A SIMPLE MORNING IN BELGRADE
I was drinking my morning coffee slowly, in one of the local caffes in Knez Mihailova Street … It is the 800m long street, which exudes history and its longtime acknowledges the existing respect and admiration. The first morning sun rays were breaking through the gloomy clouds in June morning, and shining beautiful monument elevated in the honor of Prince Mihailo Obrenovic III (one of the most influential Serbian rulers). I was thinking about how I was a part of one of those days filled with positive energy and excitement because I would soon take a tour to one of the most beautiful fortresses in the Balkans. It is a place where the cultural and historical significance dominate, where led a long, exhaustive struggle had been led for centuries, minted by various plans, police hiding … it is just too much tucked away in one such special treasury of natural resources. My new friend who I met on the first night in the streets of Belgrade bohemians and eternal music, Skadarlija, was supposed to be there in a while.
While the clock was ticking on the Republic Square, minutes gently measuring my last sip of espresso, not so far, just a step from the National Theater I saw my friend Marko, waiting for the green traffic light, raising both hands towards me with a smile that same gentleman with whom I learned how to look forward to be smiling to the sounds of Serbian music. Serb gave me selflessly his time and enabled me to find out more about (free to say my favorite city in the Balkans), Belgrade.
KNEZ MIHAILOVA STREET – A LIVELY PEDESTRIAN ZONE
IT’S TIME TO GO. I paid the bill and with the light steps went to meet my friend. A journey into the past, interlaced picturesque incredible detail, through the eyes of a foreigner, could begin.
The first thing that caught my attention was certainly a fountain where people sought refuge from the hot waves that were characteristic for July and August, when temperatures could be up to 45 degrees.
Marko told me that every attraction hid a meaning and so that one also. Its name was “Delijska fountain”. First Delijska fountains were created more than 15 centuries ago and already in that period they were all marveled by both townspeople and all those who found themselves in a visit to Belgrade. As for the change of government and the various wars that led to the destruction of many of the old capital’s most fountains were destroyed forever, still a few have been preserved up to this day. Among them is certainly this one, thanks to which I felt real refreshment after a few sips of cold water that flows from it.
UNPLANNED I HAVE BEATEN ONE OF MY BIGGEST FEARS
I could not help but notice certainly the most interesting attraction faced at the outset of research pedestrian streets of Belgrade. Near the fountain Delijska I saw the young man of about 30 years, surrounded by a group of people who tirelessly kept their phones and cameras out of curiosity … I approached to see what it was all about. IT REALLY WAS SOMETHING AMAZING! He brought his pets with which some people were enthusiastic and the other perhaps a little frightened. Two snakes (male and female) were incredible, both in size and color of magic wrapped around the body of the passers-by who wanted to be photographed with them.
Incredibly, one of my biggest fears was located just a few meters from me. Desire in me raised to eliminate this fear and yet again … It’s not so easy to decide if I would play with the snakes. After a minute, my thoughts were cut in half by Marko. He explained that snakes were owned by a guy called Damir. He said they were harmless and addressed their long growing up in the home surrounding. He added that, if I wanted, I could take a stand in this playing performance for a few minutes. And I dared.
The feeling that appeared in me while their bodies were wrapping across me was truly indescribable! The fear, happiness, joy – all mixed. Truly wonderful moment and anyone who walked through Knez Mihailova could try this. Perhaps just like me… Beat your fear. Photographing with these beautiful snakes costs about 5 euros.
SERBIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND ARTS
After overcoming my fears, my attention was attracted to institutions close to the place where the snake photos were made. That place is the Institution of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It represents the highest scientific and educational institution in Serbia. The interior consists of the several rooms that are permitted for visitors only during some conferences which are organized several times a year, mainly on the second floor.
For fans of the new ways of education, research and development of global society, this can be instructive and give a really nice experience. The work of one of the largest Serbian sculptor George – Djoko Jovanovic (1861-1953) in the gallery of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences.
TALENTS WHICH WE ARE PROUD OF IN SERBIA
I would like to share with you more bright news before I continue my journey through the streets of historic landmarks favorite for Belgrade peeps and of course, also for tourists.
Knez Mihailova Street is not rich only with the history and globally recognized brand names in whose stores you can do shopping… There is something what makes this street seems even warmer. I have noticed a lot of quality artistic content of only ordinary people, at every step of the street. All those people were earning for studies or for basic living necessities. Unselfishly, they showed their talent in replacement for one smile or money. Some were singing, playing, painting … It was really great to see all those people. And on top of that, what made me happy was the fact that some of them were rewarded for their efforts and dedication.
A special place in the heart of the city acquired one beautiful girl with a violin in her hand from which the melody was heard in which intertwine sorrow I set or serenity and exhilaration. I wondered what such a talented child was doing right there, because it was a city on the world stage … which I eventually was right about. Marko told me that she won first place in the competition in Verona where she had gone with her mother with money collected from the music that had been donated by passers-by through Knez Mihailova Street.
After the positive energy that breezed through my body till I was enjoying in the music and a smile of every passerby, I asked my Serbian friends where I could see the ethnographic objects, photographs, watercolors and drawings of traditional costumes. It did not take them long to answer me and show that only 100meters in the direction of the Kalemegdan fortress, was a place that was open for visitors and where for about 1e (for entrance) and 2e (if you want to take photos) you could enjoy in those beautiful treasures of traditional culture ONE OF THE OLDEST MUSEUM IN THE BALKANS.
In front of the entrance to this magnificent museum I got some information that was preserved in a large number of ethnographic objects, arranged into separate collections (jewelry, customs, national costumes, folk architecture, economy, animal husbandry, transport, cult objects). It had one of the richest professional libraries in the Balkans. It also had a large exhibition space and organized extensive ethnographic research, ethnological and anthropological studies the 21st century.
Visiting museum was a remarkable experience… Three-storey building full of national details and historical artifacts. I couldn’t resist not to put all the photos that I made there.
Interior on first and second floor
Store where you can buy souvenirs.
Crockery, late 19th century.
Exhibition – all cottages in Serbia, 19th century. Third floor.
Already full of information which I was getting as the seconds were passing, I thought there was much more that the beautiful pedestrian street hid … so much still unrevealed and historically significant.
Leaving the museum, I slowly paced toward my ultimate goal – Kalemegdan, and decided to visit another building that left an impression on me.
Belgrade City Library was established on 11 January 1931.
Staff greeted me after when the sometime thrilled. In fact, anyone who wanted to take a look at any book, could do so. The Serbian woman who worked there looked pleasing, smiling and serene . Seeing that I was a foreigner thrilled with her country, she gave me a book as a present… I proudly took it as just one of the items that would remind me of the beautiful gathering in that urban city full of love.
NEW SHOPPING CENTER OPENING SOON
Soon, at the end of Knez Mihailova street will be open an exclusive global shopping center. Full of well-known brands and a new 5* hotel nearby. So, in the near future, you can enjoy in one more attractions of the Belgrade`s most famous street.
END OF THE JOURNEY
Again I was caught with the special feeling, love that arose in me every time I saw a beautiful woman coming out of the library I realized I was already at the end of the street 800m long. While waiting for the green light to take me to the most important parts of a historic fortress in Serbia, I was thinking how I would, in a few seconds, be a part of the mysticism hidden into the walls that for centuries guarded achievements …
Join us in adventure in Kalemegdan…
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