I am in love with Belgrade. It is my favourite city in Europe. I can’t believe I haven’t even been to Belgrade before this summer. And yet as I could not resist its draw, I visited it already four times since. The fatalistic calm and the explosive emotionality, the Eastern European familiarity and the Balcan exotic, the incredible energy and the melancholy. I am not surprised in the least that Lonely Planet would pick it as the number one party capital of the world. This doesn’t matter to me much as I rarely go to clubs – it is rather a symptom, an expression of this special atmosphere of freedom that rules this place. I did go to a club in Belgrade and what a visit it was. I love this place.
I’ve already written about Belgrade the first time I came here but I just feel like devoting another post to it. Bric-a-brac of photos that are full of memories.
The geography of Belgrade starts from the basic circumstance of geography. It sits at the confluence of two rivers: the Sava flows here into the Danube. It is the Danube that is of course the bigger of the two, and yet the Sava is the one which forms Belgrade, dividing it into two and yet uniting the two halves. The famous bridges of Belgrade, starting with the Brankov bridge, cross the Sava. The historical centre is on the East bank of the Sava, whereas the New Belgrade is on the West bank.
Further North West is the famous suburb of Belgrade called Zemun. The border between the Austrian and the Ottoman empires once ran here. In those days Belgrade was the Northernmost Turkish settlement, whereas Zemun was the Southernmost important settlement in the hands of the Austrians. Hence Zemun’s very special character. It feels like a Croatian town, or any other Central European, rather than a Serb.
Here is the view over Zemun from one of its vantage points. The broad river is the Danube and the Belgrade centre can be seen in the distance. The Sava flows into the Danube from the right, it is hidden here by the green mass of the Great War Island.
Continue reading Belgrade, my love