CITYBREAK – 2 DAYS
DAY 1 | DAY 2
Belgrade was a target of conquerors for centuries. It was ruined and rebuild almost 40 times.
We offer you a unique opportunity to compare variations in culture and architecture in different parts of Belgrade under Austro-Hungarian Empire, with those under the rule of Turkish Ottoman Empire.
KALEMEGDAN- Belgrade Fortress
Kalemegdan is the oldest part of the city and the most beautiful and biggest park in Belgrade. It is comprised of the Upper and Lower City and Kalemegdan Park.
Its name derives from the two Turkish words – KALE which means FORT and MEGDAN which means FIELD.
The first fortress was built by the Celts in the 4th century AD and was known by the Romans as Singidunum.
In the period between 378 A.D. and 441 A.D. the Roman settlement was being destroyed in the invasions by the Goths and the Huns.
The Byzantine Emperor Justinian rebuilt the Fortress around 535 A.D. In the following centuries it suffered continuous destruction under the Avar sieges.
The Fortress remained a Byzantine stronghold until the 12th century when it fell in the hands of a newly emerging Serbian state.
At the end of the 13th century Belgrade became its cultural and commercial center. 132 years after the Battle of Kosovo in 1521 the Fortress, like most parts of the Serbian state, was conquered by the Turks and remained under the rule of the Ottoman Empire until the year 1867 when the Turks withdrew from Belgrade.
The symbol of Belgrade “ The Victor” is a strong warrior, with a sword in one hand and the falcon in the other. The monument, work of sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, was unveiled in 1928 in memory of the breakthrough of Thessalonica front during the World War I.
Church of the Holy Mother – Ruzica
It is located near north-east walls of Belgrade Fortress, under the Zindan gate. In the time of Despot Stefan Lazarevic there was an old church of the same name, which was destroyed when the Turks conquered Belgrade in 1521. What is now the church, was a gunpowder storage in the XVIII century, and turned into a military church in 1867-1869. The iconostasis has been made by Kosta Todorovic and the wall paintings were made by a Russian artist Andrey Bitsenko.
Saint Petka Church
It is located in the immediate vicinity of the Ruzica Church.
The Church is dedicated to Saint Petka whose relics were kept there for a long time, until the Turks transferred them to Constantinople. This church is also well known as Vodica (Water) because there is a spring below the church which was believed to have miraculous healing powers.
The present chapel was built in 1937 according to project made by the architect Momir Korunovic. Its interior walls and vaults are covered with mosaics, made by the artist Djuro Radulovic in 1980-1983.
Tower was build in 1460 to protect the entrance leading to the old pier. During the Turkish rule, it was turned into prison. In this tower the famous Greek revolutionary and poet was killed in 1789.
KNEZ MIHAILOVA STREET
Knez Mihailova Street is the central pedestrian zone of Belgrade with the oldest and the most representative buildings made towards the end of the 18th century. This is also the street where lived the richest and the most important families in Belgrade and also the first street in Belgrade to get its name, in 1870.
This street has always been the heart of Belgrade, even the center of Singidunum settlement in the period of Roman Empire.
Today, Knez Mihailova Street is the main commercial zone of Belgrade and also the cenre of significant national institutions such as Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, Belgrade City Library, Faculty of Fine Arts, The German, Spanish and French Cultural centres…
Republic Square was laid out at the location of the Stambol Gate, demolished in 1866 upon the order of Prince Mihailo. The huge, stone-built Stambol Gate, had been built by the Austrians at the beginning of the XVIII century, and stood in the area between the present monument to Prince Mihailo and the National Theatre building. It was the largest and most beautiful town gate at the time when Belgrade was encircled by the moat. It was named after the road which led through it - to Constantinople (Istanbul). This gate also remained seared on people's memory because it had been built at the spot where the Turks used to execute the Serbs in the most cruel way, by impaling them on stakes in order to frighten those who wanted to rebel against the Turkish rule.
Monument to Prince Mihailo Obrenovic
The Square is dominated by the monument to Prince Mihailo Obrenovic, an equestrian statue cast in bronze , made b y Enrico Pazzio, a sculptor from Florence. The monument concept was focused on the idea of liberation of Serbia from Turks. Republic Square is the most preferred place for major manifestations, such as New Year Parties, when hundreds of thousands of joyous Belgraders crowd the place.
The Square is named Terazije after the water collector towers that Turks built in order to obtain higher water pressure in the water supply system. They called these towers water scales (terazije). When the Terazije Fountain was built in 1860, the square started to form around it followed by the construction of numerous hotels, taverns and shop.
The most representative building on this square is the “Moscow” Hotel, constructed in 1906. Until the World War II this hotel was the center of Belgrade’s cultural and diplomatic life.
In 1936, on the foundations of the old hotel, the new "Balkan" Hotel was built. On the site of a small "Albania" cafe, a palace of the same name was constructed in 1938.
SAINT SAVA TEMPLE
Saint Sava, first Serbian archbishop, was the son of Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the “Holy Dynasty of Nemanjic”. As a young boy, he has longed for spiritual life, so at the age of seventeen he gave up the title of Serbian prince and became a monk on Holy Mount Athos, where he got the name Sava. From the emperor and the patriarch, Sava has obtained independence of the Serbian Church, and he has become the first Serbian archbishop. Together with his father, Sava has raised up on of the most important Serbian monasteries, Chilandar in 1198., and, later on, many other monasteries, churches and school all over Serbia. He has travelled twice as a pilgrim to the Holy Land. He died in Trnovo, during the rule of emperor Asen, on January 12, 1236, because he got sick after the Epiphany service. King Vladislav has transferred Sava's remains to the Mileseva monastery, but the Turkish Sinan-pasha took the remains and burned them in Vracar, Belgrade, on April 27, 1594.
Saint Sava is praised as the first Serbian teacher and educator and on January 27 th schools in Serbia celebrate him as their Patron Saint. The temple of Saint Sava is the biggest Orthodox Church in the Balkans. It is built in Serbian-Byzantine style, with four, 44 m high belfries. The dome is 70 m high, while the main gold plated cross is another 12 m high, which gives a total of 82 m to the height Cathedral of Saint Sava. The peak is 134 m (439.6 ft) above the sea level therefore the church holds a dominant position in Belgrade 's cityscape and is visible from all approaches to the city.The basement contains a crypt, the treasury of Saint Sava, and the grave church of Saint Lazar the Hieromartyr.
The Parliament is an impressive edifice, built in 1936. It is placed in the centre of Belgrade , on the Nikola Pasic Square , in front of Pioneer's park. Prior to its use for the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro , it served as the seat of parliament for Yugoslavia.
The imposing Parliament is further enhanced by two symmetrical bronze sculpture compositions known as “The Dance of Black Horses”, placed in front of the main Parliament entrance. The interior was designed by well-known Russian immigrant architect Nikolay Krasnov.
Optional: SAINT MARK’S CHURCH
St. Mark's Church, located at Tasmajdan, park in Belgrade , near the Parliament, was built in the 1931-1940 period at the place where the old church from 1835 used to be. It was designed by architects Petar and Branko Krstic, in Serbian-Byzantine style.
At the south part is a sarcophagus with the remains of Czar Dusan, the most important conqueror and statesman in Serbian medieval history, brought here from his endowment, the monastery of St. Michael the Archangel near Prizren. On the north side is the white marble crypt containing the remains of Patriarch German Djoric. One of the most valuable collections of Serbian XVIII and XIX-century icons is kept in this church.
Optional: CHURCH OF SAINT ALEXANDER NEVSKY
When Russians came to Serbia in 1876 to help their orthodox brothers and they bought with them moving church dedicated to Alexander Nevsky. In 1877 permanent church made of stone was built but only fourteen years later in 1891 church was demolished 1891 when a decision was made to build a larger church. The project was designed by the architect Jelisaveta Nacic, and the foundations were consecrated in 1912. Balkan Wars and World War I postponed the construction of the church, so it was not completed until 1928-1929. King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic donated the marble iconostasis.
SKADARLIA - BOHEMIAN QUARTER
Paris has Montmartre , Vienna has Grienzig, Athens has Plaka and Belgrade has Skadarlija.The present Skadarlija, originally a narrow, winding alley paved with Turkish cobble-stone, is a remarkable Belgrade tourist attraction, that resisted the ravages of time for more than two centuries. It is located in the municipality of Stari Grad ( Old Town ). Belgraders are proud of their Skadarska Street in which time is measured by centuries and, to them, it is what Montmartre is for Parisians. There is no king, president or emperor who did not visit this street.
It includes well-known restaurants, hotels, art galleries, antique and souvenir shops, As soon as the evening comes, in taverns such as ‘Three hats', 'Two White pigeons', ‘ two Deer'… the best wine is served and supreme culinary masters serve the specialties of Skadarska Street. Every weekend during summer months this street is turned into a big exhibition space hosting traditional antique exhibition. Groups playing Serbian brass or traditional urban music and actors dressed in traditional Serb costumes perform down the street.
DAY 1 | DAY 2