History

Lake Skadar has a long, proud history. Inhabited by early Ilirs, Greeks and Romans, once part of Byzantium, the ancient Slav province of Zeta, it was invaded by the Turks in the 13th century and occupied for five centuries with many battles witnessed by now crumbling fortresses such as Besac in Virpazar and Lesendro in Vranjina.

During the fighting days against the Ottomans, Montenegro's rulers established their ruling seat and bastion in the north-west wetlands, at Žabljak Crnojevići, until they were forced to move their capital to Cetinje in 1482.

By the 19th and early 20th century, with an Independent Montenegro, the lake returned to royal glory with King Nikola setting up his summer court at the attractive lake town of Rijeka Crnojevića.

In WW2, Lake Skadar made history again as Virpazar provided the scene of the first Partisan uprising in Montenegro.

Many Monasteries could be found on the outlying small islands of Moracnik and Starcevo, then Vranjina and oldest and largest monastery mostly a ruin Precista Krajinska close to Ostros.

Several settlements with typical stone architecture connected by small windy roads can be found around the lake: Dodosi, Zabljak, Karuc, Godinje . Poseljani village is well known for its 14 stone water mills.

 

Gastronomy

From the times of early human settlement,  fish has been a staple diet of local population. Carp, bleak and trout are often conserved by pickling or smoking.

Sitting in an ideal climate between the mountains and the sea, conditions around the lake are wonderful for organic produce. Local gastronomy is influenced by western and eastern cuisines. Locally grown seasonal vegetable and fruit, aromatic herbs (rosemary, sage and mint), honey, goat cheese, smoked ham - prsut are only just a few. Crmnica Valley is well known for its long tradition of wine, growing the famous varieties vranac and krstas. And of course, let’s not forget to mention the powers of the mighty local spirit Rakija!