King Nikola's Palace
The stage of accelerated development of Cetinje occurs during the reign of Nikola I, prince and king, the last dynast of the Petrović Njegoš family. In 1863, Montenegrin Prince Nikola ordered the construction of a castle for the residence of Princess Darinka, widow of Danilo. The people soon called the new building "Palac".
Petrovic Dinasty's Home
However, four years later, the Montenegrin sovereign gave up on the original idea and moved his palace residence from the nearby Biljarda to a newly built building. In 1871, "Palac" received two wings, and in 1910, a formal entrance porch as well as modern electric lighting. The palace complex has a spacious courtyard to which a well-planned park adjoins on the eastern side. Numerous princely and royal families, during the decades-long reign of Nikola, lived in a castle with an inconspicuous exterior in a manner characteristic of any more respectable European dynasty. In contrast to the modest exterior, the interior is furnished with luxurious furniture, Persian carpets, artistic paintings and sculptures, and numerous other outstanding works of applied art. The function of the palace ceased after the Montenegrin capitulation in the First World War, and in 1926 a museum was established in the building. On that occasion, some authentic courtly ambience was preserved in a good part of the interior, and the original furniture was also preserved. Today, Nikola's palace houses a museum of historical character with a rich collection of weapons, war trophy flags, decorations, art paintings, Persian carpets, etc.