CETTIGNE (Servian, Tsetinye; also written Cettinje, Tzetinje, and Tsettinye), the capital of Montenegro; in a narrow plain deeply sunk in the heart of the limestone mountains, at a height of 2093 ft. above the sea. Pop. (1900) about 3200. The surrounding country is bare and stony, with carefully cultivated patches of rich red soil among the crevices of the rock. In winter it is often so deeply covered with snow as to be well-nigh inaccessible, while in spring and autumn it is frequently flooded by the waters of a small brook which becomes a torrent after rain or a thaw. Cettigne itself is little more than a walled village, consisting of a cluster of whitewashed cottages and some unadorned public buildings. These include a church; a fortified monastery which was founded in 1478, but so often burned and rebuilt as to seem quite modern, and which is visited by pilgrims to the tomb of Peter I. (1782–1830); residences for the archimandrite and the vladika or metropolitan of Cettigne; a palace built in 1863, which accommodates the ministries; the court of appeal, and a school modelled on the gymnasia of Germany and Austria; the newer palaces of the prince and his heir; foreign legations; barracks; a seminary for priests and teachers, established by the tsar Alexander II. (1855–1881), with a very successful girls’ school founded and endowed by the tsaritsa Marie; a library and reading-room; a theatre, a museum and a hospital. In an open space near the old palace stood the celebrated plane tree, beneath which Prince Nicholas gave audience to his subjects, and administered justice until the closing years of the 19th century. A zigzag highway, regarded as a triumph of engineering, winds through the mountain passes between Cettigne and the Austrian seaport of Cattaro; and other good roads give access to the richest parts of the interior. There is, however, little trade, though mineral waters are manufactured.
Cettigne owes its origin to Ivan the Black, who was forced, towards the end of the 15th century, to withdraw from Zhabliak, his former capital. It has often been taken and sacked by the Turks, but has seldom been occupied by them for long.