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?
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".
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.
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 media
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 laureate
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.
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.
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 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.
The Belgrade Zoo - Zooloski vrt grada Beograda is in the very center of Belgrade, right by the Kalemegden fort. I have been there twice, on a very hot summer day in 2004 and on a very cold winter day in March 2013.
It was opened in 1936 and they have a large number of animal species, ca 270, with ca 2.000 animals all in all, which is a lot considering the size of the Zoo. Here I saw the white tiger and white lions, monkeys, camels, a large selection of birds, kangaroos, piranha fish and a lot of wolves to name just a few of the animals there. I guess I am getting scared as I get older as I was too scared to even go close to the wolves - one could get very close, Zoran did that, and they were howling and following his every move. I stayed behind the wolf statue ;)
The animals got really affected by the bombings of Belgrade in 1999 and started eating their offsprings :( In WW2 the Zoo was bombed twice, killing most of the animals.
Opening hours: 08:00-17:00 in winter time and 08:00-20:30 in summer time.
Entrance: 300 dinara.
During the war in formal Yugoslavia in 1999 NATO has bombed lots of the buildings. You can still see 2 of them – The Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Internal Affairs both located next to each other on Knjeza Milosa str.
The buildings are today Belgrade’s most famous ruin. The reconstruction is not planned.
Belgrade is one of the greenest cities at the Balkans I’ve seen. There are parks and gardens everywhere – big and small. This one, Tasmajdan was not so big, but with enough trees, benches, a fountain and the famous lately outdoor fitness where although it was very hot there were people taking advantages of it.
Along Boulevard Kralja Aleksandra (King Alexander).
The biggest Orthodox Cathedral in the World. To be honest I was supposed to be amazed but it didn’t happen. Probably because it was under construction and all the walls and the floor were covered with concrete. We visited in on a big Holiday – Friday before Easter, I was surprised how huge and empty it was…
There are 9 bridges in and around Belgrade over Sava River. Each one is unique with its architecture, time and purpose for building. Every bridge has its history and it’s cool to be seen. At least once pass through one of it to enjoy the beautiful view.
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