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Podgora was first mentioned in written documents in 1571, after the Turkish defeat in the famous sea battle near Lepanto, as one of the settlements of the Makarska region under the protection of Venice. There are many remains of gravestones on local cemeteries dating back to the period of Venetian rule. The Baroque Church of St. Thekla (Sveta Tekla) was mentioned as early as 1630, and it was built on the medieval site locally known as Sutikla. Beside the church there is a small graveyard with many interesting medieval tombstones.

In Gornja Podgora, that is the old or upper village situated on the seaside slopes of the Biokovo mountain, inhabited right up the great earthquake of 1962, there are many remains of churches and chapels from the past. Especially important are the All Saints Chursh, built in 1764, where St. Vincent is celebrated every summer, the first Sunday after the Assumption, and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, built in 1804, by the Mrkušiæ family. From the most distant history up to the recent times, Podgora has been oriented toward the sea, its people are traditionally fishermen and seafarers, although until the mid 20th century it was mostly oriented toward the mountain and its natural resources. Biokovo used to protect Podgora from the dangers threatening from the sea, such as pirates and other plunderers, and the soil in the upper grounds, far from the sea, was more fertile because of the smaller salinity of the air and the soil. After the catastrophic earthquake in 1962, Podgora definitely turned toward the sea. Its people moved to the sea front and built new houses there, instead of repairing the old ones, heavily damaged in the earthquake. The construction of the Adriatic Highway has certainly contributed to the tourist development on a larger scale.

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Podgora is one of the most picturesque settlements of the Makarska riviera. Between the two World Wars there were only few settlements along the Makarska coastal belt and the people were mainly busy with fishing, seafaring and tourism. By theWW2, a few smaller hotels and inns were built. The settlement began to develop more intensively after the earthquake of 1962, during which the old hamlets in Upper Podgora were terribly ruined. This was the chief reason to move to the sea front. Nowadays, Podgora is a town district with 2880 inhabitants. In time it became one of the best known summer resorts in Dalmatia. The oldest part of Podgora grew around a picturesque fishing port. In the central part there is a lovely promenade paved with stone. On the hill above the port there is an interesting monument entitled "Seagull's Wings", set up in 1962, as a reminder of the strong partisan tradition here during theWW2 The victorious antifascist navy was founded that year right here, in Podgora. From ancient times Podgora has been one of the leading fishing villages in Dalmatia.

Today, as well, the Podgora port is crowded with trawlers and other fishing boats, which gives it a special warmth and atmosphere. The eastern part of Podgora, known as Èaklje, is grouped around a beautiful bay with a white pebble beach. A smaller marina has been built more recently. Podgora has happily integrated new tourist attractions and its numerous hotels into the existing fishing village of traditional stone architecture. Courtyards of family houses, summer cottages and apartments are rich with a fragrant Mediterranean vegetation and citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, tangerines, clementines… The Podgora people haven't forgotten their origins and the old settlement at the foot of the Biokovo mountain. They have built modern, asphalted roads to make approachable the centuries-old olive groves and vineyards they cultivate today as well. They also bring their guests up here, to enjoy the stunning views, delicious home-made food and excellent wines.