The central Belgrade streets are equally alive by night and day, as one would expect of a large metropolis. They are also equally safe by day and by night. After spending your day touring the sites or shopping in the busiest streets, you will certainly want to spend the nights in the nearby side streets where there are countless places to enjoy a night out.
This pedestrian precinct and main city street, now protected by law, is one of the oldest and most valuable city environments, with a whole range of impressive buildings and town houses which sprung up at the end of the 1880's. It is generally believed that as early as Roman times this was the centre of the settlement of Singidunum, while during Turkish rule the streets wound through the gardens, fountains and mosques that stood in this part of town. Today it is the main business area of Belgrade and the headquarters of many national institutions (such as the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, Belgrade City Library and the Belgrade Cultural Centre).
Belgrade City Library
(Knez Mihailova 56)
It was built in 1869 in the Romantic style as the "Srpska kruna", then the most modern hotel in Belgrade.
Marko Stojanović's House (Kuća Marka Stojanovića)
(Knez Mihailova 53-55)
This was built in the Neo-Renaissance style in about 1889 as a private house belonging to the solicitor Marko Stojanović. It once housed the Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1937, but today it is the Gallery of the Academy.
Row of town houses (Knez Mihailova 50, 48, 46)
This was built in the 1870s and marked the beginning of the break with traditional 'Balkan' architecture. All three buildings are of unique construction and are in a style that marks the transition from Romanticism to the Neo Renaissance.
- the Kumanudi family house (No. 50) was built in 1879. The building once housed the Franco-Serbian Bank (Francusko-srpska banka), followed by the Belgian and British Consulates.
- Krsta's Inn (Krstina mehana), (No. 48) was built in 1869 as an administrative and commercial building in which the Krstić brothers opened a hotel of the same name.
- Veljko Savić's house (No. 46) was built in 1869 as a town house with merchants shops.
Nikola Spasić's Bequest (Zadužbina Nikole Spasića)
(Knez Mihailova 33)
This was built in 1889, designed by the architect Konstantin Jovanović in the Neo-Rennaissance style. The Belgrade merchant Nikola Spasić lived in this house.
The Building of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts (SANU)
(Knez Mihailova 35)
This was erected in 1923-24 in the Academic style with elements of the Secessionist style, and is the work of Dragutin Đorđević and Andra Stevanović. The building houses the Academy's Library, one of the best stocked in Belgrade, as well as the Academy's Archives, which contain a rich body of material covering the history of Serbia as well as, on the ground floor, the Academy's gallery which possesses a separate lecture hall, bookshop and antique shop.
The Delijska Fountain (Delijska česma)
This was built in 1987 at the corner of Đure Jakšića and Knez Mihailova streets, near the place were there was once a fountain which formed part of a Turkish monument demolished by the Austrians.
Albania Palace (Palata "Albanija")
(corner of Knez Mihailova and Kolarčeva streets)
This is located at the spot where during the 19th century there were a number of small houses, bookshops and the well-known Albanija inn, which gave its name to the palace. This was designed by the architects Branko Bono, Milan Grakalić and Miladin Prljević from 1938 to 1940. It was the first sky-scraper in Belgrade.
Bulevar kralja Aleksandra
In the middle of the 18th century the Constantinople highway ran where the Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra now is. Little by little, the highway became a street which was originally called Sokače kod Zlatnog topa. Later on, the name was changed to Markova street, and after 1834 it was given the name Fišeklija ('fišek' - paper-twist), after the wooden shops selling twists of gunpowder.
At the end of the 19th century it became Kralja Aleksandra Obrenovića, and after the Second World War Bulevar oslobođenja and Bulevar revolucije until finally, at the beginning of the 21st century, the old name of Bulevar kralja Aleksandra was restored.
When Belgrade people talk about the 'Bulevar', they mean this street, which is also the longest street in the city. On this street are the Faculty of Law, School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Architecture and the Faculty of Civil Engineering as well as the University Library.
Monument to Nikola Tesla
(Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 73)
The monument was erected in 1961 in memory of the great scientist of Serbian origin, one of the most important inventors in the field of electrical engineering and physics. It is the work of the sculptor Fran Kršinić.
Monument to Svetozar Marković
(Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 71)
The monument was erected in 1946 to the founder of socialism in Serbia and is the work of the sculptor Stevan Bodnarov.
Monument to Vuk Karadžić
(corner of Ruzveltova and Bulevar kralja Aleksandra)
This monument to the great reformer of Serbian orthography and language was erected in 1937 and is the work of the sculptor Đorđe Jovanovič.
This place was for centuries used as a quarry, and this is the origin of its name (from Turkish 'taş' - stone, and 'majdan' - a place where stone is quarried) The prehistoric inhabitants of Belgrade as they dug out their caves deep in the Tašmajdan cliff formed catacombs and stone galleries with regularly spaced tunnels. From time to time, tours of this unique Belgrade underworld are organised. This was once the site of a Roman necropolis, and it was also used as a Turkish cemetery until the end of the 19th century. On the 30th November 1830 the Sultan's edict ('hatiserif') relating to the internal independence of Serbia was read out in Tašmajdan.
Tašmajdan Park as it is today was laid out in the first years after the Second World War. Today on Tašmajdan or around it are the Church of Saint Mark (crkva Svetog Marka) (a new building erected in 1931-36) the Russian Church (Ruska crkva) (1924), the Main Post Office, Tašmajdan Sports Centre, the Hotels Taš and Metropol, the Madera bar, the building of Radio Television of Serbia (of which the main section was hit during the NATO bombing) and a children's amusement park.
The name Vračar and Vračarsko polje (Vračar Field) appear for the first time in 1492 in the Turkish plan for the conquest of Belgrade. At the order of the Turkish Vizier Sinan Pascha, the remains of Saint Sava, the first Archbishop, were burned at Vračar on 27th April 1594 (old calendar), thereby defining Vračar as the future centre of Serbian spirituality. The Cathedral of Saint Sava (Hram Svetog Save) has now been erected on this site (for more information see the page on "Religion").During the First Serbian Uprising in 1806, Karađorđe's insurgents defeated the Turks in Vračarsko polje. That same year the Codex of Prota Mateja Nenadović, the first written law in insurrectionist Serbia, was promulgated. In the 19th century Vračar was split into east and west Vračar, the boundary being what is now Kralja Milana street. During the 1880's this was an outer suburb of Belgrade.
Today Vračar is the most heavily populated municipality in Belgrade and an elite residential area. Its boundaries are defined by three boulevards: Bulevar kralja Aleksandra, Bulevar oslobođenja and Južni bulevar. The National Library of Serbia, the Nikola Tesla Museum and the Belgrade Drama Theatre are all in Vračar. A special feature of Vračar is the local bars, although they are gradually disappearing.
Monument to Karađorđe (Vračarski plato)
This was unveiled in 1985 in memory of Đorđe Petrović Karađorđe, leader of the First Serbian Uprising, on the site of his camp from where the insurgents set out in 1806 to capture Belgrade. It is the work of the sculptor Sreten Stojanović.
Monument to the Liberators of Belgrade 1806 (Karađorđev park)
This first public monument in Belgrade was erected in 1848.