Fortress Martinica Gradina 2020-01-09T16:57:12+00:00

Fortress Gradina Martinići, Danilovgrad

The Fortress Martinića Gradina is located on one hill, east to the town of Spuz, along the edge of the Zeta river valley. In the historical sources no link can be found with this site. It has only been reported in recent literature as Fortress Martinica Gradina. It is assumed that the settlement was founded at the time of the migration of the people followed by the arrival of the Slavs in this part of the Balkans. In local tradition it is mentioned as the place where Stevan Nemanja’s father was born. There is an accepted identification of the Fortress Martinica Gradina with the town of Lontodokla, which Constantine Porphyrogenitus mentions as one of the three inhabited cities in Doclea. This theory is backed with the fact that settlement founded just two hours’ walk from Doclea could be founded by its refugees during the arrival of the Slavs. The movement of people from Doclea to Martinica Gradina is testified by the reuse of the capitals in the construction of canopy over the altar in the church at Martinica Gradina, which in their primary function belonged to the Episcopal the basilica at Doklea.

It is assumed that the settlement was abandoned very early, at the end of the twelfth century. A very powerful fortification unit with a yard has been discovered. In the northern part of the fortress are the remains of a large three-nave basilica, which is a representative sacral object dating from the X or XI century. The pedestal of the Episcopal throne also attests to this. The fragments of iconostases found in the remains contain inscriptions in Latin that mention Archangel Michael (to whom the church was probably dedicated), or, in Greek, Archont Peter, who was probably the church’s founder.

Martinic Gradina is a historical monument of highest importance for the beginnings of Montenegrin history and culture.