Rising from a green vale surrounded by rough grey mountains, Cetinje (Цетиње) is an odd mix of erstwhile capital and overgrown village, where single-storey cottages and stately mansions share the same street. Several of those mansions – dating from the days when European ambassadors rubbed shoulders with Montenegrin princesses – have become museums or schools for art and music.
The city was founded in 1482 by Ivan Crnojević, the ruler of the Zeta state, after abandoning his previous capital near Lake Skadar, Žabljak Crnojevića, to the Ottomans. A large statue of him stands in the main square, Dvorski Trg. Cetinje was the capital of Montenegro until 1946, when it passed the baton – somewhat reluctantly – to Titograd (now Podgorica); today, it’s billed as the 'royal capital', and is home to the country's most impressive collection of museums.