A treasure you must visit! The ancient city of Duklja is located only 3 kilometers from Podgorica!

Suppose you like to peek into history or are passionate about it. In that case, you must not miss the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Duklja, located only 3 kilometers from the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica. It is situated between the rivers Zeta, Morača, and Širalija stream, and according to experts, this city dates back to the very beginnings of the new era, and maybe even earlier.

Duklja is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the country and offers a unique opportunity to peek into the rich past of this region! Here’s how it all started

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Duklja, Photo: BuhaM, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Once known as Doclea, this ancient city precisely located near the main Roman road Narona – Scodra was named after the Illyrian tribe Docleates.  Although it dates back to the Roman era and was an important center in the province of Praevalitana, it was not a large settlement at the very beginning.

Significant progress and size of the city were recorded only at the end of the first century and during Diocletian’s reforms.

 

Duklja, Photo: BuhaM, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Although over time Duklja became an important political, cultural, and religious center of that region, according to some sources, it met its end already around 600 AD, when the Slavs occupied it. However, many historians doubt the accuracy of this information and claim that all traces of Duklja were lost only in the 11th century.

 

 

In addition to its excellent strategic position, Duklja had high ramparts as thick as 2 to 2.3 meters. It was only accessible via the bridges over the Morača and the Širalija stream, and it was divided into four parts by two streets.

It had residential buildings, a city forum, temples of the goddesses Roma and Diana, baths with pools and mosaics, various buildings, sculptures, and a triumphal arch.

 

Duklja, Photo: BuhaM, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

The first research on the city of Duklja began in the second half of the 19th century, and special attention was drawn to the discovery of the “Podgorica cup” in 1873, which was found in Duklja, inside a tomb in the western necropolis. It had ancient Christian motifs on it, most likely from the Old and New Testaments.

More or less all the exhibits found are in the Museum of the City of Podgorica, except for that glass, which has been in the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg.

 

Duklja, Photo: BuhaM, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

If you get the chance, visit Duklja so that you too can feel the spirit of the past that hides among the ruins.

 

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