Hidden Belgrade (5): Museum Macura

Due to the low public and private investment in art in Serbia in the past three decades, there have been only a few remarkable additions to the cultural map of Belgrade, and quite a few remarkable subtractions, like the National Museum and Museum of Contemporary art. Probably the most exciting new(ish) spot in greater Belgrade’s museum scene is a temple to 20th century avant-garde perched … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (5): Museum Macura

Hidden Belgrade (4): Unusual churches

Although Belgrade’s oldest existing religious building is in fact Bajrakli mosque (built in 1575), it is the Orthodox Cathedral,  Temple of St Sava and St Mark’s church that came to define iconic city views. In the recent boom in church building there are few new interesting places of worship, as most of the new temples are built according to conservative tastes of churchgoers.  Nevertheless, there are three fantastic … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (4): Unusual churches

Hidden Belgrade (3): Pre-hipster artisan shops

I have always claimed that Serbs (and Balkan folk in general) have been the original hipsters. Long before “Kinfolk” and “Monocle”, my grandmother, who was born and lived her whole life in Belgrade, roasted and ground her own coffee, ate only organic food from the farmers’ market and shopped at the local artisan stores, from seamstresses to small pastry-makers. Old artisan shops, the remnants of this … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (3): Pre-hipster artisan shops

Hidden Belgrade (2): Legacy of Petar Lubarda in Dedinje

This year marks 110 years since the birth of Petar Lubarda, one of the most accomplished Yugoslav artists. Lubarda’s colourful, raw works, reminiscent of the barren and dramatic landscapes of his native Montenegro, achieved international recognition during the 1950s and 60s. His career peaked when he beat Picasso and Dali for a Grand Prix at Sao Paolo Art Biennial in 1953. A stone’s throw away … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (2): Legacy of Petar Lubarda in Dedinje

Hidden Belgrade (1): Works of Dragutin Inkiostri Medenjak

Like any city that has been around for about two millennia, Belgrade is filled with fantastic stories of people and places that have made it what it is . Unfortunately, due to its turbulent past,  frequent destructions and mass migrations, many of these stories are precariously close to perishing. In the time when even the most beautiful old house can fall prey to a sledgehammer … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (1): Works of Dragutin Inkiostri Medenjak

Ljubljana + Postojna: Wandering among castles and dragons

The magic of Slovenia can transform even a crappy solo trip into a pleasant experience In 2013, work led me to Ljubljana. I spent four very intense months there, during which I had little opportunity to explore the rest of the country, as I was working 24/7. Due to the frantic pace of work, the city, even though it only had around 300,000 souls and … Continue reading Ljubljana + Postojna: Wandering among castles and dragons

Trieste: Italy’s hidden gem

While I was growing up in Milošević’s rump Yugoslavia, Trieste was to me a mythical city of my parents’ stories. In them, Trieste figured not only as a thriving market for Western wares for Yugoslavs – jeans, toys and appliances – but was also as a stage where some of the funniest family stories, petty arguments and mishaps, played out and conjured those lost care-free days. … Continue reading Trieste: Italy’s hidden gem

April in Belgrade: Photos from pro-democracy protests

After a sort of Easter break, the protests for media freedom and democracy continue today. They started on 3 April, after PM Aleksandar Vučić won the Presidential election, and  gathered large crowds across Serbia demanding free media, democratic control, fair elections and social justice. In Belgrade, on Saturday 9 April there were a few tens of thousands marching from the main Serbian government building in … Continue reading April in Belgrade: Photos from pro-democracy protests

Belgrade in 7 songs

7 songs that capture the capital’s undoubtable, but even changing swag in the past 50 years 1963: Beograde – Đorđe Marjanović Đorđe Marjanović was the first post-war pop sensation. A trained pharmacist, he was the first Yugoslav star to gyrate around the stage and have a cult following by Đokisti, as his fans were called. Đokisti even started a minor riot in Belgrade after a … Continue reading Belgrade in 7 songs