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Berane – Cultural Heritage of the North

A photo of the city center, Berane
City Center Berane

Berane is a town in the northeast part of Montenegro that lies on the banks of the mighty river Lim. This is one of the youngest Montenegrin cities. It was founded in the second half of the 19th century (1862) by order of the Turkish general Husein Pasha. Berane is located in the vast Tifran valley, known for its fertile lands, and is naturally well-secured by numerous mountains.

Some sources claim Berane originates from the Old Slavic word for beran/baran, which means ram. This is a widely-accepted fact, given that this was a livestock-rich region. Other sources claim Berane originated from the Turkish word Bir-hane, which means one khan – one house. Another opinion is that Berane was named after Beran-Selo, a small settlement from the 14th century.

Berane is considered one of the most important heritage centres of the northern region of Montenegro. It officially became part of Montenegro after the First Balkan War in 1912. This was the year when Berane was finally liberated from centuries-old Ottoman rule.  Nevertheless, from 1949 to 1992, the city was named Ivangrad after the national hero Ivan Milutinović. Since 1992, the settlement has been renamed Berane.

Berane abounds in cultural, historical, and religious monuments. With more than 30.000 citizens, this city is where orthodox Christians and Islamic communities have coexisted for centuries.

Monastery “Đurđevi Stupovi”.

Among the numerous cultural monuments, the Orthodox monastery Đurđevi Stupovi stands out. Built in the 13th century (1212/1213), this is one of the oldest preserved monasteries in Montenegro. This monastery is the endowment of the Nemanjić family, one of the great and important Serbian medieval families. In the past, this monastery was demolished and rebuilt five times. From 2001 until today, it has been the seat of the Budimljansko-Nikšić bishopric of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro.

A photo of Monastery Đurđevi Stupovi
Monastery “Đurđevi Stupovi” Photo: Shtutterstock

“Šudikova” Monastery

Apart from the Đurđevi Stupovi monastery, the Šudikova monastery is another great cultural and historical treasure. Located on the right bank of river Lim, it represented an active cultural and educational center for several hundred years. It is believed that the monastery got its name – Šudikova – because of the judicial function it held. Until its destruction, the seat of the court was inside the monastery. The Ottomans looted and burned the monastery in 1738, but it was restored in 2005.

A photo of Šudikova Monastery
Monastery “Šudikova” Photo: Lazar Pejović

Islamic Vakuf House

Another important cultural monument of Berane is the Islamic Vakuf House, built in 1883. This cultural object is important primarily because of the fountains and the endowment of Ahmed Hamdi Pasha. Ahmet Pasha was the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from the 19th century.

A photo of Islamic Vakuf House in Berane
Islamic Vakuf House Photo: Berane Online-Facebook

Obelisk “Freedom.”

One of the city’s symbols is the grandiose monument “Freedom” at the hill of Jasikovac. This monument was built to honor the martyred patriots and victims of the Second World War. The bullet-shaped appearance is one of the most distinctive characteristics of this 18-meter-high monument. The memorial complex also consists of 40 granite blocks surrounding the main obelisk.

A photo of the "Freedom" obelisk, at the hill Jasikovac
Monumentum “Freedom” Photo: Mileta Vukićević

“Polimlje” Archaeological Museum

To learn more about the history of Berane and Montenegro in general, you can visit the “Polimlje” Archaeological Museum. The museum is located in the city centre. Over 9,000 exhibits are exposed, divided into archaeological, ethnographic, numismatic, heraldic, natural science, and art collections.

As a modern city, Berane offers many activities due to its rich nature and surroundings.

Skiing and Snowboarding

One might say Berane is a mostly winter-tourism-oriented town. For instance, winter sports lovers can easily visit nearby ski centers, such as ski center “Lokve” or “Hajla.” The Ski center “Hajla” became operational in 2017. It has 2 two seater lifts, 3 ski lifts, and 1 baby lift. The length of the track is 3500m, while the height difference is 700m. The Ski center has all the facilities needed for enjoyment and fun: ski school, rental and service of ski equipment, and night skiing. The price of a children’s daily ski pass is 5.00e, and for adults, 7.00e.

A photo from ski slopes from Ski Center "Hajla"
Ski Centre “Hajla” – Rožaje Photo: Share Montenegro

“Hot Winters in the Hills.”

Another attraction is the annual winter sports festival, ”Hot winters in the hills.” This is an interesting festival that brings people and visitors from many regions by coming winter sports and art. If you ask us, this is a must-do activity when visiting this city.

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Mountaineering, climbing, hiking

The untouched nature of the surrounding mountain plateaus makes Berane a real heaven for raw-nature lovers. The mountain Komovi, for instance, next to Durmitor and Prokletije, represents the third most impressive mountain range in Montenegro. With peaks almost reaching 2,500 meters, Komovi mountain impressively dominates the southeast part of Montenegro. Besides the picturesque nature, this mountain offers abundant activities, such as hiking, sports and recreational climbing, mountaineering, and horse riding.

The Komovi Mountain surrounded by clouds
Komovi Mountain
The Komovi Mountain, one of the three peaks
Komovi Mountain

Eco Katun “Štavna” is an ideal starting point for the exhilarating adventures that await you here. Here you can find suitable accommodations such as mountain houses and bungalows. You can also try some of the most delicious Montenegrin specialties. All the food prepared here is made of organic and natural products.

The abundance of springs and lakes made Berane one of the richest cities in Montenegro hydrographically. Particularly, the mountain Bjelasica abounds in lakes: Pešića Lake, Šiško Lake, and Ursulovačko Lake. These are just some attractive places for tourists who want a peaceful vacation in preserved nature. Moreover, only a one-hour car drive from Berane, National Park Biogradska Gora is located. Out of five national parks in Montenegro, NP Biogradska Gora is the oldest one. Established in the 19th century, it officially became an NP in 1959. This park also is the smallest in Montenegro territorially. The largest part of the park is a reserve of rainforest Biogradska Gora. This is one of the last remaining rainforests in Europe.

A photo of Pešića Lake, at the National Park Biogardska Gora. Berane
Pešića Lake


Berane has two climate types: moderate-continental and mountain (alpine). In winter, the temperatures can go up to -20 degrees Celsius. Daily temperatures can increase to 35-37 degrees Celsius in the summer. The coldest month is January, and the warmest month is July. You can often meet swimmers on river Lim’s shores on hot summer days. People come here to find salvation from the heat in the cool river Lim’s rapids.

A photo of Lim river, Berane
Lim River Photo:

How to reach Berane

Berane is only 2 hours by car away from the Capital city, Podgorica. From Podgorica, you will take the highway to Kolašin, from where you will continue through Mojkovac to Berane. Moreover, Berane is at the same driving distance from the Serbian-Montenegrin border Špiljani, and you can easily arrive in the Serbian region of Raška from Berane. Alternative choices are busses, which have regular lines from most Montenegrin cities to Berane.

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