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Podgorica (Municipality, Montenegro)


Last modified: 2023-03-25 by rob raeside
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[Flag of Podgorica] image by Željko Heimer, 18 May 2005

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Presentation of Podgorica

The municipality of Podgorica (156,169 inhabitants in 2011; municipal website) is located in a fertile lowland, at the crossroads of several important roads linking the Montenegrinmountains to the Adriatic Sea and Lake Skadar (shared with Albania where it is called Lake Shkodra). The place was already settled in the Stone Age but the modern settlements are mostly followers of the colonies set up by the two Illyrian tribes of Labeati and Dokleati. The Labeati developed a military society around the fortress of Meteon (today, Medun), whereas the Dokleati, living in the fertile valley of river Zeta, developed a rich society. Their main settlement was Duklja, then a big town (8,000-10,000 inhabitants).
After the decline of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Slavic invasions, Duklja was destroyed. The new Slavic settlers, in permanent struggle with Byzantium, founded a new settlement called Ribnica, after the name of the river on which it was built.

Podgorica was mentioned for the first time in 1326 in an official document kept in the Kotor archives. The town was an important place on the trade roads linking Dubrovnik and the State of Nemanjici. Its wealth stopped in 1474 with the Turkish occupation; the Ottomans built a huge fortress and transformed the trade settlement into a city strongly fortified against the neighbouring tribes. The fortress was never seized by any rebel.

In 1878, the Congress of Berlin incorporated Podgorica into Montenegro. The town re-developped quickly, with the foundation of a first commercial company (Tobacco Plant) in 1902 and a first bank in 1904. Podgorica had 13,000 inhabitants between the two World Wars.
During the Second World War, Podgorica was bombed more than 70 times and completely destroyed. More than 4,000 civilians were killed. The town was liberated on 19 December 1944 and became the capital of the Republic of Montenegro (replacing the Royal capital, Cetinje) on 13 July 1946, under the new name of Titograd, a tribute to Marshal Tito (1892-1980). The name of Podgorica was reinstated on 2 April 1992.

Ivan Sache, 9 March 2006

Municipal flag of Podgorica

[Construction sheet of the flag of Podgorica] image by Ivan Sarajčić, 17 Ferbuary 2006

The new flag and arms of Podgorica were officially adopted on 30 March 2006. The flag is based on the municipal arms, which were designed along with the flag by Srđan Marlović, an architect from Herceg Novi.

[Flag of the Mayor of Podgorica] image by Željko Heimer, 18 May 2006

The Mayor of Podgorica shall use a square version of the municipal flag.

[Special flag of Podgorica] image by Željko Heimer, 18 May 2006

The flag to be used in special occasions is a forked elongated (1:5) version of the municipal flag.

Srđan Marlović, 18 May 2006

Coat of arms of Podgorica

[Arms of Podgorica] image by Željko Heimer, 18 May 2006

The meaning of the coat of arms is the following:
- the silver shield represents water, whose richness is the most important characteristic of Podgorica (six rivers and Lake Skadar, the biggest lake in south-eastern Europe).
- the layers of urban heritage in Podgorica (Doclea and Meteon) are represented by the two lower blue horizontal stripes. Metaphorically, they represent the foundation of the present town of Podgorica.
- the upper broken line is the stylized representation of several modern recognizable symbols of the town, including Nemanja's town, the Clock tower, the Gorica monument as well as gates and bridges.
- the crown recalls that Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro.
- the supporters are two silver lions taken from the oldest known coat of arms of the municipality, featuring the arms of its ruler Božidar Vuković-Podgoričanin.
- the golden grapevine leaves represent the famous vineyards of Podgorica.

The usual coat of arms is made of the shield only, whereas the municipal coat of arms is made of the crowned shield.

Srđan Marlović, 18 May 2006