After a ride around New Belgrade we ended up at Savski Kej, the place where in the middle of the summer open all the discos along Sava River. There are restaurants and bars too and all of them are floating. There was nothing better than relaxing with Jelen beer watching the sunset. The view is to Ada Ciganlija and some of the bridges over Sava.
The Museum of Yugoslav History is located in the Dedinje district of Belgrade, and consists of three separate buildings (the House of Flowers, the Old Museum, and the May 25 Museum) spread around a large park.
The May 25 Museum (May 25 was Josip Broz Tito's birth date) is the most impressive building in the complex. It is used for special events and temporary exhibitions, but closed when I visited! The House of Flowers (or the Mausoleum) is the final resting place of Josip Broz Tito, who died in 1980. Tito's grave is located in the middle of a bright winter-garden, and there is also a collection of his army uniforms, and many relay batons which he received every year on his birthday. The Old Museum contains a display of some of the many gifts which Tito received on his travels abroad, for his birthdays, or from visiting delegations over the years.
The Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel (also known as the Orthodox Cathedral) was built from 1837 to 1840, replacing a former Cathedral Church from the 16th century. It is designed in classicism style with baroque elements – and has a spire that can be seen from almost over Belgrade - but IMO the interior is much more interesting than the exterior. Sorry, no photos from the inside – but very beautiful and richly decorated; mosaics, icons, and painted walls and ceilings. The Orthodox Cathedral is the burial site of the rulers of the Obrenovic dynasty, and a couple of other important persons in Serbian history.
The Church of the Ascension is a Serbian Orthodox Church, built in Romanticism style in 1863 on orders by Prince Mihailo Obrenovic. The church was seriously damaged in the bombing of Belgrade during World War II, and there is a monument honouring the fallen in the church's courtyard. Inside, the church is richly decorated with paintings, icons, mosaics, gold, and other items from the 19th century.
Every year on Ascension Day, thousands of people meet up at the church to celebrate the day. A procession starts here, and passes through the streets of Belgrade before returning to the Church of the Ascension again.
The Temple of St. Sava is the largest Orthodox Church in the world – and also one of the 10 largest church buildings in the world. Saint Sava was the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and an important figure in medieval Serbia. You can see a statue of him just outside the church. It is said that the Temple of St. Sava is built where his remains were burned in 1595 by the Ottoman Empire's Sinan Pasha.
The construction of the church began in 1935, but wars and money issues have delayed the work for years. The outside is finished and the white marble church building is very impressive! It is 91 metre long from east to west, 81 metre from north to south, and the dome is 70 metre high. There is still a lot of construction work going on inside the church, but it is open for public, and a visit is very recommendable. When the church is finished, there will be room for 10,000 people and 800 singers in the choir gallery, and you can already now get a feeling how the interior will turn out.
Belgrade has many green spots, and Karadorde Park is one of the more interesting to visit. First of all because of the very impressive Temple of St. Sava (read my other tip), but the National Library of Serbia, the Old Chapel of St. Sava, and the Monument of Karadorde is also worth a close look.
Karadorde, from whom the park was named, lived from 1768 to 1817 and was the leader of the First Serbian Uprising. He is a big national hero, and was in 1979 honoured with a 3.20 metre high bronze monument, which is now standing on a small plateau in front of the National Library of Serbia and the Temple of St. Sava.
I didn’t visit the National Library, but only saw the building from outside. The history of the Library goes back to 1832, but had a hard time during the past decades. Worst was the bombing in World War II when the Library building was completely destroyed along with 500,000 books and many other important documents and manuscripts. The current building is from 1973, and it shows…
The outside of the Old Chapel of St. Sava cannot compete with ‘big brother’ Temple of St. Sava, but the interior is decorated with rich frescoes so give it a visit when you are at the Karadorde Park.
Ada, a beautiful river island, is a place with a range of sports activities: cycling, roller-skating, water-skiing... One that is certainly less strenuous than these is mini-golf... When you get tired of it you can always switch to sunbathing, swimming or enjoying pancakes in nearby restaurants...or you can just lie back in a beach chair and daydream about playing real golf one day on the only golf-course in Belgrade just a five-minute stroll from this one:)
Karadjordje was the nickname (or rather nom de guerre) of Djordje Petrovic. He led the uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804 which marked the beginning of the Turkish reatreat from Serbia. Karadjordje's statue is located just outside St. Sava's church on a street named after him as well. Karadjordje was executed by the local Serbian authorities in order to pacify the Ottomans, however the revolution continued and the Ottomans eventually withdrew from the area. Karadjordje's monument is the oldest preserved statue of the city.
In the years of Soviet Realistic Architecture, the new Ministry of Defense (Generalstab during the war) was seen as refreshingly modern building in the heart of Belgrade. Even by today's standards, it would have been a variety in Belgrade's cityscape. During the Kosovo War of 1999, the building was hit by NATO bombers. As of 2012, thirteen years after the end of this conflict, the ruin of the building was still standing. It has become a popular sight for tourists.
Unknown to much of the general public, underestimated by many historians and worshipped by the geek community as „patron saint of the weird scientific“: Nikola Tesla is one of the most interesting characters in history. The man behind several inventions of the late 19th and early 20th century grew up in Serbia, but worked in the USA. He is responsible for the development of wireless energy transmission, today's alternating current electricity (AC), remote control, the first major hydroelectric power plant and many more.
The museum tells the story of this man, his discoveries and his inventions. You are free to walk through the small exhibition, but it is recommended to join one of the tours through the building which take place irregularly. There you can see live demonstrations of Tesla's experiments and even become part of them. Ask for that at the reception desk, the guided tour is available at least in Serbian, English and Russian. Though Tesla is somewhat known in popular culture as Thomas Edison's rival in the "war of currents", Edison plays almost no role in the exhibition. The remains of Nikola Tesla are located in this museum as well, if you want to pay respect to this great inventor, you will find the urn in the back right corner of the museum. The upper floor is occupied by an archive and a library filled with books related to Tesla. It can be visited upon appointment, please contact therefore the museum or ask at the reception desk.
There was a small entry fee, but I don't remember the price anymore (something like 300 Dinar, but not sure any more).
Belgrade's aviation museum is among the better in Europe with only two disadvantages: It is falling into decay and a lot of information is available in Serbian only. The museum is housed in a 1970s building, erected in a time when Yugoslavia was a non-aligned communist state. At the same time, the national airline – JAT – had a network compared to similarily sized western countries and JAT aircraft flew to every continent. JAT's history is well presented in the museum, but as I said – a lot of info is only available in Serbian. Outside of the building a couple of aircraft are preserved in different states and hopefully someone will give the museum some funds to prevent at least some of the aircraft from further deterioration. This goes especially for the former JAT Caravelle, the first short-haul jet in aviation history. It is one of only a few Caravelles preserved.
My focus was on JAT and Yugoslav civil aviation history. The museum has also a huge military section and if you like this kind of aircraft, you will find a lot to see. One piece of exhibition was rather disturbing: Pieces from a US jet shot down during the Kosovo War (1999/2000) shown like a trophy.
Entry fee was 500 Dinar (2012). Plan one hour for the civil aircraft section and the military aircraft section each. The museum is recommended to any aviation enthusiast and other people who would like to see Serbia's (and Yugoslavia's) aviation history in a modernist 1970s glass building.
The Museum of Yugoslav History (Muzej istorije Jugoslavije) consists of the Museum "May 25th", the House of Flowers and the Old Museum. The museum is dedicated to the history of Yugoslavia with emphazis on the life of Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia´s first President. The museum was built and given to Tito for his 70th birthday and opened on May 25th, 1962, which had become the official birthday of Tito.
I found this museum very interesting, not at all what I had expected, well, I had expected that it would be all about Communism and the Balkan Wars. But on the contrary, here were old ads on display, old bottles and everyday items used through the decades - Zoran loved it as he remembered so many of these old items :)
Here were also some of the exquisite presents given to Tito and photos of him with Head of Countries.
Several national costumes from different parts of Yugoslavia were on display at the museum. I love national costumes and wanted to take photos of each and every one as each one was more beautiful than the other.
The museum has more than 200.000 items from the history of Yugoslavia and has some temporary exhibitions.
Admission: 200 din. The ticket is valid for the Museum "May 25th", the House of Flowers and the Old Museum.
Opening hours: In winter: every day except Mondays from 10:00-16:00 and in summer time every day except Mondays from 10:00-20:00.
On the front door was the sign "Recommended on Tripadvisor" :)
"Kuca cveca" or the House of Flowers is the name of the mausoleum of Joseph Broz Tito (7th of May 1892 - 4th of May 1980) who was the President of Yugoslavia from 1953-1980.
The House of Flowers was built in 1975 and was originally built as a winter garden for Tito close to his residence. And in 1980 Tito was buried here, according to his wish.
It is so beautiful, white marble with golden letters and crimson curtains. I have been there twice and was in awe that I could visit Tito´s grave and walk straight up to it. The Serbians I know always talk about Tito with the greatest respect and say that times were much better when he was President.
On the left hand side of the grave is an exhibition on Relays of Youth, an amazing exhibition of such beautiful relays and batons, both in glass cabinets and mounted on the walls. This collection is from the period after 25th of May 1957 or from when Youth day was established. There are 22.000 batons, not all on display though, which were used to bring Tito birthday greetings from his countrymen. Here are also some of Tito´s army uniforms.
The name "House of Flowers" stems from there being a lot of flowers around the tomb.
The House of Flower is located behind the Museum "May 25th" and next to the Old Museum.
Opening hours: In winter: every day except Mondays from 10:00-16:00 and in summer time every day except Mondays from 10:00-20:00.
Admission: 200 din. The ticket is valid for the Museum "May 25th", Tito´s Grave and the Old Museum.
Next to the House of Flowers, Tito´s grave, is the Old Museum, built in 1964-65.
It is a small, lovely museum depicting various national costumes, weapons, musical instruments and presents given to the President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito. When Tito was alive this building was used as a storage for his presents, which he received on his visits abroad and his travels in Yugoslavia. Here are also presents he received from guests visiting Yugoslavia as well as some of his birthday presents. Since 1987 part of his presents make up the permanent exhibition of the Old Museum.
There are some exquisite items on display here from all over the world. We got no brochure, so we didn´t know what the highlights were at the museum, but I read up on it and found out that one of the most valuable items at the museum is a "tanto" sword from the 14th century.
Opening hours: in winter time: Sunday-Tuesday from 10:00-16:00 and in summer time from 10:00-20:00.
Admission: 200 din. The ticket is valid for the Museum "May 25th", The House of Flowers and the Old Museum.
There is a beach in Belgrade - Ada Ciganlija, the Serbians call it Ada for short or being "na Adi". It is a beach surrounding a lake. It used to be an island, but was made into a peninsula with an artificial lake.
The beach is made of pebbles, so one needs a mat to put under the towel. When I first visited Ada I didn´t know this and it hurt like hell lying down on the towel. One can swim in the lake and the water is so smooth, I guess it must be because of sun-tan oil, but it is heaven swimming in it.
This beach is incredibly crowded and it is estimated that at weekends 300.000 people visit Ada - that would be the whole population of my country! But I love going there, missed it though last time I visited Serbia as it was in March and snowing. The last time I went to Ada it was 40+ degrees C and I coming from Iceland was just cooking. So I used the cold shower facilities a lot and maybe for too long as I overheard two Serbian boys talking in Serbian saying that I must be German seeing that I could stay so long under a cold shower ;)
There are a lot of restaurants here by Ada and all kinds of fun things to do on the lake. A truly very popular spot amongst Serbians.
There is a big parking by Ada for thousand vehicles, but seeing that so many people visit then parking can be a problem.
Ada Ciganlija is 4 km from the centre of Belgrade.
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