Podgora


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Podgora

Podgora is city 9 km southeast of Makarska. Podgora is an area at the foot of Biokovo (“pod” means below and “gora” is mountain) consisting of several small settlements along the seafront (Porat, Ca Mrkusici) and the road to Vrgorac (Roscici and Marinovici). In the 17th and 18th centuries towers were built along this road as defence against the Turks. The Baroque Church of St. Thekla (Sveta Tekla) was destroyed in an earthquake in 1962, which also destro- yed the once famous Baro- que Mrkusié summer resi- dence*, of which only the entrance and chapel now remain. In the chapel there is a painting of Christ by an artist of the domestic school of the 15th or 16th century. In the village graveyard Mihovil Pavlinovic (1831- 1887) is buried. He was a priest, writer and politician, a well—lcnown representative of the people, who was dedicated to uniting Dalmatia with the rest of Croatia. His gravestone is the work of Ivan Rendié. Because of the partisan tradition of Podgora, in 1962 a memorial was set up above the village, entitled “Gull’s wings” (Galebova krila), 32 m high, made by the sculptor Rajko Radovic. In Podgora there is also a medicinal salt water spring known as Klokun. Northwest of Podgora is Tuéepi (4 km from Podgo- ra; 1763 inhabitants). Ancient Biston was pro- bably located here. In the graveyard, fragments of the stone inventory of an Old Christian church of the 5th or 6th century have been found, and two stechaks. Next to the Iadran Hotel there is a 15th century Romanesque and Gothic church, St. George’s* (Sveti Iuraj), which has Roman capitals built into its walls. According to a local folk legend, the Venetian Doge Pietro I Candiano is buried here. In fact, the first of the four Venetian Doges of the Candiano family, Pietro, died on 18th September 886 in a battle against the Neretvans who defeated the Venetian fleet near Makar- ska. After this defeat, the Venetians made a treaty with Prince Branimir (in 888), agreeing to pay the Croatian rulers a tribute for the right to sail and trade unmolested along the Adriatic, which they had to adhere to until the end of the 10th century. Near the church there are two stechaks (see Neretva-Delta, Neum). In Drasnice (3 km southeast of Podgora, 320 inhabitants) is the Gothic Chapel of St. Stephen (Sveti Stjepan) whose existence is linked with a journey made by Duke Stjepan Kosaca on his way to Dubrovnik. There is a tablet telling of the inci- dent in the Archaeological Museum in Split. There are also stechaks in the old graveyard by St. Georges Church. In Drasnice there are the ruins of the house belonging to the best- known Croatian “Hajduk” (an outlaw who fought against the Turks).