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Things To Do Around

January 2019

In The Know

Belgrade Fortress

On a tall ridge where the Danube and Sava rivers meet, Belgrade Fortress used to contain the entire city and has lived through 2,000 years of conflict. All of that bloodshed seems very distant when you see the young couples arm-in-arm in Kalemegdan Park, watching the sun go down over Zemun. They’ll find perches on the ramparts and secluded cubby holes among the angular remnants of the anti-artillery bastions and ravelins built by the Ottomans in the early modern ages. There’s history at every turn in the fortress, from the Roman well to the medieval gate of Despot Stefan Lazarević.

But Pobednik (Victor) is the postcard monument, a statue wielding a sword and falcon atop a Doric column.

This dates to 1928 and commemorates Serbia’s defeat of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empire in WWI.LEARN MORE

Church of St Sava

The largest Orthodox Church in the Balkan region, and the second largest in the world, St Sava is an ever-present monument in Serbia’s capital. High on the Vračar plateau, you can see the church’s white granite and marble walls from any approach to Belgrade, while the 50 bells that sound noon ring out across the city. The temple is built on the site where the Ottoman Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha burned St Sava’s relics after his icon had graced flags during a Serbian uprising in 1594. Construction began in 1935, 340 years after that event, and ended in 1989. The biggest challenge was raising the central dome, all 4,000 tons of which was assembled on the ground and hoisted into place.LEARN MORE

Skadarlija

Car-free and paved with bumpy cobblestones, Skadarlija has been a bohemian haunt since the 1800s and is Belgrade’s answer to Montmartre. Like its Parisian counterpart, Skadarlija’s glory days were in the early 1900s when famous but cash-strapped Serbian singers, musicians, writers and poets lived, worked and performed here. That  Belle Époque spirit lingers in the iron gaslights, restaurant terraces, foliage, awnings and the trompe l’oeil facade on the opposing wall. Come for the cafes nightlife, traditional Serbian food like roštilj (grilled meat), and to take in the art displays and street performers as you go.LEARN MORE

Ada Ciganlija

This island on the Sava has been reclaimed and turned into a peninsula, and is somewhere for Belgradians to let their hair down and be active.

Even though Ada Ciganlija is in the middle of the city, it has been left to nature, and is still cloaked with mature elm and oak forest. On the south side the Sava is impounded, forming the Savsko jezero lake. On any given summer’s day Ada Ciganlija is thronged with people jogging, rowing and kayaking on the lake, playing golf, tennis, basketball or just basking in the greenery. But it’s the pebble beach that is the main draw, known as “Belgrade’s Seaside” and traced with bars and restaurants. These provide picnic tables and deckchairs and are open into the night.LEARN MORE

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