Zabljak Crnojevic (rarely Zabljak Crnojevica, Montenegrin, Žabljak Crnojevića.) is a medieval city and fortress in Montenegro on Lake Skadar
on a rock near the mouth of the Moraca River
. The name comes from the Slavic Zabljak - marshy place where there are loads of frogs. Few people know, but the ancient capital of Montenegro, is not Cetinje
, as many got used to think, but the medieval town of Zabljak on Skadar Lake. Not to confuse with the modern town of Zabljak in the north of Montenegro. However, back then, when Zabljak was a capital, there was not even such a name as Montenegro, and there was the Slavic principality of Zeta, located on the plains areas of Podgorica (Zeta plain) and Cetinje mountains (Mountainous Zeta).
The last stronghold of the state of Zeta, the predecessor of Montenegro is Zabljak Crnojevica. This fortress belongs to the period of XI - XV centuries, and located in one part of the Skadar Lake, at the confluence of 4 rivers.
Zabljak Crnojevica is referred to the significant monuments of fortification architecture. It is an important cultural heritage of the Skadar Lake basin. After wandering among the fortress walls, once a mighty fortress, we go down to the waterfront, and then go by boat to the island of Kosmach, where is the island monastery of the same name. This is one of the monasteries within the vast complex of "Zeta Athos".
Got its name from the surname of the ruling Zeta dynasty Crnojevic, the capital of which was in the XV century. Founded probably in the X century, during the reign of Dukla from Vojislavljević dynasty. First mentioned in written sources in the middle of XV century. During the tenure of Zeta by Serbian despots Stefan Lazarevich and Yurij Brankovic, it was under their rule, and then, in 1466-1478, became the capital of Crnojevic dynasty.
In 1475 the prince of Zeta Ivan Crnojevic I under the onslaught of the Ottomans was forced to move his capital to Obod, and then in Cetinje. In 1478 Zabljak was occupied by the Turks, who considerably strengthened its walls. During the Ottoman dominion Zabljak was the stronghold of the Turks on the northern shore of Skadar Lake. Montenegrins repeatedly tried to seize Zabljak, and in 1835 ten or thirteen Montenegrins moved through the wall and captured the city, captivating the garrison of 60 people, and then for three days kept the city away from the Turkish detachment of 3000 people. By decision of the Berlin Congress in 1878 Zabljak became a part of the independent Montenegro. Zabljak was surrounded by thick walls and towers with single entrance gate.
In the city, apart from the palace of Crnojevic, there were: St. George's Church (converted into a mosque by the Turks), residential and military buildings, warehouses and tank for water. Most of the buildings have survived to our time. Now Zabljak Crnojevića has become desolate and is a tourist attraction with well-preserved walls and the remains of buildings of the XV century. The fortress can be reached from the town Golubovci at a time when the water in the lake is low, as well as on the boat at any time.