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Monument to Yugoslav Navy

Podgora, Croatia
1 of 8

In Podgora, a small Adriatic village south of Makarska, the first detachment of Yugoslav navy was established in September 1942. Its role in the liberation war (1941-1945) was commemorated twenty years later by a monument, which was unveiled by Yugoslav president Tito. The monument was designed between 1960 and 1961 by Serbian sculptor Rajko Radovic. This was his largest and best known public work. The sculpture is 32m tall, made from white concrete rising directly from the black granite platform measuring 12m by 30m.

Beside the demanding construction technique used for the execution of the tall and slender concrete sculpture, the most important characteristic of the monument is its location above the Adriatic Highway. Placed between the sea coast and the steep mountain Biokovo, it is a powerful visual accent in the landscape, yet carefully sited so as to be visible only from certain curves of the panoramic coastal road. The principal view of it is, naturally, from the sea - it is intended primarily for those in whose honour it was built: sailors and the inhabitants of village Podgora. The monument and the wide memorial platform may be accessed by a narrow road which branches off the Adriatic Highway. The platform was initially intended for official remembrance commemorations. In the early 1980s, an amphitheatre oriented towards the sea was built opposite the monument, intended for informal gatherings and cultural events. In the early 1990s, amid political change and extremist nationalistic tendencies in Croatia, there were several unsuccessful attempts to blow up the monument, while the significance of antifascist resistance has subsequently been deliberately downplayed. Revisionist tendencies can also be seen in the new description of the monument on the memorial plaque claiming that the monument is dedicated to all "Croatian sailors" while avoiding any mention of the Partisan struggle.

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bostjan, October 25th, 2019
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