If you turn to the left after coming out of the Sozina tunnel the first place you will come across is Sutomore. This favourable connection with the hinterland makes it a preferred one-day excursion spot for people from Podgorica, from whom it is only a 45 minutes train ride or even less by car. Its train connection also makes it very popular with people from Serbia and elsewhere from Montenegro.Sutomore has a 1,250 sandy beach, several hotels and numerous houses that offer rooms for rent. The pleasant scenery is highlighted by sides of Mt Sozina (805m) towering steeply behind it.
The area surrounding Sutomore, known as Spič, was once characterized by small country churches used by both Orthodox formed a large mayority but during the Venetian and later Austrian domination no matter how few Catholics lived in a village the service had to be held regularly and therefore many village churches were shared by these two confessions. The only remaining example of this phenomenon is St Tekla, to the east of Sutomore.This modest edifice in the middle of the local cemetery was built in the 13th century. Inside the church, on the left hand side is a small iconostasis for the Orthodox and on the right altar for the Catholics.
On Ratac, the first promontory to the south of Sutomore, stand the ruins of the Benedictine abbey known as Bogorodica Ratačka ( “Our Ladyof Ratac”). The monastery was founded at the beginning of the 11th of century by Italian Benedictines who originally dedicated it to St Michael. It soon became one of the most important sacral sites of Duklja and was often visited by its rulers, but more importantly it was also a prominent place of pilgrimage. It’s already large estates were further expanded in the 13th century by Serbian queen Jelena and from then onwards the monastery held control of most of Spič and good part of Paštrovići as well. The illustrious abbey met its end in 1553 when the Turks sacked it; the imposing edifice was laid to ruins in the fighting between Venetians and Turks in 1571. The last destruction came in WWII when a part of it was adapted for Italian bunkers. Today, its extensive ruins testify to its former grandeur. The most notable among the ruins are those of the main church, 27 long with its walls in rows of red and white stone and three apses.
The ruins of fortress Haj Nehaj stand on a lone and inaccessible hill (255m above sea level) to the north of Sutomore. To get to it, take the road for Zagradje village, the hill and the fortress are to your right and, as the path ascending from the road is not marked, you should ask the locals for direction on rely on your own estimate. The steep climb passes through a forest and ends up in front of the gate Haj Nehaj. This impressive stronghold was built by Venetians in mid 16th century as the main defensive point of Spič.
Montenegro Hostel Team