Today’s postcard comes to you from, Kosančić Circle, a historical area located just a walk away from the Kalemegdan fortress and Sava river. Named after an epic hero who died fighting in Kosovo in 1389, this charming quarter holds deep historical importance to the development of Belgrade in the 19th century and is a favourite among old Belgradians today.
Kosančićev Venac or simply Kosančić Circle is the oldest urban part of the city. With its cobblestone streets and old family houses, Kosančić Circle is one of the most unique places in Belgrade. Arriving to the centrepoint, you are greeted by the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel on your right, Tavern “?” on your left and across the street, the Residence of Princess Ljubica.
The historical value of Kosančić dates back to the early 19th century. While the Turks occupied Belgrade Fortress, its Serbian citizens chose this settlement because of the iconic Orthodox Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel. The location was also ideal because it is in close proximity to the Sava River, yet far enough from the Turks. As the Cathedral was the focal point of the neighborhood, all construction was built around it and became the social, cultural and commercial centre of Belgrade.
The Cathedral was built in 1840 and is a fully functioning church, very popular for weddings and baptisms. The beauty of this Cathedral lies in its interiors as impressive frescoes and paintings cover the walls. It is also the final resting place of the Obrenovic Dynasty Princes, and can be visited every day.
Directly opposite to the Cathedral is Belgrade’s oldest kafana (tavern) called “?”. The tavern was commissioned by Prince Milos Obrenovic and has been welcoming guests since 1823. You might be wondering what the story is behind the name “?” ….well, it was originally called “Cathedral Cafe” however due to strong protests from religious leaders, the owner placed a question mark sign until he could come up with a better name. Due to the popularity of the tavern over time and a lack of a better name, the owners left it as it is. Today it is one of the best restaurants in Belgrade, offering traditional Serbian dishes, strong local coffee and the variety of authentic Serbian music creates a very warm and lively ambiance.
Across the street, the beautiful Residence of Princess Ljubica will catch your attention. Built in 1830, it was home to the Obrenovic Royal Family at that time, however today it is a museum featuring a permanent exhibition titled “The Interiors of 19th-Century Homes in Belgrade”. The museum also organizes a wonderful event called “Coffee with the Princess” where the curator dresess up as our First Lady, and welcomes you to have coffee and ratluk (turkish delight) with her. I highly recommend a visit especially if you are visiting Belgrade during the chilly months, it is very unique and interesting – be sure to check out photos from my visit at the end of the post 🙂
Behind the residence is a large plot of land covered in ruins – these are the remains of the National Library which has been destroyed during the German bombing in 1941. During the raid, over 300,000 books and 1,500 documents from the medieval era have disappeared in seconds, and with it, a historical link gone forever.
In the lower part of the neighborhood, you will notice authentic cobblestone streets and a breathtaking view of the Sava River. Here you can find the beautiful Art Nouveau style house of Mihajlo Petrovic Alas – a famous Serbian mathematician whose work contributed to the invention of the computer.
Kosančić Circle is also filled with authentic cafes appealing to every interest. Some favourites include: Black Turtle Pub which makes its own beer with fruit flavours, Stepenice (stairs) Cafe which offers a direct view and pathway to the Sava River promenade, and the exceptional Wine and Art Gallery called “U Podrumu” (in the basement) – the perfect chill out venue.
A neighborhood full of authenticity, culture, history and plenty of entertainment, Kosančić Circle is a must see on your visit to Belgrade.
Residence of Princess Ljubica Museum:
Ticket Entrance: 200 dinars
Coffee with Princess: 400 dinars (in Serbian) & 700 dinars (in English)