Skadarlija – bohemian quarter of Belgrade

Skadarlija is one of the most famours streets in Belgrade and  it is 590 meters long. It is located in the strictest center of town.

Many famoust actors lived there due to the proximity of the National Theatre during the late 19th  and early 20th  century. With actors, of course, came the other artists, poets, writers, painters. It is know that actors don’t eat before the play, but after the play  it was usual to come in Skadarlija, where they can relax and also eat and drink. The best-known o kafanas were Tri šešira (“Three Hats”), Dva jelena (“Two Deer”), Zlatni bokal (“The Golden Chalice”). They were build in the early 20th century and they are surviving even today. Regular guests were artists who entered the history of Serbian culture: Djura Jaksic, Dobrica Milutinovic …

The house of Đura Jakšić, a well known writer and painter who lived and died in Skadarlija, has been turned into a meeting place for the poets participating in the Skadarlija Evenings event. Its renovation and restoration began in 1968 in accordance with the designs made by a group of prominent artists: architect Uglješa Bogunović, writer and painter Zuko Džumhur, painter Mario Maskareli, sculptor Milica Ribnikar-Bogunović, among others. They managed to preserve its existing values and introduce modern facilities without interfering with its historical features. In the late 1960s, Skadarlija regained fame as the center of youth and bohemian artists of Belgade.

The present Skadarlija, a short and curved street, is a remarkable Belgrade tourist attraction. It includes well-known restaurants, hotels, art galleries, antique and souvenir shops, and the Sebilj fountain. Groups playing Serbian brass or traditional urban music and actors dressed in traditional serbian costumes perform down the street. Restaurants offer the typical national cuisine, most notably the roštilj (grilled meat) with pivo (beer). Skadarlija’s cafés, restaurants, art exhibits and cobblestone promenade attract up to 20,000 people daily. Skadarlija was dimly lit, paved with cobblestones, as was the custom in Turkish times. The antique look is maintained today.

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