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Montenegro
Црна Гора
Crna Gora
Flag Coat of arms
Location of  Montenegro  (Green)on the European continent  (Dark Grey)  —  [Legend]
Location of  Montenegro  (Green)

on the European continent  (Dark Grey)  —  [Legend]

Montenegro (meaning Black Mountain) is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is on the Adriatic Sea, between Albania (to the South) and Croatia to the North. Inland (to the East and South-East) it also has a common border with Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The country came to exist when its people decided to split from the country Serbia and Montenegro on May 21, 2006. For most of the 20th century it was part of Yugoslavia. It had also been independent before World War I and existed as a kingdom. Its leader is Filip Vujanović.

The national song is called Oj, svijetla majska zoro
Montenegrin Cyrillic: Ој, свијетла мајска зоро
"Oh, Bright Dawn of May."

The size of the economy's GDP is $4.114 billion and it has a population of 625,000 people. The traditional old capital of Montenegro is Cetinje, but Podgorica is the new one. The country adopted the Euro unilaterally as Montenegro does not have its own currency, but the adoption has raised the national debt to 57 percent of GDP in 2011.

Geography

Zla Kolata summit view with Kolata peaks (cropped)
Zla Kolata, highest point of Montenegro
HSV 654 07 Jan 2014 Montenegro Holokarst
Satellite view of Montenegro

Internationally, Montenegro borders Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania. It lies between latitudes 41° and 44°N, and longitudes 18° and 21°E.

Pogled sa Bjelogrivca - panoramio
Bjelasica
Lac de Shkodra
Lake Skadar
Biogradsko jezero (2)
Lake Biograd
Big Black Lake
Black Lake

Montenegro ranges from high peaks along its borders with Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania, a segment of the Karst of the western Balkan Peninsula, to a narrow coastal plain that is only 1.5 to 6 kilometres (1 to 4 miles) wide. The plain stops abruptly in the north, where Mount Lovćen and Mount Orjen plunge into the inlet of the Bay of Kotor.

Montenegro's large karst region lies generally at elevations of 1,000 metres (3,280 ft) above sea level; some parts, however, rise to 2,000 m (6,560 ft), such as Mount Orjen (1,894 m or 6,214 ft), the highest massif among the coastal limestone ranges. The Zeta River valley, at an elevation of 500 m (1,600 ft), is the lowest segment.

The mountains of Montenegro include some of the most rugged terrain in Europe, averaging more than 2,000 metres (6,600 feet) in elevation. One of the country's notable peaks is Bobotov Kuk in the Durmitor mountains, which reaches a height of 2,522 m (8,274 ft). Owing to the hyperhumid climate on their western sides, the Montenegrin mountain ranges were among the most ice-eroded parts of the Balkan Peninsula during the last glacial period.

  • Longest beach: Velika Plaža, Ulcinj – 13,000 m (8.1 mi)
  • Highest peak: Zla Kolata, Prokletije at 2,535 m (8,317 ft)
  • Largest lake: Skadar Lake – 391 km2 (151 sq mi) of surface area
  • Deepest canyon: Tara River Canyon – 1,300 m (4,300 ft)
  • Biggest bay: Bay of Kotor
  • Deepest cave: Iron Deep 1,169 m (3,835 ft), exploring started in 2012, now more than 3,000 m (9,800 ft) long

Biodiversity

Wildpark Bad Mergentheim. Braunbären
The Eurasian brown bear, a protected species in Montenegro.
Pinus heldreichii Bijela gora above Borovi do
Pinus heldreichii, Bijela gora.
Tursiops aduncus, Port River, Adelaide, Australia - 2003
The common bottlenose dolphin is often seen in the Bay of Kotor.

The diversity of the geological base, landscape, climate, and soil, and the position of Montenegro on the Balkan Peninsula and Adriatic Sea, created the conditions for high biological diversity, putting Montenegro among the "hot-spots" of European and world biodiversity. The number of species per area unit index in Montenegro is 0.837, which is the highest index recorded in any European country.

Biodiversity outlook
  • Freshwater algae of Montenegro – so far 1,200 species and varieties have been described.
  • The vascular flora of Montenegro has 3,250 species. The number of endemics is also high – there are 392 Balkan (regional) endemic species, equivalent to over 7% of Montenegrin flora.
  • There are 354 species of marine molluscs in Montenegro.
  • Lake Skadar is among the most important habitats of freshwater fish, with 40 species, including species that migrate from marine to freshwater ecosystems, such as the eel (Anguilla anguilla) and shad (Alossa falax nilotica).
  • The diversity of marine fish fauna of the Adriatic Sea includes 117 recorded families, but with a low level of endemism. To date, 40,742 marine fish species have been recorded in Montenegro, which represent 70% of the species recorded in the Mediterranean.
  • Currently, 56 species (18 amphibian and 38 reptile) and 69 subspecies are recorded within 38 genera, and the list is probably incomplete. The mountain regions of Lovćen and Prokletije are particular hot spots for amphibians and reptiles.
  • Of 526 European bird species, 333 are assumed to be regularly present in Montenegro. Of these, 204 species nest in the country.

Religion

Clockwise from left: 1. Orthodox Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, Podgorica 2. Roman Catholic cathedral in Kotor 3. Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Perast – in the background Saint George Benedictine monastery and Our Lady of the Rocks on the two islets off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor 4. Ostrog Monastery − the famous and most popular Christian pilgrimage site in Montenegro.
MontenegroReligion2011
Religious structure of Montenegro by settlements, 2011

Montenegro has been historically at the crossroads of multiculturalism and over centuries this has shaped its unique form of co-existence between Muslim and Christian population. Montenegrins have been, historically, members of the Serbian Orthodox Church (governed by the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral), and Serbian Orthodox Christianity is the most popular religion today in Montenegro. The Montenegrin Orthodox Church was recently founded and is followed by a small minority of Montenegrins although it is not in communion with any other Christian Orthodox Church as it has not been officially recognized.

Despite tensions between religious groups during the Bosnian War, Montenegro remained fairly stable, mainly due its population having a historic perspective on religious tolerance and faith diversity. Religious institutions from Montenegro all have guaranteed rights and are separate from the state. The second largest religion is Islam, which amounts to 19% of the total population of the country. One third of Albanians are Catholics (8,126 in the 2004 census) while the two other thirds (22,267) are mainly Sunni Muslims; in 2012 a protocol passed that recognizes Islam as an official religion in Montenegro, ensures that halal foods will be served at military facilities, hospitals, dormitories and all social facilities; and that Muslim women will be permitted to wear headscarves in schools and at public institutions, as well as ensuring that Muslims have the right to take Fridays off work for the Jumu'ah (Friday)-prayer. There is also a small Roman Catholic population, mostly Albanians with some Croats, divided between the Archdiocese of Antivari headed by the Primate of Serbia and the Diocese of Kotor that is a part of the Church of Croatia.

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