Summer Night City – Belgrade by Night is the last post in the current series of posts on Belgrade. I was there in the first two weeks of November 2018. Although, it wasn’t really summer, I was very lucky because it was very warm, almost like in summer. During the day, it was around 25 degrees C and evenings and nights were equally warm. That’s why I went around the city by night and took some nice photos.
I have already written a lot about Belgrade and anyone interested to read and learn about it should check my previous posts. Now, I would like to present a different aspect of the city.
The city government has invested a lot of thought and effort to beautifully illuminate the most important historical sites, as well as many other recently restored buildings.
This McDonald’s restaurant was the first one to open in Belgrade and all of Serbia, in March 1988. It was also the first one in all of central and south-east Europe. I still lived in Belgrade at that time and I remember the excitement, especially because that was still a communist country.
The iron curtain was still very much in place in Europe at that time. No other communist country, under the Soviet Union dominance, could have imagined having McDonald’s in its territory. But, Yugoslavia was a non-aligned and an independent country.
This is a closer view of the Belgrade Palace. I was in front of another iconic building in King Milan street when I took this photo – the Students’ Cultural Centre.
The building of the former legendary department store “Kluz” is directly opposite the Belgrade Palace. This building has a very beautiful interior space. It was perfectly suited for an up-market department store. The store closed in 1992. The building never regained its previous glory.
The Officers’ Club was built in 1895. The king wanted to provide a place for the Serbian Army officers where they could socialise and have fun. Due to its characteristic architecture, the building looks like a fortress.
The communist government nationalised it after the Second World War and assigned it to the Belgrade University in 1968. I have only ever known this building as the Students’ Cultural Centre. The centre was especially important for the city’s avant-garde scene. It was a concert hall where the biggest and the most important names in the Yugoslavian pop and rock music performed.
Another beautifully illuminated building is the Serbian Parliament.
I have previously mentioned that, when I was in Belgrade, the Republic Square was under renovation. The works will finish in October this year. I look forward to seeing the square once it has been completely restored. I am sure that it will look much better and more representative as the city’s main square. Both, the National Museum and the National Theatre are in the photo.
The newly renovated building of the National Museum looks absolutely impressive. It will look even better once the works in front are completed. The museum is a real gem. Its superb collection of the Serbian medieval art, the Serbian 18th and the 19th century paintings and the international paintings is a must see for anyone visiting Belgrade.
Despite the fact that it was only beginning of November, Christmas lights were already in place all over the city. However, I was not lucky enough to see them lit up. I left Belgrade several days before they were switched on. Funnily enough, the city government leaves the lights for 3 or 4 months. At least, the city looks pretty!
The Belgrade City Library is in the former building of the Serbian Crown hotel (Hotel Srpska Kruna). At the time of its construction in 1867, the hotel was the most modern, elegant and the best equipped of all hotels in Belgrade. The library is in this building since 1986.
The Princess Ljubica’s Residence is another precious museum that should be on every visitor’s list.
Undoubtedly, the most impressive and the most important historical sight in Belgrade is the Belgrade Fortress.
One of Belgrade’s most beautiful buildings is the Cooperative Building, in Karadjordjeva street. It is now a part of the Belgrade Waterfront project. The cooperative bank moved into the building immediately after its completion in 1907. It is also one of the most significant buildings of the Serbian architecture from the early 20th century. It represents the start of modern reconstruction of Belgrade along the embankment of the Sava river.
The building of the Faculty of Media and Communications, is one of many recently restored buildings in Karadjordjeva street. Its neglected, black facade hid its true beauty for many decades. There are many other equally beautiful buildings in that area that need to be restored. Hopefully, it will be done and this street will again look glamorous.
The photo of the tram was taken in Sava Square, the big square outside the former Belgrade railway station. The square will be completely renovated this year. The building behind the tram is the St. Sava hospital.
The rubbish containers were also in Sava Square. I have seen the pictures of the project for the restoration of the square. It was a big news in the Serbian press. It will be interesting to see the new square, once the works have been completed.
As a matter of fact, in my future posts, I will only write about many changes and improvements in Belgrade. I am very glad that, after decades of complete neglect, the city is finally receiving due attention and care.
Summer Night City was ABBA’s mega hit in 1978. An excellent song, still vibrant and relevant after so many years. ABBA released this song between two legendary albums – The Album and Voulez-Vous. I still remember buying the single at the time when it was released.
When the night comes with the action
I just know it’s time to go
Can’t resist the strange attraction
From that giant dynamo
Lots to take and lots to give
Time to breathe and time to live…