Mystery of the oldest house in Belgrade

When visiting Belgrade, this is not one of the places you will usually find in various tourist guides as a recommendation for Belgrade tour, but there are big chances you will walk right by it, since it is located in the central district of Dorcol and it is on one of the streets that is leading you to Kalemegdan fortress.

This oldest house in City of Belgrade withstands the time and historical events for three centuries and hides a mystery under its foundation. This mystery dates from the time when the house was constructed.

The oldest house in Belgrade is located at Cara Dusana street #10 and it was built in the Baroque style in 1727. The Baroque style of building was widely present before the Turks settled again in Belgrade in 1739. They demolished most of the buildings and had their height limited to a maximum of two floors.

This house was built by a Swiss Imperial general and engineer Nicolas Doxat de Morez who originally came to Serbia to prepare the project for the renewal and construction of the Belgrade Fortress in accordance with the fortification regulations of the Baroque period.

When building this house, he made a large number of tunnels underneath it, and it was presumed that they are leading to Kalemegdan fortress. He tragically died beneath the walls of Kalemegdan fortress in Belgrade, since the Austrian imperial authorities accused him of treason and executed him. In historical records it is written that the reason he is executed was to keep the secret of the locations of underground passages safe and away from the public eye. According to these records, one part of the tunnels was leading to the Kalemegdan fortress and the other part was leading deep into the city.

Construction plans of the underground tunnels were kept in Vienna, and during the World War I they were handed out to Austrian army.

Part of the mystery associated with this house was further reinforced by the Germans during the World War II. Citizens of Belgrade then testified that the Germans were occupying the house for days in the big secrecy, and that they were digging and looking for something. It was often mentioned that there was some sort of treasure lying hidden in the tunnels beneath the house, and that the Germans were secretly transporting this treasure to Berlin. But these are all rumors and no one can say for sure what did the Germans discovered under this house.

Part of the mystery got solved couple of years after the war ended, when the tenants discovered the tunnel beneath the house. It was not just the large basement; it was actually an underground road. None of them dared to pass it through and see where it leads.

Nowadays it is difficult to detect the path of secret tunnels, as well as the objects they are linked to, because they are substantially damaged and flooded.

The house has changed hands, and since the departure of Austro-Hungarians in the 18th century, its ground floor has always been reserved for some kind of craft shop.

Today on its ground floor, there is a bakery and glazier and their employees are often guides to the curious citizens, tourists and journalists.

This is a good place to visit in your Belgrade tour and hear some amazing stories and maybe find out if the mystery of secret tunnels was ever solved. It will certainly make a good and adventurous story for your friend back home.