Belgrade Fortress - Kalemegdan
Belgrade Fortress is the most important sight in Belgrade. This former stronghold, today a park consists of four different units: Great Kalemegdan, Little Kalemegdan (together make Kalemegdan Park), Upper and Lower Towns.
Belgrade fortress originates from the first century AD, when a Roman military fort was located in this place. The fortress is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and once it was the main cause of permanent occupation and wars. Today, it testifies about the history of different cultures and its numerous conquerors.
Here you will find galleries, Military and Natural History Museums, many important monuments, fountains, basketball and tennis courts, restaurants, and park for children. You can even visit some of its dungeons dating from ancient times, the Roman well and Belgrade Observatory.
The most famous gathering place at Belgrade Fortress is the Victor Monument, dedicated to the win over Turkish and Austro-Hungarian Empires. It was supposed to stand at Terazije Square, but Belgradians disagreed with that because of too much nudity - Victor is fully naked holding pigeon in one hand and a sword in the other. At the end, monument was placed at the Kalemegdan Park, at that time the farthest possible place, which almost a century later turned out to be the most popular tourist place. The most depicted view is the one from the Victor monument - the confluence of two rivers with a view over the Great War Island.
Saint Sava Temple
Saint Sava Temple is the largest Orthodox temple in the Balkans. It was built in the Serbo-Byzantine style and including the cross on top of the dome, it is 82 meters high. The temple is still under construction, although major works ended in 2004. The construction of the church lasted more than planed because of wars, poverty and partly because of communist rule. Church is so big that can seat more than 10,000 people at the same time. Saint Sava Temple is known for its polyphonic bells so make sure to get to the Temple at
a full hour to hear them.
It is built on the place where Turks burned remains of Saint Sava. Saint Sava, born as Rastko Nemanjić, was son of Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja and a founder of Hilandar Monastery on Athos Mountain. In 1219, he founded Serbian Orthodox Church by winning independence from Byzantium. He is considered Serbian educator, saint and patron of schools and education establishments. Although church is still under construction, you can visit it during the day and evening.
Skadarska Street - Skadarlija
Skadarska Street, or Skadarlija as Belgradians like to call it, was and still is the bohemian heart of Belgrade. If you want to party in an old-fashioned Serbian way with a lot of rakija, good food and live music performed by string orchestras, than you simply have to visit Skadarlija. It represents the spirit of socializing in bistros and shows vivid nightlife as it used to be.
The street got its name from the Albanian town of Skadar, and it became popular at the end of the 19th century after the famous Dardaneli bistro on Republic Square was shut down. Skadarlija was the gathering place of Serbian poets, artists, painters, all of whom liked to drink and discuss politics while enjoying the bistro atmosphere. Skadarlija was the place for everyone, from rich people and artists to apprentices and ministers. Since many of them lived in or around this street, moving to any of nearby kafanas was like going to their own living room for a glass of drink.
The most visited places are, of course, the old kafanas decorated in Serbian style and serving traditional Serbian cuisine - Dva bela goluba, Tri šešira, Šešir moj, Zlatni bokal, Ima dana and Dva jelena. While strolling down the street you will pass the house of the notable Serbian poet Djura Jakšić. This house is recognizable from his statue and is a small exhibition space with concerts, poetry nights and frequent exhibitions. While passing, check through the window if something is going on, and visit freely if something is going on inside .
Avala - Avala Tower
Although Belgrade is mostly surrounded with plains, mountain Avala makes an exception. Avala, which lies 15 km south from the city, is definitely favorite relaxing spot for many Belgradians. It is place of historical and cultural significance. Mountain becomes "alive" especially during spring and fall time, when picnic in shades of the forest represents favorite activity of visitors.
Along the road towards the Avala peak, on the left side lies historical sight - monument dedicated to Russian war veterans who died in an airline accident in 1964. At the very top of the mountain, you will find Monument to the Unknown Hero. It is one of the most notable sights of Avala. Monument, dedicated to victims of the WWI, was built on a place where used to stand fortress Žrnovo. King Aleksandar I of Yugoslavia gave an order to destroy ruins of this former Roman settlement and build the monument in 1934.
While touring Avala, eventually you will get to the pride of Belgrade, Avala Tower. Tower is symbol of Belgrade and with 205 meters, it is the highest structure in Serbia. It was destroyed during NATO bombing in 1999, but later rebuilt and officially opened in April 2010, marking 11th anniversary of bombing of Serbia. Avala Tower has observation deck from which you can see most of the Belgrade surrounding.
Visit www.avalskitoranj.rs to see panorama from Avala Tower (inside and outside).
Ada Ciganlija is an island on the Sava River, near its confluence with the Danube, at a distance of only four kilometers from the center of Belgrade. Island is cowered with dense deciduous forest, dappled with pastures and meadows and has two pebble beaches. Through years Ada has become the largest, most beautiful and most visited weekend, holiday and swimming resort in Belgrade. It has sports courts, restaurants, cafes that work night and day, water ski, bungee jump, paths for bicycles and rollers. The promenade around the lake is 7.5 km long and you can go around it by foot or with a small cruising train. Ada offers various choices. You can spend an active sports day, relax at one of the beaches or just take a walk. If you prefer night fun, go out to one of the numerous bars and clubs on Ada. Some of them work non-stop during summer season.
During summer, Ada Ciganlija is the center of all sports activities in the city. You can find here facilities for almost every possible outdoor sport including basketball, football, volleyball (beach and regular), rock climbing, tennis and all this is free. All you need is to bring your equipment, balls, racquets and sports spirit. Also, there is an open-air trim park with 24 professional equipments and it’s free for use, as well. Lovers of cycling and rollerblading can use special prepared trails. If you do not have bicycle or rollerblades of your own, you can rent it at Ada. People who prefer water sports can learn how to ski on water or swim in the lake, play aqua soccer or kayaking. In 2012, Ada Ciganlija officially received the prestigious international recognition Blue Flag, which confirms the highest quality of the water and safety of all swimmers.
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