Plav, Montenegro

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Panorama of Plav
Coat of arms of Plav.png
Coat of arms
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Location within Montenegro
Coordinates: 42°36′N19°56′E / 42.6°N 19.94°E / 42.6; 19.94 Coordinates: 42°36′N19°56′E / 42.6°N 19.94°E / 42.6; 19.94
Country Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro
Municipality Coat of arms of Plav.png Plav
  MayorNihad Canović (SD)
  Ruling party SDDPSBSAA
   Town and municipality 328 km2 (127 sq mi)
 (2011 census)
  Density28/km2 (70/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code +382 51
ISO 3166-2 code ME-13
Car plates PL
Climate Cfb

Plav (Cyrillic : Плав; Albanian : Plavë) is a town in north-eastern Montenegro. It has a population of 3,717 (2011 census). Plav is the centre of Plav Municipality (population of 9,081 following the formation of Gusinje Municipality).



The name Plav (Плав) is derived from Slavic plav, "a flooded place" (poplava, "flood"). [1] [2]


Plav is located at the foot of the Accursed Mountains range, adjacent to the springs of the river Lim.

The area contains many lakes and the most known is Lake Plav, one of the largest in this region. The lakes Hrid and Visitor are mountain lakes, and Visitor is noted for its floating island.

Plav is also renowned for its karst wells, among which are Ali Pasha of Gucia Springs and Oko Skakavica. Villages in the municipality include Gusinje.


In the Middle Ages, there was a župa (district) named Plav at the source of the flow of the Lim river and around the Plav lake. [2] It is mentioned in several medieval Serbian documents. [2]

After the Serbian-Venetian nobleman Mariano Bolizza in Cattaro (Kotor), who wrote the Relazione e descrizione del sangiacato di Scutari ("Relations and Description of the Sanjak of Scutari") in 1614 most of Plav was inhabited by Albanians under the command of Sem Zaus (Cem Çaushi) of Podgorica. [3]

The settlement of Plav itself was founded by the Ottoman Empire.[ citation needed ] The Ottoman census organised in 1582-83 registered the Plav nahiyah within the Sanjak of Scutari with 18 villages; according to historian Milan Vasić all inhabitants had personal names with a Slavic character, and no Muslims were present. [4]

According to a 16th-century travel record by Antonio Bruni, the inhabitants of the Plav region are partly Albanian and partly Serbian, with a large proportion belonging to historical Albanian and Montenegrin tribes such as the Piperi, Kuči, Kelmendi, and Bjelopavlići. [5]

In 1878, following the Treaty of Berlin, the city of Plav was ceded to Montenegro by the Ottoman Empire despite having an Albanian Muslim-majority population and Bosniak Muslim-minority population. However, armed resistance of the League of Prizren and their victory against Montenegrin troops at Battle of Novšiće (1879) prevented the implementation. Ottomans had to cede Ulcinj to Montenegro after pressure from the Great Powers in 1881. Plav finally became part of Montenegro after the First Balkan War in 1912.

In 1939, the population of Plav was estimated to have been predominantly Bosniak, while that of Gusinje predominantly Albanian and bilingual. [6] The notable families of Plav at this time were the Medunjani, Šeović, Luković, and Šabović–Ferović. [6]


In the area of the Plav municipality there are 13 sports clubs and societies that are actively engaged in sports and competitions. Some are in the First Montenegrin league and some in the Second Montenegrin league.

Sport clubs:


Plav is administrative centre of Plav Municipality, which in 2011 had a population of 9,081, mostly Bosniaks. The town of Plav itself has 3,717 citizens. Plav is almost entirely Muslim and either Slavic-speaking or Albanian-speaking. The Slavic dialect of Gusinje and Plav shows very high structural influence from Albanian. Its uniqueness in terms of language contact between Albanian and Slavic is explained by the fact that most Slavic-speakers in today's Plav are of Albanian origin. [7]

As of 2011:

Historical population:

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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Ali Pasha of Gusinje

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Battle of Novšiće

The Battle of Novšiće was a battle for control over Plav and Gusinje fought on 4 December 1879 between the forces of Principality of Montenegro led by Marko Miljanov and local pro-Ottoman forces which included irregulars of the League of Prizren, both commanded by Ali Pasha, the Kaymekam of Gusinje. The League of Prizren consisted mainly of Albanians and some Bosniaks from Plav and Gusinje in Scutari Vilayet and irregulars from Kosovo Vilayet. Some of them where Muslims of Montenegrin origin like Husein Bektešević.

Velika attacks (1879)

During the implementation of the Congress of Berlin, when the Principality of Montenegro had received Plav and Gusinje, the surrounding Albanian populace under the guise of the Ottomans attacked the Montenegrin forces in Velika at two occasions, on October 9 and November 22, 1879. The Ottomans were defeated.

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Plav-Gusinje massacres (1912–1913)

The Plav-Gusinje massacres of 1912-1913 occurred between late 1912 and March 1913 in the areas of the modern Plav and Gusinje municipalities and adjacent areas. More than 1,800 locals, mostly Muslim Albanians from these two regions were killed and 12,000 were forced to convert to Orthodoxy by the military administration put in charge of these regions by the Kingdom of Montenegro which had annexed them during the First Balkan War.


  1. Contributions onomatologiques. 18. Akademija. 2005. p. 8.
  2. 1 2 3 ALEKSANDAR LOMA (2013). LA TOPONYMIE DE LA CHARTE DE FONDATION DE BANJSKA: Vers la conception d'un dictionnaire des noms de lieux de la Serbie medievale et une meilleure connaissance des structures onomastiques du slave commun. Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti. p. 170. ISBN   978-86-7025-621-7.
  3. Bolizza, Mariano (2003), Relations and Description of the Sanjak of Scutari, ISBN   9783447047838
  4. Vasić, Milan (1991), "Etnički odnosi u jugoslovensko-albanskom graničnom području prema popisnom defteru sandžaka Skadar iz 1582/83. godine", Stanovništvo slovenskog porijekla u Albaniji : zbornik radova sa međunarodnog naučnog skupa održanog u Cetinju 21, 22. i 23. juna 1990 (in Serbo-Croatian), OCLC   29549273
  5. Malcolm, Noel (2020-07-10). Rebels, Believers, Survivors: Studies in the History of the Albanians. Oxford University Press. p. 54. ISBN   978-0-19-259923-0.
  6. 1 2 Brastvo. 30. Društvo sv. Save. 1939. p. 121.
  7. Matthew C., Curtis (2012). Slavic-Albanian Language Contact, Convergence, and Coexistence. The Ohio State University. p. 140.
  8. Zvanični rezultati popisa na web stranici Zavoda za statistiku Crne Gore