After gaining independence at the Berlin congress in 1878, Montenegro established diplomatic relations with European countries. This resulted in arrival of high representatives to Cetinje and the embassies of Austria-Hungary, France, Russia, Italy etc.
Embassy of Austria-Hungary
At the former edifice of Austrian-Hungarian embassy today is found the Republic Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments.
This monumental edifice, built according to the design of architect Josip Slade from 1897 to 1899 it was the embassy until World War I. With diplomatic habits, in a small country in the Balkans, religious habits were transferred too, so for its needs and for the needs of other worshipers the embassy built on the northern side Roman Catholic chapel in neo-Norman style. Facade of the chapel ends with the attic with figures of Our Lady and two angels.
The entire luxury of harmonic unison completes the garden with a tennis court. The park is enclosed with a stone fence and iron fence.
Throughout history, the edifice changed its purpose on several occasions. During Austrian Hungarian occupation, it housed administration, and between world wars the command of Division of Zeta, so it is referred to among people as Division as well.
England is the last opened diplomatic embassy at Cetinje. A year after Montenegro gained independence at the Berlin Congress, diplomatic relations with Great Britain and the very building was built in 1913 in immediate vicinity to the heir’s palace.
In its style it resembles summer cottages with the closed porch above which is the balcony, belvedere at the roof, it is reminiscent of architecture of romance period, for which most likely the “culprit” is English architect Harty.
Interior exudes with simplicity, in accordance with practical national spirit of the English, whereas the rich garden in summer months used to be the venue of resolving important diplomatic issues at receptions, with the sounds of a small band while English drinks were served and homemade wine of Crmnica was praised.
During World War I the building was taken over by Austria-Hungary, and in between the wars, Banus of Zeta resided here.
Musical Academy is situated here at present.
Consulate of Belgium
Official relations between Kingdom of Montenegro and kingdom of Belgium were established in 1910 (when Montenegro was proclaimed as kingdom) and these lasted until 1914. This diplomatic representation was the latest to come to Cetinje. At the proposal of his foreign minister, the king of Belgium Albert, appointed Vuk Jeftov Vuletić, a famous merchandiser, to be vice consul of the kingdom of Belgium in Cetinje.
For the needs of vice consul’s accommodation the first and only representative of Belgium, merchandiser and hotelier, Vuko Vuletić, used his house in Palace Street. This house is presently being used by his heirs.
Embassy of Bulgaria
Official diplomatic relations between Principality of Montenegro and Kingdom of Bulgaria were established in 1896 and lasted until 191.
At the beginning of 1910, with the permit of its owner, duke Ivo Radonjić, Bulgarian government adapted his house located in the Palace Street. The adaptation was designed by architect Fernando Balako, who was working at the reconstruction of the Prince Nikola I Palace at the same time.
Embassy of Germany
Official diplomatic relation between Principality Montenegro and Empire of Germany were established in 1906 and lasted until 10 august 1914. After the heir to the throne Danilo married German princess Jutta of Mecklenburg, Prince Nikola on 17 may 1905 arrived to Berlin and visited German emperor Wilhelm. After that, Germany constantly opens diplomatic representations at Cetinje.
The building is a residential building today.
At the beginning of 1880s, the house of Duke Mašo Vrbica was built, in the centre of the historic core of Cetinje near “BANOVINA”, the building which is now used by the Local Administration of Cetinje.
Among the people of Cetinje even today a legend is heard about bureaucratic confusion about the origins of the most beautiful building in Cetinje (1909 – 1910). The legend says this glorious building was meant to be the embassy in Egypt, but by mistake of the French Foreign Ministry it found its place in the centre of Montenegrin royal capital.
Historic records show the initiative for its construction was count Sersey who officiated in Montenegro. It was used by French embassy from 1915 to 1949, and from 1949 by the Central National Library Đurđe Crnojević.
Even today, the entire structure is given a unique appearance by the garden with stone and iron fence, and the facade with plentiful ceramic tiles, varying in colour, shape and size.
Diplomatic centre of Italy which established diplomatic relations with Montenegro in 1879, used to be in the building which is now in the building of the national library “Đurđe Crnojević” in a new part of town
It was designed by Italian architect Corradini whose influence is obvious in simple exterior and luxurious interior. Corner stone was set in 1905, the construction was carried out four years later and it ended in proclaiming Montenegro as kingdom in 1910.
Just as most diplomatic missions, it was surrounded by a beautiful park, and even before the building was finished, the area around it was used for laying tennis and golf.
Russian embassy is undoubtedly one of the most representative works of architecture in Cetinje. The building where new generation of visual artists is being formed, was designed by Italian architect Corradini, in the style of late Russian baroque, the so-called “saint Petersburg empire”.
It was the embassy from the date it was built, 1900 until 1915. Between the world wars female high school and public teachers’ school were placed here. After World War II, the building was used for different purposes, and from 1988 the Faculty of Fine Arts is in it.
Richly ornamented outside, it also had a luxurious interior. The building is surrounded by a beautiful little park, fenced with iron. There are two guard houses which are aesthetically fitted into ambient whole.
Simple, without stylistic features, the building of present Ethnographic Museum used to be the seat of Serbian embassy from 1909 to 1915, except for the period from 1903-1908 when there were changes to the throne.
Before it became embassy, Serbian representative office had the status of representataion, and from establishment of diplomatic relation in 1897 it was located in the private house on Milunović-Piper.
Between world wars the House of Officers was at the building. It became Ethnographic museum in 1987.