August 24, 2020 - Since the opening of borders with the countries of the region on August 14, at three land border crossings to Montenegro in Herceg Novi - Debeli Brijeg, Sitnica, and Kobila, traffic has been about 20% of that for the comparable period last year.
Contrary to expectations, most traffic was at the Sitnica border crossing with Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially during the weekend. There were no significant traffic oscillations at the busiest crossing with Croatia, Debeli Brijeg, and the smaller Kobila crossing - with more than 22,500 passengers and almost 8,000 vehicles last weekend.
Since the opening of the borders, 33,626 passengers and 11,634 vehicles have crossed the Sitnica border crossing, 40% of traffic figures compared to last year. This border crossing is predominantly used by the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the verification of documents and tests, depending on the number of vehicles, passengers, and time of day, takes between ten minutes to an hour or more.
As of August 15, 33,090 persons and 12,633 vehicles were registered at the Debeli Brijeg border crossing, which generated 20% of the turnover compared to the same period last year.
The least used was the Kobila border crossing, where 1,465 people and 671 vehicles entered/exited Montenegro, 90% lower than the same period last year.
According to the Border Police Department, passengers generally have the correct tests for COVID-19, so an unknown number of people have been turned back from the border crossings, not having been allowed to enter.
It is not pleasant to wait in a line of traffic in the heat, but if it is comforting, on many borders in the region and Europe, there is a wait of several hours. There are long queues at the Karavanke tunnel on the Slovenian border with Austria. Waiting to cross the border is from 6 am to 1 pm in vehicles, without food and water. This wait has been caused by the new regulation related to Covid-19, according to which every car entering Austria must be inspected.
Spource: Radio Jadran
July 12, 2020 - Although music fans are used to the eleven-day festival of classical music starting in the second week of July, the International Music Days Festival has been postponed to the autumn, the festival's organizing team and producer “Herceg Fest” announced.
The event’s Board, headed by President Milena Lučić and Artistic Director, pianist Boris Kraljević, made the timely proposal to the sponsors to move the festival from summer to autumn, given the epidemiological situation across the country, region and indeed world. The proposal was met with support from the representatives of the Municipality of Herceg Novi - the general sponsor of the festival - headed by Mayor Stevan Katić, as well as the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, the announcement states.
The numerous faithful fans of the Herceg Novi Music Festival will be given further information on a new date, participants, and the programme of the festival as soon as it is available. A major part of the programming will be dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great Ludwig Van Beethoven.
28 June, 2020 - The village of Suscepan, 1.5 km from the center of Herceg Novi, and at an altitude of 300 metres was, according to the architect Marin Đurašin (1954 - 2000), the centre of ancient Troy.
Đurašin’s theory (he also wrote a book on the subject, although his death prevented him from publishing it) was that the whole of Boka Kotorska was ancient Troy, and that Suscepan was its centre. Troy, or Elijah (ancient Greek: Τροία [Troía] or Τροίας [Troías], or Ίλιον [Ílion] or Ίλιος [Ílios]; Latin: Troia, or Ilium; Turkish: Truva or Troya), was a legendary city and the scene of Trojan war, which is partly depicted in Homer’s Iliad, an epic poem in ancient Greek composed in the 9th or 8th century BC.
This assumption did not have a greater impact, nor did it lead to greater tourist interest in the village, which offers a beautiful view of the entrance to and the interior of the Bay of Kotor.
The village of Suscepan was assumed inhabited in the Middle Ages and has been under Turkish, Venetian, Austro-Hungarian rule. It had, in the main, followed the fate of Herceg Novi, then that of the whole of Boka Kotorska and Montenegro.
Until World War II, the locals lived mainly from agriculture and livestock. Olive oil and wine were produced, grain was sown and vegetables were planted. Fruit was also grown - most often figs. A few inhabitants worked in nearby Herceg Novi - mostly in trade and tourism.
Suscepan - Bostanj Spring
Today, no-one in the village is exclusively engaged in agriculture. Most often it is an additional activity or carried out solely to meet individual need.
Until the increased construction at the end of the last century, the village looked like a typical coastal Boka village. The houses were built at a distance of 500 - 700 metres, and the hamlets were connected by paths paved with stone. They were built on slopes and along the perimeter of rare arable land. Today, almost every house has a tarmac - or more often concrete - road.
The few inhabited old houses in the village are built of local stone. Upstairs is a living area for the family, and the ground floor-barn is used to accommodate wine, oil, grain, flour and other foodstuffs. In some houses on the ground floor there are cattle.
In front of the village houses is a part of the yard - terraces - paved with stone and surrounded by a low wall-seat. In some yards there was also a “bistjerna” for collecting rainwater. The terrace was covered with vines and served as a small extension of the house proper, for gathering after a hard day’s work. In the summer, sometimes a table was brought out, so people could eat on the terrace.
The garden also has a threshing floor - a round paved surface covered with stone slabs. This was used for threshing grain.
The village does not have an official centre, but the population used to gather around the Bostanj spring. The spring is channelled, the area around it paved and has a stone wall-seat. In addition to this spring, there is also a spring in Smokovac and Zirina.
Saint Stephen’s Church
During religious festivals, locals gather around the village church of Saint Stephen. The church was built at the end of the 19th century, but it is assumed that there had been a building there previously. The church is a single-nave, vaulted building with an apse of a semicircular base and a bell tower on a pediment with three bell windows. It is built of stone, but all the walls, except at the front, are plastered. According to the motifs from the preserved parapet slab, which is today in a museum, it is assumed that there was a pre-Romanesque church on the site, dating from the 10th or 11th century.
The Church of Saint Stephen
The iconostasis is the work of Corfu icon painter N. Aspioti. Around the church is a gate with tombs. It is thought by some that the church was built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko (founder of Herceg Novi) or Stevan Kosača.
The Legend of the Village's Origin
Legend has it that the Bosnian King Tvrtko I began the construction of the church of St. Stephen in the centre of Herceg Novi, inviting the most famous masters of that time from Kotor and Dubrovnik. But one morning, the stone disappeared from the square and appeared about 1.5 kilometers from the city - in its current location. The king was advised to build a church there, which he did. According to the legend, the settlement that started to grow around the church was named Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen) - later Suscepan.
Each to Their "Own" Troy
German entrepreneur and amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann began excavations on the hill of Hisarlich in today's northwestern Turkey, near the sea coast, southwest of the Dardanelles under Mount Ida in 1873 and claimed that this was the location of ancient Troy.
Researcher Ilija Ogorelica claims that ancient Troy was located near Belgrade, more precisely on the border of the settlements of Rušanj, Ripanj and Lipovačke šume. Milutin Jaćimović claims that Troy is "the Serbian historical capital of Skadar".
Mexican Roberto Salinas Price (1936 - 2012), philologist and wealthy Mexican passionate homerologist, first put forward the idea in the 1980s that Troy was on the east coast of the Adriatic and that the Trojan War had taken place in the Neretva Valley, and that the holy the city of Troy was on the site of present-day Gabela.
There are also theories that Troy was located at Ljubuški in Croatia, and also in Macedonia,… but with no scientific evidence supporting the claims.
The Municipality of Herceg Novi and the Ministry of the Interior have signed an agreement to use financing from the Protection and Rescue Fund, approved as part of a competition among municipal services, public institutions, businesses and non-governmental organisations. The agreement was signed by Interior Minister Mevludin Nuhodžić and Deputy Mayor of the Municipality Danijela Đurović, with Aleksandar Škobalj of the Herceg Novi Protection and Rescue Service also in attendance.
Minister Nuhodžić emphasised that the allocation of financing from the Fund confirms the determination of the Ministry of the Interior to work in synergy with all stakeholders in the system to improve capacities and working procedures in aspects of large-scale disasters and other incidents. Implementation of the projects for which financing has been committed will mean an improved rescue and protection system, as well as better delivery of preventive measures and operational activities, stated the Minister.
“I believe that through your work you will contribute to the strengthening of the protection and rescue system, and will be an additional incentive for other entities to work on building this important and demanding system actively,” said Minister Nuhodžić, addressing this year’s winners.
For Herceg Novi, the project that has been approved will be of huge significance as it will contribute to better protection for those in danger in hard to reach areas, stated Deputy Mayor Danijela Đurović. She added that the new equipment to be bought would be of great help to the Municipal Protection and Rescue Service, and that the local authority was grateful to have been recognised by the Ministry and the Fund Commission.
Đurović took advantage of the meeting with Minister Nuhodžić to send a message on the need to improve security in and around Herceg Novi, bearing in mind that the municipality borders the European Union, and as such is of particular interest to those aiming to cross the border illegally. Referring to the recent killing of a border police officer on duty, she stressed the importance of increasing security at the national border, and expressed the hope that the competent authorities would prosecute those responsible as soon as possible. Đurović requested the Ministry to initiate a procedure to amend the criminal code so that anyone charged of the murder of a police officer be handed the strictest possible sentence.
The Commission for the Allocation of Financing from the Protection and Rescue Fund, within a public competition, has provided funding totalling over 99,090 euros for projects to procure protection and rescue equipment and improve resources, and for financing projects encouraging educational, research and development studies, for programmes, projects and other activities.
This year’s beneficiaries are: NGO Association of Youth with Disabilities Montenegro, Bedrock Podgorica, Berana Municipality, Žabljak Municipality, Bijelo Polje Municipality, Nikšić Municipality, Herceg Novi Municipality, Non-governmental Association Union of Scouts Montenegro - Podgorica, Institute for Public Health Montenegro, Cetinje Students Association, NGO Gorica and Nature Lovers Association.
Cooperation in areas of culture and tourism is successfully developed between Saint Petersburg and Herceg Novi, to the satisfaction of both sides, it was announced during a meeting between officials from the two cities. It was agreed that Saint Petersburg would be represented at the 51st Mimosa festival, and that cultural exchanges would also continue, giving the public in Herceg Novi the opportunity to attend choral concerts, theatre performances and other artistic events from this Russian cultural capital, reported Herceg Novi Municipal Information Service.
During a working visit to Saint Petersburg, held at the invitation of the mayor of the city, the Mayor of Herceg Novi Municipality Stevan Кatić, Deputy Mayor Miloš Кonjević, Director of Herceg Novi Tourism Organisation Pavle Obradović and local councillor Savo Marić met with the Chair of Saint Petersburg Culture Committee Konstantin Eduardovich Sukhenko, Head of Government Organisation “Petersburg Concert” Yekaterina Anatoliyevna Artyushkina, Yuriy Gruzdyev and representatives of the city’s Culture Committee, in the Saint Petersburg Municipal Building.
Herceg Novi and Saint Petersburg are linked by their importance as cultural centres with rich historical heritage where great artists lived and worked, as well as both being important tourist destinations in their respective countries. Culture and tourism are therefore recognised as main themes for cooperation and connection, within which there are many opportunities for projects and exchange, it was announced at the meeting. It was noted that such meetings broaden and strengthen cooperation between regions, and contribute to ensuring relations remain at the highest possible level.
Photo: Herceg Novi Municipality
It was concluded that cooperation between the two cities would undoubtedly thrive as all the right conditions are in place - both in terms of the productive cultural potential of the “Northern Venice” and the “Pearl of the Adriatic” - and the goodwill of officials on both sides. A joint wish was expressed for the signing of a friendship agreement between Herceg Novi and Saint Petersburg.
Representatives of Herceg Novi thanked the Saint Petersburg Culture Committee for its readiness to support the development of cultural cooperation between the two cities. At the end of the meeting, held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the delegations exchanged gifts. Кatić presented Mr Sukhenko with a letter of thanks for strengthening and expanding cultural cooperation between Saint Petersburg and Herceg Novi.
Presentation of Herceg Novi tourist attractions in Saint Petersburg
In addition to the meeting with city officials, the working visit to Saint Petersburg was an opportunity for the tourist organisations of the two cities to meet. Emphasis was placed on building on the excellent cooperation developed thus far, as well as promotional issues and arrangements for the delivery of joint projects.
At the same time, a meeting was held with Svetlana Vasiliyevna Lavretsova, Director of the A. A Bryantsev Theatre, which has successfully performed twice to audiences from Herceg Novi. There was a summary of cooperation so far, and the next performance was also agreed in principle.
Presentations were also made of Herceg Novi’s tourist attractions and tourist potential to tour operators, tourism companies, and media from Russia. During the conference at the Astoria Hotel in Saint Petersburg, leading companies in the Russian tourist market had the opportunity to discover all the possibilities the city has to offer.
Source: Radio Jadran
Geotehnika Montenegro of Nikšić will be carrying out major works until November next year to mitigate the landslide around Kanli Kula, which, once implemented, will stop further shifting of the land and “cracking” of the fortress. The estimated value of the project, financed by the Public Works Administration of Montenegro, had been 300k euros; however, an offer from Geotehnika was accepted at 219,615 euros including VAT. Experts from Geotehnika have already been working for a month on the complex project.
The audit of the main project is being carried out by Civil Engineer, Podgorica. The Public Works Administration had earmarked 50k euros for this; however the company has cost 27,600 euros for the completion of the work.
The damage to Kanli Kula has become all the more visible in recent years, with cracks and crevices in the walls widening, and sagging increase. Experts have confirmed that this is the consequence of a significant landslide from the main road to the Old Town and The Church of the Archangel, noting that it is now precarious.
Kanli Kula Damage - photo Radio Jadran
The repairs to Kanli Kula, an old Turkish fortress from the 16th century - once a prison, but in 1966 rebuilt as one of the best summer stages on the Adriatic - will be carried out in two parts. The first is to carry out minor works that will precede major landslide mitigation. Only then will the second-stage reconstruction of the fortress take place, Prof. Dušan Lučić of the Montenegrin Institute of Civil Engineering, stated to Radio Jadran. Prof. Lučić was a member of the team involved in the exploratory work carried out at the beginning of April 2017.
The project works will take one year, given the need to use the entire 11- month hydrological cycle to monitor how the soil “reacts” in all atmospheric conditions.
During a visit to Herceg Novi this summer, the Ambassador of Turkey to Montenegro, Songul Ozan, stated that the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Montenegro was interested in cooperating with the city and government to find a model that would assist the renovation of Kanli Kula and remedy the landslides that threaten the fortress. Together with her Deputy Bled Kačar and Trade Relations Advisor Derij Koč, the Ambassador urged the Municipality’s leadership to consider applying for the project with the Turkish Agency for International Cooperation and Coordination.
For the repairs and adaptation to Kanli Kula, JUK Herceg Fest, which manages the fortress, will be working jointly with the Ministry of Culture under a mandatory conservation project, stated the Institution’s Director Gordana Porobić Krcunović.
Although architecturally in a deplorable state, the fortress has been able to “withstand” all cultural and entertainment programmes that have been minimised in technical and technological terms. This summer, a high-tech visitors centre was opened at the fortress, with funding provided by the Interreg IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme for Croatia-Bosnia Herzegovina-Montenegro 2014-2020, through the Fortress ReInvented project. With augmented reality glasses and 3D animation, users were able to step back into the Middle Ages and see what this centuries-old fortress and the city of Herceg Novi looked like throughout history.
Source: Radio Jadran