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Until the appearance of Petar II Petrović Njegoš, there were no conditions for the development of modern urban centres. The young metropolitan, educated and well informed about current European cultural trends, took a number of steps towards the modernization and urbanization of his small capital. He had a vision for the future of Cetinje and Montenegro.

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The road toward secular power

In 1838, a monumental building for the Montenegrin conditions of the time was built in the vicinity of the Cetinje Monastery according to the design of the Russian Jakov Ozereckovski. The building, about 72 meters in length and 8 in width, with two annexes each 13 m long, has a ground floor and a first floor with 25 rooms. Around the long central building are spacious courtyards flanked by enclosure walls with gates and four towers at the corners. The building was named Biljarda, – after billiards, the master's favourite game. With the construction of the "Billiard", most of the political and cultural life was moved from the Cetinje Monastery. In the new building, Montenegrin leaders and distinguished foreigners were happy to gather, and it also housed the key authorities - the Senate and the Perjanici - the armed guard. Until 1910, it would house the headquarters of various ministries, individual state institutions and high schools. During the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Montenegro during the First World War, a pavilion with the relief of Montenegro was built on the south side of the "Billiard". Today, the Billiard Museum is dedicated to its creator, Metropolitan Petar II Petrović Njegoš.

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