An exhibition of old travel postcards “Greetings from Far Away to Far Away” by Danijela Radulović, a librarian of the National Library “Đurđe Crnojević” was opened last night at the Library in Cetinje.
The exhibition was named after the text on the face side of a postcard that was sent to Cetinje in 1905, and it consists of about 200 exhibited postcards from the period from 1899 to 1945 and 16 mostly thematic posters featuring cities, mountain centers, hotels, lakes, taverns, seafront resorts and national parks that offered a good time to tourists in the early 20th century.
– The beginnings of tourism as a relatively new world phenomenon, according to the director of the Tourism Organization of Cetinje, Oskar Huter, date back to the middle of the XIX century, however taking into account the scarce circumstances and living standard of the broader population as well as the infrastructure of the time, Montenegro had to wait for some serious shifts in tourism to be made.
With the construction of Grand Hotel, the first modern building in Cetinje, in 1864, known as “Lokanda”, the conditions for accommodation of visitors were greatly improved, which implied the emergence of new impulses in the tourism of Cetinje. The tourism and hospitality industry of the 19th century started to expand and gain the character of the organized activity. This is best illustrated by the data from “The Voice of Montenegrin” from 1889, which shows that in that period was kept an accurate record of arrivals in the Old Royal Capital, including tourist groups and individual visits”, Huter said, adding that hotels, as the first publishers of propaganda material, contributed greatly to the quality presentation of Cetinje by printing postcards, flyers, leaflets and guidebooks.
According to the author of the exhibition, Danijela Radulović, the rapid development of tourism in the late nineteenth century brought a new form of communication among people. Experiences and travel impressions were to be shared with friends, acquaintances, relatives and associates, and the best way to do that was to send postcards.
Since 1886, the sending of postcards has been approved by the Universal Postal Union, the “Traveling Picture” and “Traveling Greetings” have become the habit and manner of people from various cultures around the world. Postcards could be bought at railway stations, libraries, hotels, restaurants, and writing and sending postcards was part of the road ritual for every tourist”, Radulović pointed out.
The exhibition will be open until Wednesday, November 14th, and on the postcards visitors will be able to see that some cities have grown into metropolises. They will tell them the history of certain places, but also the story of tourism.
“You will see the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna, opened in 1897, Karlsbad or Karlovy Vary, the oldest, largest and most famous spa in the Czech Republic where Paganini, Gagarin, Tolstoy and others rested, then the Alps tops, a casino in Monte Carlo, a postcard printed on the occasion of the opening of the Panama Canal, famous hotels of that time, the famous Swiss Furka Pass whose nature and the glaciers leave without breath, sandy beaches, cathedrals, squares”, explained the author.
Ms. Radulović said that in some way she feels nostalgia in the present time when it is imperative for us to find a good Wi-Fi signal in order to announce where we are, because the old traditions are undeservedly falling into oblivion.
“Today the letterboxes are empty, and postcards are turning yellow and remaining unsold in booths. Regardless, you cannot believe the amount of happiness present while sending, but also receiving, or just taking postcards out of a letterbox. Send a postcard, you’ll see it yourself. The feeling is invaluable”, concluded Radulović.