Although Podgora is mentioned in Venetian records from 1571, traces of human activity can be found here dating back to Neolithic times. This is verified by fragments of Cardium pottery found on the slopes of Biokovo.
There are also several other fascinating artefacts:
- prehistoric barrows – three barrows near the “Galebova Krila“ (Wings of a Seagull) statue, Marko’s barrow at Strupina and barrows on Supin hill (a rare phenomenon typical of Dalmatia)
- the remains of an ancient tombstone of a married couple – stella
- findings of Roman pottery and currency – Bristica and other sites
- numerous amphorae that bear witness to maritime transport in the Roman era
- tower remains dating back to the Ottoman Empire in Sridi sela
- tombstones (14th and 15th centuries) depicting swords and shields at Sutikla cemetery
- copper coins with the inscription DALMA ET ALBA, which were minted by the Republic of Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries
There are a dozen churches and a few votive chapels that bear witness to the Christian tradition and customs. The Church of St. Thecla from the 17th century collapsed in an earthquake in 1962 and was renovated in the late 20th century. Several medieval graves were found in the eponymous cemetery. The Baroque All Hallows Church with a bell tower dating back to 1764 is located in the village (“Selo“) and was the centre of spiritual life in Podgora. It is famous for the altar of St. Vincent, the patron saint of the Podgora Municipality, whose Feast Day is celebrated in August on the first Sunday after the Assumption of Mary.
Podgora was named after its location – under the hill (“pod gorom“). Since time immemorial, Biokovo has protected the town, which was situated on its slopes, from enemies and adverse weather from the north. After the great earthquake of 1962, a new chapter began in the life of Podgora. The residents then moved from the village (“Selo“) to the town (“Kraj“), which are the monikers given to Upper and Lower Podgora by the locals. They built new houses in the town and turned to the sea and tourism.
Ever since the era of ancient ships, Podgora has been oriented towards the sea. Fishing used to be the main industry that supported generations of Podgora’s citizens. Present-day Podgora developed around a small port. The Navy was established in Podgora in 1942. “Galebova Krila“, a grandiose World War II monument, dominates the vista of Podgora and was erected to commemorate the victory over fascism in the Adriatic, as well as all the young lives lost while protecting freedom and home.