Knez Mihajlova ulica
Knez Mihajlova street is the pedestrian street in center of Belgrade. A brief history of this street in Wikipedia:
"It is thought that in as early as the Roman times there was the center of the Singidunum (the Roman name for Belgrade) settlement. In this area, at the time of Turks, there were winding streets with gardens, drinking-fountains and mosques. In the middle XIX century, in the upper part of the street was the garden of Knez Aleksandar Karađorđević. After the making of the regulation plan of Belgrade in 1867, by Emilijan Josimović, the street has soon been built and gained its physionomy and content. The houses have been built there and the most influential and wealthiest families of the commercial and political society of Belgrade have come to live there. In 1870, the city authorities officially gave a name to this street – Ulica Kneza Mihaila"
Today, Knez Mihajlova is some kind of social and cultural center of a city. Everyday there can be found a lot of people shopping, walking or sitting in pubs or restaurants. Big crowd, especially during spring and summertime.
There are a few musicians, singing and playing their instruments. Some of them spent almost whole their life here, like this one:
I think he is there for last 15 years at least, playing his own songs. Other plays something usual, like jazz, blues, country, even classical music (sorry I haven`t found any one of them except this saxophone player :))
At one end of the street is Kalemegdan park and fortress and on the other is:
Before 1940. in the corner of Knez Mihajlova street there was famous restaurant "Albanija" and this building, the biggest and most domineering before WWII, held the name of its ancestor. It survived many bombings during the WWII, even the british and american one in 1944. when it was hit with 500kg bomb. On the October 20, 1944 red flag on Palace Albania declared that Belgrade was liberated by Yugoslav Partisan forces and the Russian Red Army. In architecture, it represents modernism.
Building of national parliament, before July 23rd, 2006. was the house of Parliament of Yugoslavia and later of Serbia and Crna gora. The building started in 1907, but during WWI the main architect, Jovan Ilkić, died in prison and all projects were lost. After war, his son has made new project and the building was finished in 1936. During WWII, there was German military headquarters for southeast region so the building was spared from the destroying.
Crkva Svetog Marka
St. Marko Church was built in Tašmajdan (part of Belgrade) during 1931 – 1940. at the place where the old church from 1835 was. At the south part is a sarcophagus with the remains of Czar Dušan (1308-1355), brought here from his endowment, the monastery of St. Michael the Archangel near Prizren. One of the most valuable collections of Serbian XVIII and XIX-century icons is kept in this church.
Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra
Probably the longest street in Belgrade. Begins in the nearby of House of Parliament and ends in Mali Mokri Lug. During XVIII century this street was known as Carigradski drum (Road to Carigrad, Istanbul). Later, the street was know as Sokače kod Zlatnog topa (Zlatni top – Golden cannon, a nearby restaurant), Markova ulica and during XIX century it was named Fišeklija after small wooden barracks where the gunpowder were sold. At the end of the XIX century it was named after King Aleksandar Obrenović. During communist era in Yugoslavia the name was changed to Bulevar Revolucije but about 10 years ago the name was returned to Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra.
When I was young, we use to go there to buy clothes because it was not expensive but has a certain quality – my family was in the workers middle class, and with two kids they couldn`t afford anything better. But it was OK 🙂
This one was bigger, I think next post, Belgrade part III will be much shorter 🙂