Belgrade, Republic of Serbia eob@eyesonbelgrade.com

Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra

Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra (King Aleksander blvd.) is the longest street in Belgrade, and one of the longest European avenues, with cca. 8 kilometers of length.

It was named in 1895 after the reigning Serbian king Alexander Obrenović (ruled from 1889-1903). After the WWII it was renamed to Red Army Boulevard for a short period of time, and from 1952 until 1997 this avenue was officially called Boulevard of Revolution. It is commonly reffered to as "Bulevar" (eng "Boulevard") among ordinary people.

By the Urban planning project from 1927 the majority of the most important buildings in this street were constructed in the predominant style of Academism. So, when you go from the National Assembly of Serbia, on your left you will immediately notice a building of the Main Post Office (1938), and on your right the Czech Embassy (1927).

 

Moving on, on your left is a magnificent St. Mark's Church (1940) and Tašmajdan Park. On the right (corner with Resavska street) stands a beautiful neoclassical Marinković Palace from 1926, like the one on the following corner (with Svetozara Markovića street). On the next intersection stands the Faculty of Law (1938). If you turn right down Beogradska street you'll get to Slavija square in 5 minutes. 

Moving along, you'll reach Metropol Palace hotel (1957) and the University Library (1926).  If you turn right to Prote Mateje street you'll by pass the wonderful house at no. 52 and you'll get to Nikola Tesla museum in 5 minutes on foot.

In continuation, you'll reach the Faculty of Technical Sciences (1931) with the monument to Nikola Tesla, world famous inventor. Further on there is a monument to the father of Serbian Language Vuk Karadžić, and Cyril and Metodius Park, ending with a wonderful building of the Students' Home "King Alexander I" (who financed its construction in 1928). And it goes on through various Belgrade districts.

But if you turn left at the Vuk Karadžić monument, to Ruzveltova street (Theodore Roosevelt blvd.) you will reach the New Cemetery, the Jewish Cemetery and the Cemetery to the Liberators of Belgrade. Nearby is the famous "Pioneer" Hall of Sports (used predominantly for basketball, now called "Aleksandar Nikolić Hall of Sports").

If you turn right at the Vuk Karadžić monument, you will go directly to St. Sava's Church.

 

Marinković Palace

This remarkable non-symetrical building is lying at the corner of King Alexander blvd. and Resavska st., right accross St. Mark's Church.

Year of construction: 1936

Architecture: Neoclassicism

Location: 26 King Alexander blvd. (Bul. Kralja Aleksandra), Vračar district

The first floor stands out as piano nobile, and it is ornamented with Cariatide statues. Dragoljub Marinković, the proprietor of the building, was a lawyer. After WWII, the building was about to be taken away from him and nationalized, as was the common case in those times of the communist regime. However, he wrote in his will that he donates the building to the Faculty of Medicine, which has to establish a scholarship from the money received by the rent.

 


Czech Embassy

This edifice, a witness of history, is a place of great significance that even most local citizens aren't aware of.

Year of construction: 1926

Architecture: Neoclassicism (originated from Czech Cubism)

Location: 22, Kralja Aleksandra street, Vračar district

The building of the Czech Embassy in Belgrade is some hundred meters away from the building of the National Assembly of Serbia, in the very center of the city. The Serbian Embasy in Prague is some hundred meters away from the Czech Parliament, in very center of the city. Why? Between two world wars, King Alexander of Yugoslavia and Czech president, Tomaš Masaryk, were great friends. They even formed an alliance, together with Romania, called "Little Entente". The Kingdom of Yugoslavia (Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), Czech Republic and Romania tried to form a strong bondage and never let Austro-Hungary happen again. Or some other kind of great power imposing its domination over these countries. Unfortunately, King Alexander was assassinated in 1934, in Marseille, and this alliance lost its importance over time, and before WWII it was like it never existed. However, the very existance of such a union between the countries irritated Hitler. So, it wasn't a surprise that he instisted that the capitulation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia should be signed in this building. On April 17th, 1941, Yugoslavia officially surrendered and signed the document in the premises of the Czech Embassy in Belgrade, as Hitler wished.

 


St. Mark's Church and Tašmajdan Park

St. Mark's Church is located in the center of Belgrade, in Tašmajdan park. It was built on the place of the old St. Mark's Church, which was constructed in 1830's. (read more in separate arcticle)

 


Faculty of Law

Building of one of the oldest academic institutions in Serbia - Faculty of Law, founded in 1808, is a fine example of modern architecture.

Year of construction: 1938

Architecture: Modernism, in the shape of triangle rounded on top and without ornaments on the facade

Location: 67, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra, Vračar district

 


Metropol Palace Hotel

Metropol Palace hotel is the most famous hotel in the old part of the city and a cultural monument of high importance.

Year of construction: 1957

Architecture: Modern

Location: 69, King Alexander blvd., Palilula district

Originally, the building was planned to be a Congress Center, but soon it was decided to convert it into a hotel so the architect, Dragiša Brašovan, slightly changed the project for its new purpose. This was done before the grand opening in 1957. This five-star hotel now counts with nearly 200 rooms. It is recognizable by its white facade and by marble flooring inside. This hotel, over the course of years, hosted many world famous people, like Che Guevara, Elisabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Anthony Quinn, Bobby Fischer, Neil Armstrong, Louis Armstrong, Haile Selassie and many, many more.

Find out more at the Official Web-site of the hotel.

 


University Library

Standing alone, building of the University Library is something that you will definitely notice walking along Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra.

Year of construction: 1926

Architecture: Academism

Location: 71, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra, Vračar district

In 1946, after the WWII, it was named after Serbian writer, literary critic and politician who promoted socialist ideas, Svetozar Marković (1846-1875), and it keeps a precious collections of writings, rare books and archive.

 


Faculty of Technical Sciences

Standing alone, same as the building of the University Library next to which is located, this monumental edifice is maybe the most impressive architectural piece in King Alexander blvd.

Year of construction: 1931

Architecture: Academism

Location: 73, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra ("King Alexander blvd."), Vračar district

In this building several technical faculties are located, namely Faculty of Electrotechnics, Faculty of Civil Engeneering, and Faculty of Architecture. The whole complex (including University Library, Archive of Serbia, and the Faculties of Technology and Mechanical Engeneering) belonged to Belgrade Hippodrome (Horse Racing Track), which moved after the GreatWar to another location, and the land was given to the University of Belgrade.

Monument to NikolaTesla

Above the main entrance we find head sculptures of Serbian men wearing "Šajkača", Serbian traditional hat, as it was the case with the palace of Old Yugoslav Bank at Republic Square. No wonder, both sculptors were of Czech origin.

Man wearig "Šajkača" above the main entrance to the Faculty of TechnicalSciences

 


Cyril and Methodius Park

Cyril and Methodius park is located in King Alexander blvd. (ser. "Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra"), colloquially said "by the monument to Vuk Karadžić". It was named after two enlighteners who spread literacy among the Slavic people in the 9th century.

The park is small and very nice, with a fountain. The central spot occupies the statue of Cyril and Methodius, but also there is a monument to Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

Monument to Cyril and Methodius

The grand monument to Vuk Karadžić, father of the Serbian language, is located at the entrance to the park, on the corner of King Alexander blvd. and Theodore Roosevelt st. On the opposite side there is a beautiful building of the Students' Home "King Alexander I".

In the vecinity, there are Faculties of Technical Sciences and the University Library.

 


Students' Home King Alexander I

This building is constructed in 1928, with the purpose of housing the students of Belgrade University.

Year of construction: 1928

Architecture: Academism

Location: 75, King Alexander blvd. (Bul. Kralja Aleksandra), Vračar district

The students' home is named after assasinated Serbian king Alexander I Obrenović, who died with his wife Draga in riots commonly known as "May Coup" in 1903.

 

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