Text topic: Critical History of Transforming Belgrade Public Spaces - from the End of the 18th Century to the Beginning of the 21st Century
- Belle Époque
Text author: Милан Просен
Following the transformation of the urban area of Belgrade from a provincial Ottoman city to the capital city of Serbia, ideas for the architectural design for the Palace of the Serbian Royal Academy in Knez Mihailova Street which started to develop at the turn of the 20th century, mirrored a change of taste and influences in the style of architecture. Dominant at the time of the proclamation of the Kingdom of Serbia, the design and building projects of the architect Konstantin Jovanović represented a culminating impact of the Vienna Ringstrasse architecture. Rejecting the concept of Viennese academicism at the time of political confrontation of the Serbian Kingdom with the Dual Monarchy towards the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, was followed by а search for a modern architectural approach. A new design with architectural elements of the Viennese Fin-de-Siécle, Paris Art Nouveau and the prevalent spirit of Belle Époque appeared with the projects by the architects Andra Stevanović and Dragutin Đorđević. Suspension of constructions due to the outbreak of the WWI and changes in the architectural climate in Belgrade after the war have led to a rapid devaluation of modernity of the buildings whose construction was completed in 1924. However, bringing an echo of modern consumerism with the shopping passage and elegant stores on the ground floor, coated with abundance of its Belle Époque façades, the Palace of the Serbian Royal Academy became a symbol of Knez Mihailova Street in the main promenade of Belgrade, as a unique public space.