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Wild beauty

Black Lake, from Crvena Greda - Copyright by Alan Grant Radovan Bojovic's family at a gathering in their native village Zminica in the 1930s - Copyright by ESI
The "Black lake" (crno jezero)

The North remained remote well into the 20th century. In 1943, Tito and his partisans camped at the "Crno Jezero" (black lake) close to Zabljak. Today the lake is part of the Durmitor National Park. A sign points out the place where Tito once took refuge. In the socialist period there were ski centres, but most of them need urgent investments or do not function at all. None of the manufacturing companies built during socialism is working. Only recently this remote region, with its canyons, mountains and isolated villages, began again to attract some visitors.

Radovan Bojovic runs a small hotel in Zabljak, a small mountain town, together with his wife Jelena. Sometimes he takes visitors to his native village Zminjica, where his family has lived for 350 years. Irish and Russian investors wanted to buy houses and land in the tiny village, but the family did not sell.

Zabljak is still among the poorest Montenegrin municipalities. Radovan complains about the lack of transport and tourist infrastructure. Tough winters make life and movement difficult. Agriculture is difficult and other employment opportunities are scarce. People have long been leaving this area, going to Podgorica, the coast or abroad. In 1953 the municipality's population was 6,773. By 1991 it has decreased to 4,914 and by 2003 to 4,204.

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