Montenegro was founded as a state under its present name in 15th century, continuing the tradition of the Slavic state of Duklja. It was able to maintain its independence during the reign of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, as its independence was formally acknowledged at the Congress of Berlin in 1878.
After the World War I, fighting for the Allied powers, it was absorbed into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which later became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. Montenegro was also later part of various incarnations of Yugoslavia, until it regained its full independence from the federation of Serbia-Montenegro on the June 2006 referendum.
Montenegro was the only subsequent republic of the former Yugoslavia that supported Serbia during the wars of the Former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
The terrain of Montenegro ranges from high mountains through a segment of the Karst of the western Balkan Peninsula, to a narrow coastal plain that is only one to four miles wide. The coastal plain disappears completely in the north, where Mount Lovcen and other ranges plunge abruptly into the inlet of the Gulf of Kotor.
Montenegro's section of the Karst lies generally at elevations of just below 1,000m 3,000 ft above sea level-although some areas rise to 1800m 6,000 ft. The lowest segment is in the valley of the Zeta River, which flows at an elevation of 460m 1,500 ft.
The high mountains of Montenegro include some of the most rugged terrain in Europe. They average more than 2,100m 7,000 ft in elevation.
Montenegro's southern areas along the coast enjoy a Mediterranean climate, having dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Central and northern regions have Continental climate, where temperature varies greatly with elevation. Podgorica, lying near sea level in the valley of the central region, is noted for having the warmest July temperatures in Montenegro, averaging 35-40°C 95-104 F.
Cetinje, in the Karst at an elevation of 670m 2,200 ft, has a temperature 5°C 10 F lower. January temperatures range from 8°C 46 F from Bar on the southern coast to -3°C 27 F in the northern region.
Montenegro's mountainous regions receive some of the highest amounts of rainfall in Europe. In the northern mountains, snow is present throughout the spring.