Throughout history, a number of influences have influenced Montenegro’s culture. Orthodox, Slavic, Central European, and maritime Adriatic cultures (particularly in areas of Italy, such as the Republic of Venice) have had the most impact in recent centuries.
Montenegro has numerous important cultural and historical sites, including pre-Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque heritage monuments. The Montenegrin coastline area is particularly well renowned for its religious structures, which include the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor (Cattaro under the Venetians), the church of St. Luke (almost 800 years old), Our Lady of the Rocks (krpjela), the Savina Monastery, and others. Thousands of square meters of frescoes cover the walls of Montenegro’s ancient monasteries.
The ethical ideal of ojstvo I Junatvo, “Humaneness and Gallantry,” is a component of Montenegrin culture. The Oro, or “eagle dance,” is a traditional Montenegrin folk dance that includes dancing in circles with couples alternating in the center, and is completed by dancers standing on each other’s shoulders to create a human pyramid.
The region’s earliest literary works date back 10 centuries, while the first Montenegrin book was produced almost 500 years ago. The first state-owned printing press was established in Cetinje in 1494, the same year that the first South Slavic book, Oktoih, was published. Montenegrin monasteries have ancient texts going back to the thirteenth century.
Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, and Cetinje, the ancient royal capital, are the country’s two most significant cultural and artistic centers.
Montenegrin cuisine evolved as a consequence of the country’s lengthy history. It is a hybrid of Mediterranean and Oriental flavors. The greatest impact comes from Italy, Turkey, the Byzantine Empire/Greece, and Hungary. Montenegrin cuisine varies regionally as well; the food of the coast differs from that of the northern highlands. The coastline region is historically associated with Mediterranean cuisine, with seafood being a popular dish, while the northern region is associated with Oriental cuisine.