Exploring ‘the most boring city in Europe’

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
CentreVille Hotel & Experiences, Glavni grad Podgorica, Montenegro
I was a little disappointed that decaffeinated coffee was not an option for breakfast this morning, as I have become accustomed to enjoying a soy cappuccino or two. It seems that decaffeinated coffee isn’t even sold in supermarkets here — at least in those we have since checked out. I might need to resume drinking tea.
After breakfast, we set off to explore the old and new towns of Podgorica. It was about a 20-minute walk into the old town. Whilst it was quite warm, it was quite pleasant for our morning stroll. Our first impression of this city is that it is very poor. The dilapidated apartment buildings look like very dismal places to live. 
We eventually came upon one of the top things to see here — the clock tower, one of the few buildings to survive the bombings in WWII. It dates back to 1667 and was renovated in 2005. We followed the road into the old town, visiting the toilets in the Hilton Hotel where we will be staying in just under 2 weeks’ time. The new town has a mall lined with small shops. It has the feel of a country town, rather than being the centre of a capital city. There weren’t many people out and about in the shops.
We crossed back over the main river on a foot bridge adjacent to the new Millenium Bridge, the number one attraction! After visiting the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, a Serbian Orthodox Church which was built over 10 years from 1993. Both the exterior and interior were very impressive.
It was then time to head back to the hotel, as we were expecting our Austrian friends Gitti & Hermann to arrive some time after 12. Our timing was perfect — just as we arrived back at the hotel entrance, we saw them both getting out of their taxi! 
After freshening up, Gitti & Hermann joined us in our room before we set out on another walk. We visited the former winter palace of King Nikola Petrovic in Krusevac which is now a centre of contemporary art displaying the works of 51 artists’ work from the 80s and 90s. Some of the art was very interesting, as you can see in my photos!
We then wandered past the old clock tower again and down to the river to see the remains of an old Roman fortress. It was then on to the cathedral again before heading back to our hotel. After dinner at the restaurant we ate at the night before, we headed off to bed for an early night.
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Comments

Ian
2019-08-01

From what you have written about Podgorica and from your photos, I also get the feeling that this city is more like a country town with a relatively small population. The art gallery in the palace that was once the residence of King Nikola Petrovic in Krusevac and is now a centre of contemporary art displaying the works of 51 artists, is at least one attempt to re-vitalise this city after the devastation of buildings during past wars. The horror of the carnage is probably portrayed in image thirty one above. Hopefully, the city will outgrow its reputation of being the most boring city in Europe. Pass on my kind regards to Gitti and Hermann.

Tom
2019-08-02

Ahhhh... finally, I have caught up. Your pictures are fantastic, and surely it cannot be the most boring cuty in Europe while M&M are there. Amazing how so many structures were spared from destruction over such horrible war times. I wonder if, amidst all the bombings etc, someone somehow caused some precious and ancient buildings to be spared. See you at the brekky bar. Keep the updates coming.

melandmic
2019-08-03

Welcome on board the bus, Tom! Not a lot of Podgorica was spared in WWII — just the two small mosques and the clock tower, as I understand. The impressive Orthodox Church is not yet 30 years old. Let’s hope it survives for many centuries to come.

Tracy
2019-08-05

The question burning in my mind is did Gitti and Hermann pay the flat fare rate from the airport?

melandmic
2019-08-16

No, Tracy — they pre-booked online for €11, saving €1!

2022-10-03