Ostrog Monastery

Monastery Ostrog - a miracle in Montenegro 

Monastery Ostrog, a miracle build by nature and human interactions, ca- rved almost in its entirety in a verti- cal mountain cliff, is today the pearl of Montenegrin spiritualism that is annually visited by more then a hu- ndred thousand pilgrims from aro- und the world and of all religions. It is one of three most visited Chri- stian destinations on the planet with its cave-like chapel and monastery complex that preserves the sacrilege of Saint Basil the Orthodox Saint of Miracles. All of Montenegrin spiritualism, belief and cultural treasures found their home high up in the Ostrog cliffs. This destination which will take your breath away will fill your soul with elevated feelings of love toward God.

Traveling to and from the monastery the rich Bjelopavlic plain greats the traveler, thru with one of the largest Montenegro river Zeta quietly flows. Breathtaking natural landscapes surrounded by the sight and sound of the waterfall Perucice seem to enlarge the wild vigor of the tamed stone and water. The unusual tra- nquil feeling experienced thru the plain is soon replaced by the holy peace of the Ostrog cliffs, that for many centuries preserve the myths, legends, miracles and stories of freedom of people large and small that have traveled to them. Thru the centuries, in the Ostrog region, in these unbelievable and unreal natural landscapes of Montenegro, the country was conceived in periods of peace and thru periods of hoping for freedom. Poets, writers, statesman, as well as just regular folks traveled to see this mystic, unique part of Montenegro.

Monastery Ostrog is situated on the cusp of the rich Bjelopavlic plain, ca- rved high up in the cliffs, with easy access for visitors and an adventure one does not want to miss. It is lo- cated about 50 kilometers from the capitol of Montenegro, Podgorica and about 15 kilometer from the se- cond largest town in Montenegro - Niksic. Since the two towns have a direct highway connection finding Ostrog is quick and simple. The monastery is under jurisdiction of Serbian Orthodox Church and is the most popular pilgrimage destination in Montenegro not only of the Ortho- dox believers but also of Catholics and Muslims. The monastery is located 900 meters above sea level, so during the winter months the road to it is a challenge even for the most experienced travelers. Nevertheless, true beli- evers are still arriving in greater and greater numbers even during this time of the year.

The Upper monastery of Ostrog gi- ves the traveler a feeling of standing on a balcony that allows you to view all of Montenegro. The valley of the river Zeta is lined with patches of fo- rest, and in the warm months of the year with blooming orchards and fields planted with a variety of produce.

Many legends and myths exist today about the life of Saint Basil of Ostrog. In one of these stories, Saint Basil thru a seed of a pear he just ate over the railing onto the cliffs, and in the morning a large tree has grown thru the rocks with flowers on one side and pears on the other. This is believed to happen in the month of February.

According to another story Saint Basil, who was also know as an expert doctor, needed parsley immediately and nobody had some. He planted seeds of parsley that night and the next morning he had grown parsley available for use. This same parsley kept growing year after year in a corner where it was not exposed to sun or rain.

Saint Basil of Ostrog  is a saint ve- nerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was Bishop of Zahumlje in Herzegovina. He was born in Po- povo Selo, Herzegovina on Dece- mber 12, 1610, and became a mo- nk at the Monastery of the Dormition Tvrdos  near Trebinje. His modesty forbidding him to push himself forward to occupy the high positions his piety and capabilities recommended him for, he was elected as Bishop of Zahumlje and Skenderia against his will. After his death in 1671 he was buried at the Ostrog Monastery he had founded in Montenegro, and his tomb in a cave-church soon became a site of pilgrimage for Christians (both Orthodox and Roman Catholic) and Muslims drawn by reports of miracles occurring through the intercession of the saint. The Monastery of Ostrog is now one of the major pilgrimage sites in the Balkans, and large numbers of pilgrims gather particularly at Pentecost. St. Basil of Ostrog is commemorated in the Serbian orthodox liturgical calendar on April 29.