Visit Belgrade Fair
The Belgrade Fair (Serbian: Београдски сајам, read: Beogradski sajam) is one of many reason why Belgrade is visited trough whole year by numerous people from Balkans.
Visit to Belgrade Fair is part of many business trips. There are organized collective visit all workers to specific presentation and promotion on fair.
Especially during Belgrade Book Fair many schools from region take organized tour and visit Fair.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
The curator of the Aircraft museum gave me a Serbian history redux, during which he detailed some of the many crimes he believed the Croats had committed against the Serbs. When I asked him why, out of the many shoulder flags I'd seen on the officers of the Dayton Accord Delegation that I'd toured the museum with, I'd not seen a single Croatian flag, but Slovenian, Bosnian, and others, he responded with typical Serbian tacitness, saying "The Bosnians and Slovenes we have no problem with any more..."
I wondered aloud about the Serbs view of General Tito. His mausoleum was a big draw for me, and yet I couldn't find it in any of the city's tourist literature. The mausoleum itself had no Serbs visiting, only myself and two people from China. I found this surprising given that he was such an important man to Yugoslavia, the country that Serbia continued to call itself even after its break up. Again the curator responded with tacitness, saying "General Tito was a Croat". That's all he needed to say.
But he said more. His view of the Partisans was that they were run by a Croat, General Tito, who kept as his second in command a Slovene, and whose high ranking officers were all Bosnians, Croats, and Slovenians. He noted that all the foot soldiers, the ones who died to Nazi bullets, were Serbians. Like Serbian tacitness, this was clear evidence of their feelings of perpetual victimization.
Tito's Mausoleum, given the unhelpful name "Garden of Flowers" by the Serbs, is very difficult to find, but very much worth the effort. Behind the entrance, guarded by a man who leaves his loaded gun accessible on the ticket counter while he fills in word puzzles several meters away, is a large garden dotted with statues of the great man himself, and includes Tito's grave, as well as a museum showing off the hundreds of gifts Tito received from around the world during his reign.
We went to play the game as group of friends and had a wonderful time. Basically, you are playing Sherlock Holmes. You and your team are locked inside a room and you need to find clues, puzzles, keys and solve all riddles you come across in order to get out. And you only have 60 minutes to do it. We played the Laboratory room which is a bit more difficult but didn't regret it one bit!
Will come back to check other ones soon!!!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Yugoslavian Military Museum
Serbia's history is long and bloody, so it's no surprise to find its military museum is fascinating. There's plenty to see from the farming implements used by medieval Croatian warriors, through the uniforms of the Turks that occupied the country, to the sniper rifles of the insurrectionists who chased the Turks out at the end of the 19th century. The best, however, is saved for last, in a special room where the Serbs proudly display their most recent military history: the bombing by NATO and the conflict in Kosovo.
It's proud, bitter and insightful. Proud because they show a piece of the Stealth Fighter that was shot down over Belgrade: the only Stealth plane ever lost by the US. Bitter because it shows the cluster bomb that was dropped on Nis, and killed 17 civilians, a type of bomb the museum indignantly points out is considered illegal under international law.
Finally there is insight into the Serbian political mind. The display of captured Kosovan Liberation Army (KLA) weapons is an atlas of arms, showing guns, rocket launchers and weapons of torture with the names of their supplying countries next to them: Croatia, Slovenia, USA, Germany, UK, etc. It all fits into the Serbian world view that everyone is working to carve up their country.
There was no bitterness from the staff, however. As usual there was nothing but smiles and helpfulness, trying out their hesitant English to guide me to the entrance, help me with my bags, and advise me that I can take pictures, but only surreptitiously. Again I was surprised that despite the recent history, where my own country had helped bomb Belgrade continuously for 78 days only a few years ago, there was no unpleasantness at all from any of my Serbian hosts.
If you have any interest in history, politics or the military, or just want more understanding of how Serbia is and came to be, this is a must see. It's very informative, especially as they make the effort to translate much of the information into English, something few German museums bother to do.
If anything this museum is an atlas of the 20th century's greatest tyrants, or at least the post-war variety. Here you can find all the gifts given to Tito by his friends over the years, and as you can guess his friends were all cut from a similar cloth. There are pistols from Saddam Hussein, gongs from Ne Win of Burma, Kris Knives from Suharto of Indonesia as well swords from Colonel Qaddafi, the Shah of Iran, and President Assad of Syria. The star of the show was, for me, the ferocious life size witch doctor costume, a gift from a Yugoslav community in Bolivia.
If you are going to visit the mausoleum, which you should, then you shouldn't miss this.
Take Bus 41 (starts at Studenski Trg) and get off at the first stop after the big motorway/highway. Keep walking up that street and you'll see a sign for the Garden of Flowers, or whatever nonsense the Serbs are calling it. Ignore that, it's for the cars. Just walk through the park on the left after the sign, up towards the big white house. Tito's mausoleum is around the left side of this.
NATO bombed buildings
I was strolling from the railway station towards the Slavija Square when I passed two ruined buildings. It turned out that they are the remains of a bombing by NATO in 1999 during the Kosovo War, and if I remember correct one building was a ministry building, and the other was the headquarters of the secret police. Maybe there are kept as a reminder of a time not so long ago?Related to:
- Historical Travel
The House of the National Assembly
The House of the National Assembly is located at the Nikola Pasic Square/Pionirski Park. I didn't visit the building, only admired it from the outside... Quite huge, four-storeys high, about 13,400 square meters, 100 offices, and four committee halls... It took almost 30 years to complete the House of the National Assembly because construction was delayed by wars and financial difficulties, but the first sitting took place in 1936.
There is a sculpture in front of the building, “Play of Black Horses".Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Pionirski Park (the Pioneer Park) is a small park with trees and flowers, a fountain, some monuments, and dogs running loose... One of the monuments is a memorial honouring the Serbian soldiers who fought in World War I, and another is a statue of the Serbian Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, Ivo Andric.
The park is surrounded by interesting buildings; the House of the National Assembly, and two palaces where the royals used to live: The Old Palace, which was built by the Obrenovic dynasty in 1884, and today houses the Assembly of the City of Belgrade – and the New Palace, built by the Karageorgevich dynasty in 1922, and is currently the office of the President of the Republic of Serbia.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Many people from Belgrade say that this is really ugly palace.The construction has lasted from 1969 until 1974. The project designer was Branko Pešiæ. The building was raised in the heart of old city center, stretching from Terazije to Slavija, with an emphasized aspiration to dominate with its high 24-storied part as the city's reference point. The first several stories are occupied by the "Beograd" department store, while on the other floors, there are business premises, as well as the head offices of several Belgrade mediaRelated to:
Belgrade in the evening ( Pobednik)
If you are romantic, if you amorous, or if you just like to relish in some good view, you must come on Kalemegdan (Pobednik). Sun settings from here are unbelievable.
Pobednik is symbol of Belgrade and you can found it on many postcards about Belgrade.
"The sky above Belgrade is wide and high, unstable but always beautiful; even during winter serenities with their icy splendour; even during summer storms when the whole of it turns into a single gloomy cloud which, driven by the mad wind, carries the rain mixed with the dust of panonian plain; even in spring when it seems that it also blooms, along with the ground; even in autumn when it grows heavy with the autumn stars in swarms. Always beautiful and rich, as a compensation to this strange town for everything that isn't there, and a consolation because of everything that shouldn't be there."
Written about Belgrade by: Ivo Andriæ, Serbian Nobel prize laureateRelated to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Belgrade zoo (Serbian: Зоолошки врт града Београда, read: Zooloshki vrt grada Beograda) is situated in main historical and cultural part of City - Kalemegdan. Founded in 12. 7. 1936 it make this zoo as one of oldest in Europe.
Today it is large area of about 7 hectares (17 acres), and has 2 000 animals representing about 270 different species. The zoo holds domestic as well as exotic wild animals. Here you could see wonderful creatures all over the World. At the beginning of park (if I remember correctly) it area with little kangaroo and it is not a usual sight. Near right wall is water area for crocodiles and terrarium. I saw white tiger and other wild cats. Near inner cafe bar I saw a regular domestic cat that workers give a special attention.
Interesting fact is that before WWII was cover even 14 hectares but WWII devastation was play his part and here. Bombed twice - in 1942 by Nazzi forces and again 1994 by the Allies, it was survive but it shaped his looks present today. In Serbian movie "Undeground" it could be seen artistic version of tragic events here that is very moving.
It could be given maps on enter gate (witch they not) because is huge area and it has even name of paths such as names of managers of Zoo and even sqare of Macedonian waiters (still don't know how their relevant to this place). In one part of garden is small water area. Addition attraction is drinking fountain, sculptures of animals and horse riding for little children. I especially liked Gallery of sculptures in wood by sculptor (and long timemanager) Vuk Bojovic - living legend. I remember as a child I watch TV show with him and listen his stories about animals. Among many new buildings are nursery call Baby Zoo.
For the 60th birthday Zoo get a monument to his once most interesting and most beloved residents chimpanzee Sami, the first chimpanzee who came to the Zoo.
One part of walls of Belgrade zoo was part of old Kalemegdan fortress and you can see above big umbrellas of bar on one fortress towers call Kalemegdans terrace. Such a magical place and I think is good idea to placed here such a life and it is open to public all year long. It also call "Garden of good hope" (Serbian: Врт добре наде, read: vrt dobre nade) and it real place of positive energy and optimism.
This is place where people learn, socialize and relaxing. On every animal cage is board with relevant information. Local and national media give this place special attention and it is place where people learn about amazing life creatures all around planet Earth.
Relevant information for visitors:
- Opening hours for visitors: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (in winter) and 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (in summer).
- Prices are various: for adults (15+): 400 RSD, for Juniors (from 3 till 15 years old) 300 RSD, for school visitors (for groups 15 up) 250 RSD per persons You can purchase your zoo ticket till half hour before closing.
- Free enter for children under 3 years, students of Biology, Veterinary Medicine (Animal Health) and Arts (with regular students ID - index).
Notice: there official Ethical Code for all visitors such as forbidden to feeding and disturbing of animals and shelter of white tiger has a electric fence. For children under 10 year is mandatory to be in present of adult during visit of Zoo.Related to:
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
On our last day in Belgrade we were supposed to meet our Belgrade Greeter but when he cancelled we opted to take the bus out to Ada Ciganlija, a river island on Sava River with an artificial lake and an 8km gravel beach. Along the beach you'll find snack shops and bars, toilets and changing facilities, chairs and loungers which I assume were reserved for the use of the snack shop and bar patrons. It was very crowded the day we went as it was very hot and also a Saturday.
You can rent bikes at the entry point to the island, there are paddle boats and at least once we saw someone bungee jump
The tourist office said to take an E2 mini bus so we did to get out there, we paid the fare of 145 dinar to the driver who rounded it to 150 dinar. On the way back we hopped on a bus and tried to pay the driver but that's not how buses work, you must have a ticket. He waved us on but the whole way back we worried we'd get busted for not having a ticket.
Daytrip to Novi Sad
If you have more than a couple of days in Belgrade, you may be looking for something else to do and Novi Sad is an easy day trip from Belgrade. Everyone told me it would take about 1 1/2 hours to get there but the bus we were on took almost two hours. Novi Sad has a nicely preserved square with some very attractive buildings. There's also a fort but it was closed for the Exit Festival. From Novi Sad we caught another bus to Sremski Karlovsi, a walk around town here didn't take very long. If I had to do the trip over again, I would take the bus to Sremski Karlovsi and then proceed to Novi Sad as you can pick up a local bus 61 or 62 and not have to go all the way to the central bus station which is about 20 minutes from the city center on foot.
I love the idea of visiting a city with a local so I was excited to hear that Belgrade has a greeter program. I emailed my requested dates and then forgot all about it until a few days before we arrived saying that a greeter was free for our last day in Belgrade. Being a bit disappointed in our visit to Belgrade, I was hoping that the greeter would be able to show us some interesting sights around Belgrade, unfortunately he emailed back and said that he wouldn't be able to make it, the email came very early in the morning so I'm thinking that maybe he just had a little too late of an evening. In any event, it didn't work out for us, I guess with a free service you can't expect too much
The Ethnographic Museum
The Ethnographic Museum is located in the centre of Belgrade, housed in a building from 1934 that was originally designed as the Stock Exchange. The museum was officially established in 1901, but the gathering of ethnographic items started many years before, and now the fund of the Ethnographic museum contains more than 160,000 items.
The exhibitions are spread over three floors and there are items from not just Serbia, but also from other Balkan countries. National costumes, textile, household items, architecture, crafts, pottery, and much more – giving you a good overview of the culture during the 19th and 20th centuries…
You're not allowed to take photos inside the museum.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
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