April 24, 2008

Belgrade Nikola Tesla International Airport

Named now after Nikola Tesla, Belgrade's airport is situated 12 km west of the city in the Municipality of Surčin, surrounded by Vojvodina's fertile lowlands.

Picture from Lina from new Terminal 2

National flag carrier Jat Airways (and also some VIP airlines Air Pink, Jat Airways AVIO taxi, Prince Aviation) uses Belgrade Nikola Tesla as their hub airport.

The Serbia City Planning Bureau experts, with the architect Nikola Dobrović at the helm, made the preliminary plans for the new airport.
The development and realisation of the idea was taken over from 1953 onwards by the Civil Aviation Department (later Federal Department for Civil Aviation) whose experts, with engineer Miloš Lukić as a team leader, finished the general airport plan for one runway, appropriate taxiways, and a terminal complex in 1957.

Building of the new airport started in April 1958 and lasted till April 28, 1962, when it was officially opened by President Josip Broz Tito.

In 2006 after several renovations and additions of the airport a countrywide petition was signed to have the name of the airport changed to Belgrade Nikola Tesla International Airport. and a monument was erected near Terminal.

2008 will again be a year of improving airport facilities according to the airport’s management thought many airlines have postponed planned new services to Belgrade, mainly due to visa restrictions and bureaucracy exerted on the Serbian citizens by the European Union.

If you're interested in the History of the Airport and in some more pictures, then: Download it here!

April 21, 2008

Palata Albanija - reload

Belgrade Daily Photo: Beautiful day today

I already wrote about that building, but this pictures on Daily Belgrade Photo is simply wonderful!

April 19, 2008

Radio Beograd Building in Belgrade

This building (at the corner of Hilandarska, Makedonska and Svetogorska)

was formerly known as „zanatski dom“ (craft center) with its various crafts institutions. It was built in 1931 and designed by architekt Bogdan Nestorovic in the spirit of modernism.
The old Zanatski Dom had a café, a restaurant and a hotel, where prominent Belgrade intellectuals and artists gathered between the two World Wars. Inside was like an art gallery where paintings (of Sava Sumanovic) were displayed and writers evenings were organizated.

Just after war, the communists brought the building in the country's hands. And then arrived the national police, and brutally, chased the traders away from their home and told them, it is needed to be placed a Radio Station. Toward the end of 1946 Radio Belgrade (who was formerly at studios at 42 Knez Mihailo Street, while the transmitter was situated in Rakovica) moved in to the Crafts Center’s premises at 2 Hilander Street.

Above the entrance a stonemason (Lukacek) carved 2 white doves next to the figures of a craftsman and an anvil, as a symbol for crafts.

April 13, 2008

NATO TARGET: Hotel Jugoslavija in Belgrade

Hotel Jugoslavija in Belgrade is one of the oldest luxurious Serbian hotels located on the Danube River bank in the Novi Beograd municipality. It was built in stages between 1947 and 1965 and opened in 1969 as one of the biggest hotels in the region. The architect was Lavoslav Horvat.

It was used as an accommodation for celebrities and high officials visiting Belgrade. Some of the famous people that stayed in hotel Jugoslavija include Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Queen Elizabeth II, Willy Brandt, Tina Turner, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, etc.
During the years the hotel with 130 rooms decayed and has fallen from 5 star hotel to a 3 star one.

NATO Bombing

The building was directly hit by 2 missiles, during the night of 7/8 May 1999, and the west wing of the hotel was totally destroyed. One guest got killed. The reason is not really evident for bombing the hotel.

In the same night the nearby Embassy of China in Novi Beograd was also bombed, four employees got killed, and five of them were heavily injured. Thas night was one of the heaviest attack since the beginning of the aggression (the buildings of the Yugoslav Army Headquarters and the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs were also hit again)


Hotel Jugoslavija stands for Ex-Yu nostalgia and wonderful lifstyle. Since it was not a military building and is in a atractive location, private companies had big interest to start business again. In fact, in 2006 it was bought by Alpe-Adria Hotels then in 2007 Casinos Austria announced to invest 100 million euros into the hotel and transform it into a luxury casino. There are some plans to add new 33 storey twin towers.
July 2nd 2007, Casino Beograd opened its doors occupying 700m2 in Hotel Jugoslavija.

This is the first part of the hotel which reopened its doors. It celebrated its opening on february 9th 2008 and now covers an area of 9500m2.

April 5, 2008

InterContinental Hotel in Belgrade

The legendary InterContinental hotel that opened in 1979 as a luxury
chain-hotel mainly for spoiled Western Tourist who started to travel to Belgrade and seeked a sophisticated ambiance.

The 90’s sanctions imposed from West brought economic and international isolation stopped tourism and the hotels stayed empty.
The Building is a contemporary glass tower and
with more than 400 rooms, fancy restaurants,
wellness amenities and a business center the hotel
was a 5 star hotel.

However InterContinental opposed the closure of the hotel and continued upgrading facilities in the building. The restaurant in the hotel became popular with the Serbian population as it was an oasis within the country. During
NATO Bombing in 1999 the hotel was the place where political parties led their meetings and foreign diplomats stayed.
The peak of popularity was probably reached when Željko Ražnatović a.k.a Arkan was shot and killed in the lobby of the hotel in 2000. This news was broadcast across the world.

After sanctions were dropped against Serbia, and tourism started to recover the luxurious Hyatt Regency Hotel was opened just across the road and took lots of guests from InterContinental away.
In 2006 the hotel lost its InterContinental license and was renamed to Hotel International CG and now to Continental Hotel Belgrade. Now it need to be privatized and investors are seeked. It will need remodelling or re-categorisation as it does not stands up to its 5 stars anymore.

However the charm of the glam-80’s interiors is still there and probably last train to enjoy it like that before it will unfortunately look luxurious but style-less like zillions of other hotels worldwide.

The pictures are a courtesy of Lina.