June 26, 2011

Interesting buildings in Arandjelovac

After checking out interesting buildings in Kragujevac (here) I collected here a few interesting buildings in Arandjelovac (Аранђеловац) in Central Serbia which like Kragujevac also lies in the Sumadija region and has about 50'000 inhabitants.

Architecture is not the reason why this city is visited by tourists, however I found a couple of interesting buildings I'd like to share here.

Arandjelovac is mostly known for  the spring of the popular mineral water "Knjaz Milos" and the appertaining Spa "Bukovicka Banja". The Spa has a great park loaded with sculptures international artists (since 1966 the city invites  artist from all over the world and let them have one of their sculptures exposited in the Park.

Inside the Spa facilities there is an example of Serbian Romaticism it's the "Staro Zdanje" (the Old Building) and is the oldest preserved building in Bukovicka Banja Spa. It was initiated by Prince Mihailo Obrenovic (that's why the mineral water is called "Knjaz Milos") in 1865 and was intended as his summer residence and for Assembly meetings.

Here an old picture of the building.
Its architect, Kosta Sreplovic, the Munich school of architecture graduate, landscaped the park area in front of the edifice as well. When the edifice was completed in 1872, the purpose of its use was changed due to altered political situation so that it became a spa edifice, probably the largest of the kind in Serbia of the time.

Today it is a hotel and the symbol of Arandjelovac that appears in its coat of arms, prospectus leaflets and postcards. 

This highrise building is known as the "arandjelovac soliter" and is in the center of the city.I love the rounded details and the material combinations.(picture source)

 Blocks like this remind a lot the Style of Novi Beograd.

 A really cool building and and a sign of past socialist times is the shopingcenter "Kolektiv" (Робна кућа Колектив) with its sculptural facade.(picture source)

Here an old Postcard with the Kolektiv-Building and the Arandjelovac-Soliter in the background.

Another interesting building is the the one with the "Pekabeta" on the ground-floor. The peculiar blue attic adds a fun touch to the edifice and makes it unique.(picture source)

 The building of the Municipal Court has also a socialist time touch.

And now a really beautiful example of Brutalism: the Bukulja observatory tower on the Bukulja Mountain near Arandjelovac on 660 m. above sealevel and 19m high, made in nice face concrete. From the top there is a nice view to the surrounding mountains. Now it's planned to put a telescope up there to make it a even better tourist attraction.

 Anrandjelovac is worth a trip also for the cultural meaningful surrounding: The Bukovicka Spa, Topola with the Oplenac Royal Mausoleum and the Risovaca Caves.

June 16, 2011

Interesting Buildings in Kragujevac

Now that the traveling season starts and a few of my readers were asking for architectural tips outside from Belgrade, I decided to publish the most interesting buildings of smaller Serbian cities next to useful traveling information.

I started with Kragujevac and I choose the buildings that I like the most. Kragujevac is the center of the Sumadija region, the region that represent Serbia in all its stereotypes (for instance the Sumadija folk costume stands generally as illustration for Serbian national costume).

Blocks in Kragujevac (from flickr)

The architecture of Kragujevac is a mix of various styles: there are Oriental-Style buildings  (like the Amidža Konak from 1819-24) and Secession Style buildings  from 19th century. Then there are modern post-war concrete buildings (apartments to house those left homeless during World War II), high-rise commies (communist time blocks)  and some eye-catching buildings from the 70'ies (like the "Ipsilon" and the City Hall) that now characterize the city's panorama.

Kragujevac City Hall (Скупштина града)from Dinke at flickr

The Y - Building (Ипсилон) in Erdoglija District was built in the 70's and is Kragujevac's tallest building (60m, 17 floors)

Ipsilon Building from woodland at Skyscrapercity

The Golden Rose Shopping Center "Златна Ружа" is a cool building, however it needs some remodeling work. (from Johnny-kg at skyscrapercity)

Fire station in ulica Miloja Pavlovića (Ватрогасци дом) picture from skyscrapercity. Below an old picture of the building.

The fire station is a modernist building from 1932 (built in less than one year!)after the project of Đorđe Kovaljevski i Mihailo Radovanović, two Belgrade architects.

The "Zastava"-Building is a good example of soc-realism. (Picture from kawasaki KG at skyscrapercity)

The history behind the building and what happened to the Zastava Industry is a bit complexer. In a very simple and short form I see it like this: The biggest and flourishing Industry that produced some Yugoslavian legendary cars was wrecked by NATO bombings and later through Embargo  and Sanctions. Now Italy (who 11 years ago was bombing the buildings) is trying to produce FIAT cars in these buildings, to make cheaper production with cheap Serbian workers and taking away the works to many Torino based workers in Italy…..but that's business…
Main site of Zastava

An interesting building (I already wrote about this one here) is located a little outside Kragujevac in the Šumarice Memorial Park (Меморијални парк Шумарице), is the Museum of Genocide, on the site where  in WW II between 2'300 and 7'000 men and boys (the numbers differs a lot from source to source, but that's another issue…) were executed by the German occupation forces on October 20, 1941.
The project is made by Ivan Antic.
Antic designed the Museum of the Genocide in 1967. The grandness of the monumental building is emphasized by a series of tall pillar-like rectangular shapes, the tallest ones on the central part from which go the same ones of various height with massive parts of the walls built in brick.
The modern expression relates to medieval sacral architecture, and the symbol of the Museum of the Genocide is even stronger in the interior which lets natural light from roof lanterns, connecting the view to the skies with earthly life: the building and the crypt.

On May 14th 1999 due to the detonation of NATO attacks in the nearest vicinity the facades of the Museum were damaged and all glazed panels and roof lanterns destroyed. The nearby building of the Archives was badly damaged. (picture from skyscrapercity)

There is also a famous monument called "Broken Wings"-Monument created in 1963 by Serbian sculptor Miodrag Zivkovic.
 The monument is dedicated to the killed schoolchildren and their teachers.
"Broken wings" monument in Sumarice memorial park (picture from Balkanforum)

Here a few links with travel tips for Kragujevac:


And here a cool blog from JohnnyKG  that has pictures and further Kragujevac links.
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