Belgrade - City Ambients
The hill above the confluence of the
Sava and the Danube, the Turks called Ficirbajir (Hill
for contemplation). Kalemegdan is a Turkish name, which
means a fortress (town) field, an actual area between
the fortress and Belgrade.
The town of Belgrade was surrendered to the Serbs in
1867. Following the edict issued by the Turkish sultan,
the town keys were handed over to Prince Mihailo in
Kalemegdan. At the end of the 19th century, this area
become a big park with a promenade. Numerous remains
recount the turbulent history of Belgrade.
This area is situated in the northwestern
part of old Belgrade, on a hill towards the river Sava.
A medieval Serbian settlement was founded here, with
a church and cementery. At the beginning of the 19th
century, this area, which was initially the core of
the town, began to expand. Today, this part of the town
preserves the spirit of old Belgrade with its buildings
Knez Mihajlova Street
The pedestrian zone and culture are
under protection as one of the oldest and most valuable
city ambients. Numerous monuments, remarkable buildings
and private houses were built around 1870. It is considered
that even during the Roman period this was the centre
of Singidunum settlement. During the period of Turkish
rule, winding streets with gardens, fountains and mosques
intersected the area.
The area covering the present Republic
Square was uninhabited until 1835, spreading behind
Stambol Gate. After the Gate had been demolished, the
construction material was used for building a number
of houses in the square, right in front of the theatre,
a moument to Prince Mihailo Obrenovic was built in 1882.
Turkish tombstones used to cover the
area of the present-day square. In the 2nd half of the
19th century, the gorund was levelled and turned into
the Grand Marketplace. The edifice of Kapetan Mišina
Building, with its bright facade and reddish ornaments
on the window and doors, overlooks the square. When
Belgrade came under Serbian rule, the market area was
levelled and turned into a park.
Dorcol is a Turkish word, which meand
a crossroad. This area, known as the Danube Town, was
demolished and burnt down in every single war. The oldest
house dates from 1724, and is situated at 10, Cara Dušana
Street. The most significant 19th century buildings
are Museum of Dositej and Vuk House of Sveti Sava, as
well as the building of Pedagogical Academy.
This old bohemian quarter, with numerous
restaurants, used to be gathering point of the most
famous people of Belgrade cultural life. It was formed
in the first half of the 19th century, while the name
of Skadarska Street dates from 1872, when the houses
were assigned numbers. Among the residents of Skadarlija
were famous writers, actors, painters and jurnalists.
Botanical Garden – Jevremovac
Josif Pancic, in 1874 initiated the
founding of Royal Botanical Garden. Initially, it was
situated in Dorcol, on the Danube bank, but was moved
to the present location in 1889. It was named Jevrem
s Garden, after the area it occupies. Jevremovac used
to be owned by Jevrem Obrenovic, king Milan s Grandfather.
Today, the Botanical Garden grows over 2,000 local,
European and exotic examples of trees, bushes and other
Today s city centre used to be a marshland
and a desert plain away from the town trenches. Terazije
was named after the towns that were used by to distribute
water – the Turks called it ‚‚terazije‚‚ (scales for
water). The building of Terazije begins in 1860, when
in 1860, when Terazije Fountain, built in the memory
of Prince Miloš Obrenovic replaced the water towers.
The area of Zeleni Venac (Green Girdle)
used t be a deep marsh, with an inn on its bank. The
inn had a girdle sign made of green tin, and the whole
are was named after it. After the marsh had been dried
in 1840s, a small square was built then a park, and
finally a market place, which exists today.
Kneza Miloša Street
One of the longest and most beautiful
city streets. Until 1872 it used to be called Topcider
road, for it represented the main communication between
the town and Topcider area. Today it houses numerous
institutions and embassies.
Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard
In mid 18th century a long road to
Istanbul lived where this Boulevard is today. Bit by
nit, the road become Sokace kod Zlatnog Topa (Golden
Cannons Street), then Markova Street. Soon after this,
it was named Fišeklija (Cartridge Belt), after the wooden
shops where gunpowder was slod in cartridges. At the
World War II, it was called Bulevar Oslobodjenja (Liberation
Boulevard), and Bulevar Revolucije (Revolution Boulevard).
It retook the name of Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard in
the early 21st century.
For centuries it had ben used as quarry.
Early inhabitans of Belgrade, digging caves deep into
Tašmajdanski rock, created catacombs and stone halls
with symmetrically aranged corridors. This area was
used as a cemetery, from Roman necropolis to a Turkish
cemetery at the end of 19th century. Present Tašmajdan
Park was planted with trees and designed as in the early
years, after World War II.
Dimitrije Tucovic Square –
This square was originally called Simic
s Estate, for the property belonged to Stojan Simic,
president of the ministary council. This area was formerly
a favourite site for duck and game hunting, until 1870s
when it become inhabited. Soon after that, the square
was named Englezovac, after Francis Mackenzie, a Scot
who bought this property from Simic. Right until the
end of World War II this square was called Slavija.
Topcider is a Turkish word, adopted
from the Persian language, which means cannon valley.
Here is where the Turks cast the cannons used to attack
Belgrade in 1521. Princ Miloš Obrenovic started designing
Topcider, by building his residence in 1831, the church
in 1834, then a restaurant, army barracks and the park.
The area surrounding the residence was planted by plane
trees, which still exist.
The first horse races in Belgrade took
place in 1822, in the area behind Saint Marko Church.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the horse track
was moved to Banjica. Prior to the Valkan wars, it was
moved to the field at Careva Cuprija (The Emperor s
Bridge), where it remained.
Vinca is a mining Neolithic settlement
discovered in 1905, close to the confluence of the Bolecica
and the Danube. It represents the oldest discovered
culture in this part of the world, developing simultaneously
with the Mediterranean cultures. Among the material
items discovered, were tools made of stone and bones.
Along with them were ceramic items carved with authentic
mysterious symbols, dating from the same period as the
Cretan alphabet, 10 millennia ago.
Neolithic people founded a settlement
here, using a conveniet location of the Danube and the
Sava riverbanks. In the 3rd century B.C: this area was
inhabited by the Celtic tribe of Scordisci and given
the name of Taurunum. The Slavs introduced the toponym
of Zemun, for there were numerous dugouts (zemunice),
occupied by the first inhabitants of this settlement.
The history of Zemun as a modern town starts in 1717,
when it become a part of the Habsburg Monarchy.