Reconnecting With My Roots, A Trip To Serbia – Belgrade Part 2

By Goran Prvulovic

In my previous blog post, I wrote at length about the second half of my trip to Serbia, which was spent in and around the countries capital city, Belgrade. My wife’s family lives predominantly in the capital city, as opposed to my extended family which is spread out over the countryside and my hometown of Negotin.

In addition to meeting several more of his relatives, my son and I explored not just the cities architectural wonders (click here to read more about some of Belgrade’s churches) but many of its café’s and restaurants.

Perhaps the most notable part of Belgrade for a tourist is it’s Knez Mihailova Street, a pedestrian, tourist, and shopping zone with numerous buildings and mansions that were built during the 1870’s. Real estate prices are so high that when one small store in 2016 was sold, it fetched a price of approximately $35,000 per square meter.

Amidst the site of many beautiful restaurants and buildings is a photographer’s dream come true. This picture I took while walking through a side alley on Knez Mihailova, passing by a restaurant that took an innovative approach to providing shade for its customers. Once again the weather was excellent, the spotless blue sky in the background compliments the red umbrellas perfectly (see The Red Umbrella Street).

It would hardly be called a vacation if we didn’t stop by some of the best café’s the city had to offer. While passing by one fancy spot me and my son tried, they offered a complimentary sample of fresh basil-water. It might not be anything special, but sometimes it’s shots of the little moments in life that really stand out (Basil Water).

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, fountains are a common site across Belgrade, as the countries natural groundwater is constantly bursting forth from the earth. Over time, Serb’shave built springs that capitalize on this, giving residents access to fresh, healthy spring water that gets recycled into the countries water supply. Belgrade is no exception, with many fountains across the city bring their own sense of charm to the eyes of ongoers – both tourists and photographers alike (The Old Fountain).

Belgrade has a reputation for being a city with a vibrant nightlife, although neither myself nor my son is fond of that sort of thing. Here is another picture of Knez Mihailova street, where you can see some of the traditional, 19th-century buildings in the background (Knez Mihailova At Night).

Here’s another picture of Knez Mihailova during the night on our second last day, where it was raining profusely during our time. It’s a different look in comparison to the sunny, vibrant look of Serbia that’s been the norm for most of these blog posts (The Old Street).

It would be a shame to end this blog post without a picture from one of Belgrade’s most notable cultural monuments, the Kalemegdan fortress. The 160-acre fortress, which doubles as a park, boasts over 2 million visitors every year. First built close to 2,000 years ago overlooking the point where two rivers come together, Kalemegdan boasts one of the most beautiful views of the city. Many statues, churches, museums, street vendors, military displays, and other amenities make this park one of the most popular locations throughout the city.

This brings an end to this long-running blog series on my two-week trip to Serbia. Travelling isn’t something that I get to do too often, so I always make sure to take advantage of the opportunity when it comes my way.

Until next time,

Goran

View from the Kalemegdan Fortress

View from the Kalemegdan Fortress

Reconnecting With My Roots, A Trip To Serbia – Belgrade Part 1

By Goran Prvulovic

After having a busy past few weeks, I’ve been trying to re-establish a normal blogging schedule again. Last time, we finished up our rural escapades throughout Serbia’s countryside, brushing past one of it’s most famous cultural landmarks, the Golubac castle. Now we’ve reached the other half of this trip, which is focused on the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade.

According to Wikipedia, Belgrade literally means the “White City.” Located where the Danube and Sava rivers converge, the 1.6 million residents reside in one of the most culturally rich cities in the entirety of the Balkans. Evidence of ancient settlements on this key location on the river dates back to the 6th millennium, with various Thracian and Dacian tribes residing in the area before Roman occupation.


Among the most beautiful parts of the Serbian cultural scene is its architecture, most notably it’s churches. The city boasts one of the largest Orthodox Christian churches in the entire world, the Church of Saint Sava. Styled in a neo-byzantine fashion, this church has a capacity of over 10,000, and once completed, would be the largest church of its kind on the planet. Although much of the building is still under development, my son and I were able to browse through the beautiful mausoleum and crypt.


As is often the case with orthodox church’s, lavish decorations are usually the norm. This particular crypt was so adorned with various icons and images that I felt compelled to take some pictures of what I saw. The photo above features my son looking at the iconography of one of many walls depicting religious scenes (photo 1).

Here’s another picture of the same crypt but from a much different angle. Looking straight up at the hanging chandelier, the icons of four different saints split the image up in a slightly, off-centre fashion. It’s not the kind of sight you will stumble across your day to day life, and that’s especially why I like this scene as a photograph (photo 2).


Aside from the church of Saint Sava, the second most famous church in Belgrade is St. Marks Church. Completed in 1940 during world war two, this modern, Byzantine-styled building was built on the site of an older, previous church that dates back to 1835. Here is a frontal picture of the church (photo 3).


Another prominent church is St. Michael’s Cathedral, which I managed to take a couple of pictures of (photo 4 and photo 5). In both the photos above and below, I experimented with where I wanted to place the subject of my image. The clear sky above gave these images a charming simplicity, dividing the picture into three visual areas, the sky, the trees, and the church steeple. Either way, you can’t deny the effect having excellent weather has on your photographs.

Seeing again these types of buildings in this distinctly eastern European style is a refreshing change from the more bland looking churches the dot the landscape of North America, at least from an architectural and aesthetic standpoint.

Until next time,

Goran

Photo 1

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 3