Fourth stop: Cetinje
Cetinje, the former capital, has always been central to the idea of Montenegrin statehood. After the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans only a small area around Cetinje was governed by a Montenegrin prince-bishop. While Montenegrin rulers in Cetinje maintained that Montenegro was independent, the Ottomans insisted that it was an integral part of their Empire. In any case, after Napoleon abolished the Republic of Dubrovnik in 1810, Montenegro claimed that it was the only Balkan polity that continued to enjoy de facto independence.
Given its small size and poverty, Montenegro gained a remarkable position in international politics and was finally recognised as an independent state in 1878 at the Congress of Berlin. As the historian Barbara Jelavich pointed out "it was to be a common witticism in Europe that Cetinje consisted of thirteen foreign consulates and a hotel". Today the former delegations host governmental institutions, music and drama academies, museums and a restaurant.