Rožaje, municipality in the northeast of Montenegro – the mountainous region on the source area of river Ibar, a historical and geographical unity between mountain ridges stretching to the Metohija, Lim and Novopazarska Valley and the Old Kolasin, which makes this place different from neighboring areas. It spreads on the banks of Ibar River, near its source, at an altitude of 1000 meters. In the mountains surrounding the city are Beleg, Sijenova, Ahmica, Turjak, Vlahovi, Krsača, and above all of them rises 2,403 m high Haila.
The time of origin of Rozaje can not be accurately determined but was conclusively established that the settlement called Rožaje was mentioned in one written Turkish source from 1571, while the fortress of the same name was mentioned in the Turkish census of 1640. However, according to Turkish historian Hamer, the settlement Rožaje was based in 1683. In Ottoman times, the settlement developed around the fort is called “Targovishte” and that name has until 1912. Under that name it was mentioned by the famous Turkish Evliya Celebija travelers and Mustafa Hadji – kalfa.
For the formation of name Rožaje there are more interpretations. According to one, which is supported by most interpreters, the town was named by the name of the old fort “Rogaje”, but a French travel writer Ami Bue sais name Rožaje derived from the word “horn” on the limestone clicks that are below Ganic karst.
Archaeological finds testify, however, about the human populations of ancient times, even before the new era. Before the arrival of the Slavs, here have stayed Illyrians and Romans. In the Middle Ages, the area of Bihor Rozaje was a central part of the medieval state of Raska. Witness the archaeological finds of Graz, Madam peak Gradina, Bacevac and tumuli, the remains of churches and monasteries and hermit caves, old cemeteries, popularly known as the Latin and Greek.
Since 1912. area Rozaje is part of the state of Montenegro.
The presence of several cultures in different periods of prehistory and history in area of Rozaje, is pointed by many place names, folk traditions, especially the many cultural and historical monuments. Near the city on a hill Brezovici, there are well preserved but not enough trained and studied the remains of Illyrian settlements. There are numerous monuments of material culture from the Middle Ages and the Ottoman period. The most important among them are:
• Church Ružica in Suhi Do
• Madam’s Church on the same mountain top, the endowment of Jelena Anžujska, wife of Uros I Nemanjica
• Kurtagića mosque, built by the sultan Murat II in 1697
• Household mosque built in 1830
• Ganica tower built in the early years of the nineteenth century.
In Rozaje municipality, in addition to elementary, operate two high schools – High School and Mixed Secondary School. Rožaje is now developing as a modern settlement, while simultaneously taking care to preserve the characteristics and traditions. Center for Culture is responsible for organizing cultural life and cultural events. Center, among other things, publishes the journal “Proceedings Rožaje” (“Rožajski Zbornik”), organize book presentations, exhibitions and special exhibitions of paintings of native painters gathered in the association “The Tower”. As part of the Cultural Center is the National Library.
For almost two decades Cultural Center every March organize the renowned children’s song festival “Golden flake.”
During winter in the city are held cultural, entertainment and tourist events under the name “Hot winter in the hills.”