Text topic: Critical History of Transforming Belgrade Public Spaces - from the End of the 18th Century to the Beginning of the 21st Century
- seat of state authorities
Text author: Саша Михајлов и Биљана Мишић
The Palace Complex at Terazije was established between mid-nineteenth century, and the beginning of the third decade of the twentieth century as the first royal residence in Serbia designed and built in accordance with an urban plan. It formed the most important micro ambiance of the central urban zone that started a transition from oriental Belgrade to a modern capital with a European character. The development stages in the formation of the complex, starting from the initial construction of the Simić building (The Old Residence, 1840-42), through the decoration of the Palace garden and yard, construction of the Little Palace (around 1845), followed by the Palace of the Crown Prince Mihailo (Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior, 1858), and construction of the Old (1881-84) and the New Royal Palace (1911-1922), indicate complexity of the socio-political circumstances of this period in Serbian history, but also of the development of architectural, stylistic and artistic characteristics of the capital’s architecture. Engagement of leading architects, artists, decorators and craftsmen in designing, decoration and furnishing of the edifice and the premises of the palace complex reflects a general picture of the transforming Belgrade’s spiritual and cultural climate, through changing its daily life habits, in which the royal residences often served as a model and an initiator of change. Gradually, a complex mosaic was built intertwining the artistic and the political concepts: from the original idea of the architect, Aleksandar Bugarski, for a tripartite composition of the complex, from which only the Old Palace of King Milan Obrenović was realized, to the completing of the complex with the New Palace according to the design of the architect Stojan Titelbah, to converting the New Palace into a museum institution (The Crown Prince Pavle Museum, 1934-1936), and afterwards to reconstructing both structures and the entire area (1947-53) into a seat of new state authorities. Establishing a harmonious relationship between the structures and their natural and urban environment emphasized specific values of the area based on its accessibility and availability.