June 30, 2009

Former Main Telephone Exchange in Belgrade

The Former Main Telephone Exchange (Kosovska Street 47 in Belgarde) is a unique building, made in 1908 in the spirit of serbian-national style. The architect was Branko Tanazevic (1876-1945).
He combined byzantine elements, secessionist elements and moravian style elements in his buldings and created artistically intreesting bulidng that wer representative for serbian identity. He didn't do it in a traditional way but more in a contemporary way. In its time, the buildings lookt really modern.

In the Telephone Exchange, Tanazevic he experimented with an asymetrical facade composition, an secessionistic cuppola, neo-moravian vents, colored surfaces and bas-relief pattern. For the decorative elements he applied pseudo-medieval rosettes and checker-board fields. I his works he often collaborated with decorator Dragutin Inkiostrij (1866-1942).

Another wellknown work from Branko Tanazevic is the "Vukova zadužbina" (Vuk Karadzic's foundation) built in 1913. It's in Kralja Milana 2 in Belgrade. Also this is a good example of serbian-national architecture style. Tanasevic was also often mentioned as a representative of Art Nouveau (Secession Style).

Serbian-national style in architecture (here a link in serbian)

Branko Tanazevic was one of the representative architects who stood for this building style popular between 1850 and the first WW.
Style carachteristics are elements of the serbian-byzantine style that were created first for church architecture. The church architecture was always a symbol also for national identity. With the serbian-national style this byzantine elements found its place also in profane architecture.

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