47th Children's October Salon
Belgrade, City of Culture – Children's Artistic Attraction

47th Children's October Salon

Topography of Old Belgrade

Names of parts of Belgrade belong to a genuine treasure trove of terms; some of them are still in use and refer to parts or quarters of our city while others slid into oblivion long ago.

Varoš Kapija (Town's Gate)

At the turn of the eighteenth century at the crossing point of the present-day Pop-Lukina and Topličin Venac streets there was erected one of the four gates (Vidin Kapija, Sava Kapija, Stambol Kapija1) as the entrance gate to the Belgrade town whereby the entire area was named Varoš Kapija. The gate separating the Serbian part of the town, i.e. the Sava part of the town from the Turkish or Austro-Hungarian parts was destroyed in 1862.

The term Varoš Kapija passed out of use in everyday communication though older residents still use to refer to it.

Skadarlija

"If Paris is the capital of the world, Montmartre is the capital of Paris; if Belgrade is the crossroads of world paths, Skadarlija is its soul2." The name Skadarska Street first appeared in 1872. Prior to that it was known as Gypsy mahalla where Roma people lived in their run-down and poorhuts and small houses. After the town's keys had been handed over to Prince Mihailo Obrenović and the Turks had left the area, the Roma moved away from Skadarlija and went to live in other parts of the town. Skadarlija then became place where café owners, petty officials and craftsmen made their homes, where shops and coffee-houses opened.Soon Skadarlija turned into a place where famous writers, journalists, poets, artist like Djura Jakšić, Jovan Jovanović Zmaj, Jovan Skerlić or Žanka Stokić lived and created their art works.

Nowadays Skadarlija is a must see tourist site resembling the old Bohemian quarter of the City of Belgrade.

Students' Square

Students' Square is the oldest square in Belgrade. During the Ottoman rule there was a Turkish graveyard located in the place, but in 1824 Serbian authorities installed a big trading market there later called the Big Market. After the regulation works were executed after the year 1869 the areaof Students' Square became better designed, one half of it was used as a market, and the other half was arranged as a park. One of the most important structures on this Square is the Captain Misha's Building erected in 1863 as designed by the Czech architect Jan Nevola. The object was built for Misha Anastasijević, rich merchant and business parter to Prince Miloš Obrenović. In the course of its building the original intention that the edifice shouldbe used for housing needs was abandoned and Misha Anastasijević donated the building to his homeland for educational purposes which is clearly stated in the inscription on the building "Misha Anastasijević to his fatherland". Nowadays this is the seat of the Belgrade University Rectorate. The market was displaced after 1927 and the entire area was then arranged as a park, remaining a park area until the present-days.

There are three monuments in the Students' Square for the visitors to see – the first one is dedicated to Josif Pančić, statue executed in 1897 by sculptor Djordje Jovanović, then the monument to Dositej Obradović, work of sculptor Rudolf Valdec, which was transferred from Kalemegdan Park in 1930 and the monument to Jovan Cvijić from 1994 and executed by the artist Oto Logo3.

Tašmajdan

The term Tašmajdan came into use with the arrival of the Ottomans to this area. The term itself denotes a quarry i.e. a site where from the stone used to be quarried. Many events made this area part of the town's history. Two years after the First Serbian Rising, Karadjordje with a group of insurgents organized his camp in Tašmajdan and from there he organized the siege of Belgrade in 1806. After the Second Serbian Rising Prince Miloš Obrenović ordered the old Serbian graveyard to be displaced from Varoš Kapija to Tašmajdan since he planned the building up of the Serbian town in 1826. Only ten years later, in 1835, an order was issued for the Church of St. Mark to be built on theTašmajdan plateau. The church was destroyed during the 1941 bombardment of Belgrade. About ten years before the old church was bombed, the building of a new church had started in 1931 and the works lasted for the next ten years. Executed in the Serbian-Byzantine style, it was created by architects Petar and Branko Krstić. At present the relics of Emperor Dušan are buried in the nave of the church, and the crypt shelters the remains of the last king from the Obrenović dynasty, King Aleksandar Obrenović and his wife Draga Mašin.

Nowadays Tašmajdan is a well arranged park in Belgrade offering various entertainment forms4.

1 Vidin Kapija, the eastern gate, was built in the eighteenth century. It was built by Austrians and the Turks destroyed it only to build the present day Vidin Kapija by mid-eighteenth century in the Lower Town of Kalemegdan.

Sava Kapija was the south gate connecting the Lower Town with the Sava part of the town. Parts of the gate were destroyed during the bombardment of Belgrade in 1944. In 2009 the gate was restored.

Stambol Kapija was on the way out of the town of Belgrade and since the road leading to Istanbul (Stambol) was passing through it the gate got its name. The gate was built by Austrians in the first half of the eighteenth century. Its location had been in between the present-day National Theatre and the Monument to Prince Mihailo. Prince Mihailo ordered in 1866 the gate to be pulled down since in its vicinity many Serbs lost their lives during the Ottoman reign (Др Видоје Голубовић, Стари Београд топографски речник, Београд, 2006, 47 – 48, 57, 205, 219.)

2Kosta Dimitrijević – writer, critic and essayist

3Др Видоје Голубовић, Стари Београд, топографски речник, Београд, 2006, 225.

4Др Видоје Голубовић, Стари Београд, топографски речник, Београд, 2006, 227-235.

ДивнаЂурић-Замоло, Београд као орјентална варош под Турцима 1521-1867, Музеј града Београда, Београд 1977, 159 – 181.