Montenegro, City Museum in Ulcinj

Montenegro, City Museum in Ulcinj

During the reign of the Venetians in Ulcinj in 1510 the Church of St. Mary was founded, which immediately after the conquest of the city by the Ottomans, that is, in 1571, was renamed the Sultan Selim II Mosque. This mosque was often called the Imperial mosque, as its workers received salaries from the state treasury. In 1693, a minaret was built to the former temple, resting on a square base and tapering to the top. Thus, the Turks completely changed the Orthodox church, emphasizing their dominion in the city.

The mosque was no longer used for religious purposes in 1878, when Montenegrins returned to Ulcinj. The question of what to do with the mosque, was resolved almost immediately. It was transformed into mekteb – the so-called building that served as the town hall or city club, where wealthy people gathered to discuss current affairs in the city.

The Church of St. Mary, which became a mosque, is one of the most interesting buildings of the city, combining in their architecture elements typical for the buildings of the East and West. In our time there is a city museum. Its meetings are held in three branch buildings. In the former mosque in the Slave Square archaeological collection is kept. Ethnographic artifacts are preserved in the building next door and in the Balsich tower you can see a selection of paintings and art objects.

All the exhibits tell about the history of the city from the time of its foundation to our days. The archaeological collection of the museum is amazing. Among other treasures, it is worth noting the ancient cameos, the pedestal with the inscription, where the goddess Artemis is mentioned, the Roman mosaic, which is stored in disassembled form, but will soon be restored.

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