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Historical department

Working hours 09 - 17h svakog dana osim ponedjeljkom
Address and location Marka Miljanova 4 81000 Podgorica Open Google map
Accessibility entrance for wheelchairs

The Historical Department encompasses several collections with numerous museum objects related to the social and political history of Podgorica in the 19th and 20th centuries. The numismatic, philatelic, heraldic, archival collections, and others contain various items of historical value (weapons, decorations, medals, coats of arms, memorabilia, photographs, letters, documents, postage stamps, manuscripts, coins, etc.). They document and record various aspects of the socio-political life of the city in modern times.

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The oldest urban settlement at the site of present-day Podgorica is mentioned in the index of ancient Roman roads the Itinerarium Antonini, as a trading center called Birziminium. Nearby Meteon, an important stronghold of Illyrian tribes, is first mentioned by Titus Livy in connection with the Illyrian-Roman war in the 2nd century BCE. After the Roman conquest, the area of Podgorica became part of the Roman province of Dalmatia, where urban life intensified according to the Roman model, and the city of Doclea (Duklja) became an important Roman center. After the fall of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Slavs, Doclea was destroyed and subsequently abandoned. In medieval written sources, the city is recorded under the name Podgorica in the year 1326, when businessmen – traders, craftsmen, farmers, and sailors from Zeta and Podgorica – are mentioned in Kotor and Dubrovnik. After the medieval period and Ottoman rule, it was liberated in the wars of 1876–1878 and handed over to Montenegro in 1879. Its first governor was Marko Miljanov. 

Urban life, with crafts, trade, and hospitality significant even during Turkish rule, continued its further development after liberation, parallel with the formation of the New Town on the right bank of the Ribnica River. Compulsory primary education was introduced, and an agricultural school was opened in 1894, followed by a lower gymnasium in 1907, while the choir society "Branko" was founded in 1882. As part of the establishment of the first industrial enterprises in Montenegro, the first tobacco factory was built in Podgorica in 1903. During the interwar period, Podgorica continued its ascent and was one of the most important economic centers in Montenegro, laying the foundation for further city development after World War II, during which it was bombed multiple times. It was liberated on December 19, 1944, and became the capital of the Republic of Montenegro.