Podgorica 21 °C
In the spacious Zetsko-Bjelopavlicka plain intersected by rivers ,close by Skadar lake lies Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. An excellent position, favorable climate, vicinity of the lake and the sea were always suitable for early settlement in this region., First organized settlements were formed two thousand years ago. This area was occupied by two Illyrian tribes, the Docleats and Labeats. Labeats lived in the area from lake Skadar to the place of the current Podgorica and had their own settlement, current Medun. Docleats lived in Zeta Valley and their economy developed rapidly. They formed the settlement that had about 10 thousand inhabitants according to archaeological sites .The arrival of the Slavs brought the development of new settlements. A new settlement built on the remains of Ribnica in about 300 years A.D. was named Birziminijum and it was an important trading station. The first written document of the city was in 1216 in the Life of St. Simeun. The first South-Slav state, Zeta was formed in this area. In the archive of Kotor from 1326 .there is a written document mentioning Podgorica for the first time. The city was a regional center where a live flow of the goods, traders and passengers improved its developmet, economic power and strategic importance. But, its cultural and economic development was interrupted by the Turkish military occupation in 1474. The Turks erected a great fortress and turned the former settlement into the main and very strong defensive bastion which would prevent from disobedient tribes. At the same time they built towers, houses and narrow streets in the Oriental style mainly within the part of the town today called The Old town at the mouth of the rivers Ribnica to Moraca. In 1878, the Congress of Berlin declared that Podgorica would be incorporated into the state of Montenegro. Soon after the liberation from the Turkish rule, Podgorica began relatively rapid development. The city became an important trade center, the roads were built towards nearby towns. In 1902 , the first significant enterprise was set up - Tobacco factory, and in 1904 savings bank called Zetska was opened. During World War II, Podgorica was bombed 17 times and almost razed to the ground. Soon after the war, in 1946 the name of Podgorica was changed into Titograd, and in 1992 it got its original name back. In the postwar period Podgorica has experienced overall transformation . The industry was considerably developed as well as educational, cultural and health institutions among others. Due to its modern traffic arteries, the railway and airway it is connected to the entire state and abroad. All this influenced that Podgorica beside being the capital, also becomes administrative, industrial , social, economic, cultural and traffic centre of Montenegro.
Today's municipality of Podgorica is spread over 1.441 km2 and has a population of 155 000. The city is located on 40 m above sea level and is intersected by 6 rivers: Moraca, Zeta, Ribnica, Cijevna, Sitnica and Matica, so it can also be called the City of Bridges. A large number of various enterprises influenced at the development of the city and made it an economic centre of Montenegro. The greatest industrial complex of the state - the Aluminium Plant is also situated in Podgorica.. Trade, traffic, manufacturing and catering are the most developed activities. Due to its fertile land and favorable climate this region is mainly oriented towards agriculture (farming, fruit growing, wine growing and cattle-breeding). An excellent geographical location, good traffic connection with the sea and mountain ski centres and picnic grounds, the vicinity of a natural reservation and the Lake Skadar National Park, a number of hotels and other restaurant managements make Podgorica more significant place in tourist business in a region. Podgorica enriches the tourist offer of Montenegro with its potentials such as business, excursion, recreational, hunting, sport, and congress tourism. The largest number of cultural institutions are also located in Podgorica. The Town Museum owners the exhibits dating from the distant and closer past of both the city and Montenegro. The historical picture is completed by the cultural monuments such as archaeological sites Duklja and Ribnica, the Church of St. Djordje under the Gorica hill (11th c.), the Clock Tower (18th c.), the palace of the Petrovic with a chapel and Perjanic House (Montenegrin Prince's bodyguards House) and many others. There is also the Montenegrin National Theater, galleries, cinemas, cultural centers. The city is an educational center with several higher education institutions and the headquarter of the University of Montenegro.