Bulevar kralja Aleksandra
Bulevar kralja Aleksandra (Serbian Cyrillic: Булевар краља Александра; meaning "King Aleksandar Boulevard" or "Boulevard of King Aleksandar") is the longest street entirely within the urban limits of Serbian capital Belgrade, with length of 7,5 kilometers. Known for decades after World War II as "Bulevar Revolucije" (Boulevard of the Revolution), it is so distinct in the Belgraders' hearts and minds that they simply refer to it as the Bulevar, although there are 20 boulevards in Belgrade.
Due to its length, Bulevar stretches through four out of eight urban municipalities in the old section Belgrade: Stari Grad, Palilula, Vračar and Zvezdara, in which the main part of the Bulevar is located. Starting at the Square of Nikola Pašić, it goes for the most part in the south-east direction, curving only near the end, in the neighborhood of Mali Mokri Lug, after which the Bulevar extends into the road of Smederevski put, which connects Belgrade with the city of Smederevo.
In the mid 18th century, route of the Bulevar was a famed Carigradski drum (Constantinople road). As population settled along the road, gradually it became a street, originally known as Sokače kod zlatnog topa ("Alley at the golden cannon"). It was later renamed to Markova (Marko's street) and in 1834 was renamed again to Fišeklija, after many shops in the street which sold gunpowder in fišeks, cone-shaped paper bags. In the end of the 19th century it was renamed after then ruling Serbian king Aleksandar Obrenović, the last from the Obrenović dynasty. Despite being one of the most unpopular modern Serbian rulers, when he was overthrown, new king Peter I Karađorđević from the rival Karađorđević dynasty didn't change the street's name. In Communist Yugoslavia after World War II, the Boulevard was first renamed Bulevar Oslobođenja (Boulevard of the Liberation) and then Bulevar Revolucije. In the late 1990s, the name was switched back to its pre-war form.
The first section of the Bulevar, from its beginning to the crossroads with the Takovska and Kneza Miloša streets, is located in the municipality of Stari Grad. The Bulevar begins from the large fountain on the Square of Nikola Pašić. The entire left side of this section is occupied by the monumental building of the former Assembly of Serbia, while on the right side is Pionirski Park, and buildings of the Belgrade City Hall and Presidency of Serbia (Andrićev Venac) behind it.
The next section, until the crossroad of Vukov Spomenik, is divided between the municipalities of Palilula (left side) and Vračar (right side). The left side is occupied by the main building of the Post Office of Serbia, JAT Airways terminal, St. Mark's church (declared a culture monument), Tašmajdan park, famous restaurant "Madera", the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law (work of Petar Bajalović, a culture monument), Metropol Hotel Belgrade, Belgrade University Library and Technical faculties. The residential building at No 63, built in the first decades of the 20th century in the Academism style has been also declared a culture monument. The entire section is declared a "protected complex of Old Beograd".
The right side is mainly residential and commercial, apart from the building of the Embassy of the Czech Republic. A new ultra-modern commercial building is being built on the corner of Kneza Miloša street (former kafana "Tri lista duvana" (Three tobacco leaves). The collective residential building at No 46, built in 1930, is a work of Aleksandar Janković, in the simplicist Modernist style. It was badly damaged in Luftwaffe's bombing of Belgrade on April 6, 1941, but later reconstructed and built-on in the 1950s and included into the "protected complex of Old Beograd".
At the crossroad and underground station of Vukov Spomenik begins the Zvezdara section of the Bulevar. It runs through the neighborhoods of Đeram, Lipov Lad, Lion, Zvezdara, Cvetkova Pijaca, Zeleno Brdo and Mali Mokri Lug. This part is mostly residential and commercial, with some important facilities located in the Bulevar: Municipal assembly of Zvezdara, open green markets of Đeram, Cvetkova pijaca and Mali Mokri Lug, "Kluz" clothing factory, roundabout of dozen bus and tramway lines and industrial zone Ustanička (Electrical industry "Nikola Tesla", "Utenzilija", fondry "Livnica", presses of "Glas Javnosti", etc.).
The Bulevar is one of the most important traffic routes in Belgrade. For the most part it has tram tracks for the city public transportation lines. Despite its length and traffic importance, there are no lines of the third type of city transportation in it: trolleybuses.
In the 1990s, with the deterioration of the economic system in Serbia and imposed sanctions, the sidewalks of the Bulevar became the gathering place for the street dealers of all sorts of goods that were unavailable in official stores. They were especially known for selling cigarettes, jeans, cookware, flowers, etc. Similar development caught the neighborhood of Zeleni Venac too, and they both became synonymous for the black market during the 1990s. Dealers were for the most part removed from the street after 2000, mostly into the new closed fair-like shopping center "Depo".
Municipality of Zvezdara began an initiative to erect a monument to the King Aleksandar Obrenović somewhere along the street.
First phase of a major renovation of the Bulevar started in August 2006. To date first 1.5 kilometers of the street has been completed. The next phase will start as a part of constructing light rail system in 2008.
- Serbian Wikipedia article
- Municipality of Zvezdara page on the Bulevar
- Beograd - plan grada; M@gic M@p, 2006; ISBN 86-83501-53-1
- Beograd - plan i vodič; Geokarta, 2007; ISBN 978-86-459-0297-2