The Leidener

A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

The Gem of the Balkans: Belgrade.

“Night falls in the capital of the former Yugoslavia, and music fills the air. Everywhere”. – New York Times

 

Belgrade is one of the few cities which still has the rustic Bohemian charm which has all but disappeared from the other great cities of the world. Recently I had the good fortune to visit this present capital of Serbia and the erst while capital of the Republic of Yugoslavia. Being a keen traveler I love to explore cities which I find fascinating and sure enough Belgrade was always top of the list.

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I planned this visit to meet my friend, Ms. Vanessa who also took me around the city and here I am putting the sights which fascinated me the most in this incredible city.

Kalemegdan is a name which is synonymous with the city of Belgrade. From almost anywhere in the city one can catch a glimpse of the Belgrade fortress at Kalemegdan  which towers over the Danube and Sava confluence. Kalemegdan is also the most beautiful and biggest park in Belgrade. At present Kalemegdan is home to the Military museum, Cvijeta Zuzorić Art Pavilion, and a Zoo among others. Perhaps what could be described as the most important symbol of Belgrade also finds its place in the Kalemegdan, this is the statue to the victor. This is dedicated to Despot Stefan, who was the founder of Serbian medieval Belgrade.

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Belgrade also is home to the Skadarlija, which is the hedonist quarter of Belgrade. The name of this street comes from the town Skadar (in Albania) which was one of the most important Serbian cities of the late middle ages.  In the late 19th century and early 20th century this place was the gathering place for poets and artists. Even now this cobbled street maintains a beautiful and rustic charm. This street is often compared with the Montmarte in Paris, both for its appearance and the inspiring artist’s atmosphere. Probably what Skadarlija is most famous for are amazing restaurants and cafes.  I had dinner from one of these restaurants and was blown away by the quality of the food, especially mentioning the cevapcici sausages which also reminded me of certain kebabs from India.

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Belgrade also has Splavs which have kind of turned into a symbol of the city. Splavs are essentially floating river clubs which line the Danube and Sava rivers. The Splavs are well known for their exciting nightlife especially in the Summer time. I visited a Splav, which was incidentally called Amsterdam, and I had a great time over there.

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A lesser known place in Belgrade which in my opinion makes for an interesting visit is a small pub called Molotov.This is a communist era style pub which has some very interesting decorations, which is bound to catch one’s attention!

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Another landmark in Belgrade by which I was greatly impressed was the Sveti Sava, this is one of the must visit places in Belgrade. It is the world’s biggest Orthodox church, this is made plainly obvious as one stands under its enormous dome.  There are many more interesting sights to be seen in this amazing city including the Knez Mihailova street which is the oldest street and the Republic square of Belgrade which is the main square in the city.

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No matter how one spends time here, whether it is being mesmerized by one of the foggy nights or enjoying one of the rather trademark dishes, one is assured to have a great time and discover a lot during time spent in this city.

 

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This entry was posted on April 22, 2014 by in Culture, Deepu, Travel and tagged , , .
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