History Through Architecture

Contributed by Jen Herz. Check out more of their posts from this summer here.

If you know anything about history then you would be aware of the tumultuous history of the Balkan region dating back many centuries. What I have found most interesting is the interconnectedness between architecture and the history. I will describe three separate areas (Old Belgrade, Novi Belgrade, and the Belgrade fortress) of Belgrade and how they tell just a part of Belgrade’s virulent history.

In Old Belgrade it is easy to see the influence that European architecture has had. However, the earliest of these buildings are from the 19th century due to the location of Belgrade and its’ frequent bombings and violence. Neoclassicism and romanticism are widely present.

The Belgrade fortress also known as Kalemegdan is perhaps the oldest structure within Belgrade. For many years Belgrade was under the rule of the Ottoman’s who greatly influenced the structures within the park. Typical byzantine architecture can be seen through the use of towers and a central planning system.

Lastly, is New Belgrade. Construction of New Belgrade began in 1948 with Tito in power. Apartments were built in a brutalist style quite quickly in order to accommodate the large influx of workers. Backbreaking labor built the city of Novi Belgrade.kalemegdan

The different architectural styles that are present throughout Belgrade contrast with the mostly monotonous architecture of the place where I’m from: New York. Architecture can aid in describing a city’s history and culture.



2 thoughts on “History Through Architecture

  1. Hey, Jen. Wonderful description of Belgrade’s three identities and histories … But let’s hear a shout out for quirky places in New York, too — like the mews in the Village, the new Governor’s Island park, and Coney Island. Seriously, though, your comments are insightful and leave space for you and others to connect different geographies with the people who live there (bud don’t have a seance with the dead who once lived in the fortress!). Does your home-stay family’s apartment reflect the district it’s in? Have you seen many churches in the neighborhood? Happy wandering. Claudia


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