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Podgorica Culture

Podgorica Culture - Part II

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The era of Balsici and Crnojevici, dynasties which brought in fresfh blood in art and culture, is one of the most important in the history of Montenegro. The appearance of the first print shop, first among South Slavs, was of the greatest culturally historical importance for the entire region, as well as for Podgorica. The tradition of the print shop, which lasted very shortly, was continued by Bozidar Vukovic – Podgoricanin. The importance of his work, as felt in far away Romania, Bulgaria, and Russia, and the art and the culture of the XVI century in Podgorica is unimaginable without his work. In 1540. he was buried on the Island Starcevo on Skadar Lake. His works were sometimes the only contact with the art and literature in the up coming period of Turkish domination.

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Islamic influence was reflected in all cultural manifestations of this territory. Medieval art, embodied only in architecture and painting of smaller churches was the only equivalent to the Turkish wave, which left little, characteristic, important material, culturally – historical, and architectonic monuments. From the 5 century domination of the Turks we have Vezirov most (VIZIRE’S BRIDGE) on Moraca, which was ruined in 1944 when the Germans were leaving the town, and mosques of Glavatovici and Osmanagici. The greatest part of the manuscript literature is of a religious character with ornament details, in Turkish and Arabic language. The greatest part of the churches were ruined by the Tursk, and the people renewed them starting from the XVIII century. During the Turkish reign in Podgorica there was a school for Muslim children, and the Christian citizenship only in the last decade of the XVIII got the permit for the opening of the primary school. From this period with its significance and beauty stands out the Turkish bath – Banja (SPA), on the banks of Ribnica, which currently is the meeting place of the intellectuals and artists, and devotees of the book.

The liberation of Podgorica was the opening of the town towards the new culturally – historical horizons. Without the professional culturally artistic institutions, amateur associations were the carriers of the cultural development of Podgorica. Theater activity is being organized form the so called Podgorica dilettante association “Napredak” (PROGRESS). First Podgorica’s singing association named “Branko” was founded in 1892, and it lived for 50 years not breaking its, for society, extremely important work. Male mixed choir, tambourine orchestra, and the small saloon orchestra made the association which was mostly assembled from Podgorica’s tradesman and craftsmen. In a shorter period of time the association also started a lower music school. Drama, choir, and reciting section of KAA Abrasevic, which was founded in 1924. often faced problems with the authorities of the town. Namely, the revolutionary action and program orientation which was led by Stanko Dragojevic, faced with prohibition of every kind of activity, arrests and in the end with the abolition of the association itself in 1936. The cultural life of Podgorica in this period was determined by the Folk University, Working home, and the Club of students. Rural areas often had modest but important libraries and reading rooms, which were managed by the teachers and the students. The lack of space adequate for engaging in culturally artistic contents largely impeded the development of culture in Podgorica. The city library, which originates from the period of the World War I could not have been restored interesting, the first movie hall was built in 1932, and until then the projections were given in the hall of the hotel “Imperijal” (IMPERIALIST), as well as the majority of other culturally artistic events.

1930’s bring also the development of the literary life in Podgorica. The appearance of literary papers, as well as those which were arranged y the Podgorica’s pupils and students, gave a new dimension to the written word in the culture of the present capital town. The first paper appeared in Podgorica in 1907, and somewhat later, with the development of the political action we can also see some paper of political profile appearing, as well as several expert papers which didn’t last long.

What is interesting, the sport life of the town begins in the 1920’s, and since its beginning it carried the characteristics of class clashes – civil and regime sport club “Balsic” and work sport club “Buducnost” reflected the division and class intolerance if the citizenship.


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