History of Podgorica
Podgorica was established in Roman times as Birziminium, later as a Roman town called Doclea. In the Middle Ages, the Slavs settled in these areas and called it the Ribnica. The name Podgorica was used in 1426 for the first time in its history.
From 1478 Podgorica was under Turkish rule, only to be freed in 1878 by Montenegrins. It was formally ceded to Montenegro Berlin Congress.
From 1916th to 1918th Podgorica was ruled by Austria, only to be occupied by Serbs who held a so-called “Grand National Assembly” which forcibly annexed Montenegro to Serbia. Between the two wars, Podgorica had a population of about 15,000, but after the war, that number has been reduced to less than five, because the city suffered more than any other in Europe: it was bombed 72 times and almost razed to the ground.
With the return of Montenegro’s sovereignty during the presidency of Josip Broz Tito both Yugoslavia and Podgorica (August 1, 1946 – Podgorica was called Titograd) have prospered. On the 31 st December 1946 Titograd became the capital of Montenegro, replacing Cetinje. Podgorica regained its current name on a referendum held in 1992. With the transition process and preparations for Montenegrin independence Podgorica is developing into an important regional center.
What to see in Podgorica
Only four kilometers away from the center of Podgorica are the remains of ancient Doclea, set on a wide plateau between the rivers Moraca, Zeta and Širalija, in the first decade of the first century AD.
From the 4th century AD, on the eastern side of the city, an area where Christians lived sprang up, giving rise to churches, and a large Episcopal basilica.
Some valuable examples of found grave inventory – vessels of pottery and glass, jewelry parts, tools, weapons, and money, are part of the permanent exhibition of the Museum of the city.
Ancient Doclea was introduced in world archeology by the discovery of the famous Podgorica glass, which is now kept in the Hermitage, the Russian Museum.
The first archaeological investigations began in the late nineteenth century and still are going.
Transformers defend Podgorica
That creativity has ho limits and that an individual can make the difference can be found in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica. Thanks to a young artist Podgorica became the “Talk of the town” but not just on a local but a global scale. The young artist Danilo Baletić, created seven transformer statues from scrap metals and car parts, hence emphasizing the importance of not only recycling but also that young and creative people do have a place in Podgorica. Each of the seven transformers were placed on a different location in Podgorica making the capital of Montenegro a better, safer and more beautiful place. Visitors and locals are enjoying the company of the TRANSFORMERS and more and more people rush to Podgorica to take photos of the defenders of the capital of Montenegro. It is always the actions and efforts of the minority that affect and change the lives of the majority – in that light we would like to say; Thank you Danilo for making Podgorica and Montenegro a better place.
Old Town and Clock Tower
The Old Town and Clock Tower are among the oldest and most important symbols of Podgorica. The finest example of architecture from the Turkish period is certainly the Sahat kula(Clock Tower).
It still dominates the area of Stara Varoš with its height (16 m). It was built in the 18th century by Hafis Pasha.
Extremely significant examples of oriental architecture, which form and primary purpose slightly changed over time, are the mosques of Osmanagic and Glavatovic, then the old Hamam, later turned into a public bathroom, and today is below the newly built bridge over the river Ribnica (Banja -Spa), and finally Turkish jail, and then the Montenegrin state prison, which was named Jusovaca after Podgorica`s recluse, Jusa Mucin Krnjic.
The oldest source that mentions the name Ribnica is ” Life of St. Simeon “, written in 1216, which says that Stefan Nemanja was born in Zeta on Ribnicia. Ribnica probably was not a town at the time of Nemanja’s birth, but a small village – a temporary residence of Nemanja`s father Zavida. The existence of the St George Church from that period confirms that there was some kind of settlement at the mouth of Ribnica, at the end of XI or XII century. The existing fortress was probably built by Turks between 1474 and 1478