Your apartment is located in the centre of the old town, in a pedestrian zone, from where you can simply and easily, on foot, visit and get to know the most interesting and attractive tourist spots. In your immediate surroundings, there are ambient units that most fully revive the Belgrade of the 19th and early 20th century, recommended by all our and foreign travel agencies.
The most interesting unit is the Belgrade fortress with Kalemegdan, because it is the origin of today’s Belgrade, its urban core through centuries. In this area, a series of cultural layers intertwine: Celtic, Roman, Hungarian, Byzantine, Turkish, and Serbian. This spacious complex consists of a fortress, divided into the upper and lower towns, and Kalemegdan Park. The name Kalemegdan refers to a large plateau around the fortress, upper and lower town, which, according to the order of Prince Mihajlo Obrenović, was turned into a park in the 1880s. It served to look at the enemy and wait for the fight, therefore, its name comes from the Turkish words “kale”, which means the field, and “megdan”, which means fight. The Turks called Kalemegdan also “Fićir-bajir”, which means a hill for contemplation.
The Old Town was a military seat for a long time from the end of the 18th century, and in 1867, after the withdrawal of the Turks, a large part of the territory was transformed into Kalemegdan Park on its outer walls. Immediately it became the main city promenade and the inevitable route of domestic and foreign tourists. It is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful European parks, from whose terrace vistas extend to the vast Pannonia and magnificent scenery – the meeting of the great Sava and Danube rivers.
In the lower part of the fort there is the “Memorial of the handover of the keys to Belgrade fortress”, built in 1967 in a stone where the event is shown in the relief. The monument was erected in the same place, where, on the sixth of April 1867, golden keys were symbolically handed over, and a firman of Sultan Abdul Azis read, by which Belgrade, Kladovo, Smederevo, and Šabac fortresses “were surrendered to the administration and safekeeping of Prince Mihailo Obrenović and the Serbian Army”.
To the left of the entrance to the park is a monument “Struggle” (fisherman’s struggle with the snake) with a fountain, which is a man’s fight with the monsters, the work by Toma Rosandić in 1906.
Straight from the entrance is the impressive “Monument of Gratitude to France”, in bronze and marble, by Ivan Meštrović. It was erected in 1930 by the Society of Friends of France and Serbian School Alumni. The monument is dedicated to French military, economic, and medical assistance to Serbia during the First World War. Right from the entrance to the park are busts to many deserving Serbs, writers, politicians, actors, composers (Jovan Skerlić, Aleksa Šantić, Stevan Mokranjac, Bora Stanković, and others). In 1938, at the foot of Jakšić’s tower, a memorial ossuary to Serbian warriors, who died in 1915 in the defence of Belgrade, was built. At the entrance to the Upper Town, at the King’s Gate there is a “Roman well”, 60 metres deep, built by the Austrians in the first decades of the 18th century. Nearby is the magnificent monument to the despot Stefan Lazarević.
Next to the Dizdar Gate, Mehmed-paša Sokolović built a memorial fountain in 1576 as his endowment.
Impressive is the Clock Tower from 1218, used by the Turks as a lookout point.
Nebojša Tower, on the very shore of the Sava River, from the 18th century, got its name after the old tower of the same name, built in 1460, burnt by the Turks during the conquest of Belgrade. Today’s tower served as a Turkish prison, where theGreek poet and the revolutionary, Rigas Feraios, was imprisoned and killed. Jevrem, the brother of Miloš Obrenović, was also imprisoned here.
Because of its history and appearance, the church “Ružica” is a very attractive religious building, which was in 1730 Austria raised as a gunpowder plant and a weapon warehouse. After acquiring freedom in 1867, it was turned into a church. It is interesting that sabres, swords, and shells were used for the renovation of the building after the First World War.
In Small Kalemegdan there is an artistic pavilion “Cvijeta Zuzorić”, with a permanent exhibition hall of fine arts. Every year, the “October Salon of Fine Arts’ is organised here. In front of the building there is a very beautiful fountain “Awakening”, in bronze, built in 1936.
Although founded in 1878, the military museum was first opened in 1904 in the upper town of Belgrade fortress. There are about 40,000 exhibits and the following collections: prehistory, antiquity, and western weapons; oriental weapons, national flags until 1918, factory weapons until 1918, military clothing and decorations, paintings from the 17th to the 20th century, flags from 1918 to 1945, medals from 1918 to today. In over 50 rooms there is material that can be divided into four basic units: the first is war history from the 8th to the 14th century; the second is the period of the Turkish administration from the 14th to the 19th century; the third represents the struggle of the Yugoslav people for liberation from the first Serbian uprising in 1804 until the end of the First World War; the fourth is the struggle for liberation from 1941 to 1945. Among the most interesting exhibits are: two Turkish spears and Turkish vezier armour from the Kosovo battle, an old weapons, uniforms, and war flags collection. Beyond the building of the Museum there are self-filling guns from the 18th and 19th centuries, heavy weapons from the First and Second World War.
A very attractive ambient unit is the area around Orthodox Cathedral, formerly called Varoš-kapija. During the 18th and the first half of the 19th century, while the town was enclosed by a bar, in this part stood Varoš-kapija, which was named after the fact that it was used to enter the Sava town – the Serbian part of the town. After the relocation of the old Serbian cemetery (between Brankova, Pop Lukina, and the lower part of Maršala Birjuzova streets) to Tašmajdan in 1826, this region was rapidly developing. Residential buildings were built, as well as commercial, grocery, pottery, bakery, drapers, and tailors. Here, significant cultural and other institutions of a young, just liberated Serbia were placed, which have long sincegone: the first library, the first printing house, the first court, theology, pharmacy, and others. Famous Serbs lived and worked here: Sima Milutinović Sarajlija, Joakim Vujić, Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Branko Radičević, and others. Three old buildings have survived and continue to attract with their beauty.
Princess Ljubica’s Residencewas erected in the 1830s, in the so-called Serbian-Balkan style, as the family house of Prince Miloš Obrenović. It is the most representative house from the first half of the 19th century. Since the coming to power of the Karađorđević dynasty, it served as a lyceum, court, art and church museum.
The Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1841 at the place of the 18th-century church using funds of the Belgrade municipality and with the help of the state and Prince Miloš Obrenović. It was built in a cathedral style, under the influence of the then ruling classicism. Great attention is paid to artistic and craft works. Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Dositej Obradović were buried in its port. In the church crypt there are the graves of the Princes Miloš and Mihailo Obrenović, as well as the relics of Emperor Uroš. In the Orthodox Cathedral, the anointing of the princes and kings and the enthronement of the patriarch were carried out.
Across the Cathedral there is a grandiose building of the Patriarchate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in which a rich library of rare and old books is kept, and the Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which has existed since 1856. Among the exhibits of the Museum, special attention is drawn to “Eulogy for Prince Lazar” from 1408, embroidered on silk, the work of Jefimija Mrnjavčević, the first Serbian female poet, and the Charter of Prince Lazar to the monastery Ravanica from 1381. The museum contains collections of: ecclesiastical paintings, portraits of priests, old Serbian engravings, manuscripts and old Serbian books, all kinds of clothes, various sacred objects (from metal, wood, bone, mother-of-pearl, leather), medieval Byzantine seals, a rich collection of icons and historical documents (manuscript from 1434 written by the order of Despot Đurađ Branković), the first book printed in Belgrade in 1552, the shroud of King Milutin from the beginning of the 14th century.
A great tourist attraction is the oldest Belgrade tavern “?”, located across from the Orthodox Cathedral building. This residential building, in the Serbian-Balkan style, was built about 1820 by Prince Miloš Obrenović, and then he donated it to Naum Ičko, his commercial consul. Since 1878, it changed its owners and titles, and in 1892 the title “At the Cathedral” was posted, but it was immediately removed by the church authorities and the Ordinance on taverns. The owner, as a temporary solution, only posted “?”, and that name remained until today. It is known that Vuk Stefanović Karadžić came to this tavern in the 1930s, that in 1834 the first billiard in Belgrade was placed in it, and that the “first reading place of the newspaper” was there that year.