Summer Night City – Belgrade by Night is the last post in the current series of posts about 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 and took some night photos.
I’ve already written a lot about Belgrade. Everyone interested to read and learn about the city should check my previous posts. In this post, I would like to present Belgrade by night.
The city government invested a lot of thought and effort to beautifully illuminate the most important historical sites, in addition to recently restored buildings.
FROM SLAVIA TO TERAZIJE
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 lived in Belgrade at that time and I remember the excitement when the restaurant opened, especially because it was still a communist country.
At that time, the iron curtain was very much in place in Europe. No other communist country, under the Soviet Union dominance, could’ve imagined having McDonald’s in its territory. But, Yugoslavia was a non-aligned and 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 almost 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 very 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.
SERBIAN PARLIAMENT AND NIKOLA PAŠIĆ SQUARE
Another beautifully illuminated building is the Serbian Parliament.
I have previously mentioned that, when I was in Belgrade, Republic Square was under renovation. The works will finish in October of this year. I look forward to seeing the square once it’s 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 impressive. It will look even better once the works in the square are also completed. This museum is a real gem. Its superb collection of the Serbian medieval art, Serbian 18th and the 19th century paintings and international paintings is a must see for anyone visiting Belgrade.
DELIJSKA FOUNTAIN AND CHRISTMAS DECORATION
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. 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!
BELGRADE CITY LIBRARY
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, it was the most modern, elegant and best equipped of all hotels in Belgrade. The library is in this building since 1986.
PRINCESS LJUBICA’S RESIDENCE AND THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH
One more precious museum that should be on every visitor’s list is the Princess Ljubica’s Residence.
Undoubtedly, the most impressive and the most important historical site in Belgrade is the Belgrade Fortress.
One of Belgrade’s most beautiful buildings is the Cooperative Building, in Karadjordjeva street. It is now 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 early 20th century Serbian architecture. 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. For many decades its neglected, black facade hid its true beauty. There are many other equally beautiful buildings in that same area that need to be restored. Hopefully, it will be done and this street will look glamorous again.
The photo of the tram was taken in Sava Square, a big square in front of the former Belgrade railway station. The square will be completely renovated this year. The building behind the tram is the St. Sava hospital.
These rubbish containers were also in Sava Square. I’ve seen pictures of the restoration project of the square. It was 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, I will only write about many changes and improvements in Belgrade in my future posts. I am very glad that, after decades of complete neglect, the city is finally receiving due attention and care.
SUMMER NIGHT CITY – BELGRADE BY NIGHT
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 the 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…