Stay In Rijeka Crnojevica To See Zabljak Crnojevica Fortress


Whilst we were staying in Montenegro we stumbled upon the hidden town of Rijeka Crnojevica where we accessed the Zabljak Crnojevica Fortress.

Named after its river which leads to Lake Skadar it is a quiet village and if you’re looking for a rural retreat in laid-back Montenegro, this might be the place.

Bridge of Rijeka Crnojevica.
The bridge in Rijeka Crnojevica. Zabljak Crnojevica Fortress

Stay In Rijeka Crnojevica To Access The Fortress Zabljak Crnojevica

A small, tranquil town located to the north of Lake Skadar, Rijeka Crnojevica is not somewhere most tourists would stay. You will definitely need a car to visit here.

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One end of the village benefits enormously from tourism and has a number of nice restaurants, a restored and well-kept bridge and boats whilst the other end does not receive any visitors and is, sadly, crumbling down around the residents that remain.

However, this is what makes it a truly unique place, for people looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience in Montenegro.

Rural Montenegrin village
The town’s square.

It Might Be Historically A Place Of War

We rented a house here for five days and the lady showing us around informed us that Rijeka Crnojevica was the location of battles and bad history.

A little research suggests that a war was started there but back in the 1400s although there is a rather large and dominating memorial to those lost in WWII. The town has an eerily, quiet feel to it that some travellers might find appealing.

Abandonned building Montenegro
A double entranced door

The Town Has Seen Better Days

The town has definitely seen better days, but this adds to its rustic charm and if you like exploring abandoned buildings, this is a perfect opportunity.

Could this have once been a school or maybe a factory? It had a grand entrance with two sides of steps that were covered in green undergrowth and plants. The back of the building seemed to fare worse as it was now used as a rubbish disposal area.  The inside had been decorated with graffiti long before nature took over. It seemed to be full of rubbish too but really didn’t look that old.

Rijeka Crnojevica

Rijeka Crnojevica
Rijeka Crnojevica

Long-loved Houses In Rijeka Crnojevica

This house seemed to have been used as an animal shelter. Maybe a goat herder had been using it? There are still numerous animal herders in Montenegro but I never saw any near Rijeka Crnojevica.

The allure of this area is the friendliness of the locals, the rough and ready charm of the town and the beauty of the river.

I loved this town and thought it was perfect in many ways. Just imagine how amazing it was at one time.

Rijeka Crnojevica.
Rijeka Crnojevica.
Rijeka Crnojevica
Houses near the main square were dilapidated, crumbling down but still had people residing in them.

Now I Know Why This Town Is Suffering

Before moving to Bulgaria, I’d never seen a town like this. However, I now know that it’s because there’s not enough local employment for the younger generation who leave to go to university or to find jobs in the cities or overseas. Houses are passed down on death to the younger generations who just cannot afford to renovate them or keep them in good condition.

These ancestral homes fall into disrepair and eventually collapse. You are unlikely to see this in coastal areas because they attract investment and offer employment.

So by visiting this town and other rural towns, you can help local people stay in their towns and remain employed. It’s a win-win for everyone because you get to experience the true Montenegro

Stay In Rijeka Crnojevica To Access The Zabljak Crnojevica Fortress

We booked our accommodation through this interactive map and hired one of the boats just under the apartment. Read this post to see how to do that.

We stayed here in this apartment. 

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