This walk is a good-old-classic to see and read the landmarks and get the initial orientation in the city. And to find out about little marvels along the way! If the Fortress is the story of Belgrade built and destroyed by the empires, this is the story of Belgrade’s own past, 19th and 20th century, when it became the capital of Serbia and later Yugoslavia. It is a story and a map of cultural, urbanistic, political and economic transformation from a Balkan kassaba into the capital of Serbia free from the Ottomans, shaped after European models.
We start at the atmospheric Kosančićev Venac with its cobbled streets and sleepy feel, on the top of the reef above the right bank of Sava river. This is where the beginnings of modern Belgrade and Serbia were set in the 19th century: the Central European looking Cathedral, still oriental looking palace of the ruler’s wife Princess Ljubica and the oldest preserved tavern. (Remind me to tell you the story of Princess Ljubica and the later Serbian princesses and queens as we go).
We then stroll along elegant streets and squares, with the palaces of European historical and modern styles, built by wealthy merchants, prominent members of the society and financial institutions.
Here was the stage of important historical events and today this is where hundreds thousands people roam within their daily lives.
We will walk by the royal palaces of the two rival dynasties, today the City Hall and the seat of the President of Serbia. The near by Parliament tells a curious story of its construction and history.
While passing by you will find out about those not so obvious places to enrich your experience of Belgrade: where to turn left for a bohemian feel or right for a particular ambient, where you can visit a collection of icons or elegant in-apartment displays of a Nobel Laureate Ivo Andrić or painter Paja Jovanović, where you can see established and emerging artists on display, what to eat where, where the theme shops or cafes are.