February 28, 2009

25 May Sportcenter in Belgrade

This is the second post about Ivan Antic's great buildings. The first was about the Museum of Contemporary Art. Here a fantastic building on the Danube river: the May 25 Sports & Recreation Centre that hosts a sports hall, open and indoor swimming pools, a restaurant with a bowling hall, a sauna and outdoor sports grounds.

It was projected and designed by Ivan Antic (1923-2005) and construction took place from 1973-75.

The highlight of the building is the restaurant supported on 19 m cantilevers that gives a special feature to this architectural piece!

The roof of the covered Olympic swimming pool is made of prestressed concrete hyperbolic parabolic shell, 7 cm thick on the rhombus base, with the span over the longer diagonal 107 m and over the shorter 60 m.

In the lowest points of the roof shell the inclined columnal "abutments'' are formed witch are interconnected by prestressed concrete tie beams.
A little bit of renobvation is planned and going on.

all photo's by www.ostarchitektur.com

25 May Sportcenter
Tadeuša Košćuška 63,

February 24, 2009

Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade

The next few posts will be about one great Serbian architect who made some of my favorite buildings in Belgrade: Ivan Antic. Some of his building have been damaged by NATO Bombing 10 years ago.

An old pictures from the 60's showing the well composed facade
that takes care of aesthetics and of the needs of a museum

The Museum of Modern Art is situated in New Belgrade, on the left bank of the river Sava. The edifice was erected between 1961 and 1965 after the design of architects Ivan Antic and Ivanka Raspopovic, who were awarded the October Prize of the city of Belgrade in 1965 when the museum opened.

The Muesum from the Kalamegdan Fortress
blends nicley with the surrounding

This building represents an original architectural concept linking its interior with the exterior and at the same time meeting all the principals of a museum, thus ranking it among the most significant examples of modern museum architecture in in Serbia and the world in general.

The Museum was founded in 1958 aiming to collect, study and e
xhibit the works of modern Yugoslav art. Now the museum has a collection of more than 35,000 works of arts by Yugoslav artists: paintings and sculptures dating from 1900 up to the present day.
On April 28th, when the Usce Business Center was bombed by NATO for the second time, the glazing of the Museum was blown off and and the Museum exhibits were damaged. The sculptures in the park surrounding the Museum sustained substantial damage too.

It is undergoing an €8 million renovation fully funded from the Government's National Investment.

Muzej savremene umetnosti
Museum of Contemporary Arts

Ušće 10. Blok 15
11070 Novi Beograd

February 13, 2009

St. Peter's Church near Novi Pazar

While traveling around the Raska Region I visited some of the most meaningful Serbian Sacral Buildings: like Djurdjevi Stupovi Manastir (look here) and here Crkva Svetog Petra.

St. Peter's church (Црква светог Петра) near Novi Pazar is one of the oldest churches on the territory of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Parts of the building dates back to the 8th century, while most of the church was built in the 9th and the dome from the 10th century. The church has many layers of frescoes from different periods, the oldest from the 9th century.

Floor plan

It is very well known as the earliest spiritual centers in the Ras area where the first Serb state was created under great Zupan Nemanja (Stefan Nemanja) in 11th century. It was in this church that Nemanja was baptized. (Later this first ruler of an organized Serb state became a monk in Mount Athos where he and his son St. Sava, the first Archbishop of Serbia established the monastery of Hilandar.)
Stefan Nemanja build later the church of Djurdjevi Stupovi to thank St. George.


St. Peter's church is situated at the outskirts of Novi Pazar and is historically linked with the old city of Ras which used to be the first Serbian capital.
Historians claim that the first church that was built on this site was an old Christian basilica which was later rebuilt in the shape of today's church, during the early Middle Ages.

The church was also important state and political center because synods and meetings were held under its vaults.

Today the church is surrounded by the 18-19th century Serbian Orthodox graveyard which is one of the best preserved of this kind in Serbia.

Here some links to travel around the area of Novi Pazar:
I wrote abou it here, here and here.
The tourist office of Novi Pazar has a good website here
And here another good site that tells a little more about the region.

February 9, 2009

The Ascension Church in Belgrade

I found incredible nice pictures of this church by jaime.silva

The Ascension church (Crkva-Svetog-Vaznesenja) in Belgrade is not very well known, but because of a personal reason, I have a connection
to that church and so I wanted to write about its simple architecture and its beautiful interiors.

I found myself praying in front of this wonderful iconostatic, with a strong winter midday sun shining through the windows. The church lays in the middle of Belgrade's trafficked roads, but inside this little church it's completely peaceful. An unforgetable moment!

The church was built in 1863 following a project of
Pavle Stanišić and Jovan Ristić, while the construction works were performed by Josip Štok and Fernand Stevanov, and the contractor was Koča Z. Popović. The order for its construction was issued by Knez Mihailo Obrenović , and the works were financed through donations of many Belgrade citizens.

The church was shaped in accordance with then prevailing romantism, following examples of the old Serbian monasteries, first of all
the Ravanica monastery

The first icons were painted by Nikola Marković in 1864, but later, this task was assigned to the most famous painter of that time, Steva Todorović, who completed this enterprise in 1881. Also, the original wall paintings made by Nikola Marković have been replaced with new compositions made by Andrey Bitsenko in 1937.

A beautiful shot of the Interior by jaime.silva

The church is rich in collections of icons, old books, articles of gold and other things from the XIX century.

Photo by jaime.silva

February 3, 2009

Djurdjevi Stupovi Manastir

Last summer i made a little tour with my family through the Raska (Sandzak) region. Not far away from Novi Pazar lie some of the most interesting sacral buildings of Serbia.

The monastery of St. George in Ras belongs to the most important sacred places in the history of Serbian people. As early as the Middle Ages it became known as "Djurdjevi Stupovi", named after its pillars towers which adorned the monastery church. The monastery was founded by the founder of the Nemanjic dynasty, Stefan Nemanja, in the second half of the 12th century.
According to the narrative of his biographer and son, later Serbian king Stefan Prvovencani (First Crowned), Nemanja vowed to build a temple and consecrate it to St. George, to whom he had devoutly cried for help in his prayers many times in his life. After he had assumed supreme power over Serbian lands (1166), Nemanja began to build the monastery.
Around 1175, the church was painted, and the monastery instantly gained high reputation as the first endowment of the Nemanjic dynasty.
Although Stefan Nemanja had built churches and monasteries before, as a territorial sovereign (St. Nicholas, the church of the Holy Virgin in Toplica), the monastery of St. George in Ras represented a turning-point in the ideology of Nemanjic rulers.
With its exceptional position in the vicinity of the cathedral temple of the episcopacy of Ras, and based on the ancient spiritual foundations, the monastery of St. George established the Christian thought of the Serbian state. The world in which Djurdjevi Stupovi played an important role was profoundly altered by the Turkish conquest. War and poverty, emigration and violence, turned the life of the monastery into mere survival, and even that was endangered at the end of the 17th century. For some time, the monastery was deserted (1688), then fire and tyrant hand caused serious damage to the church and the monastery complex, and many ancient Serbian manuscripts suffered considerable damage.

At the beginning of the 19th century the monastery of St. George was a ruin even more devastated by wars. The stones of the glorious foundation were built into the nearby conquerors` fortifications. Аfter the partial reconstruction that was conducted in the 1980’s, the monastery revived its liturgical activities in 2002. By great efforts from the Serbian Orthodox Church, behalf of state institutions, firms and individuals, as well as of Serbian people, the dormitory was renovated and young monastic fraternity moved in.

Djurdjevi Stupovi in Ras (together with Sopocani and Peter’s Church) has been included into the UNESCO list in 1979, as a monument of outstanding importance.

The church lie on top of a hill and the panoramic view overlooking Novi Pazar is fantastic.
The external appearance of this single-nave temple with a tripartite sanctuary, a nave with lateral vestibules and a narthex (entry hall), flanked by two towers, emanates a spirit of western Romanesque building (the so called Raska School).
With the addition of the apse on the eastern side in 1282/83, the entry tower was transformed into a chapel and the tomb of King Dragutin. Here the official Website with very beautiful pictures and here some more information with plans and videos.