The Serbia Monuments are the living witnesses to the history and culture of Serbia. The old and the new monuments represent the historical and cultural transition that the country of Serbia has gone through.
Some of the must see monuments in Serbia are: The Monastery of Gracanica situated in the Kosovo*. What strikes the viewer at first sight is the symmetrical construction of the monastery. The architecture is unique in its own kind, which brands it as one of the fine examples of Serbian Architecture. The yellow and the red hue is produced by the sandstone used to build the masterpiece. The frescoes on the body of the monastery are beautiful and characteristic of the Byzantine Art and Architecture. Being the birth place of Constantine, the Serbian monument of Nais or the Nis is one of the most significant Serbian Monuments. This was an ancient Roman town and home to numerous artifacts like mosaics and marble figures hailing from the Roman era. A beautiful bronze head of emperor Constantine have been excavated from the site and has now been preserved in the National Museum in Belgrade.
The Serbia Monuments are historical legends, which are witness to the ebbing memories of the past and waiting in anticipation of the future.
Mramorje or Bagruša is a medieval necropolis, located in Perućac, and is among the best preserved necropoli of the region. The necropolis was built in the 14th century, and extends between the Drina river and the main road that follows its course, at the entrance of the settlement. The site is protected by the Republic of Serbia, as a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance,but is nevertheless threatened by the Drina river on one side and the continued expanding of the town of Perućac, on the other.
The Necropolis, with about 200 tombstones made of solid limestone, was established in the fourtheenth century. The largest found specimens of tombstones in the necropolis reach a length of 2 metres, and a width and height of nearly 1 metre.
Over time, some of the tombstones were moved, others have sunken into the ground, while several items were transferred to museums (two tombstones with no decorations are in the collection of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, and one is in the National Museum in Užice).
LEPENSKI VIR ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FROM 7000 BC
Lepenski Vir was declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by the Republic of Serbia.
THE CHURCH OF St. APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL
STARI RAS – OLD RAS
PATRIARCHATE OF PEC
PROHOR PCINJSKI MONASTERY
Prohor Pčinjski is a 11th century Serbian Orthodox monastery in the deep south of Serbia, located in village Klenike, Pčinja District near the border with Macedonia. It is situated at the slopes of Kozjak at the left side of the Pčinja river. According to tradition, it was founded 1067-1071 by the Byzantine emperor Romanus IV in honour of Saint Prohor Pčinjski, who prophesied that Romanus would become the emperor. Within the monastery there is a theological school and iconography is taught there. Monastery was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.
Visoki Dečani is a major Serbian Orthodox Christian monastery located in Kosovo*, 12 km south of the town of Peć. The monastic katholikon is the largest medieval church in the Balkans containing the most extensive preserved fresco decoration.
The monastery was established in a chestnut grove by Serbian King Stefan Uroš III Dečanski in 1327. Its original founding charter is dated to 1330. The following year the king died and was buried at the monastery, which henceforth became his popular shrine. Indeed, the epithet Dečanski refers to the king’s foundation of the monastery. The construction was continued by his son Emperor Stefan Uroš IV Dušan until 1335, but the wall-painting was not completed until 1350.
Visoki Dečani was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1990, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia. In 2004, UNESCO listed the monastery on the World Heritage List, citing its frescoes as “one of the most valued examples of the so-called Palaeologan renaissance in Byzantine painting” and “a valuable record of the life in the 14th century”. In 2006, it was added to the List of World Heritage Sites in danger due to the potential for attacks by ethnic-Albanians; it is protected by the United Nations’ KFOR.
Ravanica is a Serbian Orthodox monastery on Kučaj mountains near Ćuprija in Central Serbia. It was built in 1375-1377 as an endowment of prince Lazar of Serbia, who is buried there. Ravanica was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.Built between 1375 and 1377, Ravanica is the famous Tzar Lazar‘s foundation, where he was buried after his death in the Kosovo battle. Since then, Ravanica has been a pilgrim’s destination and an important center of cultural activities and the Serbian people’s assemblies.
FORTRESS OF ZVECAN
The Fortress of Zvečan, located in the north-west of the city of Kosovska Mitrovica, in Kosovo*, is an enormous Serbian old castle and one of the oldest fortresses in South Eastern Europe. It was built on the top of the extinct volcano vent, overlooking the Ibar river.
Smederevo Fortress in Smederevo, was a medieval fortified city and temporary capital of Serbia. It was built by Despot Đurađ Branković in the first half of the 15th century, during the era of the Serbian Despotate. Later that century it was further fortified by the Turks.
Golubac Fortress has had a tumultuous history. Prior to its construction it was the site of a Roman settlement. During the Middle Ages, it became the object of many battles, especially between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. It changed hands repeatedly, passing between Turks, Hungarians, Serbs, and Austrians, until 1867, when it was turned over to the Serbian Knez, Mihailo Obrenović III. Now, it is a popular tourist attraction in the region and a sightseeing point on Danube boat tours.
Golubac Fortress was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.
Manasija, also known as Resava, is a Serb Orthodox monastery near Despotovac, founded by Despot Stefan Lazarević between 1406 and 1418. It is one of the most significant monuments of medieval Serbian culture and it belongs to the “Morava school”. Immediately following its foundation, the monastery became the cultural centre of the Serbian Despotate. Its Resava school was well known for its manuscripts and translations throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, even after the fall of the Despotate to the Ottoman Turks. Manasija complex was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.
Patriarchate is one of the oldest Serbian Monument. With due time, Patriarchate in Serbia is harshly damaged, but still holds its importance. It is a monument built in the 13th century. Patriarchate of Serbia holds the Serbian spirituality.
Patriarchate being one of the popular tourist spots, attracts tourists immensely. Still today people visiting Serbia never miss to visit the Patriarchate.
SKULL TOWER – NIS
The Skull Tower is a monument to 19th century Serbian rebels. It is situated in Niš, on Constantinople road, on the old Constantinople road leading to Sofia.
The Skull-tower was built after the battle that took place at the hill Cegar in 1809, by the
Kalemegdan Fortress has a very long history, going back at least to the castrum of Roman times; destroyed several times by successive waves of invaders, was rebuilt as a castle by the Byzantines in the 12th century. Under the Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarevic, son of the king Lazar, Belgrade became the capital of the Serbian kingdom; the fortress was strengthened, and the Despot Stefan’s palace was built within the old castle. A medieval town grew up within the walls of the lower fort (a model is on display on one of the upper terraces). After the conquest of Belgrade by the Turks (1521), the fortress decayed, but was restored as a military stronghold by the Austrian during their short lived occupation (1717-1739). During the partial independence of Serbia, in the first half of the 19th century, the Kalemegdan fortress was still occupied by a Turkish garrison. In 1862, as an escalation from a fight between Turkish troops and the Serb population, the commander of the Kalemegdan ordered the bombardment of Belgrade. This produced such a backlash in the European public opinion that Serbia succeeded, with the support of the great powers, to obtain the departure of the Turkish troops from Kalemegdan and all the other fortress they still held in Serbia; this resulted in the effective achievement of full independence from the Ottoman empire. Rather than looking for specific places and monuments, it is more rewarding just to stroll in the parks and along the walls of the Kalemegdan, watching the panorama from the terraces looking toward the rivers Sava and Danube. You can see Roman ruins and a Roman well (reconstructed in 1731), the tomb of a Pasha, the most ancient gates of the fortress such as the one of the Despot (15th century), the clock tower, the People’s Observatory (amateur astronomical observatory), the monument à la France (out of gratitude for the help of the French troops in the 1915-1918 war), the statue of the Winner by Ivan Mestrovic. There are three museums-galleries open to the public:
Military Museum with an open air section showing the tanks and cannons of the two world wars.
Natural History Museum, displays the local fauna and paleontology.
Cvijeta Zuzoric Pavillion, a large gallery space used for temporary exhibitions.
Near the fortress, and even visible from above from the upper fort, is the Zoo. Beyond the fortress, below the ramparts overlooking the confluence of the rivers, is Lower city – “Donji grad”, now a park, with several remains of the Turkish time, such as the Amam, now transformed into a planetarium, and the hexagonal tower of Nebojsa’s Tower, a Turkish prison with a grim history of capital executions.
The BELGRADE CONQUEROR
Pobednik -“The Victor” is a monument in the Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia, erected after World War I to commemorate the Kingdom of Serbia’s war victories over Ottoman Empire (First Balkan War) and Austria-Hungary (World War I). It is one of the most famous works of the Croatian, Ivan Meštrović. The statue was originally supposed to be placed on the Terazije square, but ended up at Kalemegdan Fortress after people complained about its nudity. This statue, holding a falcon, on watch for the new threats on the horizon, in one hand, and a sword of war, ready to counter these threats in the other. It’s looking forward across the confluence of the Sava and the Danube, and over the vast Pannonian plain, towards the very distant Fruška Gora mountain, towards at the time, Austria-Hungarian empire, is probably the most powerful, most popular visual symbol of Belgrade.
MONUMENT OF PRINCE MIHAJLO OBRENOVIC
Monument of Prince Mihajlo Obrenović is a bronze statue dedicated to the memory of Prince Mihailo Obrenović, liberator of Serbia from the Turkish domination. Located on Republic Square, in front of the National Museum in the capital Belgrade. Mihailo Obrenović paid special attention to the military organization and in 1861 created a national army numbering about 50,000 troops. Its aim was to end Serbia’s liberation from Ottoman domination.
THE NATIONAL THEATHER
The National Theater Belgrade was built in 1869 according to the design of Aleksandar Bugarski, the most productive architect of Belgrade in the 19th century. The decision to construct a special building for the theater was made by Knez Mihailo Obrenović. The building was a typical theater building at the time and was particularly reminiscent of La Scala, Milan, with regard to its Renaissance conception and the decorative finish. Later, reconstructions completely changed the original appearance. The heavy reconstruction was made in 1986 when the theater regained the 1922 look and an annex was built towards Braće Jugovića Street. Beside theatrical purposes, the hall has been used for charity balls and concerts during the 19th century. The Great Constitutional Assembly adopted the famous 1888 Constitution in this building.
The Turks called him Karadjordje – Black George. He has been a shepherd in Sumadija, then a livestock merchant. He has spent his youth resisting the Turkish terror, at first as a haiduk (anti-Turkish rebel), and later as a courageous soldier in the company of volunteers led by captain Radic Petrovic, during the Austrian-Turkish war from 1788 to 1791. After the return of janissaries to Belgrade he became a haiduk again, and with prominent Serbs began to prepare a large-scale resistance. He has managed to escape the slaughter of Serbian lords, and at the gathering in Orašac in the first half of February 1804, he was elected leader of the Insurrection. He made connections with Austria and Russia and confronted the official Turkish Empire. He led the battle on Mišar and fights for liberation of Belgrade. Immediately after the insurrection, in 1813, he went to Austria, and then to Russia. He returned to Serbia in June 1817, but in the morning of July 25, he was killed by the order of Prince Milos Obrenovic. His head was cut off and sent to the Sultan as a proof of Milos’s loyalty.
MONUMENT TO ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE
The monument in honor of great poet and politician Lamartine (1790-1869). He stayed many times in Belgrade in the middle of XIX century and in the Home of Deputies defended the Balkan Christians tortured by the Ottomans.
MONUMENT TO FRANCHET D’ESPEREY
Bronze monument to the French general, Louis Franchet d’Espérey, who commanded on the Salonica front in the Serbian Campaign of the World War I in 1918, was erected in 1936 (author Risto Stijović). The section of the highway is officially named the Boulevard of Louis Franchet d’Espérey.
Congregational Church was built from [1837 to 1840 by order of prince Miloš Obrenović, according to the design and plans of Adam Friedrich Kwerfeld, a builder from Pančevo. The church was built in the style of classicism with late baroque elements. The church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. The interior is richly decorated. The gold-plated carved iconostasis was made by the sculptor Dimitrije Petrović, while the icons on the iconostasis, thrones, choirs and pulpits, as well as those on the walls and arches were painted by Dimitrije Avramović, one of the most distinguished Serbian painters of the 19th century.
St. MARKO CHURCH
The Church of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark – St. Mark’s Church is located in the center of Belgrade in Tašmajdan Park. It is one of the largest churches in our country. It was built between the two world wars, from 1931-1940 and its interior is still not fully completed.
A Christian place of worship has existed continuously in what is today Tašmajdan Park from at least the nineteenth century. The original St. Mark’s Church, built in the days of Belgrade Metropolitan Petar Jovanović (1833-1859) and Prince Miloš Obrenović (1835-1836), stood in almost the same location, just slightly south of the present building.
Bajrakli Mosque which means “with flag” is a mosque in Belgrade. It is located in Gospodar Jevremova Street in the neighborhood of Dorćol. It was built around 1575, and is the only mosque in the city out of the 273 that had existed during the time of the Ottoman Empire’s rule of Serbia.
During the occupation of Serbia by the Austrians (between 1717 and 1739), it was converted into a Roman Catholic church; but after the Ottomans retook Belgrade, it was returned to its original function.
THE ORTHODOX TEMPLE OF SAINT SAVA
The (Orthodox) Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade, Serbia is the largest Orthodox Church currently in use. The church is dedicated to St. Sava, founder of the Serbian church and an important figure in medieval Serbia. The temple has been built on the Vračar plateau, on the location where, in 1595, St. Sava’s remains are thought to have been burned by Turkish Sinan Pasha. From its location, the temple dominates Belgrade’s skyline and is perhaps the most monumental building in the city. The building of the church structure has been financed exclusively by donations. The parish home is nearby, as will be the planned patriarchal building.
PRINC MILOS’S RESIDENCE
After building the residence for his wife and children in the town of Belgrade, Prince Milos Obrenović had this one built for himself in 1831 – 1834 in Topčider, a wooded area outside the town. After the grounds had been laid out, the residence was built by the craftsmen Janja Mihailović and Nikola Đorđević, the works being supervised by architect Hadzi Nikola Zivković, who was responsible for almost all Prince Milos’s building projects. Like Princess Ljubica’s Residence, the architecture shows signs of the transition from Balkan to central European styles. The rich decoration of the interior ceilings, walls andniches has been partially preserved. During his first reign (1817 – 1839), Milos stayed here only occasionally but when he ruled for a second time (1859 – 1860) this was his premanent home. He died here on 14 September 1860. At one time, the Residence housed the Museum of the Princes Milos and Mihailo Obrenović and then the Museum of Forestry and Hunting, which was founded in 1929. The Museum of the First Serbian Uprising was opened here in 1954 during the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the uprising. The theme of its exhibits was the whole period of liberation struggle against the Turks, from 1804 to the Sultan’s second Hatisherif in 1839, and they served as basis for the formation in 1963 of the Historical Museum of Serbia.
After the building has been overhauled and restored, it will again be the home of the Museum of the First Serbian Uprising.
MILOS’S OBRENOVIC BIRTH HOUSE
THE ROYAL PALACE OF FAMILY KARADJORDJEVIC
OPLENAC ROYAL MAUSOLEUM
Oplenac Royal Mausoleum is the historic place of the mausoleum of the Serbian Karađorđević Royal Family located in central Serbia near the town of Topola. It is known for the St. George Church (црква светог Ђорђа). The Foundation in Oplenac is named after King Peter I of Yugoslavia.
Apart from the two tombs inside the church (Karađorđe’s in the southern apse; and King Peter I in the northern apse), there are 20 other members of the Dynasty whose eternal place of rest is in this Mausoleum. Six generations of the Karađorđević family have been buried in this church.
In the 19th century this area was covered in woods. The term Oplenac most probably derives from “oplen”, meaning wooden parts on ox cars. Karađorđe had settled here, built vineyards and orchards, and established the defence of the nearby Topola town. His son Alexander built new buildings and renewed his father’s vineyards and orchards. It was not until the arrival of King Peter I of Serbia that this place got its true importance.
The initial idea of King Peter I was to carve into the walls the names of all soldiers and officers who had perished in the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913. But, since the church was not fully completed, and since First World War followed (1914-1918), this idea had to be abandoned. The solution was to decorate the interior of the temple with mosaics, which would be a sort of a museum of reproductions of the prettiest frescoes of the Serbian medieval arts. Copies from 60 Serbian medieval churches and monasteries had been brought to the St. George church at Oplenac. The entire mosaic has 725 painted compositions (513 in the temple and 212 in the crypt), on which there are 1500 figures. The entire area of the mosaic is 3,500 square metres, with 40 million various coloured pieces of glass which have 15 thousand different varieties of colour, making the most vivid artistic impression.
MONUMENT TO THE UNKNOWN HERO
The Monument to the Unknown Hero is located atop Mt. Avala in south-east of Belgrade, and was designed by the Croatian-Yugoslav sculptor Ivan Meštrović.
Memorial was built on the location of Žrnov fortress.
The construction of this monument was ordered by King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, to commemorate the victims of World War I. Marked only by the dates 1912-1918, the monument also commemorates those lost in the Balkan Wars (1912-1913).
In order to show his support for Yugoslav unity, the King ordered that this monument include caryatids representing all the nations over which he governed following the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. They represent Serbian woman from Šumadija (Šumadinka); a woman from Slavonia and Vojvodina (Panonka), a woman from Montenegro (Crnogorka) and Kosovo (Kosovka); Croat women from Dalmatia (Dalmatinka) and Zagorje (Zagorka); one Slovene and one Macedonian woman.
The Monument to the Unknown Hero was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1987, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.
Constructed in 1885 for the famous Belgrade negotiator Aleksa Krsmanovic, this palace represents an example of most representatives of the academic style in Serbia of the end of XIX century.
Krsmanovic House became the residence of Prince Regent Alexander (later HM King Alexander I) in 1918 and 1919. It was in Krsmanovic House where the proclamation of the Union of the Southern Slavs into the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes took place.
CAPTAIN MISA’S MANSION
THE MUSEUM OF VUK STEFANOVIC KARADZIC AND DOSITEJ OBRADOVIC
VUK’S STEFANOVIC KARADZIC BIRTH HOUSE