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Categories: Cultural Diversity

Trejbjesa Monument - Nikšić

Trejbjesa Monument - Nikšić

Nikšić got its name after a Montenegrin tribe which settled here while arriving from the highland villages and eventually changed the ancient name of the city that had been known as Onogost. The oldest historical data on the medieval Onogost county originate from as early as the second half of the 13th century and were found in Dubrovnik archives. The family, or perhaps a larger brotherhood named Niksic, was first mentioned in 1355. Due its convenient geographic position at the crossroads of important trading ways and its local population, the medieval Onogost and later Niksic have remained an important meeting point for diverse civilizations on their pathways from east and west, north and south. Evidences of a rich historic and cultural heritage from different historic periods have been preserved and can be found all cross its territory, whilst after the WW2 and after the liberation, the most significant period for the development of this city began. It grew from 4,000 in 1945 to close to almost 74.000 in 2011, today known as the second largest city in Montenegro, but a strong industrial, economic, educational and cultural centre.

The Royal Castle of Nikola I in Nikšić 
This building conveniently located in the center of Niksic near the city park and not far from the temple of Vasilije Ostoski is one of the most beautiful residences in Montenegro, built by the dynasty of Petrović Njegoš whose vision was to enrich the city of Nikšić with representative buildings, the Cathedral, the court, and to preserve large park areas and Trebjesa hillside.  The palace complex of King Nikola is located below the Cathedral and was built in the Neo-Renaissance style in 1900. Today, this unique palace is the home to a city cultural center, city archive, library and museum of local folklore, where numerous cultural events, exhibitions and performances are organized.  The Museum has several impressive collections of exhibits ranging from the archeological collection,the prehistoric site of Crvena stijena, Ancient history and the Middle Ages,  liberation wars and the ethnological collection.This fascinating castle built in Renaissance style was designed by architect Josip Slade while the main builders were Italian masters. 
St Vasilije Ostroski Church
This monumental sacral building dedicated to St. Vasilije Ostroski dominates the panorama of Niksic and was built on the south side the castle of King Nikola, so that together, these two most important cultural monuments represent the main urban architectural landmarks in the Niksic downtown area. The Church was built in 1899., to commemorate the fallen Montenegrin and Herzegovinian heroes in the wars against the Ottoman rule between 1875-1880. The church as the biggest construction endeavor in the Balkans of the time designed by Mihailo Preobrazenski is 33 meters long, 23 meters wide and 34 meters high. The roof is covered by copper plates and has three bell towers, while the building itself is made of the stone from neighboring quarries. Interestingly enough, Prince Nikola Petrovic invited the famous academic painter Uroš Predić to paint the church from the inside, but the painter did not dare to accept the job because it would be a huge challenge for him, so the church was left without frescoes.

Ostrog Monastery
Ostrog Monastery, some 20 km away from Niksic, is a unique Orthodox monastery built on a plateau of a vertical Ostroska greda mountainside. It was founded by Vasilije, the Bishop of Herzegovina and later known as St. Vasilije of Ostrog, and who was buried in the cave-church high up the hill. The stories of supposed miraculous healing powers of his mortal remains were spreading quickly and the monastery has become a center of pilgrimage not only for Orthodox Christians but for Catholics and Muslims as well. An architectural miracle carved in stone and built both by nature and human intervention, carved in a vertically positioned mountain cliff, is today the pearl of Montenegrin spirituality which is visited by more than a hundred thousand pilgrims from around the world and visitors of diverse religious background every year. The tradition of pilgrimage continues to this day, with Ostrog receiving visitors from far and wide of varying faiths, with an especially large celebration and mass gathering of pilgrims from the Balkans and around the globe taking place on 12th of May, the day of Saint Vasilije Ostroski. 

The mosque in Nikšić is one of the four mosques that is preserved from the times of the Ottoman rule in Nikšić. It is the only one preserved to this day and is located in a part of the city known as Grudska mahala. It was designed and built in 1804 by Hadži Ismail Lekić, from the city fraternity of Mehmednikić. This mosque is of modest dimensions, with one minaret, a hipped roof, a porch in front of the front door and a small courtyard, but anyhow this is the place of gathering not only for Islamic believers but also for Orthodox and Catholic believers who especially during Ramadan get together to celebrate religious tolerance and mutual respect.  

Niksic Festivals
Niksic is known as a city of festivals. The most famous are: Lake Fest , Bedem Fest, Festival of Street Performers  and Guitar Art Fest. Festivals are the days when the urban and youthful spirit of the city wakes up. So, don’t miss those days!!!

Lake Fest 
Lake Fest is a music festival held every summer on the shores of Lake Krupac, about five kilometers west of Niksic. The festival usually lasts for three days, and it was organized for the first time in July 2011. As a date for the festival, the second weekend in August settled down over time.
Lake Fest is often called the biggest rock festival in Montenegro in the media. The backbone of his program consists of various subtypes of rock music, and other music genres are represented to a lesser extent.
The festival mostly gathers performers from the economies of the former SFRY. However, on the shores of Krupa Lake, some famous names from other countries also performed (Marki Ramon, Guano Apes, Manu Chao, Dog Eat Dog ...).
Bedem Fest 
Bedem fest is a multicultural, non-commercial and non-profit event created 11 years ago at the eponymous Nikšić Fortress, after which the festival was named.
 Apart from the fact that the festival has enriched the cultural and festival offer of Nikšić and Montenegro, the vision of Bedem Fest is directed towards the affirmation of fundamental values by which it is recognized in the region. 
A special dimension of Bedem Fest is given by a large number of volunteers, as well as Niksic musicians without whom this event could not take place, given the inaccessibility of the terrain and the fact that all necessary equipment is brought to the Niksic fortress exclusively by hand.
A phenomenon worthy of attention and respect is the fact that at Bedem Fest most bands and musicians perform free of charge and thus give their contribution to the affirmation of the festival. Thanks to the resulting synergy, Bedem fest is authentic and special.
The goal of Bedem Fest is to point out the importance of the fortress as a cultural and historical heritage on the one hand, as well as the affirmation of less well-known bands from the region on the other. The long-term platform of Bedem Fest is based on activities inspired by the desire for members of vulnerable groups - people with disabilities to be actively involved in modern social life - we are especially proud of that. Bedem fest is today, thanks to the acquired reputation, a place to which bands gladly return.
Guitar Art Festival 
The International Guitar Festival in Niksic brings together eminent Montenegrin, regional and world guitarists. The goal is to promote the highest artistic standards in guitar performance. It was founded in 2005 within the activities of the NGO "Guitarist Association Anagastum", on the initiative of prominent Montenegrin guitarists and pedagogues Goran Perišić and Danijel Cerović. During the past eleven editions of the Festival, the guests of the city of Nikšić were outstanding artists, professors at universities and music academies from the USA, France, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Germany, Italy, Russia, Norway and Great Britain ... The festival is also , for more than a decade of existence, through the segment of seminars and competitions, which are organized within it, it has become a significant space for Montenegrin talents to prove themselves, learn from the world's leading guitarists and meet their colleagues and peers from around the world. Since 2017, it has been designed to largely follow the requirements and needs of both the professional music scene in its constant development and progress, but also the discerning Niksic audience, not neglecting the need to organize concerts of top quality, which befits an event of international importance. 

Festival of Street Performers
Street Performers from all over the world are performing in Niksic for couple of days once a year. It is very festive summer time for the last five years. Clowns, acrobats, multi instrument musicians, dancers, wire walkers are on every corner of the urban core of the city. Authentic, energizing and exciting!

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