The historical Street is located in Grocka, one of the seventeen Belgrade municipalities. We are recommending it as a stop on your Belgrade tour because it is a historical district that represents a characteristic ambience of the nineteenth-century Serbian small towns. As the center of all economic and social events in town, the high street represents the needs, taste and desires of a small town milieu from the first half of nineteenth century with its organization, contents and architectural design. It is not only a document about a period in history, its architecture and esthetics make it possible for a contemporary viewer to experience a specific ambience as well as important achievements in national architecture.
Traditional architecture represents a significant segment of Serbian cultural heritage. Institute for Protection of Monuments of Culture in Belgrade metropolitan area is protecting a total of 48 of these individual houses and two spatial cultural and historical sites, out of which 12 buildings and one cultural- historical site is 150-250 years old. These buildings are older than most preserved historical buildings in the center of Belgrade and withstand time because of the soundness of the construction, although made of friable materials.
The economic development of this Belgrade district is linked to the 19th century and the family Garašanin . Like other small towns in Serbia in that period, Grocka was also decorated in an oriental manner , reflecting the distinctive ambience Serbian palanka (a former Turkish palisaded camp) of the 19th century . The ancient town center of Grocka is Gročanska historical street (part of the former Constantinople Road), where the original village was located. Old Gročanska historical street today represents the spatial cultural- historical entity under the auspices of the Institute for Protection of Monuments.
The area as a whole is designed to achieve the highest possible functionality and comfort of living. Fireplace and central part of the house were located in the entrance room, so-called “Odžaklija” and a long hallway, covered with brick and tiled porch (ayat) had the role of the anteroom. Odžaklija was also paved with bricks, because the people did not take their shoes off in that part of the house, but other rooms had wooden floors.
The heat from the fireplace in Odžaklija , spread to the left and right and warmed all the rooms in the house. The ceilings were lower than today, but not because our ancestors were significantly shorter than us, but because of the rational reasons connected to the heating because the warm air moves upward , and so there was no unnecessary heat loss.
Old houses did not have gutters; wide eaves protect them from the sun and took precipitation away from home.
The houses were painted in white, again for practical reasons - white is solar reflective, and calx is used as a disinfectant for the walls of straw and mud prone to fungi.
The builders had developed a sense of functionality and the sense of esthetics. The supporting pillars on the veranda that are carrying part of the ceiling had a constructive and decorative role.
The veranda is a kind of terrace in the old homes, the rooms the open-air which is taking over the functions of Odžaklija room and becomes the center of domestic life in the summertime.
The veranda is an architectural aesthetic element and with its prominent position within the home is one of the most representative “rooms” in Serbian traditional architecture.
The characteristics of the old houses are showing the high range of construction, housing and art, based on social status and real needs and possibilities of their original owners.