Skadarlija is one of the places that you shouldn’t miss on your Belgrade tour. There is a saying that if you haven’t visited Skadarlija you haven’t truly experienced Belgrade. Skadarlija is a vintage street in the capital of Serbia. It is located in the Belgrade municipality of Stari Grad (Old town) and generally considered the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade, similar to Paris' Montmartre.
It is located in the heart of Belgrade, the old, romantic and bohemian, known in history and legend, and it lives more than a century in many songs, interesting stories and anecdotes as well as in many literary and journalistic writings.
This magical part of Belgrade , beloved corner of poetry and romantic history, famous for its wooden cobbles , gas lanterns among the trees in bloom , the famous houses and taverns , where famous writers , journalists, actors, directors, musicians, singers , painters and other merry-makers spent many pleasant evenings. Today it mostly attracts curious tourists from all over the world, so Skadarlija remains inscribed in golden letters in the history of Belgrade.
The history of Skadarlija began in the 1830s with the settlement of Gypsies in the abandoned trenches in front of the ramparts. The 1854 town plan of Belgrade reveals that the Gypsy hovels had been replaced by brick buildings into which artisans, caterers, petty clerks and others moved. The whole locality was referred to as the Gypsy Quarter until 1872 when it was named Skadarlija and it kept that name until the present day. Skadarlija changed its name once in the meantime, during the Austro-Hungarian occupation, when it was changed to The Rose Street. And that's the only time the name of the street was changed for a short period of time.
Skadarlija was dimly lit, paved with cobblestones, as was the custom in the Ottoman era. This antique look is kept today, only the space between the stones is set in concrete. In the beginning of its history, in addition to bumpy Turkey cobblestones and several fountains, the main characteristics of Skadarlija Street from that time were stretched floral gardens behind the fences with houses plastered with mud or half-timbered and several of them had roofs tiles.
Skadarlija was renovated in 1966 and protected by law. The fountain is built at the top of the street, and the walls are painted with murals depicting Skadarlija in its historic days.
Belgrade bohemians (actors, painters, writers ... ) have occupied the taverns in Skadarska Street when tavern " Dardanelles " was demolished in 1901 which was located on the site of today's National Museum and until that time it was their favorite place for gatherings. Due to the proximity of the National Theatre, many actors have lived there in the late 19th and early 20th century, then other artists, poets, writers and painters followed. Some of them like Duro Jakšic (who now has a monument in Skadarlija ) were regular guests of the taverns and his presence and work left a permanent impression on Skadarlija’s cobblestone.
There are many poems and stories created on the napkins and tavern sheets, which was a payment currency for many writers of that time; they paid for their food and drinks with their art created on the spot.
Described In many tourist brochures as an attractive place that is worth seeing, Skadarlija continues its merry life. The most significant cultural - historical monument in restored Skadarlija is definitely the house of the painter and poet Djura Jaksic , followed by two famous oldest tavern “Tri šešira“ ( three hats) and “Dva jelena” (two deer) in addition to a number of other facilities.
Today Skadalija is one of the key tourist attractions of Belgrade. It is under state protection as a cultural monument. It has its own code and its own flag, with the symbols of walking stick, carnation and a hat. In this neighborhood there are a handful of restaurants where you'll be able to really experience the traditional Serbian cuisine. There are also galleries, antique shops and souvenir shops.