Vestiges of Communism in Belgrade

"The Messenger" - A Sculpture by Stevan Bodnarov

There are reminders of the 50 years of communism all throughout Belgrade. Above is a sculpture by Badnarov, who has several statues around the city including the one in the center of Slavija Circle. The one above is of a Partisan soldier in WW II and it is entitled “The Messenger” but I am not sure what he is referring to. Is there a Paul Revere in Yugoslavia? The work is located outside the Center for Culture and Sport “Šumice” here in Belgrade. Our ISB boys’ basketball team played an exhibition tourney there on Friday. The German School invited us and Public High School #13 to play and they rented the facilities. It was a beautiful basketball arena and there seemed to be some other sport venues in the complex. The Serbians love their sport and it is nice to have such a facility like this owned by the city and open to the public. It had that communist architecture feel to the place. Below is a photo of the gym. I wonder how long it will take to eliminate all signs of the communist era. There are so many cement apartment buildings, parks, and monuments that will remind future generations of that period in Serbia’s history. I like it because it is so different than anything I see in Michigan.

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2 thoughts on “Vestiges of Communism in Belgrade

  1. Sipa

    For the most part past months I have been quiet obeserver/reader of your posts about your life and events around and in Belgrade, Serbia, however can’t sit and read anymore without a comment….that being the case, I must say it starts to be bit annoying to read some (in my humble subjective opinion , one coming from someone who traveled more than half a planet and who currently resides in US, but if very much familiar with lot of things about region you reside in at the moment) comments within your posts how public pool at Ban’s Hill or PHS#13’s gym etc has communist architecture feel and other bs (pardon my “French”/vulgarity)….please for some of us who can’t clearly see communist feel in this gym or public pool you presented in previous post, explain in one of your posts or as a feedback to this comment what do you consider “communist architecture” exactly and how this facility (which by the way looks and is better equipped than many US High School gyms!) or public open area pools at Ban’s Hill (Košutnjak) is any different than hundreds and thousands of YMCA facilities around USA or for example many of the public pools or water-mines in US ????? Or, are housing projects built by US Government in large US cities for poor minorities (mainly afro-americans) potentially also remains of communist architecture in US, since they are also cement apartment buildings (Chicago, NYC and others are just some of many examples of it) ??? I will add, that in general majority of your posts and comments about life and related in Balkan region are realistic and positive (even when negative in the eyes of a local), however some are expected result of classical blindness caused by typical American ignorance caused by blinders of being American, which is bit surprising coming from someone who lived large part of their life outside of US. I am looking forward to read potential counter comment 🙂

  2. Just wondering if you have been to any Graveyards in Serbia. I went into one in my little tow of Knjazevac one day. One some of the Gravestones there were Stars instead of Crosses. The communist symbol is the lasting sign on their memorial stones. These vestiges will always remain.
    While back in the states a while back, after decorating from Christmas, my Serbian Father-in-Law notices a Red Christmas star on our wall during our skype conversation. He got all bent out of shape, because it was a symbol of Communism. I tried to explain, but he really hates things that remind him of those times. Thought you might find that interesting.

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