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Published on Jul 4, 2013
With its mountainous geography and turbulent history Montenegro is a microcosm of the Balkans. Throughout its history Montenegro was known in Europe for its fierce tribes and blood feuds. For centuries, it has been the meeting point and battleground of Muslim (Ottoman) and Catholic (Venetian and Austrian) empires. In recent years, however, Montenegro has surprised those who expected it to be torn apart by internal conflict.
Montenegro is Europe's youngest state, having achieved independence in the summer of 2006. It hasn't made much news since. For a country which was once feared to turn into a failed state in a troubled region, this, in itself, is remarkable.
Of the six former Yugoslav republics, Montenegro was the only one (since 1989) to have avoided violent conflict on its territory. It is a country without an ethnic majority; it is home to two Orthodox churches; and its national currency is the euro. Its 620,000 citizens include Orthodox Montenegrins and Orthodox Serbs, Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic and Muslim Albanians, as well as some Croats and other minorities.