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Serbia and Kosovo, June-July 2010

Belgrade

Pictures taken between 30th June and 3rd July 2010. Belgrade (Beograd) means ‘white city’ in Serbian.

A white peacock at Belgrade Zoo.A white peacock at Belgrade Zoo. 1st July 2010.

Entrance gate into Kalemegdan Fortress.Entrance gate into Kalemegdan fortress.

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”).

Tony at Kalemegdan Fortress. Behind him a display of old tanks and other military hardware.Tony at Kalemegdan Fortress. Behind him a display of old tanks and other military hardware.

Tony, in the background is a high stone wall, part of Kalemegdan Fortress.Tony, in the background is a high stone wall, part of Kalemegdan Fortress.

Walkway tunnel through a defensive wall at Kalemegdan Fortress.Walkway tunnel through a defensive wall at Kalemegdan Fortress.

Kalemegdan park and Fortress.Kalemegdan park and Fortress.

Stone tower and wall, part of Kalemegdan Fortress.Stone tower and wall, part of Kalemegdan Fortress.

Tony at Kalemegdan Fortress.Tony at Kalemegdan Fortress.

Tony and friend at Kalemegdan park overlooking the Sava river.Tony and friend at Kalemegdan park overlooking the Sava river.

Tony with a man playing guitar in Kalemegdan park.Tony with a man playing guitar in Kalemegdan park.

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.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.

Another view of the bombed Yugoslav Ministry of Defense building.Another view of the bombed Yugoslav Ministry of Defense building.

Bombed Yugoslav Ministry of Defense building.Bombed Yugoslav Ministry of Defense building.

Tony standing behind a motorbike with Eion from France.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.

Downtown Belgrade.Downtown Belgrade.

View from motorbike.View from motorbike.

View of Sava river from bridge.View of Sava river from bridge.

Tony sitting on motorbike.Tony sitting on motorbike.

Knez Mihailova (Prince Mihailo) Street, which is the main pedestrian area in the city. It leads to Republic Square with its fountain.Knez Mihailova (Prince Mihailo) Street, which is the main pedestrian area in the city. It leads to Republic Square with its fountain.

Another view walking along Knez Mihailova Street.Another view walking along Knez Mihailova Street.

People drinking from fountain on Knez Mihailova Street. The fountain is located in front of the Centre for Spanish Culture.People drinking from a fountain on Knez Mihailova Street. The fountain is located in front of the Centre for Spanish Culture.

Tony by drinking fountain.Tony by drinking fountain.

Knez Mihailova Street.Knez Mihailova Street.

Tony by a large fountain in Republic Square, city centre.Tony by a large fountain in Republic Square, city centre.

Tony in front of a statue of Mihailo Obrenović III, Prince of Serbia, in Republic Square. 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 Old Palace. It was built between 1882 and 1884. Today it houses the City Assembly of Belgrade.The Old Palace. It was built between 1882 and 1884. Today it houses the City Assembly of Belgrade.

Park close to the Old Palace.Park close to the Old Palace.

Tony outside the Temple of Saint Sava.Tony outside the Temple of Saint Sava.

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.

The unfinished interior of St. Sava Temple.The unfinished interior of St. Sava Temple.

Entrance to St. Sava Temple.Entrance to St. Sava Temple.

Karađorđev park located in front of St. Sava Temple.Karađorđev park located in front of St. Sava Temple.

The National Library.The National Library.

Fountains in Karađorđev park near St. Sava Temple.Fountains in Karađorđev park near St. Sava Temple.

Tony by the fountains.Tony by the fountains.

Another view of fountains.Another view of fountains.

More fountains.More fountains.

Tony with St. Sava Temple behind him.Tony with St. Sava Temple behind him.

St. Sava Temple from the park.St. Sava Temple from the park.

Park near St. Sava Temple.Park near St. Sava Temple.

Park near St. Sava Temple.Park near St. Sava Temple.

Street in central Belgrade.Street in central Belgrade.

Tony outside St. Mark's 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.

Interior of St. Mark's church.Interior of St. Mark’s church.

Memorial inscriptions inside St. Mark's church.Memorial inscriptions inside St. Mark’s church.

Tony outside the small Russian Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity, built in 1924.Tony outside the small Russian Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity, built in 1924.

The headquarters of the Serbian Post Office, erected in 1938.The headquarters of the Serbian Post Office, erected in 1938.

A park near to the Serbian parliament.A park near to the Serbian parliament.

Front of the Serbian parliament, unfortunately obscured by scaffolding.Front of the Serbian parliament, unfortunately obscured by scaffolding.

Outside the Serbian parliament.Outside the Serbian parliament.

View of central Belgrade, near the Parliament.View of central Belgrade, near the Parliament.

Tony in a small park in front of the Parliament.Tony in a small park in front of the Parliament.

Large fountain in Nikola Pašić Square (Trg Nikole Pašića).Large fountain in Nikola Pašić Square (Trg Nikole Pašića). 2nd July 2010.

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.

Nikola Pašić Square.Nikola Pašić Square.

Niš

Pictures taken between 4th and 6th July 2010. Niš is the third largest city in Serbia.

Tony at the Garden Hostel, Niš. Sunday, 4th July.Tony at the Garden Hostel, Niš. Sunday, 4th July.

Tony with Serba, the Garden Hostel manager, at a café in Niš city centre.Tony with Serba, the Garden Hostel manager, at a café in Niš city centre.

Tony at café.Tony at café.

Tony at the entrance gate to Niš fortress.Tony at the entrance gate to Niš fortress.

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.

Park inside Niš fortress.Park inside Niš fortress.

View towards the hamam (Turkish bath house) inside Niš fortress.View towards the 15th century hamam (Turkish bath house) inside Niš fortress.

Close up view of a massive gate at one of the entrances to Niš fortress.Massive gate at one of the entrances to Niš fortress.

Tony at Niš fortress.Tony at Niš fortress.

Café boat on the Nišava River.Café boat on the Nišava River.

View along the Nišava River in Niš.View along the Nišava River in Niš.

Another view of the Nišava River.Another view of the Nišava River.

View across the river towards the Niš fortress gate.View across the river towards the Niš fortress gate.

Bridge across the river.Bridge across the river.

Tony at a restaurant on the river bank, opposite the old fortress.Tony at a restaurant on the river bank, opposite the old fortress.

Busy street in the centre of Niš.Busy street in the centre of Niš.

Niš's main square.Niš’s main square.

Another view of the main square.Another view of the main square.

Large fountain in the main square.Large fountain in the main square.

The fountain.The fountain.

The fountain again.The fountain again.

Small park off the main square.Small park off the main square.

Another view of the park.Another view of the park.

The across the main square.The across the main square.

Tony with a large Alsation dog named Ringo at the Garden Hostel.Tony with a large Alsation dog named Ringo at the Garden Hostel.

The Skull Tower (Cele Kula).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.

Tony at the Skull Tower.Tony at the Skull Tower.

Tony at the Roman archaeological site of Mediana. He is inside the ruins of the palace.Tony at the Roman archaeological site of Mediana. He is inside the ruins of the palace.

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).

Tony at Mediana archaeological site.Tony at Mediana archaeological site.

Tony by the remains of a row of marble columns at Mediana.Tony by the remains of a row of marble columns at Mediana.

View across Mediana archaeological site.View across Mediana archaeological site.

Roman remains at Mediana archaeological site.Roman remains at Mediana archaeological site.

Tony by stone artefacts at Mediana.Tony by stone artefacts at Mediana.

Tony in the grip of comfort! A strange handshaped chair at the Garden Hostel.Tony in the grip of comfort! A strange handshaped chair at the Garden Hostel.

Pristina, Kosovo

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).

Entrance to Velania Guesthouse.Entrance to Velania Guesthouse.

Residential street near Velania Guesthouse.Residential street near Velania Guesthouse.

People walking along Rruga Nena Tereze (Mother Teresa Street). This is the city's main pedestrianised shopping street.People walking along Rruga Nena Tereze (Mother Teresa Street). This is the city’s main pedestrianised shopping street.

Large poster of Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi on the side of an apartment block.Large poster of Kosovo’s Prime Minster Hashim Thaçi on the side of an apartment block.

View along Rruga Nena Tereze.View along Rruga Nena Tereze.

An area of grass in front of apartment blocks in central Pristina.An area of grass in front of apartment blocks in central Pristina.

Street in downtown Pristina.Street in downtown Pristina. The building with the glass façade is the headquarters of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.

Man mowing the grass beside the road.Man mowing the grass beside the road.

A recently erected 3.5m (11 ft) bronze statue of Bill Clinton in central Pristina.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.

Close-up view of the Bill Clinton statue.Close-up view of the Bill Clinton statue.

Tony in front of the Bill Clinton statue.Tony in front of the Bill Clinton statue.

Apartment buildings near the Bill Clinton statue.Apartment buildings near the Bill Clinton statue.