignty Day of Montenegro

A tiny Balkan country nestled in the lap of mountains and lined by strips of beaches, Montenegro is a popular summer destination for many Europeans. Sounds like a peaceful retreat, right? But the nation’s history wasn’t always so harmonious. Montenegro was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire before 1878 and it took a series of revolutions for it to get out of the Turkish clutch. Montenegro finally attained freedom under the Treaty of Berlin, recognized by the Congress of Berlin as the 27th independent country in the world.

However, Montenegro wasn’t considered a democracy as it was ruled by its monarch, Nicholas I. It officially became a kingdom in 1910 although this did not last very long. In 1918, Montenegro joined hands with Serbia and subsequently became a part of Yugoslavia after the first world war. This status remained for several years until the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia dissolved in 1992. Post this, Montenegro and Serbia together formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and it wasn’t until 2003 that these two states got their own names. Eventually, in 2006, Montenegro parted ways with its long-time companion, Serbia to become a fully independent country. It also became a member of the UN in the same year.

July 13 is also the anniversary of another significant part of Montenegro’s history. On this day in 1941, the public began an uprising against Nazi occupation during the second world war.

Sovereignty Day of Montenegro timeline

16th Century
Montenegro Gains Autonomy

Montenegro emerges as a semi-autonomous region within the Ottoman Empire.

1878
Montenegro Attains Independence

Under the Treaty of Berlin, Montenegro becomes the 27th independent state in the world according to the Congress of Berlin

1918
The Unification With Serbia

Montenegro merges with Serbia to become a part of Yugoslavia.

1941
The Revolt Against the Nazis

The citizens of Montenegro start an uprising against Nazi Germans during World War II.

2006
The Independence From Serbia

Montenegro regains complete independence from Serbia.

Sovereignty Day of Montenegro FAQs

Is Montenegro a country?

Yes, it is a tiny country situated in the west-central Balkans of Southeastern Europe.

What is the official language of Montenegro?

Although the state’s official language is Montenegrin, which is a variety of Serbo-Croatian dialects, most people prefer to speak Serbian.

Do people in Montenegro speak English?

English isn’t widely spoken in Montenegro.

Sovereignty Day of Montenegro Activities

  1. Eat local cuisines from Montenegro

    Look up their local cuisine online and try making the classic cevapi (spiced meat patty) or baklava/kolači (Montenegrin cake). There’s also the option of visiting your nearest restaurant that serves Montenegrin specialties.

  2. Treat a Montenegrin friend

    If you know someone from Montenegro, visit them or invite them over for a feast. Taking part in their celebrations is a meaningful way to celebrate their culture.

  3. Get to know about Montenegrin culture

    Although Montenegro is a tiny country and isn’t much talked about, its history and traditions are considerably diverse and interesting. Moreover, there are many ancient cities in the region, showcasing medieval murals and quaint but elegant architecture.

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Montenegro

  1. It is home to diverse beaches

    There are 117 beaches, each with different geography; rocky, sandy, and some with enchanting pink pebbles.

  2. It has the oldest olive tree

    Montenegro has one of the world’s oldest olive trees; the Stara Maslina which has been alive for over 2,000 years.

  3. It has the world’s highest Mausoleum

    Montenegro houses one of the world’s highest mausoleums sitting atop Mt. Lovćen at 5,436 feet above sea level.

  4. It has Europe’s largest canyon

    Known as ‘The Tear of Europe’, the Tara River Canyon in Montenegro is the largest in Europe and the second deepest in the world.

  5. It had a fake prince

    Stefan Cernetic was charged with forgery and fraud for pretending to be a member of Montenegro’s royal family.

Why We Love Sovereignty Day of Montenegro

  1. It is a two-day celebration

    Although Sovereignty Day of Montenegro falls on July 13, the people like to extend their celebrations to the next day as well. Festivities turn into a long weekend filled with delectable food and lots of fun.

  2. It honors the freedom of a small community

    This day acknowledges the voice and existence of Montenegrins, a small community. Although the rest of the world might not know of this day, it holds special significance to this group and is worthy of recognition.

  3. It is about fun, food, and festivities

    It’s not always that you get to experience Montenegrin culture. But this day is your ticket to enjoying Montenegrin food and witnessing their traditional music and dance.

Sovereignty Day of Montenegro dates

YearDateDay
2023July 13Thursday
2024July 13Saturday
2025July 13Sunday
2026July 13Monday
2027July 13Tuesday

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