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The first human settlement on this spot was built by ancient Celts. The Roman Empire built a major military fortification here, which was subsequently razed and reconstructed by Ottoman Turks, Serbs, Austro-Hungarians... During the Ottoman rule, the magnificent Belgrade Fortress served as a lookout to watch for enemy movement, as well as for the Ottoman troops to prepare for battle on time, which is why it was named Kalemegdan (derived from Turkish words kale, meaning fortress, and meydan, meaning “battlefield”).
As you take in the stunning views of the confluence of the Sava and the Danube from the plateau around the Victor monument, you can easily imagine how military commanders in days of yore prepared for battle while standing at that very spot.
Today, it is a public space that regularly hosts culture, art and entertainment events, as well as a favourite walking ground, offering enchanting views of the two rivers and the modern skyline of New Belgrade beyond them.
As you walk along Kalemegdan, you can immerse yourself in the past by visiting numerous landmarks situated at the fortress, including the Military Museum, the Roman Well, the Tomb of the People’s Heroes and the Galleries of the Museum of Natural History, as well as two Orthodox Christian shrines: Ružica Church and the Church of the Holy Venerable Mother Parascheva.
The largest Orthodox Christian in Southeast Europe was symbolically built on the spot where it is believed that the relics of Saint Sava, the first archbishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church, were burnt.
Owing its sheer monumentality, this magnificent shrine now dominates the city’s skyline and has become a main landmark of modern Belgrade.
The interior of the church is decorated with complex mosaics made from natural stone and glass, which combine to form awe-inspiring compositions, such as The Ascension of Jesus, found beneath the central dome.
A stroll along the paved streets of Kosančićev venac will transport you to the 19th Century, when most of the buildings found around here were built.
Among the numerous galleries, wineries and cafés which give this district its distinct bohemian vibe, two stand out in particular for their beauty: the Residence of Princess Ljubica, a house presented by Prince Miloš Obrenović to his wife Ljubica, which has since been converted into a museum, and Saint Michael’s Cathedral, where the illustrious Serbian intellectual of the Enlightenment period Dositej Obradović and the celebrated Serbian linguist and language reformer Vuk Karadžić are burried.
There are plenty of museums to choose from in Belgrade, preserving both the nation’s cultural and historic heritage and our industrial and scientific legacy.The collection of the Historical Museum of Serbia includes mediaeval flags, old maps, royal crowns and rare photographs, which will take you through the centuries of history of these parts.
The Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade displays traditional folk costumes, household items, handicraft items and other artefacts, which will introduce you to the daily life of the local people over the centuries.
At the Museum of Yugoslavia, you will learn about the former socialist state from the permanent display of presents given by heads of state, photographs and documentary material and numerous thematic exhibitions, which present the complex Yugoslav heritage.
The Museum of Natural History has rich collections of minerals, fossils and plant and animal species, which are on display at the Gallery of the Museum of Natural History in Kalemegdan.
The Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits masterpieces of 20th- and 21st-Century Yugoslav and Serbian artists.