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Old walls of Lesendro

Old walls of Lesendro

Travel destinations Comments: 0 starstarstar May 29, 2023

Lesendro is an island on Lake Skadar in Montenegro, a few hundred meters away from the village of Vranjina. The name of the island most likely comes from the name of St. Alexander, whose cult was widespread in northern Albania. Lesendro is best known for the fortress of the same name, the remains of which still bear witness to the stormy past of this region. It is not reliably certain when the fortress was built, ie. whether the Montenegrins rebuilt it under Peter II Petrović Njegoš, or whether they built a new building.

Thanks to its location at the mouth of the Crnojevića River, the fortress served as a defense against Turkish attacks and ensured unhindered fishing and trade. Njegoš further strengthened the fortress, built high walls and occasionally came there to rest. It is assumed that he also wrote some of his works there. Lesendro was under his administration for eleven years, and in 1843 it was conquered by Osman Pasha, so the Turks built their fort on the island.

Despite all Njegoš's attempts to regain power over the island, Lesendro was freed and returned to Montenegrin hands only in 1878, when Žabljak Crnojević was freed.

Lesendro served as an armory and military warehouse in the state of Montenegro until the First World War, and since 1949 it has been a protected immovable cultural property of fortification architecture.

Lesendro, like Vranjina, lost a lot of its original beauty when the highway and railway were built, which connected the island to the mainland. Today, the remains of the walls testify to the former magnificent "stone guard".

The entrance gate, now demolished, was arched, and the main tower of the citadel has a diameter of about four meters. There is a small walled well near it. The tower itself was at least two stories high, and its top, according to the English travel writer Charles Lamb, found the cannon.

Although it is located right next to the road, Lesendro is not very accessible, especially for uninformed tourists. The walls are in ruins and overgrown with vegetation. Long-term non-maintenance has taken its toll, so the old fortress, like a worn-out sentinel, is dying, apparently no one needs it. There are tourists interested in this cultural and historical monument, but for now there are no indications that anything will be done to restore and preserve the fortress, at least as an interesting tourist location. This way, it remains only for history lovers to visit it and feel the spirit of a long-ago,  almost forgotten time among the stone walls.

Lake Skadar, and therefore Lesendro, can be reached from the direction of Podgorica, and from the south from the direction of Bar. The nearest larger town to Lesendro is Virpazar, and a bus ticket can be easily obtained through the portal.

The portal is an online service for selling electronic tickets and providing reliable information about the departures of carriers from the entire region, carriers, bus stations and destinations. The main goal of the portal is to provide users with the aforementioned services without the need for the user to go to the bus station.

Podgorica – Virpazar

Bar - Virpazar


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