Remains of the Neglected Past. Ottoman Forts on Planinica Hill, Montenegro


  • Urszula Bugaj
  • Predrag Lutovac
  • Maciej Trzeciecki
  • Miron Bogacki
  • Małgorzata Chwiej
  • Mario Novak
  • Zbigniew Polak


Montenegro, fortifications, watchtower, stone architecture, 3D modelling, orthophotography, Ottoman Empire, borderland studies, Balkan Wars


Planinica — a hill situated on the edge of a vast mountain range delimited to the south-east by the Zeta Plain. It is a part of historical region known as Malesija inhabited mainly by the Albanians. During the field research on Planinica in 2012–2013 a group of stone structures was documented. It consists of circular stone tower surrounded by quadrilateral wall, several small enclosures of trapezoid or pentagonal plan and a network of roads leading to the top of the hill. The arrangement of the buildings indicates that the most likely function was military. They can be described as an observatory tower surrounded by small auxiliary forts. The complex of stone structures on Planinica was most probably built by the Turks after 1878 as a part of system of fortifications guarding newly established Turkish-Montenegrin border. The border survived until the Balkan War in 1912. After that Planinica was no longer been a point of military interest and the forts on its top have undergone progressive destruction. The stone structures on Planinica are not mentioned either in archaeological or historical publications in Montenegro, except the watchtower, which is interpreted as a prehistoric burial mound destroyed by the Turks. The buildings on Planinica hill remain “in the shadow” of the prehistoric stone tumuli, which represent a positively valorised, very distant past


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How to Cite

Bugaj, U., Lutovac, P., Trzeciecki, M., Bogacki, M., Chwiej, M., Novak, M., & Polak, Z. (2014). Remains of the Neglected Past. Ottoman Forts on Planinica Hill, Montenegro. Sprawozdania Archeologiczne, 66, 385–398. Retrieved from