kосанчићев венац

If this is your first visit to my site, welcome! On these pages, I have set out to describe the streets of Belgrade, week by week, this is my second street so still early days, but thank you so much for visiting.

If you have visited my site before then thank you for returning, I hope I don’t disappoint, do let me know what you think, all comments, suggestions and thoughts are very welcome.

Kosančićev venac is a quiet cobbled street which rests in an area high up above the Sava river, close to Kalemagdan and tucked in behind the Orthodox Cathedral and the Patriarchal Palace and Museum of the Serb Orthodox Church, both of which can be glimpsed from various points along the street. Like many streets in Belgrade its appearance can be deceptive and its atmosphere changes with the seasons and the time of day…

I first found this street by accident one day in February 2011 soon after I first arrived in Belgrade. At that time the street was quiet under a blanket of snow. Cars were covered in thick white drifts, the cobbles hidden and the footpaths icy and deadly…Not a person stirred and the air was quiet as the snowflakes fell constantly. How different then the day I took these shots, hot and sunny, the cobbles echoing to the footsteps of the curious and those intent on sampling the streets cafes and bars….every street in Belgrade hides many…

The street is not very long, it forms a short crescent (venac) and links Kneza Sime Markovica with Pop Lukina and yet it seems that every few metres hides a new cultural or historical treasure…even the buildings themselves have become works of art, the windows, rooflines and doors all different, all telling a story…

My guidebook (Belgrade In Your Hands: Komshe 2008) tells me that the bust of Ivan Kosančić should rest in an alcove on a small house which dates back to 1895….well, I found the alcove but the bust was absent…Apparently Kosančić was a ‘hero of epic songs’ and a brother in arms of Milos Obilić, a knight who killed the turkish Sultan Murad at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, my books describes this battle as the focal point for Serbian folk epic poetry…

I also came across some amazing graffiti and street art on various buildings including some quite complex works partly hidden away by the trees and shrubs that line the road…

A small bust of Mihailo Petrović stands just off the street. Petrović was a mathematician and Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences, a violinist and fisherman. According to my trusty guidebook, his only statement to the press when asked about his genius across so many fields was “As God is my witness, I’m not the one to be blamed for all of this.”

Moving from Mathematics to Physics a wall plate on a nearby building advertises the presence of a Laboratory of the “Institut za nuklearne nauke Vinca – centar za permanentno obrazovanje” or Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Centre of Continuing Education, Vinca…

Further along the street another wall plate announces the presence of a geotechnical survey laboratory…

The almost obligatory art gallery is also tucked away in a row of houses “продајиа galerija”

The most dramatic part of the street 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 which was destroyed by German bombs on 6 April, 1941. The words on the poster are reproduced below, they tell the story:

“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…

So, with those words, I would like to share my photographs of this amazing little street, thank you for visiting and as always I would value and appreciate your comments and views…

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9 thoughts on “kосанчићев венац

  1. Your photos make me feel and think… they have captured Belgrade streets… if you have walked in Belgrade your photos have a real meaning… originality, contrast, vibration, history, alert, restless, culture, lively, intensity, colours and shadows…
    Well, you know… I like Belgrade, its atmosphere and people in the streets…I really like your project and your pictures… CONGRATULATIONS!

  2. My favourites:
    “…a city of contrast and colour”, “…liberté, egalité and fraternité”, “fresh air” and “…let´s have lunch”

  3. I love the way you give life to every little corner nobody notices anymore. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  4. Bista Kosančića je u podrumu te kuće već dve godine (a možda i više), jer se umalo nije stropoštala sa svog mesta od nemara i nedostatka para…

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