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Mojkovac, Montenegro

Mojkovac, Montenegro

Mojkovac was once a mining town. The name of the city translates to  my coinage. The city is set between the mountain peaks of Bjelasica and Sinjajevina, 850 meters above sea level and today is the center of the National Park Biogradska gora and Biogradska Lake. 

Mojkovac is located in Northeastern Montenegro. It is accessible both by the main roadway and the railway that lead through Northern Montenegro, and is near the Tara River, Kolašin and Bijelo Polje. Mojkovac is the ideal place for a day visit since it is only 25 km from Kolašin, 90 km from the capital city of Podgarica and only 380 kilometer from Belgrade. The railway is the most convenient means of reaching Mojkovac, especially during the winter months when roads may be difficult to traverse. 
Mojkovac has a long history. During the rule of the Serbian King Uroš, in the 13th century, Mojkovac served as Montenegro’s mining and trade center. Also during this time, it was in Mojkovac that silver coins were minted for the Serbian Dynasty. The main road through Mojkovac was, because of these things, the main caravan road from the coast and Kotor. Due to Mojkovac’s importance as a political and economic center for the region and the country, the Republic of Dubrovnik established a permanent emissary in the town. 
Although Mojkovac was the center of the region at the time and remains an important center today, it did not become a part of Montenegro right away. In 1878, the Berlin Congress declared the left bank of the Tara River to be Montenegrin territory, however, it was not until the First Balkan War in 1912 that Montenegro took control of the right bank of the Tara River, and with it, Mojkovac. 
During WWI, an important battle was fought at Mojkovac: the Mojkovačka bitka (Battle of Mojkovac) of 1916. General Janko Vukotić led his troops to victory over the Austrian army, opening the corridor to the safety of Corfu, Greece for the Serbian army. His large bronze statue stands today on the central square. Numerous monuments have also been erected for the fallen of WWII, of which there were many.
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Mojkovac has everything a small community and town needs: schools, health centers, arts and a sports center. There is no heavy industry in Mojkovac and the city’s main trades are lumber, fabrics and a little metallurgy. Farming is also incredibly important for all those who live in this region. 
Only recently did Mojkovac become a tourist center, since interest in rafting the Tara River became very popular. Additionally, many tourists come to Mojkovac to see, experience and taste the cleanest water in Europe.
While Mojkovac was once the main crossroads for merchant caravans going inland, it is today the main crossroads for tourists seeking untouched and pure nature. The imposing and beautiful mountain, Bjelasica and the National Park Biogradska gora are both just outside of town. The park received its status as a protected area in 1952 and is home to 150 bird species, 10 mammal species, 3 different types of trout, 350 insects and more than a hundred different types of trees, some more than 500 years old. Additionally, the park houses nine lakes, the largest being Biogradsko jezero (Biogradsko Lake). 
Hiking, mountaineering, skiing, rafting or picking forest berries are just some of the activities visitors can enjoy in this wilderness.
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In the Mojkovac area, there are several heritage sights to visit—the Monastery of Drobrilovina, on the road to the National Park Durmitor, the 16th century monastery church Sv. Djordje, and several other nearby churches including As, Sv. Arhangela Mihaila in Štitarici, Sv. Petke-Ružice on the mountain Sinjajevina, Blagovesti in the village Polja and 12th century church Prošćenje. 
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Mojkovac was once a mining town. Briskovo mine was active from 1976 to 1991, manufacturing lead and zinc. After the mine was closed, a barren soil spot was left behind in the shape and size of a lake. This barren space provides a home to around 2 million cubic meters of waste materials located between the town and the right bank of the Tara River, though the area is isolated and presently poses no danger to either the town or to the river.