Cistern in front of which you are located
Cistern in Crkvice
In order to provide undisturbed functioning of several thousand soldiers stationed in Crkvice, Ledenice and Grkavac, as well as in numerous fortresses of Krivošije, a large amount of water was necessary. Procure water on the arid and karst terrain was not an easy task. Engineers have applied a solution here – constructing a cistern system. Only on the territory of Crkvice there were 11 cisterns which regularly supplied military camp with water. The two large ones in front of you are an example of beautiful architecture. Each fortress also had at least one to two cisterns, into which rainwater poured over the paved slopes into large covered reservoirs. It is interesting fact – most of the 200 cisterns built are still full of water. After the Second World War, Risan planned to use water from these cisterns in the summer when local springs dry up. Walking through the fortresses of Krivošije region, you will notice that several cisterns are used for mountain agriculture.

Cistern in Crkvice
There were a lot of horses in Crkvice and several stables and smithies were built for their accommodation. One is located nearby, at the bottom of the field, and you will find the remains of the others next to the building of the former bakery. On the walls of the stables, in several places, there are still hoops used to tie horses.  Without these noble animals, the army could not function, both in logistics and on the battlefield. The First World War is also the last in which horses took part and heroically saved the lives of many soldiers. 
When Njegoš was asked how long it takes to get from Kotor to Cetinje, he said: “It depends, a friend will arrive in six hours, and the enemy may never arrive.” Until the Berlin Congress, Montenegro did not have vehicular roads. King Nikola, as much as the state treasury allowed him, urged the construction of the road network. In 1902, the Spanish adventurer Prince of Bourbon, a herald of modern times and the bohemian lifestyle, was able to drive his car along the entire 193 km of built roads. He passed from Kotor to Cetinje and remained amazed by nature. 

On the coast, which was ruled by Austro-Hungarian Empire, in order to protect the military port in Boka and strengthen the border with Montenegro, the empire started constructing a network of roads. Hundreds of kilometers of roads were built in a short time through inaccessible, arid rocks and mountain ranges, where until then, it was difficult to pass on foot or on horseback. In addition to the army, roads and fortresses were diligently built by workers from Boka. Due to better mobility of the army, this part of Krivošije was connected at the end of the 19th century with Risan and Herceg Novi, which was reached by rail in 1901, connecting it by land with the rest of Europe. 

¹ Source: Radojica Pavićević
² Source: Volker Pachauer
³ Source: Österreichisches Staatsarchiv
4 Source: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Festungsforschung

Important Note: Explore the fortresses and use the trails at your own risk.
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Improving the quality and diversity of the tourist offer based on natural and cultural heritage in the border rural areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
This website is part of the FORT-NET project "From the Medieval Fortresses in Herzegovina to the Austro-Hungarian Fortresses in Montenegro" funded with the help of the European Union. The content of this website is the sole responsibility of the project partners and does not necessarily represent the views of the European Union.
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