Terazije - Palata Albanije 2011
Terazije (Serbian Cyrillic: Теразије, English: Scales) is the central square and an urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in the Belgrade municipality of Stari Grad.
Terazije started to take shape as an urban feature in the first half of the 19th century. In the 1840s, Prince Miloš Obrenović ordered Serbian craftsmen, especially blacksmiths and coppersmiths, to move out of the old moated town where they had been mixed with the Turkish inhabitants, and build their houses and shops on the place of the present square. Also, the move was intended to prevent the fires being lit all over the town. Ilija Čarapić, the president of the Belgrade Municipality 1834-35 and 1839–40, had a special task to assigning lots of land at Terazije to these craftsmen and whoever accepted to fence the lot, would have it for free.
With regard to the origin of the name Terazije, the historian and writer Milan Đ. Milićević noted that "In order to supply Belgrade with water, the Turks built towers at intervals along the water supply system which brought water in from the springs at Veliki Mokri Lug. The water was piped up into the towers for the purpose of increasing the pressure, in order to carry it further." One such tower was erected on the location of the present fountain at Terazije and the square was named after the Turkish word for water tower, terazi (literally, water scales).
Up to about 1865, the buildings at Terazije were mainly single and double-storied. The water tower was removed in 1860 and replaced by the drinking fountain, Terazijska česma, which was erected in to celebrate the second rule of Prince Miloš Obrenović. During the first reconstruction of the square in 1911, the fountain was moved to Topčider and moved back again in 1976. The square went under significant changes in 1911-1912, when it was completely re-arranged. Along the central part of the square regular flower beds were placed, and they were surrounded by a low iron fence, while on the side towards today's Nušićeva street a large fountain was built. At the end of the XIX and beginning of the 20th century, Terazije was the centre of social life of Belgrade.
Another massive reconstruction happened in 1948, the main square in Belgrade was narrowed, flower beds and double tram tracks from both sides were removed and a number of modernist buildings were constructed, forming a Square of Marx and Engels (present Square of Nikola Pašić) in the 1950s.
For a short period after the World War II when Belgrade was administratively reorganized from districts (rejon) to the municipalities in 1952, Terazije had its own municipality. However, already on January 1, 1957 the municipality was dissolved and divided between the municipalities of Vračar and Stari Grad. Population of the modern local community (mesna zajednica) of Terazije was 3,338 in 2002, with several smaller communities which make the neighborhood 11,104.
hi-tech kiosk at night
In front of Moskow Hotel
Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs Ivica Dacic giving interview during great Terazije fire in Belgr...
Belgrade play /ˈbɛlɡreɪd/ (Serbian: Београд or Beograd, [bɛˈɔɡrad] ( listen)) is the capital and larg...
covered passage flea market
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Trg Republike or Square of the Republic (Serbian Cyrillic: Трг Републике) is one of the central town ...
Overview and History
Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and has a population of just under two million. It's in the middle of the Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe where the Danube and Sava rivers meet.
Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe with a history that goes back seven thousand years! Of course, with two rivers meeting you can expect that there will be a lot of human activity across the ages. Caves with Neanderthal skulls and bones from the early Stone Age show the time frame we're talking about here.
Due to its strategically valuable position between East and West, Belgrade has been at the center of battles throughout most of its history. Our history begins with the Roman colonization (of course) at the end of the first Century AD, when it was called Singidunum. The Huns destroyed the city in 441AD and began a period of squabbling between Sarmatians, Goths, Gepidaes and more Goths. During this time the name of the city changed to Taurunum and Malevilla.
The Slavs permanently settled here in the seventh century then immediately fought the Bulgarians. The Slavic name "Beligarad" was first recorded around 878AD, then Hungary attacked and the Byzantine Empire took over, remaining in control until 1284. The first, second and third armies of the Crusades came through in the early middle ages, seeing Belgrade in ruins.
For the first time, Belgrade became part of Serbian rule when King Dragutin was given the city from the Hungarian Crown. More fighting ensued, Hungary repossessed the city and by the fifteenth century they were battling the Turkish Ottoman invasion.
Between 1440 and 1867 the Turkish controlled Belgrade except when they were temporarily defeated by armies from Bavaria, Savoy, and Austria. Under Turkish control Belgrade was the second largest city of the Ottoman Empire, surpassed only by Constantinople. Being stuck between the Ottoman and Hapsburg Empires was not the best place to be.
Several centuries of internal rebellions and periods of occupation by the Holy Roman Empire prevented industrial development as was seen in other European countries. Finally in 1878 Serbia was recognized as an independent state and kingdom with Belgrade as its capital.
The World Wars of the twentieth century were not kind to Serbia. In WWI it was heavily bombed and occupied by Austrian and German troops. The city was then liberated by Serbian troops only to dissolve into a dictatorship as of 1926.
In WWII Belgrade was bombed by the Allies and occupied by Germans, who massacred one hundred Serbs for every German killed. It was liberated by the Russian Red Army, ending up as the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1945.
Recent history: Belgrade was the center of the last outbreak of smallpox in Europe during its Communist period, in 1972. Massive demonstrations took place in 1991 and protests over election fraud continued until 1997. Serbia has the highest hyperinflation in the history of mankind in the year 1993. The first non-Communist government was installed in 1997, the Kosovo War saw NATO bombing Belgrade (again) in 1999, and finally the dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic ended in 2000AD.
Serbia got its first democratic government in 2001. Yugoslavia was formally brought to an end in 2003. Serbia and Montenegro declared independence in 2006 and Kosovo followed in 2008 under continuing dispute.
Nikola Tesla Airport is where you'll be flying in if you come by plane.
Do you know Tesla? He was one of the geniuses of the modern world, who invented radar and alternating current by drawing the pictures which appeared to him in visions. He came from Serbia and would have given the world FREE ELECTRICITY if the leaders of the industrial revolution had actually wanted what was best for humanity instead of what would make them personally rich. They took control of his inventions and he died a broken man.
Anyway, the airport connects to Belgrade by bus, taxi and car rental. It's 18km from downtown.
From what I hear, unlicensed taxi drivers try to shove you into their car outside the bus station. You should probably go a few blocks and catch a licensed taxi which has two number plates on the roof for proof. If you take a taxi, make sure it's got a blue city taxi sign on the roof, pay what's on the meter and don't pay any extra for your baggage.
You can get around the city by bus, trolleybus and trams. Night buses and trams operate on slightly different routes than daytime, and don't forget to get your ticket punched when you climb on board.
People and Culture
The official currency of Serbia is the dinar (RSD), which was 95 dinar to the Euro at the time of this writing.
Due to the many kinds of invasion in the history of Serbia, the people of Belgrade reflect Jewish, Asian, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox influences in their heritage. A friend of mine from Serbia said that people listen to the tallest guy in the room who shouts the loudest. (He said it in a funny way, it's not meant as an insult.)
Serbian food is hearty and nutritious. Think of Greek cooking combined with Croatian recipes -- minced meat grilled and seasoned spicy. Lots of lamb, pork and veal. Stuffed cabbage similar to Moussaka. Home made apricot brandy, man!
Try Loki for a bite at night. You will feel like you never had a hamburger before!
Things to do, Recommendations
If you're visiting Belgrade in early March, check out the annual International Film Festival. It goes up in the same month as the Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival, a competition.
For nightlife in Belgrade, you have a lot of options. There are clubs build on rafts in the river, called Splavovi. For regular clubs on land, start with Anderground, a famous club located underneath the Kalemegdan fortress. The list continues here. There are about a gazillion pubs and bars to choose from when your night is getting started, as well as casinos and jazz clubs.
Text by Steve Smith.