andy townend captures the life and soul of belgrade, serbia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument (Sunday, 6 April 1041)


The most dramatic part of Kosančićev Venac could be easy to dismiss as an insignificant long demolished building in a plot left in disuse.

But this is Belgrade.

So it is not.

An overgrown hole in the ground surrounded by fencing and marked by two large posters in Serbian and English marks the spot of the former National Library.

Destroyed by German bombs on 6 April, 1941.

The words on the poster.

“Stop, for a moment, you who are passing by!
On this spot, until Sunday, 6th April 1941, there was the National Library of Serbia.
On that day, in the early morning, started the bombing of Belgrade.
First, peace was blown to pieces, and then, in Kosančićev venac, the National Library began to burn.
Ancient written heritage, old and new books, papers and letters, documents and newspapers were burning for days.
For days flames destroyed the testimonies on the existence and lasting of one people.
For days the fire devoured centuries of history, condensed in words.
The flames finally turned into coals, the coals into ashes.
On this spot, since Sunday, 6th April 1941, there have been the ashes of a great part of the historical memory of the Serbian people.
That’s why stop, for a moment. you who are passing by!

Svetlana Velmar-Janković”

It is worth, as many do, standing there by the site, reading those words, and reflecting on all that has taken place in this city, this country

I walked by this site many times.

In many frames of mind.

Those who know, know.

And care.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

“Reflection is not the evil; but a reflective condition and the deadlock which it involves, by transforming the capacity for action into a means of escape from action, is both corrupt and dangerous, and leads in the end to a retrograde movement.”

― Søren Kierkegaard, The Present Age


This is my response to the latest Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post at WordPress.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

― Albert Camus


This is my response to the latest Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post at WordPress.

time to stand?

During a walk full of reflection, sorrow, fear for the future, I came across this sculpture.

The faces cried out to me.

I felt their pain, their anguish, their fear for the future, their loss.

The words on the plaque read:

“To Jewish victims of Nazi genocide in Belgrade and Serbia 1941 – 1944.
People of Serbia, City of Belgrade and Jewish Community

“Јеврејима жртвама нацистичког геноцида
У Београду ду и Србији 1941 -1944
Народ Србије град Београд и јеврејска општина

By learning from this, by holding our hands out to each other when times are dark and troubled, we can avoid this horror.

Hasn’t this country suffered enough?

Will someone, once more, stand for political office to make a real difference?

Give us a future we so richly deserve?

Free of pain. Free of self interest. Free of prejudice and fear.

Stand and fight for what really matters?

It’s time.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 defined Liberty in Article 4 as follows:

“Liberty consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every man or woman has no bounds other than those that guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights.”

Equality, on the other hand, was defined by the 1789 Declaration in terms of judicial equality and merit-based entry to government (art. 6):

“must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, shall be equally eligible to all high offices, public positions and employments, according to their ability, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and talents.”

And without fraternité then neither of the above is possible…

So, when the polls call, stand tall, walk tall, speak your voice and take a stand for Liberté, égalité, fraternité


This is my response to the latest Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post at WordPress.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

“If I had a photograph of you
It’s something to remind me
I wouldn’t spend my life just wishing…”

Lyrics from “Wishing (if I had a photograph of you)” by A Flock of Seagulls.


This photo first appeared in Kralja Petra dva here on belgradestreets, I captured my reflection by accident…

This is my response to the latest Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post at WordPress.

Бадње вече


“Vatra plama bolje nego igda,
prostrta je slama ispred ognja,
prekršćeni na ognju badnjaci;
puške puču, vrte se peciva,
gusle gude, a kola pjevaju,
s unučađu đedovi igraju,
po tri pasa vrte se u kola,
sve bi reka jednogodišnici;
sve radošću divnom naravnjeno.
A što mi se najviše dopada,
što svačemu treba nazdraviti!”

“The Mountain Wreath”, poem by Petar II Petrović-Njegoš


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