Serbia and Kosovo, June-July 2010
Pictures taken between 30th June and 3rd July 2010. Belgrade (Beograd) means ‘white city’ in Serbian.
Kalemegdan fortress and park are the oldest part of the Belgrade urban area and historically the fortress was the core of the city. Today it is located to the north of the modern city centre. Kalemegdan stands on top of a 125.5 metres high cliff-like ridge that overlooks the Great War Island and the confluence of the Sava river into the Danube. It provides good views across the city.
The fortress can be dated back to the third century BC. Later it was conquered by the Romans and became known as Singidunum. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian I rebuilt the Fortress in stone around 535 AD.
Kalemegdan was declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by the Serbian government. The name Kalemegdan derives from two Turkish words, kale (fortress) and meydan (battleground) (literally, “battlefield fortress”).
Ruins of the Yugoslav Ministry of Defense building, located near the train station. It was bombed by NATO during the 1999 hostilities over Kosovo. It has been left in its ruined state as a reminder of the conflict.
Tony standing behind a motorbike with Eion from France. Eion was travelling with another French guy around the world by motorbike. They were on their way home when Tony met them in Belgrade. Picture taken outside Star Hostel, 2nd July 2010.
Tony in front of a statue of Mihailo Obrenović III, Prince of Serbia, in Republic Square. Prince Mihailo was leader of Serbia for two reigns: first from July 8, 1839 to September 14, 1842 and later from September 26, 1860 to June 10, 1868. He was eventually assassinated.
The cathedral temple of Saint Sava is built on the Vračar plateau. From its location, it dominates Belgrade’s cityscape and is perhaps the most monumental building in the city. It is technically not a cathedral because it is not the seat of a bishop. In Serbian it is called a hram (temple), which in Eastern Orthodoxy is another name for a church. In English, it is usually called a cathedral because of its size and importance.
Forty years after the initial idea, construction of the church began on May 10, 1935, 340 years after the burning of Saint Sava’s remains. The cornerstone was laid by bishop Gavrilo Dožić-Medenica. However, work was stopped during World War II and did not restart until 1985.
The massive dome, copper plate and the cross were lifted onto the walls in just forty days during 1989. As of 2010 the church is mostly complete apart from the inner decoration, which remains partly unfinished. It is the world’s largest Eastern Orthodox Christian (Serb Orthodox) church.
Tony outside St. Mark’s church. This Serb Orthodox church was built in the style of Gračanica monastery in Kosovo. It is located in Tašmajdan Park and is one of the largest churches in Serbia. It was built between the two world wars, from 1931-1940, and its interior is still not fully completed.
The square is named after Nikola Pašić who served as mayor of Belgrade, prime minister of Serbia and prime minister of Yugoslavia in the early twentieth century. Formerly the square was named Marx and Engels Square.
Nikola Pašić Square lies in downtown Belgrade as the direct extension of Terazije. It overlooks the monumental building of the National Assembly and itself extends into Belgrade’s longest street, King Alexander Boulevard, while Dečanska Street connects it to the Republic Square.
A monument to Nikola Pašić was erected in the early 1990s. The dominant architectural features in the square are the massive, soc-realistic Dom sindikata (Trade Union Hall) building and one of Belgrade’s largest fountains. The Museum of Yugoslav History is located across from the fountain. Adjacent to the square is the Pionirski Park as well as the buildings of the Belgrade City Hall and the Presidency of the Republic.
Pictures taken between 4th and 6th July 2010. Niš is the third largest city in Serbia.
Niš fortress was built by the Turks in the middle of the 17th century. It was constructed on the site of an ancient Roman fortified camp on the Nišava riverbank. The Fortress has a polygonal ground plan, eight bastion terraces and four massive gates. The rampart walls are 2,100 metres long, 8 metres high and 3 metres thick on average.
The Skull Tower (Cele Kula) is one of the strangest and most horrific monuments of Turkish rule in Serbia. The tower was built in 1809, after the battle between Serbs and Turks at Cegar near Niš, from the sculls of the Serbs killed in the battle. This tower is now housed inside a small church.
Mediana is an important archaeological site in the eastern suburbs of Niš. It contains the remains of a 6th century imperial Roman settlement and includes palaces, bath houses and villas. The central villa has an impressive floor mosaic. The site is associated with Roman emperor Constantine I (Constantine the Great) who was born in what is now modern day Niš in c.272 and died 22 May 337 (aged 65).
Kosovo is a disputed territory in the Balkans, southern Europe. In 2008 Kosovo declared itself independent from Serbia. This unilateral secession is not recognised by Serbia, which regards Kosovo as an integral part of its territory. As of 2010 around 65 countries recognise Kosovo as an independent state. Kosovo’s declaration of independence followed almost nine years of administration as a United Nations protectorate after the Kosovo War of 1998-99 which led to the effective political and economic separation of Kosovo from the rest of then Yugoslavia.
Kosovo’s capital and largest city is Pristina. The government is a parliamentary republic under a United Nations administration. The currency is the Euro and the national languages are Albanian, Serbian, and English. The country is landlocked and bordered by Serbia to the north and east, the Republic of Macedonia to the south, Albania to the west and Montenegro to the northwest (the latter three recognise Kosovo as independent).
A recently erected 3.5m (11 ft) bronze statue of Bill Clinton in central Pristina. The former US President is highly regarded by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian population for his role in instigating NATO military action in 1999 which led to Kosovo’s effective political and economic separation from the rest of then Yugoslavia.