Beyond Brutalism: Belgrade’s Magical Pre-WWII Architecture

Although best known for socialist modernism and brutalism, Belgrade’s architecture is (in)famously eclectic due to the various political twists and turns that shaped the city’s identity (as I’ve written here). Although through much of the 19th century, Belgrade’s foreign and foreign-educated architects were trying to find their feet by copying architecture of Serbia’s powerful neighbours, in early 20th century and arrival of art-nouveau, which embraced … Continue reading Beyond Brutalism: Belgrade’s Magical Pre-WWII Architecture

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Hidden Belgrade (38): Great Men Behind National Museum’s Tiny Egyptology Collection

Ever since Napoleon invaded Egypt at the turn of 19th Century, having  an Egyptological collection was a status symbol in the West. These collections, stuffed with precious ,strange mummies, statuses of animal-headed gods and golden trinkets not only served to pique the curiosity of the local educated elites but were also a symbol of civilisational continuity: that its current rulers and citizens are physically connected … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (38): Great Men Behind National Museum’s Tiny Egyptology Collection

Hip Markets to Majestic Mosaics: Four Things to Look Forward to in Belgrade in 2019

Due to a culture of unrealistic promises and hectic decision-making, it is often impossible to know for certain when, and even if things will happen in Belgrade. Nevertheless, in order to keep the spirits up during these dark snowy days here are four things, with a reasonably high probability of happing, which I hope will make life in Belgrade a bit more fun this year. … Continue reading Hip Markets to Majestic Mosaics: Four Things to Look Forward to in Belgrade in 2019

Christmas in Belgrade

Like with many thing, I only became aware of the joys of Serbian Christmas (explainer of what that means, and why it is on Jan 7 here), when I could no longer enjoy them. The day when it happened was 6 Jan 2008, at Heathrow,  and during the train trip to the outskirts of Coventry, UK where I was going for my second term at … Continue reading Christmas in Belgrade

Hidden Belgrade (36): ‘German Bridge’ and its Hero

Belgrade’s relationship with this iconic green-arched bridge, the city’s shortest and oldest continuously standing, started off in the worst possible way during the darkest days of World War II. After Nazi Germany attacked the Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941, the Royal Yugoslav Army blew up all of Belgrade’s bridges on the Sava and the Danube in order to slow down the enemy advance. … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (36): ‘German Bridge’ and its Hero

Hidden Belgrade (35): The Home of Serbian Expansionist Project

On August 10 1889, cannons announced the arrival of the teenage King Aleksandar Obrenovic to an empty plot in Dusanova street. Although cleared for years, the spot at which the young king was standing, held the remains of two empires between which the young Kingdom of Serbia was slowly growing. It used to be “Pirinc-han”: the palace of Eugene of Savoy during the Habsburg rule … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (35): The Home of Serbian Expansionist Project