Podgorica Culture - Part I
First primitive fortifications – hill forth are being built which can be interesting to all those who are interested in the beginnings of civilization in these areas. Extensive archeological diggings, especially in the area of Gostilje, where a necropolis was discovered, then the diggings in Tuzi, Momisici, and in Zeta give sufficient data for tracking all cultural manifestation in history and development of the Illyrian community and their assimilation with different people, in this area. The tribe Lebeati, of whom we already spoke, has found itself under the influence of Hellenism and Rome, and somewhat later under the influence of Celts, Avars, and Slavs. 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, and later municipal, which through antique period was always the center of cultural, political, ad religious importance. Despite the numerous destructions again and again it was renewed and today it is one of the most precious cultural monuments, mot just in the narrow 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. Interesting to say is that, on the grounds of the previously mentioned basilica, in the early medieval period a small church was erected, in the shape of a cross. In the town one can find also the remains of the episcope basilica from the V century with especially beautiful floor mosaics. With strenuous work and expert interventions a part of these edifices is preserved and a visitor can see them.
Art and cultural existence get a completely new direction with the arrival of the Slav tribes. Even though rare and until today not sufficiently examined, the cultural monuments from this period, point out the strong influence form one side of the West Roman civilization, and from the other of the East Byzantium civilization. The new state, new interpretations of art and culture with the presence of various influences and currents have created a new picture about the development of culture in this territory.
Medieval construction and architecture are best met through the monuments that today are situated in the very center of the town Podgorica – the church of Sveti Djordje and Nemanjin grad (NEMANJA’S TOWN). Small church with one transept, built in a pre roman style, according to its architectonic traits it probably was built in XI century. During the tumultuous history of the town and this territory, it was damaged several times, in order for it to get a relatively new appearance, with widening in the XIX century.