"M" Road – Trojica, Montenegro - Atlas Obscura

"M" Road

Trojica, Montenegro

The hairpin turns in this mountain road take the shape of a letter—is it a coincidence or a symbol of love? 

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What girl would not want to get a devotion of love in the form of a road in her name? Like a 19th-century graffiti, local legend has it that the “M”—that stands out on a straight road that could have continued straight towards the mountain—was created by an Austro-Hungarian engineer Josip Slade-Šilović who was in love with a Montenegrin princess called Milena.

Tasked with designing a modern road for cars from Kotor to Cetinje following the Berlin Congress in 1878, this designer from Trogir was later a palace builder and created a rut in the road with an “M” symbol. Montenegrin writer Jovan J. Martinović has since passed on the joke of the people of Cetinje, which was created at the expense of this letter M: “And imagine if he accidentally fell in love with Princess Olga—the road wouldn’t end without the song of gusles (a Montenegrin fiddle)!”

Austro-Hungarian influence can be seen all over Montenegro. Generally, the Austro-Hungarian Empire improved the Montenegrin infrastructure greatly as compared to the Ottoman Empire which is largely revered and documented by song and poem in how much sorrow it caused to the entire region. A lot of Montenegro’s oldest and sturdiest roads were built by Austro-Hungarian engineers, such as this one by the secret crush of Milena, which has been preserved almost entirely in its original form.

Know Before You Go

This road is not to be confused with the Kotor Serpentine, although it is very close. It is a standalone 'M' that can be seen in your drive on the way to Lovćen National Park and should be viewed from the Lovćen side.

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