Old Town and Clock Tower
Stara Varoš was the core of Podgorica during the Ottoman rule (1474–1879) in the urban and architectural forms of the city, customs, way of life and oriental characteristics. The symbol of Stara Varoš is the Clock Tower, building located on Bećirbeg Osmanagić Square. It was built in the 13th century by Hafis-pasha Osmanagić. It is an interesting story that at that time he ordered a watch from Italy. In the old town there was the Turkish fortress Depedogen (popularly called Ribnica) built in 1474, after the Ottomans conquered the medieval square of Podgorica. The waqf building next to the Clock Tower was demolished in the middle of the 20th century.
Sastavci and brigde on Sastavci
The people of Podgorica especially love this favorite romantic place, and the younger generations also popularly call it Skaline. The old stone bridge at the mouth of the Ribnica in Morača, believed to date back to Roman times, is the oldest in Podgorica. According to available data, this bridge is one of the few remains of the former Grimm city that was located in this area. The older inhabitants of Podgorica call this bridge A bridge on Sastavci, because the area around the mouth of the Ribnica in Morača was called Sastavci. The bridge is built of one arch and is only a few meters high. It is believed to be built of river stones and has always been a favorite meeting place for lovers, a gathering place for young and old, where they refresh themselves in a pleasant natural setting by the river in the hot summer months.
The sunset from the “Podgorica Bridge of Sighs” is something that will not be forgotten.
Palace complex Kruševac
The former winter castle of King Nikola I Petrović is surrounded by a beautiful park forest and during the summer months it represents a unique art and exhibition scene and is one of the favorite places of fellow citizens. The complex in Podgorica on a hill on the right bank of the Morača was built in the 19th century. The central building is the Castle of King Nikola, which was built in the period from 1891 to 1894, and during the past was the official winter residence of the last Montenegrin king. The Perjanički dom and the Church of St. Dimitrije, which was also the family chapel of Nicholas I, were built next to the castle.
Today, the palace complex in Kruševac is the seat of the Center for Contemporary Art, an exhibition space, a botanical garden, as well as a music pavilion, which was built at the end of the last century.
Kuslev`s house belonged to the dentist Dr. Hristo (Risto) Kuslev, who came to work in the Principality of Montenegro after finishing his studies in 1908. Kuslev was born in 1883 in the town of Kukush, in former Macedonia. In the twenties of the XX century, this famous dentist built a house in the right bank of the River Ribnica, where he immidiately placed a dental clinic and performed practice. With a series of windows, entrances, staircases, spacious porches and terraces, the house is the one of the few buildings in Podgorica with preserved authentic Balkan architecture of the first decades of the XX century. It is one of the few which survived in the 1944 bombing. After World War II, the house was used for various purposes and for the longest period of time for the needs of the City Museum, to which it still belongs today. The interior of the house is adorned with the exhibition “Kuslev`s house – Time Travel“ which follows the life and work of the famous dentist who stayed in Podgorica for the rest of his life.
The former hammam (bathroom) was built in the Oriental style during the Ottoman period. It was designed in two single – storey architectural units of different bases, which were connected to the third ground floor. The disjointed architecture was dominated by three domes combined with dual – drain roofs.
It was later turned into a public bathroom, so-called Bath. This was reported by the newspapers in 1926: “Podgorica got a new cultural heritage. On March 16th this year, the modern bathroom was completed, with bathtubs, showers, and on that day, it was put in function”.
Of the three domes, only the middle one has been preserved. Today, the Carver Bookstore is at this place, where occasional literary events are organized.
House of Čubranović
House of Čubranović, located not far from the Clock Tower is probably the oldest “surviving” old town house.
It was built in 1630 and was placed under legal protection, as a significant cultural and historical building of that kind. After the liberation of Podgorica from the Ottomans (January 1879), it also served for a time as the seat of the first local government and municipal administration, with Duke Ilija Plamenac and then Duke Marko Miljanov at the head.