Belgrade is constantly evolving and changing.
in the past, Many nations called Belgrade – home. The confluence of drastically different influences produced a blend of the West and East. Belgrade nowadays can’t be compared to Belgrade 20 years ago, let alone during its early beginnings. due to being conquered and rebuilt over forty times – Belgrade is constantly changing and evolving.
Many writers and artists found their way to Belgrade. Some traveled out of curiosity and desire to experience Serbia’s capital and some passing through stayed longer than expected, mesmerized by Belgrade’s persona.
Belgrade is not Rome or Paris, it won’t leave you breathless with its beauty, and it’s not New York that leaves you stunned with its size and skyscrapers. In order to love Belgrade, you need to comprehend the way of life it preaches and appreciate its flawed beauty.
In order to bring Belgrade closer to you, we’ve compiled a list of quotes that best portray what Belgrade is.
No one can put it better than Momo Kapor. The man had a love affair with the city, and in his numerous books he never failed making Belgrade its main protagonist.
“Belgrade is not in Belgrade, because Belgrade, in fact is not a city – it’s a metaphor, a way of life, a way of thinking.”
– Momo Kapor
“He who was lucky enough to wake up this morning in Belgrade shouldn’t ask for anything more in life. More than that would be immodest.”
– Duško Radović
“Belgrade is the ugliest city in the world in the most beautiful place in the world.”
– Le Corbusier
“When Le Corbusier said that Belgrade was the ugliest city in the most beautiful place, what he saw before him at the time, was a result of accumulated wars and devastation over many centuries. People today that love and know this city, don’t know it based on what they saw or touched firsthand. Its biggest and most beautiful part is the one that disappeared without a trace, never to be seen, photographed or touched again. But the history owns even its missing part, the one which will never be reconstructed, the part of history that resides in us alone, and not in the world around us.
Obviously, Le Corbusier’s ugliest city in the most beautiful place, throughout history was very often, the most beautiful city in the most terrifying part of the world. In conclusion, we can paraphrase New York Times from the late 1876., „If Serbia with Belgrade (Belgrade was demolished to the ground then) wasn’t in the way of Ottoman’s march to Europe, today they would certainly be as Germany and France, Vienna, Munich and Marseilles.“
– Milorad Pavić
„It usually happens that a traveler goes to a famous place expecting a lot, and leaves disappointed and down. This happens with Athens, Rhine, St Peters Church in Rome. But then again, I went to Belgrade not expecting anything – the decorations, the sights, not even the joy or anything interesting – and now I am a victim of its seductive charm, and I have to leave it with utmost pain. This is a new feeling: to fall in love with a city.“
– Herbert Vivian
„At that time I needed company from people who will not treat me superficially as it happens at home; I needed company from people who sit at the table and mingle, sing songs and always have an awful lot to say. That Belgrade period just cured my soul.“
– Erskine Caldwell
„This grand city seems to have always been like this: torn and split, as if it never exists but is perpetually being created, built upon and recovered. On one side it waxes and grows, on the other it wanes and deteriorates. Ever in motion and rustle, never calm and never knowing tranquility or quiet. The city upon two rivers, on the grand clearing, bound by the winds.”
– Ivo Andrić
“The sky above Belgrade is expansive and high, shifting yet always beautiful; clear with its chill splendour during the winter; turning into a single downcast cloud during summer storms, driven by the crazy winds and bearing rain mixed with the dust of the Pannonian plain; seeming to flower along with the ground during spring; and growing heavy with roils of autumnal stars during fall. Always beautiful and rich, as a compensation to this strange town for everything that is not there, and a consolation for all that should not be. But the greatest splendour of that sky above Belgrade, that are the sunsets. In autumn and in summer, they are broad and bright like desert mirages, and in winter they are smothered by murky clouds and dark red hazes. And in every time of year frequently come the days when the flame of that sun setting in the plain, between the rivers beneath Belgrade, gets reflected way up in the high celestial dome, and it breaks there and pours down over the scattered town. Then, for a moment, the reddish tint of the sun paints even the remotest corners of Belgrade and reflects into the windows, even of those houses it otherwise poorly illuminates.”
– Ivo Andrić
We started this list with Momo Kapor and it’s only fair to finish it with him as well.
“The spirit of Belgrade is that feeling that you are at home, that you cannot be ruined because you are among your kind, that at any time you can borrow some change, love, a roof over your head and a necessary accomplice before dawn.
That spirit gives birth to bold verticals, new quarters arise, and old ones go to ruin, it bridges the rivers and clears the tangles of rusty tracks among whose thresholds you can see the grass sprouting, in order to give a clear view of rivers and the sky. It plays with architecture and urbanity laws.
Photographed from the air, this city will never attract a curious beauty collector, no matter how good the picture is.
Because it is not photogenic! But it can do something totally different – it will give you almost physical pain from nostalgia, even to those who spent only a few days walking its streets, just like an old picture of a lover can torture us to death.
The plan of its streets is somewhat similar to topographic map of our heart. This city will enchant us with its charm, but will never give up the secret code of this mysterious love, for which the cause is unknown. We will stay its voluntary captives forever, who among countless master-piece cities chose Belgrade to live their only life in.”
– Momo Kapor
If you’re an avid fan like us, you can visit the exhibit in Momo Kapor’s honor “par lui-même” at The Great Gallery of the Central Military Club: http://ow.ly/jXhw30bq8La
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