Rarely does a visit to the capital end without a visit to the main street. Whether they come as tourists or live in Belgrade, people will surely, walking through the capital, visit the narrow center and of course its most popular street – Knez Mihailova.
Knez Mihailova is the most famous Belgrade promenade, the guardian of the tradition and imposing history of the city, as well as the main meeting place for all visitors.
This heart of the city keeps monuments of great cultural significance, as well as a story that is centuries old, about which many probably do not know.
Significant historical background
Named after Prince Mihailo Obrenović, who ascended the throne for the first time on June 26, 1839, Knez Mihailova Street is one of the oldest and most respected landmarks in the city.
Even before the street was named after the Serbian prince, it is believed that it was the main street of Singidunum in Roman times. During the time of the Turks, Knez Mihailova was the main shopping center, where craftsmen gathered, and the smells of various products spread from the shops. Rich houses were built there, mosques rang, and various festivals were held.
During the reign of the prince, the street was regulated in 1867 according to the designs of the Serbian architect and urban planner Emilijan Josimović, who designed what a large part of the old town would look like. In the part of the prince, in addition to the name of the main street, a monument was erected on the plateau of the Republic Square.
- Nikola Spasić Endowment
The building, erected by the famous Belgrade merchant Nikola Spasić in 1889, is protected by law as a cultural monument, which is of great importance for the Republic of Serbia, and Knez Mihailova enriched Belgrade with buildings of great value. It is located at 33 Knez Mihailova Street. This endowment was divided identically to the other old buildings in the street. The ground floor was intended, as it is today, for trade shops, while the other floors were built for housing. At that time, having this kind of living space was a real treasure consumed by the rich bourgeoisie.
- Building of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
As you walk down the street, your gaze will surely wander to the details of the SANU building. The well-preserved building, adorned with Baroque-style details, contributes significantly to the magnificence and imposingness of the building. From the moment it was founded, in the middle of the 19th century, it serves to promote art and science, and like any national academy, it radiates the spirit of traditionalism and conservatism. Today, various departments have been developed in it that encourage the development and glorification of science, and it works on the advancement of artistic activity.
- Belgrade City Library
At the very end of Knez Mihailova Street, with a view of the beginning of the large and historically significant Kalemegdan Park, there is a library building that was founded in 1931. The landmark was built in 1869 and was initially a luxury hotel. You can always go inside the part where various art exhibitions or works of literature are organized every week. The building has preserved its original shape, and is a mixture of Renaissance and classical style of construction. Rich in a variety of literary readings and accessible to all, this library has both air-conditioned and modern reading room arrangements.
The best places to take a break
In addition to the fact that people like to see old buildings, and feel the spirit of the past, the good side of the street is also a great opportunity for a break from walking and hard days, as well as a quality vacation option if you visit Belgrade only on weekends.
When it comes to restaurants and cafes Knez Mihailova and the streets that cut it at right angles, they can boast of a large number of such places. The prices in these cafes are a shade higher than the rest of the city, but for tourists they are among the cheapest in Europe.
The buildings and personalities presented here are only a small part of what awaits you in Knez Mihailova. To feel the charm of Knez Mihailova, you have to explore it for yourself!