Jewish Heritage Europe

Montenegro

Montenegro

This small, mountainous, and extremely rugged country formed part of the former Yugoslavia and  became independent in 2006. Though Jews are known to have lived here in ancient and medieval times, little physical Jewish heritage remains.

A Jewish community has revived in recent years in the capital, Podgorica.

According to researchers, between four and seven Jewish cemeteries are believed to have existed, but their locations are not known.

Known heritage sites include:

DUKLJA (DOCLEA)

Ruins of an ancient Roman trade center near today’s Podgorica, at the confluence of the Zeta and Morača rivers and the Širalija stream.

In 1960, archeologists at the site found a Jewish grave containing two skeletons and dating to the late 3rd or early 4th century. It was decorated with Jewish symbols including a seven-branched menorah, birds and floral motifs, traces of frescoed vines, a six-pointed star, and the Sukkoth etrog fruit.

See photo documentation, via Center for Jewish Art

ULCINJ

The false messiah Shabbatai Zevi died in this ancient seafront town near the Albanian border  in 1676. He is assumed to have been buried here — what is believed to be his tomb is in the private yard of an Albanian Muslim family. The room where Zevi is believed to have lived out his final years, with two stars of David carved on its walls, is still preserved in the Ulcinj fortress.

The visit-ulcinj tourist web site uses Shabbatai Zevi’s story to promote the town

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