|Religion in Belgrade|
Belgrade is a spiritual centre of the Balkans. Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the dominant faith in the region. The infiltration of Orthodox Christian thought, Byzantine culture and the Slav soul can be felt even in the smallest church, as you stare at frescoes of rulers and saints, painted down the centuries.
The Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarchate (Patrijaršija)
Kralja Petra I Street No. 5, Phone: 328-2593, www.spc.rs
This was built in 1935 on the site where the Serbian Metropolitan's Palace stood from 1847 to 1849. The building that stands there today was designed by the Russian architect Viktor Lukomski. The Patriarchate is the residence of the head of the Serbian Church, and it also houses a library and a museum.
The Cathedral (Saborna crkva)
The Church of the Holy Archangel Michael was erected on the site of an older church dating from 1728. The new cathedral church was built to the order of Prince Miloš Obrenović over the years from 1837 to 1840, to plans drawn up by Kvarfeld, a builder from Pančevo, in the classical style with elements of the baroque. The treasury of the church is especially valuable with its collection of old icons and sumptuously decorated gold works of art covering the period from the 17th to the 20th century. The tombs of the Serbian sovereigns Miloš and Mihailo Obrenović are housed in the church. In the churchyard are buried two giants of Serbian culture - Dositej Obradović and Vuk Stefanović Karadžić.
The Cathedral of Saint Sava (Hram Svetog Save)
Vračarski plato, www.hramsvetogsave.com
Preparations for the erection of one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world began as long ago as 1894. The Cathedral is being built on the site where according to tradition the remains of Saint Sava were brought from the Mileševo Monastery and burnt at the order of Sinan Pascha in 1594. After two tenders, in 1926 the proposal of the architects Bogdan Nestorović and Aleksandar Derok was eventually accepted. Construction was interrupted by air-raids at the beginning of World War Two and it was not until 1985 that work on the building was restarted.
The Church of the Ascension (Vaznesenjska crkva)
Admirala Geprata Street No. 19
The Church of Saint Mark (Crkva Svetog Marka)
This was built during the years 1931 to 1940 on the site of an older church dating from 1835, and was designed by the architects Peter and Branko Krstić in the Serbian Byzantine style. The design of the church is reminiscent of the architecture of Gračanica monastery. At the southern end of the naos stands a sarcophagus containing the bones of the Serbian Emperor Dušan, which were brought from the Monastery of the Holy Archangels near Prizren which was built from money he bequeathed. The church houses one of the richest collections of 18th and 19th century icons.
The Rose Church of the Holy Mother of God (Bogorodičina crkva Ružica)
Belgrade Fortress, Upper Town
This is to be found on the lower level of the Belgrade Fortress, below the Prison Gate. Folk tradition mentions an original church of the same name which appeared in the 15th century during the time of Despot Stefan Lazarević and was destroyed during the Turkish capture of Belgrade in 1521. The church that stands there today was a gunpowder store in the 18th century, and was converted into the military chapel of the same name during the years 1867 to 1889. The church was restored in 1925. Close by the church is the Chapel of St. Petka (Kapela Sv. Petke), erected in 1867 over a "miraculous spring".
The Church of St. Aleksandar Nevski (Crkva Svetog Aleksandra Nevskog)
Cara Dušana Street No. 63
The initial idea of building a church in Dorćol was mooted in 1876-8 when the Russian Volunteer Corps under General Chernyayev were stationed in Belgrade. At that time a mobile military chapel dedicated to this Russian saint was brought to Belgrade and a larger church was erected on the site in 1928-1929, from plans drawn up by the architect Jelisaveta Načić. The marble iconostasis was a gift from King Aleksandar I Karađorđević.
The Monastery of the Presentation of the Holy Mother of God (Manastir Vavedenja presvete Bogorodice)
Vasilija Gaćeše Street No. 8
This monastery stands in Senjak. It was built during the years 1936 and 1937 by the architect Petar Popović. The monastery church was built in the traditional spirit of Serbian mediaeval construction. The chapel of St. Nicholas (kapela Svetog Nikole), with its wooden carved iconostasis and icons from the 18th, 19th and 20th century, stands within the monastery grounds.
The Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael (Manastir Svetog Arhangela Mihaila)
Patrijarha Dimitrija Street No. 34, Rakovica
Built in the 19th century in the style of the Moravian School, it is first mentioned in 16th century historical documents. It has been demolished and restored a number of times. In the narthex is the family tomb of Jevrem Obrenović, and along the southern external wall of the narthex is the tomb of General Vasa Čarapić.
Ascension Day - the City's Saint's Day (Spasovdan)
In 1403, when Despot Stefan Lazarević granted Belgrade the status of Capital, the city adopted Ascension Day - 'Spasovdan' as its Saint's Day ('slava'), in honour of the restoration and progress of the city. This ancient 'slava' symbolises the rising up, or ascension of the city from the ashes, and its irrepressible hope and faith in the future. Ascension Day is a movable feast and always falls on a Thursday, forty days after Easter, and ten days before Whitsun.
Russian Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Churches
There are numerous sacral catholic monuments in Belgrade:
Romancatolic church (BELGRADE ARCHBISHOPRIC), Svetozara Markovića Street No. 20 (in the center), Phone: 3032-246
St. Mary Anglican church, Višegradska Street No. 23 (near city center)
Church of the Most Holy Trinity (Crkva Presvetog Trojstva), Surčin, Vojvođanska Street No. 227
St. Anthony's Church, Bregalnicka Street No. 14, Zvezdara (part of Belgrade near city center), Phone: 2404-390Church of Christ King (Crkva Krista Kralja), Krunska Street No. 23
The services at the Church of Christ King:
Every day evening mass starts at 6 PM, and on Sunday mass on English language starts at 11.30 AM, before that at 10.00 AM is mass on Croatian language and before that at 8.00 AM is mass on Slovenian language.
Zemun, Belgrade Old Churches Walk
Zemun has always been one of the most tranquil parts of Belgrade. Located around the Gardoš Hill, it has retained many Orthodox and Catholic churches, bearing the Austro-Hungarian Empire's provincial Baroque legacy. The majority of the local churches have carefully preserved their original icons, dating back to the 18th-19th centuries.
The Church of the Ascension of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Crkva Uznesenja blažene Djevice Marije)
The Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1795 on the grounds of a former 16th century mosque, and was designed by Thomas Zagrepčanina Miklaušića. The mosque was demolished in 1784, during Austrian-Hungarian occupation, which brought in more catholic to the area. The church bears some Empire and Baroque elements and features rather unusual arrangement; unlike most catholic churches, it has the altar facing the east and not the west. Significant restoration work took place there in 1817. The church is situated right in front of the Zemun Outdoor Market.
The Monastery of the Holy Archangel Gabriel (Manastir Svetog Arhangela Gavrila)
Gradski park bb, Zemun
The Orthodox Chapel of St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Zemun Park was built in 1786 on the site of a previous wooden church. In wartime, it served as a quarantine facility. The chapel is a Baroque building with a double cross, a semicircular apse and a two-story bell tower, added in 1840. Part of the structure are the special niches - made in a strict accordance with the Serbian religious architectural tradition - for those who were strictly quarantined. Restored in 1986, the chapel unveiled new mural paintings and iconostasis. The iconostasis, carved in wood and gilded, was fashioned in the spirit of the Baroque, while the icons were made by the Zemun artists Dimitrije Bratoglić and his assistant Konstatin Lukić during 1830 and 1831.
The Roman Catholic chapel of St. Rocco in Zemun Park was built in 1836 by Jozef Felber. It was designed in the spirit of Baroque, with a rectangular single-nave building, a semicircular apse and a two-story bell tower. In wartime, the chapel served as a quarantine facility; hence the main entrance featuring six purpose-built doors. The 19th century icons are the works by Zivko Petrovic, Nikola Masic and several unknown artists.
Franciscan Monastery of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Anthony
The Franciscan Monastery of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Anthony is the only Franciscan monastery in contemporary Belgrade. The Franciscans built a monastery in Belgrade in 1717, which was then relocated and sustained multiple damages over the years, including those during wartime and burnings. 40 years later, in 1807, the monastery underwent reconstruction; in 1838, a tower was added. The Franciscan cross brought to the site in the 18th century is still in place. Back in the 1990s, the Franciscan cloister accounted for nearly 6,000 books and objects of art. Nowadays, both the monastery and the church are declared cultural monuments and enjoy state protection.
Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God
The Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God was built between 1776 and 1780 by the Serbian and Greek communities of Zemun. The construction began in 1774 and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary's birth. The church was erected in the tradition of Serbian-Byzantine architecture with a nave and a semicircular apse. Its iconostasis was engraved in 1788 by Aksentije Markovic in a pure Baroque form, while the icons themselves were painted in 1815 by Arsenije Teodorovic, the famous Serbian artist of classicism. The bell tower was added in 1794. The first bell on it, still in place, was set in 1815 to commemorate victory over Napoleon.
Saint Nicholas Church
Nikolajevska Church (Nikolajevska crkva)
Njegoševa Street No. 43, Zemun
This church is located in the eastern part of the old centre of Zemun, below the mediaeval fortress of Gardoš. It is first mentioned in 1573 as a small Serbian Orthodox chapel. The church that stands there today was built in the Baroque style between 1725 and 1731, and features a single nave and a two-story bell tower. The church has all the typical characteristics of an 18th century Baroque church. Its interior is decorated with a richly carved iconostasis, with the icons painted in 1762 by Demetrius Bacevic, one of the most famous Serbian painters of the second half of the 18th century. The church boasts a rich collection of ancient cult objects and the 18th-19th century icons.
The Haris Chapel, or Hariseva Kapela, was built between 1874 and 1878 and was dedicated to martyr St. Demetrius, the patron of the Petrovic families. The construction was funded by Gregory Haris, a Zemun trader, with the money donated by his wife Mary, née Petrovic, who is thus considered the church's founder. The chapel was designed in a Neo-Byzatine style. Its iconostasis is the last work of Paul Simic and was made in 1874 in the style of classicism. The Harris Chapel is an important architectural and artistic memorial created by Svetozar Ivackovic, the prominent Serbian architect. The chapel stands atop the Gardoš Hill, near the Millennium Tower and an old cemetery.
The Holy Trinity Church was built between 1839 and 1842 by architect Joseph Felber, and features a rectangular base with an apse and a two-story bell tower. Its exterior walls have arc tunnel openings and niches. The church demonstrates a strong Baroque influence. The iconostasis, made of carved wood with gold, is a masterpiece by Gabriel Ninkovic and Aleksandar Petrovic. The church is a fine example of the 19th century Baroque and is an important cultural landmark. It is located at the corner of Dobanovačka and Stevana Jovanovića Street.
Convent of the Little Sisters of Jesus, Đevđelijska Street No. 51, Phone: 409-043
Islamic Religious Community
The Bajrakli Mosque in the centre of Belgrade, in Gospodar Jevremova street, got its name from the flag (Turkish, bayrak) that signalled the call to prayer to other mosques. As the endowment of Sultan Suleiman II, it is the only remaining mosque of the many that once existed in Belgrade. It was built between 1660 and 1688 and is of the type with a square floor-plan, single interior space and a dome resting on an octagonal tambour. It is built of stone, except the minaret which is brick. During its history it has been demolished or its function changed a number of times.
It was originally called Čohadži Mosque, after its benefactor, a textiles (čoha) trader called Hadži-Alija. It was a structure with a single interior space, dome and minaret. During the period of Austrian rule (1717-1739) it was turned into a Catholic church. This period also saw the majority of Belgrade’s mosques destroyed. Upon the return of the Turks it once again became a mosque. Hussein-bey, assistant to Turkish chief commander Ali-pasha, restored it as a place of worship in 1741 and thus for a time it was Hussein-bey’s (or –beg’s) Mosque or Hussein-ćehaja’s Mosque (ćehaja means assistant).
After its restoration in the 19th century, which was undertaken by Serbian noblemen, it became the central city mosque. Today it is the only active Muslim place of worship in Belgrade.
Jewish Historical Museum, Kralja Petra Street No. 71a, Phone: 2622-634
Jewish Community Zemun, Dubrovačka Street No. 21,
Phone: 195-626, www.joz.org.rs
Synagogue, Maršala Birjuzova Street No. 19
Jewish cemetery, Mije Kovačevića Street No. 1, Phone: 768-250
Evangelical (Lutheran) Church, Zemun, Jakuba Kuburovića Street
Baptist Church, Slobodanke Danke Savić Street No. 33
Adventist Church, Radoslava Grujića Street No. 4
Pentecostal Church, Simina Street No. 8