Nicholas I of Montenegro

Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола I Петровић-Његош; 7 October [O.S. 25 September] 1841 – 1 March 1921) was the ruler of Montenegro from 1860 to 1918, reigning as sovereign prince from 1860 to 1910 and as king from 1910 to 1918.

Nikola I
King Nikola of Montenegro
Prince of Montenegro
Reign13 August 1860 – 28 August 1910
PredecessorDanilo I
King of Montenegro
Reign28 August 1910 – 26 November 1918
Born7 October 1841
Njeguši, Montenegro
Died1 March 1921 (aged 79)
Cap d'Antibes, France
Milena Vukotić
(m. 1862)
Full name
Nikola Mirkov Petrović-Njegoš
FatherMirko Petrović-Njegoš
MotherAnastasija Martinović
Nikola I's signature

Early life

Nikola was born in the village of Njeguši, the ancient home of the reigning House of Petrović. His father, Mirko Petrović-Njegoš, a celebrated Montenegrin warrior, was elder brother to Danilo I of Montenegro, who left no male offspring. After 1696, when the dignity of Vladika, or prince-bishop, became hereditary in the Petrović family, the sovereign power had descended from uncle to nephew, the Vladikas belonging to the order of the black clergy (i.e., monastic clergy) who are forbidden to marry. A change was introduced by Danilo I, who declined the episcopal office, married and declared the principality hereditary in the direct male line. Mirko Petrović-Njegoš having renounced his claim to the throne, his son was nominated heir-presumptive, and the old system of succession was thus incidentally continued.

Prince Nikola, who had been trained from infancy in martial and athletic exercises, spent a portion of his early boyhood at Trieste in the household of the Kustic family, to which his aunt, the princess Darinka, wife of Danilo II, belonged. The princess was an ardent francophile, and at her suggestion the young heir-presumptive of the vladikas was sent to the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris. Unlike his contemporary, King Milan of Serbia, Prince Nikola was little influenced in his tastes and habits by his Parisian education; the young highlander, whose keen patriotism, capability for leadership and poetic talents early displayed themselves, showed no inclination for the pleasures of the French capital, and eagerly looked forward to returning to his native land.

Nikola was a member of the "United Serbian Youth" (Уједињена омладина српска) during its existence (1866–1871).[1][2] After the organization was prohibited in the Principality of Serbia and Austro-Hungary, the "Association for Serb Liberation and Unification" (Дружина за ослобођење и уједињење српско) was established by Nikola, Marko Popović, Simo Popović, Mašo Vrbica, Vasa Pelagić, and more, in Cetinje (1871).[3][4][5]

Prince of Montenegro

Nikola was still in Paris when, in consequence of the assassination of his uncle Danilo I, he succeeded as prince (13 August 1860). In November 1860 he married Milena, daughter of the vojvoda Petar Vukotić.

In the period of peace which followed Nikola carried out a series of military, administrative and educational reforms. The country was embroiled in a series of wars with the Ottoman Empire between 1862 and 1878. In 1867 he met the emperor Napoleon III at Paris, and in 1868 he undertook a journey to Russia, where he received an affectionate welcome from the tsar, Alexander II. He afterwards visited the courts of Berlin and Vienna. His efforts to enlist the sympathies of the Russian imperial family produced important results for Montenegro; considerable subsidies were granted by the tsar and tsaritsa for educational and other purposes, and supplies of arms and ammunition were sent to Cetinje. In 1871 Prince Dolgorukov arrived at Montenegro on a special mission from the tsar, and distributed large sums of money among the people. In 1869 Prince Nikola, whose authority was now firmly established, succeeded in preventing the impetuous highlanders from aiding the Krivosians in their revolt against the Austrian government; similarly in 1897 he checked the martial excitement caused by the outbreak of the Greco-Turkish War.

Follow me Montenegrins - on to Bar, on to our Serb Bar, on to Serb sea!...

In 1876 Nikola declared war against Turkey; his military reputation was enhanced by the ensuing campaign, and still more by that of 1877/78, during which he captured Nikšić, Bar and Ulcinj. The war resulted in a considerable extension of the Montenegrin frontier and the acquisition of a seaboard on the Adriatic. He justified the war as a revenge for the Battle of Kosovo (1389). In 1876 he sent a message to the Montenegrins in Herzegovina:

Under Murad I the Serbian Tsardom was destroyed, under Murad V it has to rise again. This is my wish and wish of all of us as well as the wish of almighty God.

The independence of Montenegro was recognised at the Congress of Berlin in 1878 and in the succeeding decades Montenegro enjoyed considerable prosperity and stability. Education, communications and the army expanded greatly (the latter with support from Imperial Russia). In 1883 Prince Nikola visited the sultan, with whom he subsequently maintained the most cordial relations; in 1896 he celebrated the bicentenary of the Petrović dynasty, and in the same year he attended the coronation of the Tsar Nicholas II; in May 1898 he visited Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.

King of Montenegro

Styles of
King Nikola I
Royal Monogram of King Nicholas I of Montenegro.svg
Reference styleHis Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty

In 1900 Nikola took the style of Royal Highness.

According to Bolati, the Montenegrin court was not grieving that much over the murder of King Alexander Obrenović, as they saw him as an enemy of Montenegro and obstacle to the unification of Serb Lands. "Although it wasn't said openly, it was thought that the Petrović dynasty would achieve [the unification]. All procedures of King Nikola shows that he himself believed that".[7]

He gave Montenegro its first constitution in 1905 following pressure from a population eager for more freedom. He also introduced west-European style press freedom and criminal law codes. In 1906, he introduced Montenegrin currency, the perper. On 28 August 1910, during the celebration of his jubilee, he assumed the title of king, in accordance with a petition from the Skupština. He was at the same time gazetted field-marshal in the Russian army, an honor never previously conferred on any foreigner except the Duke of Wellington. When the Balkan Wars broke out in 1912 King Nikola was one of the most enthusiastic of the allies. He wanted to drive the Ottomans completely out of Europe. He defied the Powers and captured Scutari despite the fact that they blockaded the whole coast of Montenegro. Again in the Great War which began in 1914 he was the first to go to Serbia's aid to repel the Austrian forces from the Balkan Peninsula. He was personally a huge supporter of Serbdom, and wished for Serb unity. However, he was bitterly opposed to the Karađorđevićs.

In January 1916, after the defeat of Serbia, Montenegro was also conquered by Austria-Hungary, and the King fled to Italy and then to France. The government transferred its operations to Bordeaux.

After the end of the First World War, a meeting in Podgorica voted to depose Nikola and annex Montenegro to Serbia. A few months later, Serbia (including Montenegro) merged with the former South Slav territories of Austria-Hungary to form the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which was renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. Nikola went into exile in France in 1918, but continued to claim the throne until his death in Antibes three years later. He was buried in Italy. In 1989, the remains of Nikola, his queen Milena, and two of their twelve children were re-buried in Montenegro.


Proclamation of the Kingdom of Montenegro

Proclamation of the Kingdom of Montenegro, Cetinje, 28 August 1910

Nicolas i family

Exile in France, 1916

Kingdom 1914

Kingdom of Montenegro, 1914

Montenegro 1910 100 Perpera

Nikola I depicted on a 100 perper gold coin in 1910 the year he began using the title of king


Five of his daughters were married, each to princes and kings, giving Nikola the nickname "the father-in-law of Europe", a sobriquet he shared with the contemporary King of Denmark.

The present pretender to the throne is King Nikola's great-grandson Prince Nikola, Prince Michael's son.

In literature

King Nikola and the Kingdom of Montenegro are remembered briefly in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, where its eponymous main character reminisces on how for his accomplishments and heroic endeavors during the First World War the King confers unto him the highest honor of the Kingdom, the Orderi di Danilo. Gatsby duly presents the medal for his guest to examine which reads on the legend Montenegro, Nicolas Rex and on its reverse: Major Jay Gatsby - For Valour Extraordinary.[8]

The character of the King in Maurice Chevalier's movie The Merry Widow (1934) is based on Nicholas.

The fat, sedentary but brilliant detective Nero Wolfe in the novels of Rex Stout comes from Montenegro, which is the setting of the novel The Black Mountain.


  1. ^ Matica srpska (Novi Sad, Serbia) Zbornik za istoriju, Volume 2, Odeljenje za društvene nauke, Matica srpska, 1970, p. 191: "У том смислу занимљиви су прилози: Николе Петровића, Историјско лес- то, улога и значај Уједин>ене омладине ..."
  2. ^ Jelena Danilović: Sto godina Opšteg imovinskog zakonika za Crnu Goru, Arhiv za pravne i društvene nauke, 1–2, 2006, str. 233
  3. ^ Миодраг Јовичић, Лексикон уставности Србије 1804–1918
  4. ^ Istorijski institut SR Crne Gore u Titogradu 1990, Istoriski zapisi, Volume 63, Istorijski institut u Titogradu, pp. 40–41
  5. ^ Мартиновић, Нико С. (1954) "Валтазар Богишић и Уједињена омладина српска Зборник" ("Belshazzar Bogišić and the United Serbian Youth") Матице српске (Matica Srpska), volume 9, pages 26–44, in Serbian
  6. ^ "Words of Prince Nikola in front of the Adriatic port of Bar, 1877". Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  7. ^ Dragoljub R. Živojinović (1988). Petar I Karađorđević: U otadžbini, 1903-1914. godine. Beogradskĭ izdavačko-grafički zavod. p. 25.
  8. ^ Fitzgerald, F. Scott (1925). The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner. p. 170. ISBN 0-684-83042-6.


Further reading

External links

Nicholas I of Montenegro
Born: 7 October 1841 Died: 1 March 1921
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Danilo II
Prince of Montenegro
13 August 1860 – 28 August 1910
Proclaimed King of Montenegro
New title King of Montenegro
28 August 1910 – 26 November 1918
Title abolished
Montenegro merged into Kingdom of Serbia which again merged into Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Montenegrin monarchy not restored yet
Political offices
Preceded by
Danilo II
as Prince of Montenegro
Head of State of Montenegro
as Prince of Montenegro, later as King of Montenegro

13 August 1860 – 26 November 1918
Succeeded by
Petar I
as King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
King of Montenegro
26 November 1918 – 1 March 1921
Succeeded by
Crown Prince Danilo
Armorial of Montenegro

This is a list of coats of arms of Montenegro. Most municipalities of Montenegro have their own coat of arms. Many Montenegrin military units and other public agencies and some private families have coats of arms. There are also many historical Montenegrin coat of arms throughout history.

Danilo, Crown Prince of Montenegro

Danilo Aleksandar Petrović-Njegoš (29 June 1871 – 24 September 1939) was the Crown Prince of Montenegro. He was the eldest son of King Nicholas I of Montenegro and Queen Milena Vukotić.

Denmark–Montenegro relations

Denmark – Montenegro relations refers to the current and historical relations between Denmark and Montenegro. Denmark is represented in Montenegro through its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, and have an honorary consulate in Podgorica. Montenegro is represented in Denmark through its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. Denmark recognized Montenegro on 15 June 2006 and diplomatic relations were established same day. Denmark assists Montenegro under the Neighborhood Programme. The assistance focuses on agricultural production. Both countries have signed an agreement about protection of investments.Denmark supports Montenegro in the European Union. Danish Foreign Minister stressed: " Denmark supports [the] integration of the Western Balkan countries which would result in a more safe and a more united Europe, as well as that it would continue arguing for the principle of individual assessment of the countries which aspire to become members of the EU."

Elena of Montenegro

Princess Elena of Montenegro, or more commonly known as Queen Elena of Italy (Serbo-Croatian: Jelena Petrović Njegoš; 8 January 1871 – 28 November 1952) was the daughter of King Nicholas I of Montenegro and his wife, Milena Vukotić. As wife of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, she was Queen of Italy from 1900 until 1946, Empress consort of Ethiopia from 1936 until 1941 and Queen consort of the Albanians from 1939 until 1943.

Father-in-law of Europe

The Father-in-law of Europe is a sobriquet which has been used to refer to two European monarchs of the late 19th and early 20th century: Christian IX of Denmark and Nicholas I of Montenegro, both on account of their children's marriages to foreign princes and princesses. The fact that each was a monarch of moderate or modest power (and thus a marriage would not threaten the delicate balance of power) allowed them to marry some of their many children to heirs of greater fortunes across the continent.

Lycée Louis-le-Grand

The Lycée Louis-le-Grand (French pronunciation: ​[lise lwi lə gʁɑ̃]) is a prestigious secondary school located in Paris. Founded in 1563 by the Jesuits as the Collège de Clermont, it was renamed in King Louis XIV of France's honor after he extended his direct patronage to it in 1682. It offers both a sixth-form college curriculum (as a lycée or high school with 800 pupils), and a post-secondary-level curriculum (classes préparatoires with 900 students), preparing students for entrance to the elite Grandes écoles for research, such as the École normale supérieure (Paris), for engineering, such as the École Polytechnique, or for business, such as HEC Paris. Students at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand are called magnoludoviciens.

Louis-le-Grand, founded in 1563, is located in the heart of the Quartier Latin, the traditional student district of Paris. The lycée is situated opposite the Sorbonne and adjacent to the Collège de France. Its southern side opens onto the place du Panthéon, which is the location of its historical rival, the Lycée Henri-IV. These two lycées are home to the oldest preparatory classes in France, which are commonly viewed as the most selective in the country.

Because of this, Louis-le-Grand is considered to play an important role in the education of French elites. Many of its former pupils have become influential scientists, statesmen, diplomats, prelates, intellectuals and writers. "The Jesuit College of Paris", wrote Élie de Beaumont in 1862, "has for a long time been a state nursery, the most fertile in great men". Indeed, former students have included writers Molière, Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire, revolutionaries Robespierre and Camille Desmoulins, as well as seven former presidents of the French Republic and countless other ministers and prime ministers, philosophers such as Voltaire, the Marquis de Sade, Diderot, Emile Durkheim, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Cavaillès and Jacques Derrida, scientists Évariste Galois, Henri Poincaré and Laurent Schwartz, and artists Eugène Delacroix, Edgar Degas and Georges Méliès. Renowned foreign students of the lycée include King Nicholas I of Montenegro, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Saint Francis de Sales.

Admission to Louis-Le-Grand is very competitive; the strict selection process is based on academic grades, drawing from middle schools (for entry into high school) and high schools (for entry into the preparatory classes) throughout France. Its educational standards are highly rated and the working conditions are considered optimal due to its demanding recruitment of teachers. Louis-Le-Grand students generally achieve excellent results; topping national rankings for baccalauréat grades in high school and entry into the best grandes écoles in the preparatory classes.

Michael, Prince of Montenegro

Prince Michael Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro (14 September 1908 – 24 March 1986) was the third (but eldest surviving) son of Prince Mirko of Montenegro, Grand Voivode of Grahovo and Zeta (1879–1918), and Natalija Konstantinović, a cousin of Aleksandar Obrenović of Serbia. He was pretender to the throne of Montenegro, holding the title Grand Duke of Grahovo and Zeta, in succession to his father. King Nicholas I of Montenegro was Michael's grandfather. Michael had recognized and acknowledged the Unification of Montenegro with Serbia, renouncing the throne. In World War II he was held prisoner by the Nazis after refusing to take up the throne of the Axis forces' re-established Montenegrin puppet-state. During the period of Yugoslav socialism, he was an active member of the Serb diaspora revolutionary organization and a diplomatic worker against the socialist government led by Marshal Tito.He was a member of the Crown Council of King Peter II of Yugoslavia.

Milena Vukotić

Milena Vukotić (Serbian Cyrillic: Милена Вукотић; 4 May 1848 – 16 March 1923) was the only Queen consort of Montenegro as the wife of King Nicholas I of Montenegro (28 August 1910 – 26 November 1918).

Montenegrin cap

The Montenegrin cap (Serbian: Црногорска капа / Crnogorska kapa) is a cap traditionally worn in Montenegro by the Montenegrins and Serbs of Montenegro.

Montenegrin literature

Montenegrin literature is the literature written in the South Slavic country of Montenegro, mainly in Serbian language.

Montenegrin perun

The perun (Serbian Cyrillic: Перун, older spelling: Перунъ) was the currency that was planned for introduction in Montenegro by Petar II Petrović Njegoš in 1851. However, he died the same year, and Montenegro remained without a currency until the 1906 introduction of the perper by Nicholas I of Montenegro. It was named after Perun, whom Njegoš considered to be the supreme god of Slavic mythology. If introduced, one Perun would have had equal value to two thalers. Montenegro later used the Austrian currencies until 1906 when Montenegro started using the Montenegrin perper.

Nikola I

Nikola I may refer to:

Nikola I Gorjanski (died 1386)

Nicholas I of Montenegro (1841–1921)

Onamo, 'namo!

"Onamo, 'namo!" (Serbian Cyrillic: Онамо, 'намо!; English: There, over there!) also known as the Serbian Marseillaise (Српска марсељеза) was a popular anthem in Montenegro in the late 19th to early 20th century. The royal state anthem of Montenegro at the time was To Our Beautiful Montenegro, while the education anthem was the Hymn to Saint Sava.

The music was composed by Davorin Jenko or Franjo Vimer, partly drawing upon a song of Garibaldi's fighters, Si scopron le tombe, Si levano i morti, with words written by prince Nicholas I of Montenegro. Having words that were considered too inflammatory, evoking provocation of the Ottoman Empire, it could not be used as the official state anthem.In 1992 the government of Montenegro considered using it as the official anthem, but decided against it. In 2003 it was nominated to be the official anthem of Serbia and Montenegro. There are some who believe that it should become the anthem of Montenegro in the future.A variation of the song was created by the Bosnian Serbs in the beginning of the 20th century known as "Here, o'er Here!" (Ovamo, 'vamo!; Овамо, 'вамо!) dedicated to calling Montenegro and Serbia to free Bosnia and Herzegovina from Ottoman and Habsburg dominance.

Onamo, 'namo! is the anthem of the People's Party of Montenegro.

Prince Mirko of Montenegro

Prince Mirko Dimitri Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro (17 April 1879 – 2 March 1918) was born in Cetinje, the second son of King Nicholas I of Montenegro and Milena Vukotić. Prince Mirko predeceased his father and his elder brother Crown Prince Danilo.

Prince Peter of Montenegro

Prince Peter Petrovich-Njegosh of Montenegro, Grand Duke of Zahumlie (10 October 1889 – 7 May 1932) was a soldier in the Balkan and First World War and a member of the Royal Family of Montenegro.

Princess Anna of Montenegro

Princess Anna of Montenegro (18 August 1873 – 22 April 1971) was the seventh child and sixth daughter of Nicholas I of Montenegro and his wife Milena Vukotić.

Princess Xenia of Montenegro

Xenia Petrovic-Njegoš, Princess of Montenegro, also known as Princess Ksenija or Kseniya, (22 April 1881 – 10 March 1960) was a member of the House of Petrović-Njegoš as a daughter of Nicholas I of Montenegro.As a young woman, Princess Xenia's appearance in contemporary newspapers was almost entirely the result of seemingly never-ending rumors of suitors, engagements, and marriages. Speculated candidates included but were not limited to Alexander I of Serbia; Greek brothers Prince Nicholas, Prince George, and Prince Andrew; and Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, among others.

Rumija (ship)

Rumija was a steam yacht that served the Montenegrin navy from 1905 to 1915. It had two masts, and was 47.78 metres long and 6.10 metres wide.

Rumija was purchased in England by the Ottoman Turks and carried the name Zaza. In January 1905, Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II gifted the yacht to Prince Nicholas I of Montenegro. The yacht, sailing under Turkish sailors, arrived at Pristan on 1 January 1905 to be taken over by the Montenegrin crew two days later, on 3 January. Two days later, loaded with 15 tonnes of coal, the prince's new yacht set sail for the Bay of Kotor and it cast anchor in Meljine. During the first few months, Zaza was used to transport the royal family from the Bay to Albania.

On 23 March 1905, Prince Nicholas, while on board Zaza, held a ceremony which formally commenced the construction of the Port of Bar.

Montenegrin Crown Prince Daniel, while taking a cruise down the Bojana River on 28 July 1908, had decided to rename Zaza Rumija. The name Rumija may have been chosen in part because the Rumija mountain range is located near the Bojana River.

Sokol Baci

Sokol Baci (1837–1920) was the chief of the Gruda, a northern Albanian tribe in the vicinity of Podgorica (now Montenegro). Originally, he had served the Ottoman sultan in his personal guard, but switched sides after he was maltreated, and fought the Ottoman forces in the Sanjak of Scutari. After his clan was defeated and subjugated, he was exiled and sought refuge in Montenegro, even though he had earlier fought against them in the 1870s, and lived in Podgorica beginning in approximately 1884. Prince Nicholas I of Montenegro recognized his status and employed him. He was one of the leaders of the Albanian Revolt of 1911, alongside chiefs such as Ded Gjo Luli, Mehmet Shpëndi, Mirash Luca and Luigj Gurakuqi. In 1912, the entire tribes of Gruda and Hoti, along with major portions of the Kastrati, Shkreli, and Klimenti tribes, backed Montenegro during the Balkan Wars. In 1913, he was recognized as commander of Scutari by King Nicholas I of Montenegro,After he had Exiled the Bushati Family ,He was Govenor of Shkoder until his death in 1920.

Heads of the Montenegrin royal family since 1918

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