Monday, August 25, 2014

Belgrade 2014 (2/2)

Belgrade street art (2014)

Scary dogs, sinister rabbits, scared cupcakes, teenagers with fashionable hairdos and classic super heroes. Street art is still very much present on the building walls of Belgrade in August 2014.

Lopatnica after the rain

These pictures were taken in the small village of Lopatnica (Western Serbia), which is located about 30 km from the city of Kraljevo. It is a very peaceful rural place, nested in a valley, with the river of the same name flowing nearby. On the evening that these pictures were taken, a big storm had brought plenty of moisture which slowly dissolved in the Summer heat.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Studenica, Žiča, Maglić fortress, Serbia

The first five pictures were taken at Studenica monastery in Serbia. Studenica and Žiča are medieval monasteries located in Serbia's "valley of the kings." Žiča, easily recognized by its unusual red color is near the town of Kraljevo. These monasteries are located in spectacular locations, display beautiful stone and brick work and are decorated with frescoes in various states of preservation (photography is not allowed inside).  

Sopoćani, Novi Pazar, Kopaonik, Serbia

Manastir Sopoćani was the first monastery we visited during our 6-day trip to Southern Serbia. Although it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it does not seem to draw large crowds, perhaps because of its remote location in the Sandžak region of Southern Serbia, near the town of Novi Pazar.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Užice, Kraljevo

First, Cveta Kuća (the house of flowers), the mausoleum where Marshal Tito is buried, in the winter garden where he used to like to relax. Cveta Kuća is part of a museum complex (Musej Historije Yugoslavije) located on a hill in the residential suburb of Dedinje. Three colors are mostly present here: the green of the tropical plants surrounding Tito’s tomb, a large patch of red flowers at the entrance of the mausoleum, and a perfectly blue sky that day. The polished white of the marble tombs and white pebbles complement this harmonious setting. Jovanka Broz, Tito’s wife, died in 2012 and is also buried here, the left of the Comrade President.

Second, the iconic monumnent to Stevan Filipović near the town of Valjevo. Filipović was a young metal worker and Partisan who was captured by Germans in WWII. While he was facing his executioner in May 1942 he shouted an admonition to his fellow Yugoslavs to resist the occupation. The monument on a hill shows a large abstracted figure, made of riveted metal sheets, standing with arms stretched and fists closed in a dramatic posture of determination, resistance and strength.

Third, the gigantic WWII monument built between 1952 and 1979 in the village of Kadinjača near Užice: Memorial Complex Kadinjača. Užice used to hold a special place in socialist Yugoslavia’s historiography since it is the town where in November 1941 a group of 61 partisans, members of the Workers Battalion of Užice Partisan Detachment, held at bay the much more numerous German offensive which was trying to break the liberated territory “Republic of Užice.” This allowed Tito to escape to the nearby Tara mountains.
These partisans in effect sacrificed themselves in order to protect the life of the Partisan leader. Here again the three primary colors dominate the landscape: green meadow grass, blue sky and two circular patched of scarlet sage which no doubt symbolizes the spilled blood of the heroic partisans. The abstract white sculptures which make up the monument, groups of are large concrete sculptures painted white, are stunning and very moving.