Hidden Belgrade (20): Zemun’s Memories and Memorials

From its time as Taurunum in the Roman empire, all through today, Zemun was a vibrant city, often on the border of empires and as such a place of constant change and diversity. In the 19th and early 20th century, it housed a mix of Serbs, Croats, Germans and Jews, but due to the turmoil of WWII, much of its multicultural character changed. Throughout its … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (20): Zemun’s Memories and Memorials

Hidden Belgrade (19): Doppelgängers

Cities like to show their friendship by sharing the same monuments. New York and Paris share the Statue of Liberty (although the one in Paris is considerably smaller), while copies of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid are everywhere from Romania to Korea. Belgrade is no exception and there are (at least) four monuments which tie it to other places. Their stories feature old friendships, sunken ships and … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (19): Doppelgängers

Hidden Belgrade (18): Belgrade’s Amazon

There are few parts of Belgrade which receive as much mockery as the left bank of the Danube, that is Ovča, Borča and Krnjača (affectionately: “cha-cha-cha”). The general dislike, stems partly from to their unlovely names, and partly from their ramshackle urbanism and almost non-existent cultural life. So when I invited friends to join me for a walk in the nature there to spot birds … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (18): Belgrade’s Amazon

Hidden Belgrade (17): Belgrade’s Bavarian Protectress

From its beginnings, Belgrade was a multi-confessional city, due to its the location at crossroads or major trade routs and the borders of major empires, from the Romans to the Habsburgs. Although the city’s location brought diversity and rich history, it often proved disastrous. The city was burnt to ashes many times by defenders and conquerors alike, and its citizens were too often forced to … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (17): Belgrade’s Bavarian Protectress

Hidden Belgrade (16): The Forgotten Feminist Palace

If you pass through a hallway of an unassuming building with a blackened facade in Resavska 11, you will find yourself staring at a graceful jewel box of a building which currently houses Serbia’s leading folklore dance society AKUD “Lola”. Its pink and white facade, hides behind it one of the prettiest halls in Belgrade, decorated with wonderful chandeliers and elegant art-nouveau ornaments. This hall, … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (16): The Forgotten Feminist Palace

Hidden Belgrade (15): Belgrade’s hill of healing – KCS complex

Many of my childhood memories are from Belgrade’s largest hospital complex around KCS (Klinički Centar Srbije), as my grandmother and mother were going there daily to take care of my grandfather, in the chaotic days of hyperinflation of 1993. As a kid, I was mostly unaware of the sad state of the hospitals back then and thought it was normal that they were crumbling, loud … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (15): Belgrade’s hill of healing – KCS complex

Hidden Belgrade (14): Grafički kolektiv

  Unfortunately, this article would probably be better titled “Disappearing Belgrade”, as it is certain that Grafički kolektiv (“Graphics collective”), one of the city’s best galleries, will be no more, at least in its current from, from next August. Instead of its unique wooden interior, designed by Peđa Ristić in 1961, and examples the regions best print art hung on the walls, its premises at … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (14): Grafički kolektiv

Hidden Belgrade (13): Knez Mihailova’s unlucky merchants

Ever since the Roman times, the road that is now  Knez Mihailova street used to be the main commercial area of Belgrade. Starting from the old castrum (whose walls are buried below the new Rajićeva shopping mall and the Belgrade Public Library), the street, which was paved with stone and had sewerage, went past all the key Roman institutions , such as the forum located … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (13): Knez Mihailova’s unlucky merchants

Hidden Belgrade (12): Konjarnik: Buddhism, Brutalism and rap

As you approach Belgrade by highway from the East, you will pass a hill from which you will be able to see the whole city in front of you, but the view will be dominated by three massive stepped concrete buildings. Officially called Rudo, after a city in Bosnia, the complex is known as the Eastern Gate, in parrallel with another brutalist masterpiece that is … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (12): Konjarnik: Buddhism, Brutalism and rap

Hidden Belgrade (11): City of Stars

Despite its evocative name, Zvezdara (“Star-place”) municipality and its forest are rarely visited by Belgraders who don’t live there. Thankfully, I am aware of its beauty because I was born in Zvezdara and spent much of my early childhood learning how to ride bike and run at Olimp sports centre and sleding down its steep streets. The lovely name comes from the old Serbian name … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (11): City of Stars