It had become a habit in the Communist 20th century to name cities after a particular dictator. Like Leningrad or Stalingrad.
This morning, one of my favourite bloggers, The Happy Hermit, drew my attention to another long forgotten name of a city in Yugoslavia, named after that country’s only ever true leader, Josip Broz Tito. As we all know, after Tito’s death Yugoslavia disintegrated into several republics amid, tragically, so much bloodshed.
The situation in the region has stabilised a bit since those terrible events and the tensions have subsided somewhat. In recent years, I have had the pleasure to visit some of these new nations where I discovered, apart from their natural beauty and rich culture and history, that some of their people, especially the older generation, are still nostalgic about Tito’s years of state control and protection and the very concept of Yugoslavia.
Be that as it may, while spending time in Montenegro, the Happy Hermit was making use of an old Communist era map of the region which refers to the city of Titograd. The name rang a bell from the distant past, and a picture of the map clearly reveals that Titograd is none other than the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica.
Well, I never! I thought when I realised this. Twice, on separate occasions, I have visited and wandered around the city of Titograd in the recent past without even being aware of the fact.