Last weekend the weather was sunny and we thought it a good idea to make a walking tour to the village of Poseljani. With its authentic architecture, stone mills and arched bridges, this village is a secret treasure in the central part of Montenegro. It is situated in the hidden, narrow valley of the Seljani stream that goes down to Lake Skadar.
You can reach Poseljani from two directions. Driving along the old caravan road from Virpazar to Rijeka Crnojevića, there is a yellow signpost on the right side of the road after about 15 km, showing you the trail to the village and the mills. We preferred to do it the other way round: coming from Rijeka Crnojevića we parked the car after the turn towards the village of Čukovići, around 9 km from Rijeka Crnojevića, and followed the footpath on the left side of the road downhill. The signpost indicated that the walking tour to Poseljani would take 30 minutes and another 10 minutes to the banks of Lake Skadar, but it took us about one hour to get there.
The first part of the trail took us along the clean and transparent Seljani river, through lush vegetation. Soon we discovered the first stone mill that was recently reconstructed. We saw the mossy ruins of mills surrounded by waterfalls, wild karst rocks, terraces and pools filled by the river water … A shepherd with his goats came down from the mountains and greeted us cordially. And then we spotted the first houses of Poseljani with their characteristic stone arches and bridges. The panorama was magnificent and we enjoyed the tranquility and the unspoiled nature of this beautiful place.
The story of the Poseljani mills is remarkable. At one time, there were fourteen of them, operating day and night. People say that a traveler could not pass this way without coming across someone at the mills. Once, there were three gambling houses and three coffee-houses where those who were waiting for their wheat or corn to be ground spent their time. This could have taken as long as seven days. The oldest mill is said to be 300 years old. Nowadays there is only one family living in this village and the mills stopped their activity a long time ago.
In the ‘center’ of the village we kept right, passing over a small bridge made of three or four big stones, and continued our tour walking over a stone dam through the fields. A big vinyard was situated on our left side and we passed several dilapidated houses. Then the landscape changed and we entered the wetlands. The dense green forest looked spooky, especially when we came across a big abandoned stone house with a beautiful arched bridge covered with moss. This was a humid and dark place where sunlight does not enter but one or two hours a day.
There was a possibility to continue the walking tour for another 45 minutes to Komarno and then over the asphalt road back to the parking lot, but we decided to go back by the same footpath. Unfortunately, days are short in december and it was very early in the afternoon when the sun disappeared behind the mountains …
Poseljani is a place to discover. A place where you can dream about the past… and it would be my only wish to preserve this village in its authentic form, without concrete houses, pubs, noisy tourists and a new asphalt road!