Serbia
Stari Grad

Here you’ll find travel reports about Stari Grad. Discover travel destinations in Serbia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

18 travelers at this place:

  • Day15

    Belgrade, Serbia

    June 18 in Serbia

    The 2 star Bristol Hotel in Belgrade where I was spending two nights is certainly faded grandeur. A bit tired and run down, it still exuded a certain old fashioned charm. And at a total of only £28 for two nights including free WiFi and breakfast how could I complain? It does have have a remarkable history, built in 1912 it is said to represent the pinnacle of Secessionist architecture in the city. Apparently at one time it was the centre of fashionable life in the whole of the former Yugoslavia, and previous guests have included members of the Rockefeller family and the British Royal family.

    I set off on a walking tour of the city. A bit down at heel in places, Belgrade reminded me a bit of Glasgow - lots of lovely buildings but you had to seek them out. A climb up to the Belgrade Fortress rewarded me with fabulous views of the confluence of the city’s two great rivers - the Sava and the Danube. Ah, the Blue Danube, or as my Big Granny used to call it, the Blue Daniel. A circular tour on the No. 2 tram helped me get my bearings. I had a delicious Serbian lunch sitting outside - pork chops with a creamy, mushroom sauce. When a thunderstorm arrived in the afternoon, I sought refuge in the beautiful Hotel Mockba (Moscow) where I enjoyed afternoon tea. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it!

    The Church of Saint Sava is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. Although it is bigger than the one I saw yesterday, the Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia, the interior is quite unfinished, and I much preferred the Sofia version.

    Well, I have walked my feet off today. Belgrade may not be my favourite city, but perseverance paid off and I enjoyed seeking out some of its treasures.
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  • Day14

    The Balkan Express

    June 17 in Serbia

    The Cyrillic alphabet is used throughout Bulgaria with very few concessions in English. Accordingly, in Sofia station only numbers are an indication of where you should be and when. The train departure board indicated that my train number was leaving at platform 4 so I made my way there only to find it deserted. The only passengers I could see were a couple of Norwegian backpackers on platform 5, so back down the stairs and along the underground passage and back up the stairs I eventually found my train there. The International Balkan Express consisted of only two carriages, both filthy, littered and covered in graffiti. There appeared to be only 6 passengers on board this once per day international train, so why reservations were essential was beyond me. I eventually found a seat at a window with minimal graffiti which I could actually see out of. Looking around I wished I had packed the G Tech vacuum cleaner Mum had bought us, to freshen the place up a bit. The toilet had no lock, seat, toilet paper, soap or towels and was already blocked before we left Sofia. I can safely say this is the dirtiest train I have ever had the misfortune to travel on. Given there were no catering facilities again on this lengthy journey, I had fortunately stocked up with provisions including what looked like a 4 pack of Greggs sausage rolls mounded into one, with the sausage meat cut up into bits. It was filling if nothing else.

    Again we were stopped at the Bulgarian border for passport checks, and the Border Police ordered passengers to stay in their seats while they searched the whole train - luggage racks, toilets, even ceiling panels and electrical equipment areas were removed by screwdrivers and meticulously searched. A similar procedure took place a little later at Dimitrovgrad as we entered Serbia. Two of the other passengers turned out to be train buffs from Dublin (one of them a driver on the Maynooth-Dublin train, Jennifer) who were excited when the Bulgarian engine shunted off and was replaced by its Serbian counterpart.

    As the train meandered across Serbia at a leisurely pace, the scenery became more mountainous and dramatic, and for a while followed the scenic route of a muddy, brown river. The heat rose, and by early afternoon the smell in the compartment had deteriorated. A Serbian couple a few seats in front fortunately managed to screw open a few windows. She then proceeded to strip off her top half standing in her bra for a good 10 minutes enjoying a cigarette (yes!) before fanning herself and putting her top back on. She had clearly never heard of deodorant.

    Serbia is not included in the list of countries where you can benefit from using your mobile phone at the same rate as your agreement allows in the UK. Neither was I offered the same deal of unlimited calls, texts and data for £4.99 by o2 as you are in some other countries. At £2 per minute per call, the phone would stay off until I got WiFi.

    Eventually, 11 hours after it left Sofia, the Boggin’, sorry Balkan, Express limped into Belgrade, Serbia. I was never so glad to disembark.
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  • Day34

    Berlin of the Balkans

    October 2, 2017 in Serbia

    The fact that we came up against the town sign of Belgrade almost 20km before our hostel in the city center, made us aware of the size of this city. Novi Grad (the new town) welcomed us with new buildings made from steel and glass while on the eastern side of the holy river Save, the old fortress at the outlet into the Danube and a mixture of a few remaining pre-war and concrete buildings are dominating.

    We did not expect too much of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, as the inside is still under construction. However, the outer appearance of it (inspired by the Taj Mahal?) and even more the crypt are impressive. We can hardly imagine how it will look like when it is finished and provides space for more than 10,000 people.

    Rakija enriched with honey sweetened our days walking around, exploring the fortress and discovering delicious food in the countless bakeries - and for some reason, Belgrade, 'The White City' reminded us of Berlin.
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  • Day3

    Die einstige Hauptstadt Jugoslawiens

    October 21, 2017 in Serbia

    Obwohl Belgrad auf eine fast zweitausendjährige Geschichte zurückblicken kann, befassten wir uns auf der geführten Stadttour vor allem mit den letzten knapp hundert Jahren. Die Römer hatten jedoch bereits an diesem strategischen Punkt zwischen den Flüssen Save und Donau zwischenzeitlich zehntausend Soldaten stationiert. Eine grosse steinerne Festung hoch über dem Ort, wo die beiden Flüsse zusammenkommen, verdeutlicht diese strategische Bedeutung noch heute.

    Die Entstehung des kommunistischen Staates Jugoslawiens aus den sieben Republiken Slowenien, Kroatien, Bosnien-Herzegowina, Montenegro, Mazedonien, Kosovo sowie Serbien unmittelbar nach dem 2. Weltkrieg sowie dessen blutiger Zerfall gegen Ende des letzten Jahrtausends bilden eine einzigartige Epoche in Europa, die sogar in mehreren Museen der ehemaligen Hauptstadt aufgearbeitet worden ist. Dass diese Aufarbeitung jedoch noch nicht überall gleich gut erfolgt ist, merkten wir als sich unser mitgereister Kollege aus Bosnien bei der Erklärung durch unsere Stadtführerin Nina plötzlich in eine intensivere Diskussion verstrickte, insbesondere ob Kosovo nun Teil von Serbien sei oder eben nicht.

    Der Staat Jugoslawien ist ganz stark mit einer Person verbunden, der alleine ein ganzes Museum gewidmet ist, dem Jahrzehntelang regierenden Staatschef Josip Broz Tito. Er führte das Land vom zweiten Weltkrieg bis zu seinem Tode 1980, auf den dann kurz darauf der Zerfall des Staates folgte. Aus dem ehemaligen Königreich Jugoslawien entstand unter ihm ein kommunistischer Staat, der sich jedoch im Gegensatz zu den anderen osteuropäischen Ländern erfolgreich von Stalin und der Sowjetunion distanzierte und in der Welt nach dem 2. Weltkrieg eine eigene Rolle spielte. Tito war eine Person die sich gerne auf der Weltbühne bewegte, das Museum war voller Geschenke, die der Vielreiser von seinen unzähligen Besuchen in fast allen Ländern der Welt mit nach Hause brachte. Seine Beerdigung war dann auch ein Aufmarsch von Staatsvertretern aus aller Welt, wie es die Geschichte wohl noch nie gesehen hat. Ganz im Stile der grossen Machthaber, lies er sich in einem imposanten Marmorsarkophag begraben, der in der Mitte seines Museums liegt.

    Das dunkelste Kapitel der jugoslawischen Geschichte war auch optisch immer noch gut erkennbar, als wir mit dem Bus an einem komplett zerschossenen mehrstöckigen Haus mitten im Stadtzentrum vorbeifuhren und uns daran erinnerte, dass hier vor 19 Jahren ein schlimmer Bürgerkrieg tobte. Der Wohnblock sei gleichzeitig ein Mahnmal, weil es damals von der NATO mit Uranmunition, also quasi Nuklearwaffen beschossen worden sei. Die Gegend sei heute noch radioaktiv verstrahlt und es habe in der Region zu einem massiven Anstieg an Krebserkrankungen geführt, führte Nina weiter aus.

    Belgrad hat die meisten zerstörten Gebäude wieder aufgebaut und in der aufstrebenden Stadt mit zwischenzeitlich 1.7 Mio. Einwohnern wird intensiv weiter gebaut. Mitten in der Stadt wird sogar eine riesen grosser neuer Dom erstellt, der für 10'000 Leute Platz bieten soll und zeigt, dass die im Kommunismus verbotene Religion wieder gelebt werden darf und heute primär im serbisch-orthodoxen Glauben praktiziert wird. Dass auf dieser teilweise bereits abgeschlossene Baustelle ein grosses Transparent des Geldgebers dieses Bauwerks, dem russischen Gazprom-Konzern hängt, spricht für sich. Das serbische und russische Volk sind eng miteinander verbunden und haben immer wieder die Nähe gesucht. Diese Verbundenheit zeigte sich auch in der kyrillischen Schrift, die in der Verfassung als offizielle Schrift verankert ist und bei vielen Gebäudebeschriftungen zu sehen ist. Dass aber auch die lateinische Schrift gleichwertig daneben eingesetzt wird, zeigt, dass Serbien oder damals Jugoslawien immer den eigenen Weg gegangen ist, zwischen der westlichen und östlichen Welt…

    Und auch ich gehe meinen Weg weiter, westwärts nach Hause. Das war’s von meiner Berichterstattung aus dieser interessanten Stadt. Danke für dein Interesse. Bis zum nächsten Trip!
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  • Day24

    Hello Belgrade!!!

    July 2, 2016 in Serbia

    We arrived late yeasterday afternoon in Belgrade, Serbia and were treated to a wonderful home cooked Serbian meal. Marija, one of Rebecca's Whitehall Inn girls, and her husband Luka were our amazing chefs & hosts. They introduced us to many Serbian foods and customs. We had a great time catching up, meeting their beautiful baby and enjoying all the food. Today, they showed us the lively Belgrade Beach with tons of summer activities. Marija & Luka took us to a restaurant designed in the style of a traditional Serbian home. Again we had some awesome local food and conversation. They were wonderful hosts who suggested many things for us to do or see while we are in Belgrade. After an afternoon of shopping in the trendy shopping district where our room is located, we took Marija & Luka's suggestion and went to the Bohemian Quarter on Skadarlija street for yet another amazing local meal. We think there is definitely a pattern developing during our travels... We REALLY like to try the local food. We are looking forward to catching up with Theodora & Alessandra tomorrow. T & Alex worked at the Whitehall Inn during the 2nd season. And, of course, additional sight seeing & sampling local fare.Read more

  • Day26

    The Many Faces of Belgrade

    July 4, 2016 in Serbia

    Today we were treated to another wonderful day in Belgrade with two more of Rebecca's Whitehall girls, sisters Theodora and Sandra with their boyfriends Ivan and Sladjan. We met up for an incredible lunch followed by a walk around the city center learning more about the history of Belgrade. We walked thru Kalemegdan Park to see the imposing Belgrade Fortress located at the junction of the Danube & Sava rivers. We learned the Sava river was the border between the Ottoman Empire & the Austrio-Hugarian Empire. Ottoman influences on this side of the river are easy to spot. Later we crossed the bridge and saw the Austrian influences. It was so much fun learning about the complex history of this incredible city. Similar to all areas of what was once Yugoslavia, a single block will have a beautiful, centuries old building next door to a modern structure next door to a bombed, burned out remnant. Every step, every corner brings something wonderful to see. We ended our day at another amazing restaurant styled to look like the manufacturing plant it once was. Sitting under a canopy of red umbrellas with yet more awesome food and local wine was a perfect end to a perfect day.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Stari Grad, Стари град, Στάρι Γκραντ Βελιγραδίου, Opština Stari Grad, スタリ・グラード, სტარი-გრადის მუნიციპალიტეტი, Стари-Град, Градска општина Стари град, 舊格拉德

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