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Žabljak Crnojevića

Medieval fortress – historic capital of Crnojević family

It was founded in X century by princes of Zeta to serve military causes. It is assumed that the army of despot Stefan Nemanjić dwelt there. As it rose to become the capital in XV century, battles around and for fortress Žabljak increased. At the time it was a “settlement” with 300 households, at the mouth of Morača River and Lake Skadar, with developed commerce, a vital economic and trade centre. Ruler Ivan Crnojević who ruled form 1465 – 1490 fought with the Turks until 1479, when the fortress fell to Turkish reign. And so it remained for four centuries. The palace of Crnojević family was turned into the barracks and the churches of Saint Đorđe into a mosque, and later on into a school. Only one, heavy iron door leads to the town. Today the fortress is composed from walls high up to 15 meters and 2 meters wide with six towers. Over the centuries it was modified. Turkish modifications evident from reckless construction, and older parts of the wall and semicircle tower are built of cut rubble in limestone plaster. Newer parts have characteristics of Venetian construction.

Žabljak is presently deserted, but its settlement still lives.