"Prince Bishop Petar II Petrovic Njegos" Lovcen Travelogue by KonstantinII

Lovcen Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 37 photos

Rade Petrovic - Petar II Petrovic Njegos

Petar II Petrovic Njego? (November 1st 1813-October 10 1851) - Serbian poet, ruler of Montenegro, vladika (bishop) of Mitropoly (Bishopy) of Montenegro and seaside.
Born in Njegu?i, educated in monastery of Cetinje, he became ruler of Montenegro when he was 17.
Seeing the necessity for Montenegro to become a modern state, he reconciled quarelling Montenegrin tribes, established Senate, government and courts, started collecting taxes, strengthened the borders of Montenegro, built roads, first school and printing works (just after the first one was built by . And while doing that, he wrote his poems; Mountain wreath is most famous of them.
Njegos was recognized by the chiefs of the people as the successor of his uncle. He became monk and then archimandrite, and changed his name, according to the custom of the Eastern Church.
Rade became Petar, in memory of his uncle.
His desire was to be made bishop by the Russian Church, but circumstances were such that he had to postpone his journey to Russia for few years.
Njegos went to Russia, where he was made bishop in the presence of the Emperor.
The visit to Russia had a great influence on him. He saw the culture of Vienna and Petrograd, brought back many books, and published his first book of poems.

He died in Cetinje in 1851, at the age of thirty-eight.

His favourite poets were Lamartine, Byron, Dante, and Petrarch. He knew Russian and French well. English he did not know, although an English grammar in Italian and an English-German dictionary were found among his books.

When he died among his things there were Byron's works in a Leipzig edition, and those of Shakespeare in a French translation.

Ossian in German. Scott's Life of Napoleon in Russian, and Ivanhoe in a Leipzig edition, as well as Hume's History of England in French, were also among his books. It is known that he possessed Milton's Paradise Lost in Russian, full of his own marks and notes, but this has disappeared from his library. Although Njegos's poem on the Fall of Man, The Light of the Microcosm is an original creation, there are points of contact between it and Paradise Lost, and the loss of his Russian copy of Milton is regrettable.

The body of Njegos reposes on the topmost peak of Lovcen, the highest mountain in the region, more than 5,500 feet above sea-level.
There he had built a little church and a tomb for himself.
Now there is a great mausoleum in his honor built after the II WW. The monument is work of a Yugoslavian artist Ivan Mestrovic (also the author of Belgrade's Victor, Young Horses in front the parliament building in Belgrade and "the Monument in gratitude to France" in Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade, also the "Monument to the Unknow Soldier" on mountain Avala, Belgrade).

From Lovcen's peak where Njegos is buried can be seen the whole of Montenegro and parts of those other Serbian lands whose freedom was the dream of Njegos.

"A hundred times I've gazed at floating clouds,
Sailing as, phantom ships high off the sea,
And casting anchor on this mountain range!
Now here, now there I've watched them break away,
With darts of lightning and with rumblings dread,
And sudden roar of all the sky's artillery!
A hundred times have I watched from these heights,
And quietly basked beneath the genial sun,
While lightnings flash'd and thunders peal'd below:
I saw and heard how they did rend the skies;
Downpours from heaven of most hostile hail
Robbed Mother Earth of her fertility."

These words of Bishop Danilo in "The Mountain wreath" must represent an actual experience of Njegos, but they are charged with deeper, symbolic meaning: at the time of Bishop Danilo, Montenegro was the only Serbian land on which the sun of freedom shone; all the others were overhung by heavy clouds of servitude.

  • Page Updated Oct 12, 2004
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