Skadarlija the bohemian quarter
Skadarlija is a historic street, in an urban neighborhood in the downtown area of Belgrade. It is considered the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade, and is often referred to as ‘the Montmartre of Belgrade’. The history of Skadarlija began in the 1830s with the settlement of Gypsies in the abandoned trenches in front of the ramparts. The 1854 town plan of Belgrade reveals that the Gypsy hovels had been replaced by brick buildings into which artisans, caterers, petty clerks and others had moved into. The whole locality was referred to as the Gypsy Quarter until 1872, when the street was named after the town of Skadar, which was the capital of the Serbian medieval state.
Skadarlija began to acquire its bohemian character over the last few decades of the 19th century, and particularly after 1901,when the well-known Dardaneli Inn was demolished and its guests, prominent writers and actors, moved to the Skadarlija inns or kafanas. The best-known of these kafanas were Tri šešira (“Three Hats”), Dva jelena (“Two Deer”), Zlatni bokal (“The Golden Chalice”), Bandist, East, Guild, Vuk Karadžić & The Two Sergeants. The first three of these still survive today, joined by some new restaurants…
Today Skadarlija is a short & curved street & a remarkable Belgrade tourist attraction. It includes well-known restaurants, hotels, art galleries, antique and souvenir shops & the Sebilj fountain. Groups playing Serbian brass or traditional urban music & actors dressed in traditional Serb costumes perform up & down the street. Restaurants offer the national Serbian cuisine, most notably roštilj (grilled meat) with pivo (beer).
Saint Sava Temple is the largest Orthodox temple in the Balkans. It was built in the Serbo-Byzantine style and including the cross on top of the dome, it is 82 meters high. The temple is still under construction, although major works ended in 2004. The construction of the church lasted more than planed because of wars, poverty and partly because of communist rule. Church is so big that can seat more than 10,000 people at the same time. Saint Sava Temple is known for its polyphonic bells so make sure to get to the Temple at
a full hour to hear them.
It is built on the place where Turks burned remains of Saint Sava. Saint Sava, born as Rastko Nemanjić, was son of Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja and a founder of Hilandar Monastery on Athos Mountain. In 1219, he founded Serbian Orthodox Church by winning independence from Byzantium. He is considered Serbian educator, saint and patron of schools and education establishments. Although church is still under construction, you can visit it during the day and evening.
The Belgrade Fortress is one of the seven forts on the Danube, through Serbia. It rises over the confluence of Sava and Danube rivers, and stands as the confirmation of the significance of this water crossroads of cultures, economic and political influences between the East and the West.
In the sight of the city, the Belgrade fortress dominates by its position, grandeur and beauty of the reconstructed walls. Few visitors know that it was being constructed from the 2nd to the 18th century. It is the biggest preserved city fortification that testifies to the legacy and trends in the European military architecture over the past two millennia. During the second century the fortress was built as an antique castrum in Singidunum, and one of many legion camps along the Roman empire borders. It was resisting the attacks of attempting conquerors until the 7th century, when on its ruins the first Slavic settlement was built – Beli Grad (White City). The new fortress, a medieval castle, was built in the 12th century, for the needs of protecting the borders of the Serbian state, and especially from the Turkish breakthrough in the 15th century. In that era, the castle was also the court of Serbian ruler despot Stefan Lazarevic, and the wartime port was built on the Sava River. Also erected were the fortifications of the Lower and Upper Town, where important state institutions were located.
In 16tht and 17th centuries, during the Turkish rule, the fortress was not renovated. Next significant reconstruction took place in early 18th century, during the Habsburg Monarchy, and then it belonged among the strongest forts in Europe. Reminding of that period are fragments of the baroque façades on the gates. The Belgrade fortress has lost its military function after the Second World War, when the army left its walls. Few decades before, the earlier dueling field Kalemegdan had been arranged as a park, with many plant species in downtown Belgrade.
From the central Knez Mihajlova Street, which is now a pedestrian zone with shops of world renowned brands, the Upper Town of the fortress is entered through the Stambol (Istanbul) and Sahat (Clock) gates, while leading to the Lower Town are the Vidin and Mracna (dark) gates. Within the walls are the Military Museum, the Natural Museum Gallery and the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments, an unusual and beautiful architectural design, built in the 19th century for the needs of the Serbian Army. Drawing visitors’ attention is the Sahat gate from mid-18th century, made in the baroque style and some 30 meters high, whose clock still functions today.
The Belgrade fortress should be toured with a guide, to hear interesting stories of its landmarks. The victor monument, a work of sculptor Ivan Mestrovic from 1928, was erected to celebrate the breakthrough of the Thessalonica front in WWI. The exquisit figure of a naked man with a sword and a hawk in his arms, was put in the fortress, instead of the previously planned spot at the Terazije square, as insisted by Belgrade women, with the explanation that it offends the public moral. Not far from it is the Roman Well, 60 meters deep, in which the stairs reach the water level at 35 meters. Also interesting are the legends of underground corridors that go under the riverbed of the Danube. At the very river bank, in the Lower Town, is the cannon tower Nebojsa, more than 20 meters tall, which used to defend the entrance to the port. Durign the Turkish era, it was used as a dungeon, where Greek revolutionary and poet Rigas Feraios lost his life.
The Avala Tower is a 204.5 m (671 ft) tall telecommunication tower located on Avala mountain in the periphery of Belgrade. It was destroyed in NATO bombardment of Serbia on 29 April 1999. On 21 December 2006, the reconstruction of Avala Tower commenced and the tower was officially opened at a ceremony on 21 April 2010. It is currently the tallest tower in Serbia and the Balkan region.
The tower was designed by architects Uglješa Bogdanović and Slobodan Janjić, and engineer Milan Krstić. Construction started on 14 October 1961 and was completed four years later in 1965. The tower weighed 4,000 tonnes (3,900 long tons; 4,400 short tons). Between 102 m (335 ft) and 135 m (443 ft), there was an enclosed observation deck. It was the only tower in the world to have an equilateral triangle as its cross section, and one of very few towers not perched directly into the ground, but standing on its legs. The legs formed a tripod, the symbol of Serbian tripod chair. It is one of the small number of towers to be constructed in that manner.
The tower was surmounted by an antenna, which was at first used for black and white television transmission. In 1971 the antenna was replaced by a new one for color TV transmission.
From the height of 102 metres to a 135 metres there was an all glass area to which visitors could come via two quick lifts.
The project, which was of high risk, was finished without any worker injuries or deaths, which was unusual for a project of its size.
After completion, with the 202.87 m (666 ft) height it was the fifth tallest self-supporting construction in the world, after Empire State Building, La Tour Eiffel,Chrysler Building and Grande Dixence Dam.
Nikola Tesla Museum
Nikola Tesla Museum is located in the central area of Belgrade, in a residential villa built in 1929 according to the project of Dragiša Brašovan, a distinguished Serbian architect. The building was used for various purposes until December 5, 1952, when Nikola Tesla Museum was founded in accordance with the decision of the Government of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.
The material for the Museum arrived in Belgrade according to the decision of the American court, which declared Mr. Sava Kosanovic, Tesla’s nephew, for the only rightful heir. In 1951, in accordance with Tesla’s last wish, Mr. Kosanovic transferred all the documents and Tesla’s personal things in Belgrade.
Nikola Tesla Museum is a unique institution of science and culture in Serbia and in the world. It is the only museum in the world which preserves the original and personal inheritance of Nikola Tesla. It possesses several exceptionally valuable collections:
above 160 000 original documents,
above 2000 books and journals,
above 1200 historical technical exhibits,
above 1500 photographs and photo plates of original, technical objects, instruments and apparatus,
above 1000 plans and drawings.
As the institution which preserves the most abundant in the world collection of documents on life and work of Nikola Tesla, the Museum plays a significant role in providing abundant information to the researchers of history of science, inventions and patent rights as well as for environmental protection projects and studies of pollution-free energy sources.
A particular role of the Museum is the organization, support and promotion of the investigations from the history of science, which could possibly afford a better recognition of Tesla’s contribution to the development of science and engineering at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.