Oct 30

Belgrade

Whenever I put pen to paper, or to be more accurate, whenever I stand in front of my laptop determined to post another article on this site, the same question springs to mind: which tourist attractions are more appreciated? But the question remains hanging in the air. Because there is no correct answer to this question as we are all different and our preferences might have nothing in common. So hopefully, some of the tourist attractions presented here might stir your interest and get you packing.

There are some who want to explore the most hidden parts of the world, to uncover places and monuments which have not yet come to the public attention but which are definitely enthralling  and worth traveling far distance for them.

http://hotels-in-belgrade.com/

Today I will not focus on a specific monument, building or natural landscape, but I will try to pinpoint the reasons for which you should definitely put Belgrade on your list of ‘places to visit.’

The Serbian capital city is one of the oldest cities in Europe and this alone should get you excited about the historical past that this place has to offer. Just think of how many generations have put their mark on the city and how many architectural styles and cultural elements can be revealed in each nook and corner of Belgrade.

http://www.belgradehill.com/

Maybe this tourist attraction would catch your attention even more if I were to mention that Belgrade is one of the most visited capital not only of the European continent, but of the entire world. What is striking is that different historical periods have remained ‘engraved’ in the city and this can be seen in the architectural designs preserved from those ages. So the communist era is still represented in the constructions spread throughout Belgrade, but one can also indulge the sense with a more modernist approach to art due to various contemporary monuments. Among the monuments one ought to visit while in Belgrade, I will mention St. Sava’s Cathedral, the Nikola Tesla Museum, and the Belgrade Fortress, three representative edifices of the Serbian Capital, which have been explored previously on this website.

http://www.teslasociety.com/belgradecom.htm

Another must-see area, which is not that well-known, is the Skadarlija Street where tourists can almost see Belgrade come to life. Why do I mention this particular street? Because it combines mundane elements with artistic features. Tourists can stroll down the street, which is surrounded by the Skadar Lake, admire the multiple paintings which are represented on the façades of the buildings and even relax for a moment by drinking a cup of coffee at one of the multiple coffee shops and terraces sprinkled every here and there.

My advice is this: if you are a world- traveler and you appreciate the different layers of art that the countries of this planet have to offer, then you should not miss the chance to witness how history has managed to inscribed itself within the monuments of Belgrade.

Apr 29

Djerdap Gorge (Defileul Dunarii)

If you are interested in being surrounded by nature on all four sides then Derdap National Park is the place to visit. This tourist attraction is located in Serbia and it is encompased by the Danube, on the left, its most eastern point being the Golubac Fortress, and the dam built in Sip, to the right.

Besides the fact that you are given the opportunity to witness nature in its rawest state, and I refer here to the fact that the human hand has failed to interfere into the landscape, you are also presented with a unique image, one which you are bound to never encounter in your travels. The Djerdap Gorge is of immense beauty and you will unavoidably fell stricken by its grandeur. It is here that the well renowned Iron Gate is situated.

http://www.summerday.ro/2012/09/19/suveniruri-si-peripetii-de-vacanta/

http://www.summerday.ro/2012/09/19/suveniruri-si-peripetii-de-vacanta/

What you are to discover here is the masterful carving that the river had managed to achieve in the mountainous rocks in its tumultous flow down the stream. It is in this precise point, the Derdap gorge that you are to encounter the lengthiest and the largest river accumulation in Serbia.

The setting is mesmerizing. In fact the gorge is compound, being formed of four other gorges which are differentiated by the means of valleys. The canyons have dissimilar shapes and sizes, an aspect which contributes extensively to the general image offered by the web of ravines that characterize the area.

http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t631682/

http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t631682/

Due to the geographical features of this park, an abundant array of plant life and wildlife is distinguishable in the area – to which are added various historical and cultural monument, sprinkled with breathtaking sceneries. The result can be only one: tourists are presented with a beautiful landscape which incorporates all the elements that nature has to offer. If you are to take into account the man-made constructions, such as the huge hydroelectric powerplant built there, you are definitely in for a trip of great discoveries in which you will enjoy a beautiful day around the natural park but you will also get to see the forth largest hydroelectric plant in the world.

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/djerdap

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/djerdap

The national park has undergo several projects of revival in the sense that the administration has sought to preserve the elements which depicted the historical past of the area, such as the aforementioned Golubac Fortress, or the bridge constructed under Traian, the Roman Emperor.

Elements of Byzantine and Roman culture are still present in the gorge. Traian has spend quite an extended amount of time in the area during his battles with the Dacians and thus influences from these cultures are depicted even to this day.

Due to all the aspects which have been pinpointed throughout this article, Derdap national Park has become the number one tourist attraction in Serbia, especially since the inauguration of the dam.

Sep 21

Golubac Fortress (Cetatea Golubac)

The Golubac Fortress is an important tourist attraction located in Serbia. The history behind the edifice together with the impressive natural surrounding have contributed extensively to the way in which the fortress has established itself as a valuable touristic site located in Serbia.

The position it occupies offers a breathtaking view of the Danube River, but the moment it was constructed, the only thing that mattered was the strategic position it held. Built around the 14th century, the fortress is situated in the southern part of the Danube, at approximately 4 kilometers of the town of Golubac.

http://www.suvenirisrbije.com

The edifice was constructed in three stages – one dedicated to each of the 3 parts which form the Golubac Fortress, and contains 10 towers and 2 portcullises.

The historical background of the fortress is definitely worth looking into. Even before the stronghold was erected, the site  was inhabited by Romans. The Middle Ages were a tumultuous period in the history of the fortress as it became the battlefield of many wars, the most frequented oponents being the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. In time, the fortress had changed many masters, having been owned by Turks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Serbians and Austrians.

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At present, Golubac is visited by tourists coming from all over the world. It is situated right near the Romanian border and it marks the entrance to the Derdap National Park. The historical past of the fortress is actually shrouded in mystery. Even if there is certain evidence about the development and evolution of the fortress, there are still certain details which remain unknown even to this day. For instance, it is ambiguous who the founders of the edifice are. Should the construction of the fortress be attached to the Serbian or to the Hungarian population? And how many towers were there originally? These are only two of the questions which might never find their answer.

The exact moment when the construction work began cannot accurately be established, but the first time the fortress was mentioned was in 1335 when it is said to have been occupied by the Hungarian military.

http://www.balkantravellers.com

Golubac Fortress has experienced certain modifications throughout time. For instance, the towers were actually constructed as squares which meant only one thing: that at the time when the fortress was built, and for years to come after that, the battlefield was conquered with swords. Only when the firearm was invented, did the structural design of the edifice shifted. The towers were ‘upgraded’ so to speak in order to contain within their walls cannons, but more importantly, there were alterations conducted to the walls in order to allow the combatants to fire at their opponents.

Nine towers measure 20-25 meters in height, while the tenth, the cannon tower, is the shortest of them all and it has been created with the purpose of controlling the traffic on the Danube River. The oldest tower of the fortress has been nicknamed ‘Hat Tower’ consists of an octagonal base. The towers vary in terms of the shape they have at the base. While the second tower to the west is circular, the third is square, as well as the fourth and the fifth.

http://www.colourbox.com

One of the towers, the 4th one, contains an Orthodox chapel within its walls.  The interesting thing about this is that the chapel seems to have been erected the same time as the tower, not that it had been constructed at a later date. As time went by and as the fortress fell prey to the decaying process that naturally instills itself with the passage of time, restoration work was initiated with the purpose of enforcing the structure. As a result, some of the towers had had their square base improved.

Golubac Fortress bears a significant value not only to the Serbian history, but to the historical past of the world as important battles have been carried out here. Due to the historical events it had witnessed throughout time, the Golubac Fortress had been recognized as a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance back in 1979, becoming a protected monument under the State of Serbia.

Aug 20

Belgrade Fortress (Fortareata din Belgrad)

Belgrade Fortress is also known as Kalemegdan Fortress due to the fact that it encompasses within its structure the Kalemegdan Park. The fortress is the oldest citadel in Serbia and it is located in the Belgrade, where the Danube River and Sava Rivers converge. The importance of the construction has been recognized near the end of the 20th century, in 1979, when it has been declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance, being considered a historical heritage of the Republic of Serbia.

http://www.twcenter.net

 

The natural location in which it is found bestows the monument with a mesmerizing landscape. What is more, the fortress bears most of the history of Belgrade within its walls. Being the oldest construction on this territory, the past of the Serbian capital city revolved around this particular place, the majority of the events which occurred here were representative for the evolution of the city, in as much as they defined it. There is evidence from ancient times of the city-fortress which reinforce the fact that the fortification was an innate part of Belgrade.

http://www.theodora.com

 

The fortress, situated at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava River, was known at the time as the “military frontier” which was meant to separate the Roman Empire from the barbaric peoples dwelling in Central Europe. As a consequence, the fortress had witnessed various battles and had lost much of its structures in these conflagrations. The Belgrade Fortress had been rebuilt more than once, but each time its fate was the same: total destruction.

For the tourists interested in learning the historical past of the construction, it is worth mentioning that the fortress changed several hands. While in the 11th century it was a part of Serbia, it shifted to being under Hungarian control between 1282 and 1319, and later on it came under Ottoman ruling. The exact events will not be presented in this article as they will transform the presentation into a historical one, rather than focusing on the details which make the fortress worth visiting from a touristic point of view. It is only natural that its history plays an important part in this respect and thus it should be taken into account.

http://www.traveladventures.org

As it happened with the majority of the edifice which had seen the wrath of the two world wars, the Belgrade Fortress underwent severe damages.

The name by which it also goes, the Kalemegdan Fortress, is of Turkish origin and translated ad litteram means the “Battlefield Fortress,” as “kale” means fortress and “maydan” stands for battleground.

The fortress is divided into four sections: the Lower Town, the Upper Town, the Little Kalemegdan Park and the Large Kalemegdan Park. The first section is situated on the hill towards the water’s edge. The Upper Town is the most important section of the fortress being endowed with beautiful esplanades, statues, wells, grounds especially arranged for sports (such as tennis courts), to which are added the Observatory and the Planetarium.

http://www.gadling.com

In the Little Kalemegdan Park one can find the central zoo of the city as well as an art pavilion, an edifice where many exhibitions and cultural events took place throughout the years, thus contributing to the artistic life of Belgrade. The latter section, the Large Kalemegdan Park is defined by geometrical walkways, the Military Museum and the Museum of Forestry and Hunting.

It is no wonder that people who find themselves in Belgrade do not miss the opportunity to visit this impressive monument which contains within its walls numerous tourist attractions. Belgrade fortress is renowned for its underground passageways and tombs which are still shrouded in mystery as these have not been explored to the fullest.

Jun 05

Nikola Tesla Museum (Muzeul Nikola Tesla)

Belgrade is home to one of the most exquisite museums on the Serbian territory: the Nikola Tesla Museum. This museum is dedicated to the engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) who had made more than 300 revolutionary discoveries, the majority of them related to electricity and magnetism.

His discoveries led to technological progress. He was the one to use alternate currents to produce and distribute electricity, and the one to invent the rotating magnetic field. Because of this, the unit for the magnetic induction (in the International System of Units) is named after him: ‘tesla.’ You might be familiar with the fact that Tesla was the inventor of the high-voltage coreless transformer which at present bears the name of ‘Tesla Coil.’

http://atlasobscura.com

 

The museum is situated in Belgrade, right in the center of city. The edifice which holds the exhibitions is a 1929 residential villa which was erected after the architectural plan developed by Dragiša Brašovan, a renowned Serbian architect. The Nikola Tesla Museum came into being due to a governmental decision made in 1952.

All the items found inside the museum were transferred to Belgrade from America due to Tesla’s wish. Tesla was actually an American with Serbian origin so he lived in the US. After his death, all his belongings became the property of his nephew, Sava Kosanovic, whom the American court had declared the rightful heir of Nikola Tesla. Kosanovic respected his uncle’s wish and he donated the items to the Serbian state.  Thus, the museum is the singular one of its kind, where the legacy of Nikola Tesla can be witnessed first-handedly.

http://tesla-assen.blogspot.ro

 

This includes original documents (more than 160.000), books and journals (more than 2.000), plans and drawings (more than 1.000), photographs illustrating different types of machines, tools, and technical objects, as well as technical exhibits. All these collections are meant to recreate step by step the professional evolution of Nikola Tesla and to pinpoint the ground-breaking findings of the great engineer and inventor.

It is also noteworthy that the museum provides valuable information regarding the history of science, this being a place where researchers and scientists can find answers to questions they might have in the field. The documents encountered at the museum can serve as the foundation for future discoveries. But more so, one can grasp the meaning of Tesla’s contribution to the world of engineering and science.

http://www.teslasociety.com

 

The museum has become a part of the Memory of the Word Program – a program initiated by UNESCO in order to preserve the documentary heritage, to protect it against all the damages that it might be subjected to, either conducted by humans or by the unforgiving hands of time.

It is a rather uncommon situation that the documents of Tesla have traveled so far from their actual ‘home.’ Tesla, as it has been mentioned previously, was an American citizen and his connection to Serbia consisted only of the fact that he lived there for no more than 31 hours. And yet, it is the Serbians who are the safeguards of Tesla’s heritage.

http://www.flickr.com

 

Throughout time, several of the original documents found inside the archives have been deteriorated due to the fact that they were not adequately preserved inside the museum. Because of this, historians have reached the conclusion that it was probably not such a great idea to transport the works of Tesla to Serbia, as here these were not properly looked after. Whether or not this is a valid argument, is debatable.

The fact remains that Nikola Tesla Museum contains valuable papers and items belonging to the great inventor and engineer and that tourists have the chance to have a closer look at these upon their visit to Belgrade.

http://www.teslasociety.com

 

Visiting hours:

Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 – 18:00;

Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 – 13:00;

Monday: closed.