Montenegro (Montenegrin: Crna Gora ), Italian for “Black Mountain”, is a sovereign state located in Southeastern Europe. It borders Croatia on the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the northwest, Serbia on the northeast, Kosovo on the east, and Albania on the south-east. Podgorica serves as the capital and biggest city, while Cetinje is recognized as the Old Royal Capital (prijestonica).
In the ninth century, the area of Montenegro was divided between three Serbian principalities: Duklja, approximately equivalent to the southern half, Travunia, to the west, and Rascia, to the north. In 1042, archon Stefan Vojislav launched a rebellion that established Duklja’s independence and the Vojislavljevi dynasty. Duklja flourished under the leadership of Vojislav’s son Mihailo (1046–81) and grandson Bodin (1081–1101). By the thirteenth century, Zeta had supplanted Duklja as the name for the kingdom. Southern Montenegro (Zeta) fell under the control of the Bali noble family in the late 14th century, then the Crnojevi noble family in the 15th century, and by the 15th century, Zeta was more often referred to as Crna Gora (Venetian: monte negro). From 1496 until 1878, large parts were ruled by the Ottoman Empire. Venice and its predecessors, the First French Empire and Austria-Hungary, ruled portions. From 1515 until 1851, the rulers were the prince-bishops (vladikas) of Cetinje. From 1697 until 1918, the nation was governed by the House of Petrovi-Njego. It was a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1945, when it was replaced by SFR Yugoslavia, then FR Yugoslavia, and finally by the state union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. Montenegro proclaimed independence on 3 June 2006, after a referendum conducted on 21 May 2006.
Montenegro is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the Central European Free Trade Agreement, and is a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. Montenegro is also a prospective member of the European Union and NATO. Montenegro accepted an official invitation to join NATO on 2 December 2015, making it the 29th member nation. This invitation was intended to initiate final accession negotiations.