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Belgrade's landmarks

Belgrade suffered form bombardments, destructions and fire, but, unfortunately, also from human stupidity and arrogance that had forced some to humiliate the precedents and emphasize their own importance and greatness by destroying the cultural heritage of the past times. It is difficult to explain not only to a Belgrade visitor but also to a person from Belgrade, that in this seven thousand years old city it is difficult to find a building older than 250 years. But, the answer is still quite simple: our city has been completely destroyed forty times by now.

"Historical monuments characterize a city, its origin and importance from the past, they connect generations, ancestors with descendants. The historical monuments have the spirit of our ancestors, they speak about their sufferings and the sense of beauty and progress… Yet, Belgrade's appearance does not even start to show its antiquity.", the illustrated history of Belgrade, Marija Ilic-Agapova

Highlights

The Fortress - Upper town

The importance the fortress had to the conquers and rulers of Belgrade an be seen in the number of gates used to enter it.

Karađorđe’s gate

This gate, built in the 18th century was named after the leader of the First Serbian Rebellion, Karađorđe, who had, after conquering Belgrade in 1807, entered the fortress through this gate.

Defterdar’s gate

Dates from the Middle Ages, and its name is associated with the function of deferdar, bookkeeper, in the Turkish army. It got its present look in the 18th century.

Despot’s gate with the Dizdar’s tower

Built in the first half of the 15th century, it represents on of the pest preserved parts of the fortress from the time of despot Stefan Lazarević. The rest of the despot’s court was destroyed in the fight between the Turks and Austrians in the 18th century. Today, the Observatory of the Astronomy association "Ruđer Bošković" is in Despot’s or Dizdar's tower.

Zidan gate

This gate was built in the middle of 15th century. It has two round towers on both of its sides. The basements of these towers were in the Turkish period used as dungeons. This use of the towers gave the name to this gate, since "zidan" in Turkish means dungeon.

Leopold's gate

This gate was built between 1688 and 1690, during two year long Austrian government and it was named after Austrian emperor Leopold.

The monument of the Winner

Fourteen-meter tall bronze figure of the warrior with a sward in right and a falcon in left hand placed on stone stand is a famous symbol of Belgrade and its freedom-loving tradition. This monument, the work of sculptor Ivana Mestrovic was erected in 1928, on a tenth anniversary of the breach of the Thessalonica front, celebrating the great Serbian victory in World War I.
According to the original plan, the monument was supposed to be placed in the city centre, in Terazije Square. Due to disapproving of the conservative population of the time caused by the realistic presentation of the male body, the statue was placed at the Kalemegdan facing Zemun.

Roman well and

The Roman well

Although it is called "Roman", the well was not made during Roman rule of Belgrade. The Austrians gave its present look to it in the first part of the 18th century. The well is 62 meters deep, while spiral staircases go until they reach the water at the thirty-fifth meter (the origin of water is not known).

Clock Tower

27,5 meters tall tower with a working clock was built in the 18th century. During Turkish rule it was used as a watchtower.

Jaksic's tower

This tower was built in 1460 as the main watchtower of the fortress. At the beginning of the 18th century it was destroyed. The reconstruction that gave it its present look was done in 1937.

Ružica and St. Petka churches

Ružica church - The building of the church consecrated to the birth of the holly mother originally used as a gunpowder warehouse in the 18th century, and its present purpose was determined in 1867. (The church with the same name, destroyed during the Turkish conquest of Belgrade in 1521, existed during Stefan Lazarevic's rule). At the church entrance two bronze figures were placed in 1924 – one represents a medieval Serbian knight, a the other Serbian solder from World War I.

St. Petka's church

The church is build at the place of the old chapel, above a source believed to give miraculous water for women.

The Fortress - Lower City

The lower city spreads along the riverbanks, and in medieval period it was the centre of the town. Despot Stefan Lazarevic during refortification of the town built the ramparts around the Lower city.

Carlo VI Gate

The gate was built in 1736 and dedicated to emperor Carlo VI. On it western side is the oldest preserved coat of arms in Belgrade – the Tribalia coat of arms.

Neboj[a's tower

This cannon tower was built in 1460 at the riverbank in order to protect the entrance of the port. During Turkish rule of Belgrade, the tower was used as a dungeon.

Turkish bath (Amam)

The old Turkish bath – amam, was built at the end of 18th century. Today it is the planetarium of the Astronomic society "Ruđer Boškovic".

Kalemegdan

The term Kalemengdan refers only to the plateau around the Belgrade fortress once used as a lookout from the enemy, and in the 19th century it was turned into a park. The word has it origin in Turkish since 'kale' means 'the field', and 'megdan' means 'the fight'. The Turks also used the term "Ficir-bajir" meaning the hill for reflection. Today, the Kalemegdan is the biggest park in Belgrade with numerous monuments, sculptures, the art pavilion "Cvijeta Zuzoric", music pavilion, the Grand staircase, the zoo, etc. if you like chess, retired, a walking person, aesthete or maybe in love, you shouldn’t miss a walk through this park and the prettiest view on the Sava and the Danube confluence since you are bound to meet your soul mate there.

The monument "Gratitude to France"

Expressing the gratitude to France that helped the Serbian army in World War I, a monument showing a bronze figure of a woman with a sward, the symbol of France, was built in the 1930. This monument is a work of the sculptor Ivan Meštrović.

Knez Mihailova Street

The Knez Mihailova street, a famous city's walking area, commercial and business centre and the place of many institutions of national importance, got its name in 1870 after duke Mihailo Obrenovic. It has always been the heart of the city since it connects Belgrade downtown and the fortress. All the important buildings and city houses were built at the end of 19th century.

The Belgrade city library

The architectural style of the library building built in 1869 is romanticism. Originally, this building was the home of "Srpska kruna" hotel, once the best hotel in Belgrade.


Serbian science and art academy and the Albania building


It was built in 1923-1924 and it holds the SANU Library, the SANU Archive and the SANU Gallery.

The Albanija building

It was built in 1938-1940 as the first skyscraper in Belgrade and the Balkans. It was build at the place of the old "Albania" inn after which it got its name. 

The monuments

The Nikola Tesla monument

This bronze monument of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest scientists and inventors in the field of electrical science and physics, the work of Franc Krnisic, was erected in 1961 in front of the Faculty of Technical sciences.

The Vuk Karadžić monument

This monument, the work of Djordje Jovanovic, erected in 1937 is a bronze figure of Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, a famous reformer of Serbian language and orthography, who collected Serbian folk songs and proverbs, published the first collection of folk songs and first Serbian grammar, and proved that vernacular can be used for writing masterpieces.

The Svetozar Markovic monument

This monument from 1946, the work of Stevan Bodvanov, was erected to glorify the founder of the National Socialism in Serbia.

The Petar II Petrović Njegoš monument

In 1994, on the plateau in front of the Faculty of Philosophy, a bronze monument of Petar II Petrovic Njegos, the bishop and the ruler of Montenegro, one of the most important poets of these areas, was built. The monument is the work of Sreten Stojanovic.

King Petar I street

This is one of the oldest streets in Belgrade, and it was named after the first Serbian king, king Petar I Karađorđević who had come to throne after the assassination of Aleksandar Obrenović. The assumption is that the roman forum, basilica and roman bath were once in this street. Today, in it you can find the Patriarchate of the Serbian Orthodox church, the Saborna church and the oldest Serbian inn called "The question mark" ("?").

Skadarlija

A special 'treat' you can find in the heart of Belgrade is the Skadarska street, known as "Skadarlija" or "Bohemian quarter". This street has been, since the day appeared, the favourite place of city bohemians, poets and other artists and off everyone who loves quite and hidden place and friendly company. The street, with its original appearance, is famous for its inns with the old Serbian ambience, Turkish cobblestones and čura Jakšić’s house (the famous Serbian poet and romantic painter). A lot can be said about this street, but nothing can come even close to visiting it and feeling its truly magical atmosphere. Kosta Dimitrijević said: "If Paris had been the capital of the world, Montmartre would have been the capital of Paris; if Belgrade had been the crossroad of the world, Skadarlija would have been its soul".

Students square

Cemetery at the Turkish time, and in 19th century a market, is now the oldest city square. The Captain Misa's building, the Kolarac foundation, the monument of Petar II Petrovic Njegos, and the University Park are all on this square. This square was the important starting point of many political changes in the last years, since all student demonstrations started and ended there. 

THE KOLARAC FOUNDATION

It was built in 1932 and later on donated to the city of Belgrade by Ilija Milosavljevic-Kolarac. The building has an exquisite concert hall as well as exhibition gallery.

The Republic square

If somebody tells you: "See you at the square" or "Let's meat at the horse", know that your meeting place, and the meeting place of many young people is the Republic Square. Today’s square was formed after the demolition of the Stambol gate in 1866 and the construction of the National Theatre in 1869. Beside the National Theatre, the National Museum, the monument of Prince Mihailo Obrenović and the monument of Branislav Nusic can also be seen on the square. 

The National Theatre

In accordance with duke Mihailo Obrenović's order to construct a building for the theatre, the National theatre was built in 1869. The model for its renaissance conception and decorations was the Scala Opera house in Milan.

The monument of Prince Mihailo Obrenović

The bronze monument of Prince Mihailo Obrenović on the horse, the work of Enrico Pazzi was erected in 1882.

Terazije square

Until the middle of 19th century the area from the Sremska until the King Milan's street where the Terazije square is today, was outside the town walls and was covered in swamps. In order to avoid the mixing of Serbian and Turkish population, duke Milos Obrenovic ordered Serbian craftsmen to settle close to today's square.
The name Terazije originates from the high water delivery towers that the Turks called the water terazije (the balance). At the place of one of the water towers, in 1860 the Terazije square water fountain was erected in the memory of duke Milos Obrenovic. The square was rearranged in 1911 and 1912 and a fountain was erected as well as the flower areas in the middle of the square.

The Krsmanović's house (built in 1885) where the unity of Serbia, Croatian and Slovenia was proclaimed in 1 December 1818, the "Moscow" hotel and the Anker palace are al at this square.

Nikona Pašić Square

The Nikola Pasic square, previously The Marx and Engels square, was built in 1952 among The Terazije square, The King Alexander boulevard and the Decanska street. It is famous for its fountain. The Dom Sindikata, the Parliament and the Nikola Pasic monument are all at this square.


Slavija

This square is an important traffic round point of the city welcoming the King Milan, The Beogradska, the Makenzi, the Svetogorska, the Deligradska and the Nemanjina streets and The Oslobođenje boulevard.
The monument of Dimitrije Tucović, one of the leaders of socialist movement in Serbia after whom the square was called for a long time, is in the centre of the square.Among other important building, the Slavija and The Slavija Lux hotels are at this square.

Water fountains

The city o Belgrade has thirty-nine public water fountains with drinking water from the Belgrade plumbing system, five water fountains built on natural sources and eighteen fountains.

The Delijska fountain

The first mention of a water fountain with this name dates form the 17th century as a Turkish monument. The Austrians later destroyed this fountain. At the place of the old fountain in the Knez Mihailova street, a new water fountain resembling the old one was erected in 1987.

The Terazije Fountain

This monument and a water fountain, the work of Italian craftsman Franco Lorano had been erected in the Terazije square in 1860, but was displaced to Topčider for a short period of time.

The čŒukur Fountain

This water fountain with the bronze figure of a young boy, the work of Simeon Rosandic was erected in 1931 as a memory of an important event in Serbian history. The Turks at this place had assassinated a Serbian boy and this led to a conflict between the Serbs and the Turks and to the bombardment of Belgrade in 1862.

The National Museum

The oldest museum in Serbia, founded in 1844 is located at the Republic Square and its rich collection is consisted of objects from the prehistoric era until modern times. The museum’s collection is divided into: prehistoric, medieval, modern Serbian art, foreign painters (the most important collection is impressionistic), and within its collection the most important piece is Miroslav’s gospel – the oldest Cyrillic manuscript dating from around 1190.
The National museum also consists of:

- The Fresco gallery
- The Museum of Vuk and Dositej
- The Memorial Museum of Nadezda and Rastko Petrovic.

The Historical Museum of Serbia

This museum was founded in 1963 with the intention to collect and preserve material from the rich history of Serbian people and Serbia. The Historical Museum has, in its numerous collections and foundations over 35.000 objects: various weapons and military equipment, flags, seals and medals, decorations, charters, maps, valuable manuscripts and other archive, uniforms of various armies and civil services, paintings, sculptures, photographs and postcards.

The most important exhibits date from the First Serbian Rebellion in 1804 and the museum owns some personal objects of members of two Serbian dynasties.
Due to the lack of space, in duke Milos's palace (part of the museum) holds the permanent exhibition dedicated to the First and the Second Serbian rebellion called "The Serbian rebellion 1804".

The Military Museum

At King Milan Obrenovic's order, The Military Museum was founded at the Belgrade fortress, the former military bastion, in 1878. Many of the objects have been lost, since the Germans took the largest part of the collection during World War II. This cultural institution of great importance owns ten different collections of around 30.000 objects dating from the prehistoric era until modern times: weapons, military flags, paintings, photographs, military equipment, uniforms, medals, artillery, etc.

The Aviation Museum

The Authority of air force and anti-aircraft defence founded the museum in 1957. It is placed in a very attractive modern design building on the plateau in front of the "Nikola Tesla" airport. 47 airplanes, helicopters and gliders, the most important models of world's and Yugoslav air force are exhibited in the museum. You can also see the engines, equipment, models and memorial collections for certain airmen.

The Car Museum

This museum is located in the premises of the first public garage in Belgrade built in 1929. Its permanent exhibition consists of old cars – old-timers, collected by Bratislav Petkovic. The oldest car in the collection is Marot-Gardon from 1897. The museum also has the collection of old racing motorcycles, photographs and various equipment.

Nikola Tesla Museum

The museum was founded in order to preserve the scientific and personal belongings of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest scientists and innovators in the field of electrical engineering and physics. The museum has all personal belongings of Nikola Tesla (around 156.000 pages written in the period from 1882 till 1943), as well as the urn with the scientist's ashes. The 1.200 objects are classified in ten different collections.

The Museum of Yugoslav Film - Library

This collection museum of classics from various film schools meets the needs of the greatest film fans. It is one of the five richest film collections in the world and the museum also has film posters, photographs, screenplays, as well as the "Lumiere" camera no. 335 dating from 1896.

The Etnographic Museum

The museum was founded in 1901 and it has 152.000 objects divided into the following collections: the folk costumes, materials and rugs, crafting equipment, furniture and dishes and pottery, ritual objects, paintings, old photographs, European and non-European national objects.
The Manak's house is also a part of the Ethnographic museum. In it you can see a collection of objects, folk costumes and jewellery from the south of Serbia and Macedonia.

The Museum of Contemporary Art

The museum was founded in 1958 and has a collection of 35.000 paintings, sculptures and graphics made by Yugoslav artists in the period from 1900 until today. They are divided into three collections:

- The first period, from 1900 till 1918, presenting the works of impressionists and "plenerists"
- The second period, from 1918 till 1941, presenting the works of various art schools: constructivism, expressionism, surrealism, intimism, militant and critical realism
The third period, from 1945 till present day, heterogeneous in character, presents numerous objects the largest number of artists and main artistic tendencies.

The museum of applied art

The museum was founded in 1950 and has over 32.000 objects of the national, European and non-European applied art. The collections follow the development of applied art during the period of 2400 years. The oldest objects date from IV century B.C. (money from ancient Greece), while the contemporary applied art collections present the modern artistic production.

Belgrade zoo

Belgrade Zoo, called "The garden of good will" was established in 1936. It spreads on around six hectares and is a home for about 200 animal species, or 2000 animals. This, for the animal loves favourite place also has a very popular Baby Zoo – a place for all the animals born in the Belgrade Zoo.

Captain Miša's Building

It was built in 1863 and is the foundation of captain Misa Anastasijevic. Today it holds the Belgrade University Rector's office. 

The Serbian Parliament

The construction of this building, for which architect Jovan Ilkic made the plan and king Peter I placed the foundation stone, started in 1906. The construction works were finished thirty years later and Ilkic’s son, Peter in classical style with renaissance elements, made the final plans. In 1939 a bronze sculpture "The play of black horses", the work of sculptor Toma Rosandić was erected in front of the parliament.

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