Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus
Location: Podgorica, Montenegro
Architect: Zvonimir Vrkljan
Genre: Brutalist, Socialist architecture, former Yugoslavia
The church is the only Roman Catholic house of worship in Podgorica. The current structure replaced a former Catholic church that was destroyed by Allied bombs on 5th May 1944. The Anglo-American airstrikes on Podgorica began in October 1943 and were carried out at the request of Josif Tito and the Yugoslav Partisans, who made the decision based on the fact that the city was strategically positioned on the route of the German military’s withdrawal from Albania and Greece. The campaign more or less completely destroyed Podgorica and 4,100 civilians died during the attacks. Furthermore, questions were raised over the legitimacy of the strikes as the order to proceed was given by Tito rather than the Yugoslav royal government-in-exile, which was still the country’s legitimate government at the time. The bombing stopped in early November 1944 and the Partisans took control of the city a few weeks later, on 19th December 1944.
The facade of the current church, which was designed to resemble a ship, has never been finished.
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