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City of Podgorica
Град Подгорица
Podgorica Trg Republike.JPG
Radio tower Podgorica.jpg
Crnogorsko Narodno Pozorište.JPG
Dva mosta panorama sm.jpg
Podgorica panoramic view, Republic Square, Dajbabska Gora Tower, Montenegrin National Theatre building, Telenor Centre, Moscow and Millenium bridges
Flag of Podgorica
Coat of arms of Podgorica
Coat of arms
Podgorica is located in Montenegro
Location in Montenegro
Country Montenegro
Municipality Podgorica
Founded Before 11th century
 • City 108 km2 (42 sq mi)
 • Metro
1,441 km2 (556 sq mi)
40 m (130 ft)
 • Urban
 • Rural
 • Metro
Demonym(s) Podgoričanin (male)
Podgoričanka (female)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
Postal code
81 000 – 81 124
Area code(s) +382 20
License plate PG

Podgorica lit. "[area] below Gorica", Gorica being the name of a hillock overlooking the city) is the capital and largest city of Montenegro.

Between 1946 and 1992 – in the period that Montenegro formed, as the Socialist Republic of Montenegro, part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) – the city was known as Titograd in honour of Josip Broz Tito.

Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and at the meeting-point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement. The city is close to winter skiing centres in the north and to seaside resorts on the Adriatic Sea.

Podgorica Municipality covers 10.4% of Montenegro's territory and is home to 29.9% of the country's population. It is the nation's administrative centre and its economic, cultural, and educational focus.


The name Podgorica means "[area] below Gorica". Gorica, meaning "little hill", is the name of one of the cypress-covered hillocks that overlook the city centre.

Some three kilometres (1.9 miles) north-west of Podgorica lie the ruins of the Roman-era town of Doclea, from which the Roman Emperor Diocletian hailed. In later centuries, Romans "corrected" the name to Dioclea, guessing wrongly that an i had been lost in vulgar speech. Duklja is the later South Slavic version of that word.

At its foundation (some time before the 11th century), the town was called Birziminium. In the Middle Ages, it was known as Ribnica (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Рибница). The name Podgorica was used from 1326. From 1946 to 1992, the city was named Titograd in honour of Josip Broz Tito, the former President of Yugoslavia.


Early history

Doclea Roman city Podgorica
Doclea , Roman town, the seat of the Late Roman province of Praevalitana.
Podgorica EU OSCE UNDP embassies 1a Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog
The headquarters of the European Union, OSCE in Podgorica.

Podgorica is at the crossroads of several historically important routes, near the rivers Zeta, Morača, Cijevna, Ribnica, Sitnica and Mareza in the valley of Lake Skadar and near the Adriatic Sea, in fertile lowlands with favourable climate. The earliest human settlements were in prehistory: the oldest physical remains are from the late Stone Age.

In the Iron Age, the area between the Zeta and Bjelopavlići valleys was occupied by two Illyrian tribes, the Labeates and the Docleatae. The population of the town of Doclea was 8,000–10,000, in which all core urban issues were resolved. The high population density (in an area of about 10 km (6 mi) radius) was made possible by the geographical position, favourable climate and economic conditions and by the defensive positions that were of great importance at that time.

Middle Ages

From the 5th century AD, with the arrival of the first Slavic and Avar tribes and the beginning of the break-up of the Roman Empire, the area bore witness to many noteworthy events. With time, the fortifications ceased their function and new towns were built; a new settlement probably named after the Ribnica river, on whose banks it was built, Ribnica, was established. It was first mentioned during the reign of the Nemanjić dynasty, as part of the Serbian kingdom. The importance of Ribnica was its position as crossroads in communications with the west.

The name Podgorica was first mentioned in 1326 in a court document of the Kotor archives. The city was economically strong: trade routes between the Republic of Ragusa and Serbia, well developed at that time, were maintained via the road that led to Podgorica through Trebinje and Nikšić. As a busy crossroad, Podgorica was a vibrant regional centre of trade and communication. This boosted its development, economic power, military strength and strategic importance.

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire captured Podgorica in 1474. Podgorica became a kaza of the Sanjak of Scutari in 1479. The Ottomans built a large fortress in Podgorica, and the existing settlement, with its highly developed merchant connections, became the main Ottoman defensive and attacking bastion in the region. At the beginning of 1474 the Ottoman sultan intended to rebuild Podgorica and Baleč and settle them with 5,000 Muslim families (most of Slavic or Albanian origin), in order to stop cooperation between the Principality of Zeta and Albania Veneta.

View of Ribnica fortress and Old bridge, Catholic Church (right), Debbaglar Bridge, government mansion and the Mirko Varosh Hotel (far left), before 1901.

Podgorica fell again, but this time to the Turks in 1484, and the character of the town changed extensively. The Turks fortified the city, building towers, gates, and defensive ramparts that give Podgorica the appearance of an oriental military city.

In 1864, Podgorica became a kaze of the Scutari Vilayet called Böğürtlen ("blackberry", also known as Burguriçe).

On October 7, 1874, in a violent reaction over the murder of a local named Juso Mučin Krnić, Ottoman forces killed at least 15 people in Podgorica. The massacre was widely reported outside of Montenegro and ultimately contributed to the buildup to the Montenegrin-Ottoman War.

The end of the Montenegrin-Ottoman War in 1878 resulted in the Congress of Berlin recognizing vast territories, including that of Podgorica, as part of the newly-recognized Kingdom of Montenegro. At that time there were about 1,500 houses in Podgorica, with more than 8.000 people living there - of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim faiths flourishing together.

The Petrović and Karađorđević monarchies

Spomenik kralju Nikoli u Podgorici
King Nikola I monument

After the Berlin Congress in 1878, when Podgorica was annexed to the Principality of Montenegro, marking the end of four centuries of Ottoman rule, and the beginning of a new era for Podgorica and Montenegro. The first forms of capital concentration were seen in 1902, when roads were built to all neighbouring towns, and tobacco became Podgorica's first significant commercial product. Then in 1904, a savings bank named Zetska formed the first significant financial institution, and it would soon grow into Podgorička Bank.

World War I marked the end of dynamic development for Podgorica, which by then was the largest city in the newly proclaimed Kingdom of Montenegro. Podgorica was occupied, as was the rest of the country, by Austria-Hungary from 1916 to 1918.

After the liberation by the Allies in 1918, the controversial Podgorica Assembly marked the end of Montenegrin statehood, as Montenegro was merged with the Kingdom of Serbia and incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. The population of urban Podgorica during this interwar period was approximately 14,000.

During the interwar period (1918-1941), Podgorica had public bathrooms as most residents did not have their own. However, the Imperial hotel built in 1925 had two bathrooms, which was unprecedented at the time. It was one of at least six hotels built in the city during the interwar period.

World War II

Aerial photo of bombing of Podgorica
Bombing of Podgorica in World War II

Podgorica suffered heavily during World War II. The city was bombed over 70 times over the course of the war, razing it to the ground and causing the deaths of over 4,100 people. The city was liberated on 19 December 1944. The progress halted again in the 1990s with the breakup of Yugoslavia, and the name of Podgorica was reinstated on 2 April 1992, when Serbia and Montenegro entered a federal state.

The World War II memorial on Gorica Hill
The World War II memorial on Gorica Hill.

Socialist Yugoslavia

On July 12, 1946, Josip Broz Tito made one of his early visits to Podgorica from the Radovče hotel, where he spoke to a crowd. It was the first of fifteen total visits made by Tito to the city after World War II.

"Podgorica is destroyed. We will build her all together, because it's our responsibility, because that's what's required of us by the sacrifices which Podgorica gave! We will do it, that's what I promise you in the name of the Federal government." -Josip Broz Tito from the Radovče hotel on July 12, 1946.

On July 25, 1948, the vice president of the People's Parliament of Montenegro, Andrija Mugoša, along with secretary Gavro Cemović, signed a law changing the name of Podgorica into "Titovgrad". The law was "retroactively" activated such that the name change applied to any records starting from July 13, 1946, when it became the capital of Montenegro within the newly-formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. However, in a glaring contradiction, the "Službeni list" or legal code of Yugoslavia recorded the name "Titograd" without the letter "v". Ultimately, "Titograd" was used over "Titovgrad".

In addition to the new name, Titograd saw the establishment of new factories. The Radoje Dakić factory, built in 1946 for the production of heavy machinery, became one of the largest employers in Titograd. In 1964, Radoje Dakić guaranteed hired workers an apartment in the city. In the late 1960s, the cities of Titograd, Zadar, and Mostar competed to be selected as the location of Yugoslavia's expanding aluminum industry. In a highly-politicized selection process, Titograd was ultimately chosen and the Kombinat was constructed in 1969. In 1974, the public Veljko Vlahović University was founded in Titograd.

Titograd was the site of massive protests during Yugoslavia's anti-bureaucratic revolution. On January 10, 1989, over 10,000 people protested in the city. By the turn of the decade, Titograd was recognized as the city with the most greenery in Yugoslavia, along with Banja Luka.

Contemporary history

Toranj na Dajbabskoj Gori
Dajbabska Gora Tower at night.

As Yugoslavia began to break up, Titograd was renamed to Podgorica after a referendum on April 2, 1992. The Yugoslav wars largely bypassed Montenegro, but the entire country was greatly affected with severe economic stagnation and hyperinflation lasting throughout the 1990s due to international sanctions. In 1999, Podgorica was subject to airstrikes during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

Following the results of the independence referendum in May 2006, Podgorica became the official capital of an independent state.

On October 13, 2008, at least 10,000 people protested Kosovo's declaration of independence. In October 2015, protests took place in Podgorica ahead of Montenegro's accession into NATO. After a demonstration of at least 5,000 to 8,000 people, the police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators from the parliament. Protests in the city continued through the 2016 Montenegrin parliamentary election.


Podgorica is located in central Montenegro. The area is crossed with rivers and the city itself is only 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Lake Skadar. The Morača and Ribnica rivers flow through the city, while the Zeta, Cijevna, Sitnica and Mareza flow nearby. Morača is the largest river in the city, being 70 m or 230 ft wide near downtown, and having carved a 20 m or 66 ft deep canyon for the length of its course through the city. Except for the Morača and Zeta, other rivers have an appearance of small creeks. The richness in bodies of water is a major feature of the city.

In contrast to most of Montenegro, Podgorica lies in a mainly flat area at the northern end of the Zeta plain, at an elevation of 40 m (130 ft). The only exceptions are hills which overlook the city. The most significant is 130.3 m (427 ft) high Gorica Hill, city's namesake, which rises above the city centre. The other hills include Malo brdo ("little hill", 205.4 m or 674 ft), Velje brdo ("big hill", 283 m or 928 ft), Ljubović (101 m or 331 ft) and Dajbapska gora (172 m or 564 ft). For the most part, these are too steep for development and thus limit the city's expansion, especially to the north. However, urbanization has been encroaching on the lower slopes of the hills since the 1990s. Podgorica city proper has an area of 108 square kilometres (42 sq mi), while actual urbanized area is much smaller.


Podgorica Trg Republike
Independence Square.

Under the Köppen climate classification, Podgorica has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), since there is only one summer month with less than 40 millimeters (1.6 in) of precipitation, with summer highs around 30 °C (86 °F) and winter highs around 10 °C (50 °F). Although the city is only some 35 km (22 mi) north of the Adriatic Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean, Rumija mountain acts as a natural Dinaric Alps barrier, separating Skadar Lake basin and Podgorica area from the sea, thus limiting temperate maritime influence on the local climate.

The mean annual rainfall is 1,659 mm (65.3 in), making Podgorica by far wettest capital in Europe, Ljubljana being second with 1,362 mm (53.6 in). The temperature exceeds 25 °C (77 °F) on about 135 days each year and the median daily temperature is 15.6 °C (60.1 °F). The number of rainy days is about 120, and those with a strong wind around 60. An occasional strong northerly wind influences the climate in the winter, with a wind chill effect lowering the perceived temperature by a few degrees.

The all-time maximum snowfall record was beaten on 11 February 2012, when 58 cm (23 in) of snowfall were measured. Before that, the biggest snowfall in Podgorica was in 1954, when 52 cm (20 in) of snowfall were recorded. Maximum temperature was recorded on 24 August 2007, at 44.8 °C (112.6 °F), while all time minimum was −9.7 °C (14.5 °F), on 4 February 1956.

Climate data for Podgorica
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.0
Average low °C (°F) 1.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 191.6
Humidity 72 68 65 65 63 60 52 52 62 68 75 74 64.7
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 12 12 12 13 10 9 5 6 7 9 14 13 122
Sunshine hours 122.7 126.0 170.0 193.5 250.8 276.3 339.7 314.1 251.5 201.4 126.4 108.8 2,481.2
Source: Hydrological and Meteorological Service of Montenegro


Panoramic view
View from Gorica Hill

Podgorica's mixture of architectural styles reflects the turbulent history of the city and country: as one régime replaced another, the corresponding style was introduced.

As part of the Ottoman Empire until 1878, Podgorica has some examples of Ottoman architecture. The oldest parts of the city, Stara Varoš (Old town) and Drač are typical of this, with two mosques, a Turkish clock tower and narrow, winding streets.

Sahat-kula in Podgorica
City Clock Tower.
Novi Grad, Podgorica, Montenegro - panoramio (16)
Morača river.

When the city was incorporated to Montenegro, the urban core shifted to the other bank of the Ribnica River, where the town developed in a more European style: wider streets with an orthogonal layout. This part of the city is today traditionally regarded as city centre, and is called Nova Varoš (New town)

During World War II, Podgorica was almost razed to the ground, being bombed over 70 times. After liberation, rebuilding began as in other cities of the communist-ruled SFRY. Mass residential blocks were erected, with basic design typical of Eastern bloc countries. All that part of the city on the right bank of the Morača River was built this way.

The main contemporary traffic arteries were laid out during this period, which extended the orthogonal street layout of city center, to the south and west. Residential and infrastructural developments in the SFRY era have mostly shaped the layout of today's Podgorica, and accommodated the unprecedented population growth that followed World War II.

A major advance in Podgorica architecture began in the late 1990s and, since then, the face of the city has changed rapidly. Residential and business construction are proceeding rapidly, incorporating contemporary glass-and-steel architectural trends. In an effort to create a recognizable and modern state capital, city officials are routing significant investments in city's public spaces. Thus, the city has gained entirely new squares, parks and monuments. New landmarks include the Hristovog Vaskrsenja orthodox temple and the Millennium Bridge, the main feature of the Podgorica skyline.

A panoramic view of the Moscow bridge (right) and the Millennium Bridge (left). (Swipe left or right)


Novi Grad, Podgorica, Montenegro - panoramio (9)
Podgorica Cathedral interior.
Royal Garden in Podgorica
Former residence of King Nikola I Petrović, today an art gallery.
Crnogorsko Narodno Pozorište
Montenegrin National Theatre
Podgorica, museo nazionale, esterno 01
National Museum of Montenegro

Podgorica is home to many Montenegrin cultural institutions and events. It hosts the Montenegrin National Theatre and a number of museums and galleries. The Montenegrin National Theatre is the most significant theatre not only in Podgorica but in all of Montenegro. Podgorica is also host to the City Theatre (Gradsko pozorište), which includes the Children's Theatre and the Puppet Theatre. Although not as rich in museums and galleries as the historic royal capital Cetinje, there are several noteworthy museums:

  • The Podgorica City Museum (Muzej grada Podgorice) preserves Podgorica's rich heritage. Founded in 1950, it has four categories: archaeological, ethnographic, historical and cultural-historical. It houses artefacts which date back to the Roman and Illyrian eras.
  • The Archaeological Research Centre (Centar za arheološka istraživanja) was founded in 1961. Its mission is to gather, classify, restore and display archaeological sites.
  • The Marko Miljanov Museum (Muzej Marka Miljanova) in Medun shows life in 19th century Montenegro.
  • The Natural History Museum (Prirodnjački muzej) displays specimens of Montenegrin flora and fauna. This museum has no exhibition space of its own, despite many proposals and initiatives to build one.

There is a notable art gallery in the Dvorac Petrovića (Petrović Castle) complex in Podgorica's largest public park. King Nicholas's castle, Perjanički Dom (House of the Honour Guard), castle chapel and surrounding buildings were converted to an art gallery in 1984. Since 1995, it has been part of the Modern Arts Centre (Centar savremenih umjetnosti) and houses approximately 1,500 works of art. The historic Cinema of Culture (Kino Kultura), which was founded in 1949, was closed in November 2008 due to continuous financial losses it generated. It was the only cinema in the city for 6 decades. The building of the former cinema will be converted to host the Podgorica City Theatre. Shortly after its closure, a Ster-Kinekor (later acquired by Cineplexx) 6-screen multiplex cinema opened at Delta City shopping mall.

A significant cultural institution of over fifty years' standing is the Budo Tomović Cultural-Informational Centre (KIC Budo Tomović). It is a public institution which organizes various artistic events, including Podgorica Cultural Summer (Podgoričko Kulturno Ljeto), FIAT – International Alternative Theatre Festival (Festival Internacionalnog Alternativnog Teatra), DEUS – December Arts Scene (Decembarska Umjetnička Scena).


Podgorica National bank of Montenegro
Central Bank of Montenegro.
Podgorica-Tuzi plantaze wineyard IMG 1318 Cijevna river
Aerial view of the Plantaže wineyard, this wine field is the largest single one in Europe.

Podgorica is not only the administrative centre of Montenegro, but also its main economic engine. Most of Montenegro's industrial, financial, and commercial base is in Podgorica.

Before World War I, most of Podgorica's economy was in trade and small-scale manufacture, which was an economic model established during the long rule of the Ottoman Empire. After World War II, Podgorica became Montenegro's capital and a focus of the rapid urbanization and industrialization of the SFRY era. Industries such as aluminium and tobacco processing, textiles, engineering, vehicle production, and wine production were established in and around the city. In 1981, Podgorica's GDP per capita was 87% of the Yugoslav average.

In the early 1990s, the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Yugoslav wars, and the UN-imposed sanctions left Podgorica's industries without traditional markets, suppliers, and available funds. This, combined with typical transition pressures, led to a decline of the industrial base, where many industries collapsed leaving thousands of citizens unemployed. However, some of the industries, including Podgorica aluminium smelter and Plantaže, managed to survive the turmoil of the 1990s, and are still major contributors to Montenegrin export and industrial output to this day.

As Montenegro began its push for independence from Serbia in the late 1990s, Podgorica greatly benefited from increased concentration of government and service sectors. In addition to almost the entire country's government, Podgorica is home to the Montenegro Stock Exchange and other major Montenegrin financial institutions, along with telecommunications carriers, media outlets, Montenegrin flag carrier airline, and other significant institutions and companies.

The large presence of government and service sectors spared the economy of Podgorica from prolonged stagnation in the late 2000s recession, which hit Montenegro hard. Although, in mid-2014, some 30% of Montenegro's citizens lived in Podgorica, the municipality accounted for 44% of the country's employed. Out of the entire mass of paid nwt salaries in Montenegro in that year, some 47% was paid in Podgorica. The average monthly net salary in May, 2014 was €509 in Podgorica municipality.

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