Virpazar - Rijeka Crnojevica
Fort Lesendro was erected in the XVIII century and still recalls the confrontation between Montenegro and Turkey.
In the past, before the construction of a dam with an automobile and railroad, the fortress of Lesendro was located on a small elongated island, which, due to its position at the mouth of the river Crnoevic, was often called the “key from the lake”. That is why the island fortress has become a constant “apple of discord” in the Montenegrin struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. It is believed that this fortress was founded by Peter II Petrovic-Njegus in 1832. It is not known for sure, whether he built it from scratch, or there already existed a fortress, which he fortified.
Fortress Lesendro served to protect against attacks by Turkish troops and individual robbers and ensured safe trade and fishing on the Skadar Lake. Montenegrins owned it 11 years until 1843, when the Turks seized the fortress from garrison 20 people, taking advantage of the fact that king Peter with the army was on the Grahov field, assisting Herzegovina. Learning about this, Peter Njegus returned with the army and unsuccessfully tried to repulse the fortress, firing her artillery from the Thin Cape on the eastern shore of the lake, but without success. King Peter was very worried about the loss of the fortress of Lesendro, which he repeatedly tried to get back both military and diplomatic ways. From here even the Montenegrin proverb “Suffers, as King because of Lesendro” has come.
Montenegro regained its fortress only in 1878 after another successful war against the Turks, at the same time with the cities of Bar, Ulcinj, Niksic, Zabljak, Crnojevica, etc. At the same time, independence of Montenegro was officially recognized. Before the First World War, the fortress served as a military warehouse, after which it was abandoned.
Today the Fortification Lesendro is almost abandoned, but it has retained its former greatness. Fans of the history of military battles will be very interested in walking through the fortress, looking into the loopholes and imagining what happened there several centuries ago. From the fortress of Lesendro, a beautiful panorama of the Skadar Lake with its surroundings bursts upon the eye.