Belgrade - Concrete with a soul

Belgrade - Concrete with a soul

21.04.2021

Belgrade - Concrete with a soul

In many ways unique and at the same time modest and simple!

 

        We can say that Belgrade is one big stage, It breathes endurance and strength and bears its scars proudly. Belgrade has a soul and it rests at the confluence where two European rivers meet, below the Victor who guards it. A city you can't remain indifferent to, not because of the fascinating architecture, but because of the energy that lives in it.

Belgrade is multi-layered with various histories: The underground Roman ruins, a city under the city, Nebojsa Tower remains of Metropolitan Palace and the three old gates in the lower end of the city. Mighty architectural feat from 4th-century fortress in the west part of the city and Kalemegdan park situated between Sava and Danube river - The heart of the city and the most beautiful landmark St. Sava Temple one of the biggest orthodox churches in the world. In between these two landmarks stretches the Knez-Mihajlova street - the navigation point of old Belgrade and therefore the center of the city. 

Among well-preserved building facades of what is so-called “Balkan-Oriental” style decorated with street art, through narrow cobbled streets and whispers from old traditional taverns, right there on the end of the King Petar street rests the beginning of our story.

 

THE FRAGRANCES OF HISTORY

Fighting the fast modern tide, you can notice a shop window that will instantly bring up the old forgotten times. The first step you take when entering the store is like you fell into the time capsule right back in the '50s. Shelves filled with bottles of various shapes and sizes, old family photos, cameras, a former traditional women's accessory that was mandatory on the dressing tables of mansions.

Welcome to the “Sava” perfume shop, the oldest one in Belgrade. Owned by Nenad Jovanov, last perfumer in Serbia, some may say in Europe. There used to be 23 such craft shops in Belgrade but today only “Sava” remains in its original form. The interior that you can find here today is faithful to the ones that existed in the 50s, which was what Nenad's parents had wanted, but also Nenad himself.

These remains of older times aren't the only thing that makes this a unique time machine.  "Sava" began as and remained the only true craft perfume store in Belgrade. This means that every perfume you buy in the store today is made in the same way as 60 years ago.

Unfortunately, Jovanov has no heirs in this craft, his children have taken a different path, so when he stops working, the last perfume shop in Belgrade will be closed.

 

FROM THE FRUITY FRAGRANCE TO THE FAMOUS MOSKVA SNIT

Long ago in 1974, Anica Džepina chef of the pastry shop was given an unusual task at the time: to refresh the offer of the popular Belgrade hotel Moskva with original cakes and pastries. That is when the famous Moskva Snit was created, a cake that many celebrities tried as a kind of symbol of the city when visiting Belgrade. 

It all started back when chopped cherries dipped in a sweet cream, and the crispy almond peel combined them with juicy pineapple. For the first time, Anica Džepina mixed and stacked all that with skillful hands. That has been satisfying even the most demanding palates of the Serbian capital for decades.

Even today, they serve it with pride, and local gourmets and tourists who come to Belgrade are happy to have one "fine piece of Belgrade".

There are certainly other versions of Moskva snit that have been experimented with over the years (and that you can experiment within your own kitchen) - pineapple was replaced with raspberries or peaches, and various pastry chefs made their own small changes.

As Moskva snit proved to be a very beloved and lucrative investment, Hotel Moskva decided to protect and brand it. If you find yourself in the garden of a pastry shop in Rome, Geneva, or Chicago and recognize the name of a Moskva specialty on the menu, you will know that it comes from the kitchen in the center of Belgrade Moskva Hotel.

 

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN ... THE ART OF PARTYING AND RAKIJA

Before you even consider starting off the night you have to get your hands on the famous Serbian drink, RAKIJAUnderstanding rakija is a process that involves identifying and enjoying the different types of Rakija but also following the tradition of respect that comes with this ritual. Although Rakija is served in shot glasses, you do not need to drink it all in one sip. The first sip is the most important. You should feel the burning in your chest, not in your throat. Now you are ready to start experiencing the world of Rakija.

Good Rakija has a strong taste first, followed by a subtle fruity flavor

Whatever kind of fun you are looking for, Belgrade has it all: clubs, taverns, bars, restaurants with Balkan music, clubs within rafts anchored along with the river pumping music until the early hours. The number of clubs is increasing every day, and a growing number of international musicians and DJs come to Belgrade to play, attracted by the stories of the city that loves to dance. The nights are pervaded by the atmosphere of Belgrade contagious, crazy parties and lots of fun.

 

One last thing ...

 

... learn how to keep up the pace - Belgrade knows how to party well!