History of New Belgrade

Ljiljana Blagojević in her blog, “Art-E-Fact” has a nice post on the history of New Belgrade.

“New Belgrade is a modern city, built in the second half of the twentieth century, on the marshy plain bordered by the rivers Sava and Danube, stretching between the historical cities of Zemun and Belgrade.[1] The terrain of this modern development, most dramatically beheld from the position of the ancient Belgrade fortress, served for centuries as a no-man’s-land between the borders of the two empires, the Ottoman and the Austrian/Austro-Hungarian.[2] Devoid of any urban structure, it fulfilled the function of a cordon sanitaire, observed and controlled as no-connection-zone between the Orient, where Belgrade, as it were, marked its end point, and the Occident, of which Zemun was the, first, even if modest and marginal, port of call. In the short period between the World Wars, with the unification of the Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes/Yugoslavia, when the river Sava ceased being a state border, various planning strategies for the urbanization of this terrain were elaborated. Common denominator of all of these, otherwise widely divergent strategies was that they primarily envisaged the new development on this site as an expansion of, already uncontrollably sprawling, city of Belgrade. When the actual construction began in 1948, albeit in the changed socio-political conditions after the Second World War, the new city was conceived upon totally different premises. Most significantly, New Belgrade carried a potent symbolic function of being conceived as a new capital city of the new Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.”

Above is a photo of a typical New Belgrade apartment building I took in September of 2008.

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