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The Conquest of Ilinica

Image Although I have spent the greater part of my life in Herceg Novi and I reckon myself to be one of those people who make an effort to be as well informed as possible about the history and events of everything around us in this beautiful town and the neighborhood, it was only a few years ago that I first heard of Ilinica.
This happened in February 2003 when I had the honor of visiting it with Mr.Savo Zarubica, the chairman of Igalo local area committee, a man of great enthusiasm whose desire is to restore this historic site and to make it a unique attraction in this part of the world. Image "I want to get as many people as possible interested in Ilinica" says Savo, "and as many people as possible to visit the place, and I am drawing up plans to repair the roads, churches, fences and approach roads, and I want to attract help from émigré Montenegrins." Image Alongside the church which is located right beside the border separating Montenegro and Croatia (as the locals say "what drops on the left is theirs, and what drops on the right is ours")... Image ...there is a unique memorial to French soldiers who died in this area in 1806 at the time of the Napoleonic conquests, erected in 1919. Image The inscription says : "Aux braves soldats francais morts pour la patrie" ("To the brave French Soldiers who died for their country") Image Apart from these two unique memorials, the place is one of the few locations which has a view over the whole of the Bay of Kotor in one direction, and over Konavle in Croatia to the other. Image Enchanted by the truly unique view and the unforgettable impression of the Bay, which was until then completely unknown to me, we got into a four- wheel drive Lada and descended down the hardly accessible road firstly to the villages of Zvinje and Njivice and finally to Igalo. Since my first visit to Ilinica, when I am walking around the streets of my town or driving my car I very often lift my eyes and look up at it with a deep desire to go back as soon as possible and to experience it again.

Gordan Stojovic
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