Podgorica is the official commercial and cultural centre of Montenegro. Most of the city was destroyed during WWII, so Podgorica is relatively new, with modern buildings at every step of the way and green spaces as well as parks. Podgorica hosts a number of cultural events and there are many theatres, such as Crnogorsko Narodno, Gradsko and Dodest. Further cultural and historic monuments in and around Podgorica are Sahat-kula Adzi-pasa Osmanagica, the ruins of Nemanjica Grad, remnants of the city of Doclea, Stara Varos, and Vezirov.
Podgrica is one of the oldest settlements in this part of the Balkans. Great natural treasures, extremely great geo-strategic position, and fertile soil, have conditioned the appearance and development of the lodgment in the early period of the prehistoric age. During its long history it experienced and survived great events and impacts.
As the greatest part of present Balkan countries, the area on which Podgorica is situated was the settlement of the early Illyrian tribes. Through the rare antique records, scientists, with the aid of contemporary archeological investigations, are today forming a mosaic about the early history of Podgorica. Illyrians, at that time organized in tribes, and very often in mutual conflicts, lived with a primitive style of life, dealing, in the beginning with cattle breeding, and somewhat later with some other occupations, such as mining. Beside a certain number of established towns, today the names of our regions, rivers and mountains have their origin from Illyrians.
The oldest remains of the culture belong to the younger neolith and are found at the localities of Sobajici, Trijebac, and Steci, while the remains from the bronze age can be found on Medvedja glava (Bear’s Head), Rogamske strane (Rogame Sides), and Tuzi.
With the research of Illyrian fortified lodgments researchers have come to valuable data about the former way of life and about former buildings; especially valuable are the fragmented ceramics from that period.
In the period of Roman domination Duklja has a special place. Specific construction grew from a smaller castle to a fortified town, which throughout the antique period was always the center of cultural, political, and religious life. Despite the numerous destructions it was renewed and today it is one of the most precious cultural monuments, not just in the area of Podgorica region, but also as a part of a wider mosaic which gives a picture of Roman civilization in this territory. Archeological diggings have discovered a main street and several monumental facilities, among which the most distinguished one is a spacious forum with a basilica. On the west part of the city territory there are three temples, of smaller sizes, which were dedicated to goddess Diana. Beside them there are triumphal arch, private houses and terms with pools and floor mosaics. Basilica with three transepts is situated in the east part and it is considered that it was built in the early VI century.
Even though until recently it was more a transit, and less a tourist center, Podgorica today, as one of the European capitals, becoming a subject of interest of travelers. Good infrastructural connection on one side with the coast, and with the north of Montenegro on the other, puts Podgorica in the line of Montenegrin towns in which more and more tourists decide to come, who traditionally prefer warm beaches and snow peaks. With a car you can come to the seaside in 40 minutes if you decide to go to the south part of the coast, especially for Sutomore and Bar.
The fast trip through the Zeta valley and the new grandiose tunnel Sozina, which is 5 km long, today make Podgorica closer to a coastal town. An interesting and picturesque area of the Cetinje municipality, through which goes the other highway road to the sea, can attract you to decide for the road to Kotor, which is two hours away from the capital city, with the old road. If it is known that Podgorica is just on some 20 minutes from the National Park Skadar Lake, which spreads over 400 km2 then the town Podgorica itself gets on its attractiveness even more.
The Top Landmarks
On some 10 kilometers away from Podgorica there is one of the oldest settlements in this area. It charms visitors with its beauty, as well as with rich tradition. To this locality one can come on foot, so often you can meet groups, of young historians, as well as biologists who go there to study their field of interest. Surviving, defying to numerous civilizations which inhabited or conquered Montenegro, Medun is more than just a remains of the old town. It is inevitable for everyone who wishes to visit Podgorica Municipality, especially for those, who at least in an indirect way, wish to sense the spirit and the epoch of Marko Miljanov, in his museum.
If you are a devotee of the antique age, one of the most significant roman towns in these areas, Duklja, will make you feel as if you have returned some 20 centuries back in the past. Dominant and Illyrian elements, after a range of archeological researches with the established area of the town, gives a picture of an exquisite historical facility in which today we find the remains of the temples, spas, necropolises, and forums. Rich history, with a good connoisseur of this area would be a great invitation for every visitor to start one’s excursion in Podgorica in this place, on which Podgorica itself was founded.
If you wish to visit some of the holy edifices, which are numerous in Montenegro, the right choice, when we are talking about Podgorica, would be the monastery Dajbabe. Because of the fact that the monastery is the work of nature the impression that it will make on the visitor is far more beautiful. One can come to it by the highway which goes towards Bar, on some 10 minutes of ride by car. It is located on the Hill Dajbabska gora, and is extremely interesting, because it is situated in the cave in the shape of a cross.
NEMANJIN GRAD (Nemanja´s town)
Permanently tied with the city urban nucleus, the town in which the founder of the Serbian dynasty Nemanjic was born, is for sure something that you should visit if you have the intention to meet Podgorica. Beside the beauty of the stone edifice and the romantic atmosphere which surrounds it, with the sounds of river you can spend a nice picnic day.
A small fisherman lodgment on the brim of Podgorica municipality, on Skadar Lake, is very much like Venice. What a century ago used to be a small lodgment now is a lively picturesque place on whose peak there is an old school and a grandiose view which reaches kilometers around, towards Zabljak Crnojevica, other islands and fortresses on the lake.