A Travellerspoint blog

Belgrade.

Serbia's Capital City.

sunny

large_7445735-Sweet_smelling_Serbian_roses_Belgrade.jpg
sweet Smelling Serbian Roses.

Belgrade.

We first went to Belgrade around 1988. At that time there was still a Yugoslavia and Belgrade was its capital city. We travelled there from Istanbul, where my husband was working. It was a hellish journey: train from Istanbul to Thessaloniki - one night in a hotel there to recover - then train from Thessaloniki to Belgrade. The journey was horrific. The train was so slow and very, very crowded and incredibly hot, though I will say our fellow passengers were very friendly and shared food with us. We did not stay overnight in Belgrade. We travelled from it to Ljubljana then onto Austria where we worked in a summer school. At the end of the summer school, we travelled back to Istanbul by train and stopped in Belgrade again. Things I remember about the city are: the fortress, it was more rundown than nowadays and was filled with people playing sports; swimming in the river to cool down; going for a Chinese meal in a restaurant where the Yugoslavian waiters and waitresses dressed up to look Chinese.

In 2015 we returned to Belgrade again. This time we stopped here for four nights. Our original plan was to explore Belgrade plus visit Novi Sad or Smederova or both. In the end we visited neither because my husband injured his foot. One of his toes ended up badly cut and since he has previously had a toe amputated after it developed gangrene following an injury, we had to take it seriously. Thus our first full day, prior to his injury, was hectic and packed with sightseeing, our second day I did a little sightseeing on my own while he rested and our third day we both did a small amount of sightseeing. We were not too disappointed, these things happen and it gives us a good excuse to return.

Belgrade means the White City. It is the largest city in Serbia and its capital. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers. It is a relaxed city with lots of open-air restaurants, cafes and bars. Apparently it is a great place for nightlife nowadays, though being an old fogy I cannot actually confirm this myself.

Restaurants.

The Monument: Excellent Meal.

This restaurant is located in a little park next to an old Turkish baths across from Ascension Church. We only ate here because it was close to our hotel and my husband, having injured his foot, could not walk far. However, we were very glad we did eat here. The service was friendly and the food was the best we had all holiday. I had a pizza and my husband had an absolutely lovely pork dish served with parmesan potatoes.

Hotels.

Hotel Rex: Convenient Location, Good Hotel.

We got an excellent deal on this accommodation and would most certainly stay here again. To reach the hotel from the railway station, exit the main station exit, cross the busy road at the crossing, walk up Nemanjina, then turn right onto Sarajevska. It is only a ten minute walk. We went wrong because we exited the station via the exit in a straight line with the rail lines. This turned out to be a side exit. We should have walked round the corner to the main exit. Check in was fine and we were given a free map of Belgrade. Our room was comfortable enough. The air con worked well. There was free wifi which worked adequately. The room had a fridge. We arrived very late and were very pleased to see the cold beers awaiting us in the minibar. The room was lovely and quiet at night and we slept really well here. Breakfast at the hotel was buffet style. It was always quite busy but there was plenty of choice: cereal, hot food, bread, cheese, cold meat, cake. I especially enjoyed the cheese borek. There was also coffee, tea and juices. We ate in the hotel restaurant one night. There is an outdoor seating area near the car park. The food was good. We both had pork dishes and shared a shopska salad and fries. The beer was good. The only negative thing I have to say about the hotel is that the car park was also the entrance way and it ended up choc-a-block in the evening so you had to squeeze past cars to get in. Hotel Rex is in a good location. It is very handy for the train and bus station. There are lots of convenience stores nearby. There are lots of ATMs nearby. It is not far to walk into the centre from here. The hotel is also close to bus and tram routes. Despite its central location it is nice and quiet at night. Address: Sarajevska 37, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia.

Hotel Rex - Belgrade

Hotel Rex - Belgrade

Hotel Rex - Belgrade

Hotel Rex - Belgrade

Things to Do.

The Church of the Ascension.

This church was not actually on our to do list, but it was quite near to our hotel so it was the first sight we visited. We had a look at the lovely artwork inside, too, but did not photograph it. I think when we visited it was just before a service as there were quite a lot of people standing around waiting for something to happen including some musicians. This church dates from 1863.

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The Church of the Ascension.

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The Church of the Ascension.

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The Church of the Ascension.

Bombed out buildings

We did not notice the bombed out buildings near the church on Kneza Milosa until later on in our stay. These buildings were destroyed during the fighting that led to the break up of Yugoslavia. They have been kept deliberately to show that Serbs were also victims in these wars. They are a sad sight, surrounded as they are by very impressive buildings on all sides.

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Bombed out buildings.

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Bombed out buildings.

Bombed out buildings - Belgrade

Bombed out buildings - Belgrade

Bombed out buildings - Belgrade

Bombed out buildings - Belgrade

Knez Milos Monument.

In the little park near the burned out buildings and the church there was a statue depicting the struggle between Serbs and Ottomans; Christianity and Islam. Serbia was at one time part of the Ottoman Empire and rebelled against the Ottomans on several occasions.

Statue - Belgrade

Statue - Belgrade


Knez Milos Monument.

Statue - Belgrade

Statue - Belgrade


Knez Milos Monument.

The Railway Museum.

Neither of us are overly fond of museums so we had no intention of visiting this sight, but we did like the look of the steam engine outside the front door. The building housing the museum was very very impressive.

The Railway Museum - Belgrade

The Railway Museum - Belgrade

The Railway Museum - Belgrade

The Railway Museum - Belgrade

Pioneers Park.

This is a pleasant little park not far from the National Assembly. As well as having lots of shady seats where you can sit and watch the world pass by, it also had lots of statues and an attractive fountain. There were law courts nearby, too. This park was opened in 1944. Before it was a park, it was a palace garden.

Pioneers Park - Belgrade

Pioneers Park - Belgrade

Pioneers Park - Belgrade

Pioneers Park - Belgrade

Pioneers Park - Belgrade

Pioneers Park - Belgrade

The National Assembly Building.

This is an impressive looking building which I remember well from our previous visits in the eighties. There are two statues of men with horses in front of it. In the eighties I took a picture of one of these. I did not realise this was not allowed and a policeman appeared and threatened to take away my camera and expose my film. We had a huge argument conducted in two languages with lots of shouting and hand waving before he finally let me go. This time I took photos again, but with no consequences. Sadly there was a very long banner outside the National Assembly containing names and phots of Serbs killed in the collapse of Yugoslavia.

The National Assembly Building - Belgrade

The National Assembly Building - Belgrade

The National Assembly Building - Belgrade

The National Assembly Building - Belgrade

Trg Nikole Pasica.

This square has a statue and some quite impressive fountains. I know we visited this in the eighties, too, because I have a photo of a much younger version of me sitting next to it in one of our albums in Hong Kong.

Trg Nikole Pasica - Belgrade

Trg Nikole Pasica - Belgrade

Trg Nikole Pasica - Belgrade

Trg Nikole Pasica - Belgrade

The Hotel Moscow.

I thought this hotel looked pretty impressive which is why I took some pictures of it. We did not venture inside. The hotel is located on Terazije Square. The building is in Art Nouveau style and dates from 1907.

The Hotel Moscow - Belgrade

The Hotel Moscow - Belgrade

The Hotel Moscow - Belgrade

The Hotel Moscow - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress.

The Kalemegdan Fortress is located on a hill overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers. The first fortress on this site was built by the Ancient Romans. In the first century AD it became the headquarters of the fourth Flavian Legion. Very little remains of the Roman site. The current fortress mainly dates from the eighteenth century. A lot of the fortress walls, gates and towers remain. It is also home to a Military Museum.

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Kalemegdan Fortress.

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

The Kalemegdan Fortress has several interesting sculptures. The most famous is probably Pobednik or Viktor which is the symbol of Belgrade. He stands proudly at the top of a tall column. Another famous sculpture is a fountain called The Struggle depicting a man battling an enormous snake.
There is also a monument to the French in gratitude to their help during wartime.

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Sculptures - Belgrade

From the fortress there are wonderful views over the Sava and Danube Rivers and their confluence. The Sava is lined with many party boats which offer drinks, food and loud music. The best views are probably from the plateau where the Viktor Column is located.

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Views - Belgrade

Two churches are located within the fortress complex. One is called the Church of Saint Petka; the other is Ruzica Church. Saint Petka’s dates from 1937 and is located on the site of a miraculous spring.

Kalemegdan Fortress - Churches - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Churches - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Churches - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Churches - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Churches - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Churches - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Churches - Belgrade

Kalemegdan Fortress - Churches - Belgrade

The Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel.

This church dates from 1845. It is located on the site of an earlier church which was destroyed by the Ottomans. The interior was very beautiful, but photographing it was not allowed. When we visited there was a Christening going on. We listened to the service for a while without interrupting. Opposite the cathedral was another beautiful building which dates from 1935 and is the seat of the Patriarch of the Serbian National Church. Near the cathedral there is a restaurant called ?. It is located in one of the oldest buildings in Belgrade dating from 1823. The restaurants strange name comes from the Orthodox Cathedral objecting to its original name.

The Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel - Belgrade

The Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel - Belgrade

The Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel - Belgrade

The Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel - Belgrade

The Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel - Belgrade

The Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel - Belgrade

Princess Ljubica’s Residence.

This is a really stunning building. It is now a museum but we did not go in, just looked from the outside. This building was built around the first half of the nineteenth century by Prince Milos Obrenovic for his family: Princess Ljubica and sons Milan and Mihailo.

Princess Ljubica’s Residence - Belgrade

Princess Ljubica’s Residence - Belgrade

Bayrakli Mosque.

This little mosque was built around 1575 during the Ottoman occupation of Belgrade. Bayrakli is Turkish for with a flag. This name comes from the fact that a flag was raised to mark the beginning of prayer times.

Bayrakli Mosque - Belgrade

Bayrakli Mosque - Belgrade

Republic Square.

This is the main city square. It is home to the National Theatre which was covered in scaffolding and undergoing renovation when we visited. The square also has a monument to Prince Mihailo which dates from 1882. On our visit Republic Square was hosting an exhibition of transformers. These models are made of scrap metal and were created by an artist from Podgorica. We had been expecting to see them in Podgorica and were surprised to find them in Belgrade.

Republic Square - Belgrade

Republic Square - Belgrade

Republic Square - Belgrade

Republic Square - Belgrade

Republic Square - Belgrade

Republic Square - Belgrade



Republic Square - Belgrade

Republic Square - Belgrade

Studentski Square.

This is another very pleasant square with shady seats and lots of statues. The ethnographic Museum is located here. Nearby is the tomb of Sheik Mustapha. We sat here for a while to escape the sun and avail ourselves of the free wifi.

Studentski Square - Belgrade

Studentski Square - Belgrade

Studentski Square - Belgrade

Studentski Square - Belgrade

Saint Mark’s Church.

This is an attractive looking church. It was built between 1931 and 1940. I went inside but took no photographs as they were forbidden. The church is located next to Tasmajdan Park which is a pleasant place for a seat or a stroll. It has a fountain and several interesting statues.

Saint Mark’s Church - Belgrade

Saint Mark’s Church - Belgrade

Saint Mark’s Church - Belgrade

Saint Mark’s Church - Belgrade



Saint Mark’s Church - Belgrade

Saint Mark’s Church - Belgrade

Saint Mark’s Church - Belgrade

Saint Mark’s Church - Belgrade

The Russian Church.

This church is located near Skadarlija the Bohemian restaurant area. It is an attractive looking building. It was lovely both inside and out, but I only photographed the outside. I was surprised to be approached outside the church by a pregnant woman who asked me for money. It was the only time in Serbia I was asked for money and the lady in question looked better off than me, hence my surprise.

Saint Sava’s Temple.

This is a huge building which can be seen from a long way away. Saint Sava was the first Archbishop of Serbia. He lived from 1169 to 1236. This church is built on the site where Saint Sava’s remains were burnt by the ottomans. Although the building is impressive on the outside, it is not finished on the inside and there is still lots of work going on.

Saint Sava’s Temple - Belgrade

Saint Sava’s Temple - Belgrade

Saint Sava’s Temple - Belgrade

Saint Sava’s Temple - Belgrade

Saint Sava’s Temple - Belgrade

Saint Sava’s Temple - Belgrade

Saint Sava’s Temple - Belgrade

Saint Sava’s Temple - Belgrade



Skadarlija.

Skadarlija is a steep cobbled street. In the early twentieth century it was a Bohemian, artistic quarter frequented by poets, artists, writers. Nowadays it is lined with restaurants such as The Two Deers, The Three Hats. It is a popular place with tourists. We did not eat here.

Skadarlija - Belgrade

Skadarlija - Belgrade

Skadarlija - Belgrade

Skadarlija - Belgrade

Skadarlija - Belgrade

Skadarlija - Belgrade

Skadarlija - Belgrade

Skadarlija - Belgrade

The House of Flowers: Tito's Mausoleum.

The House of Flowers is the final resting place of Josef Broz Tito. To visit it you must buy a combined ticket with the adjacent Museum of Yugoslav History. In the Museum of Yugoslav History I watched a film celebrating Tito’s life by showing news footage of his overseas trips and dealings with the leaders of other countries. Upstairs in this building displays of paintings and sculptures showed how Serbia suffered in World War II. This museum complex normally includes The Old Museum which houses gifts awarded to Tito by foreign heads of state. This was closed when I visited. Tito’s tomb is located in a building surrounded by a flower and statue filled garden. His tomb is next to the tomb of his wife. In the same room there is a display of batons presented to Tito on various Youth Days.

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

The House of Flowers - Belgrade

Posted by irenevt 03:02 Archived in Serbia

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