National Bank building in Belgrade

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National Bank building in Belgrade
Native name
Serbian: Народна банка (зграда)
Location Belgrade, 11000 , Serbia
Coordinates 44°49′07″N 20°27′14″E / 44.8185°N 20.4540°E / 44.8185; 20.4540Coordinates: 44°49′07″N 20°27′14″E / 44.8185°N 20.4540°E / 44.8185; 20.4540
Type buildin
Designated XIX.

The National Bank building in Belgrade (Serbian: Зграда Народне банке у Београду) is a monument of great importance, located in Belgrade, Serbia, at 12 King Petar St.[1]

The establishment of the National Bank[edit]

The establishment of the Privileged National Bank Kingdom of Serbia was a long process that has derived from the development of the economy, currency and other financial institutions, as well as the needs of economic and political emancipation of the Kingdom of Serbia. The formal act of the beginning operations of the Bank comes after the adoption of the Law on the National Bank, 12 December 1882., which comes into force confirmation by king Milan Obrenovic on 6 January in 1883. year. Under this law, the Bank has established itself as a privileged institution (for the next 25 years in the form of a joint stock company), with an initial capital of 20 million dinara, and envisages that its activities are conducted under the control of the state. Officially, the Bank began operations on 1 June in 1884. Years. On that date, the bank leased space taken in Knez Mihajlo no. 38 (now No. 50)., at the house of Hristina Kumanudi.[2]

Construction of the building[edit]

Given that the Bank's work demanded more space than that provided temporary solution, for the construction of a new building in 1886 was purchased land on the corner of Dubrovacka and Prince Lazar street. In a year of 1887. a draft plan for new building was Adopted, whose authors were two architects employed in the Ministry of Construction. However, the Board of Directors decides to assign project development to Konstantin Jovanovic, then already affirmed architect, and son of a lithographer Anastas Jovanovc. Bank projects was also his first job in Belgrade. Construction of the building were entrusted to contractors Jirasek and Kraus from Segedin. Works on bank lasted from 1889 to 1990, and were officially finished 15 March 1890. How much importance construction of the building had, illustrated by the fact that Constantine A. Jovanovic 1890., was awarded by the Order of St. Sava III order. In the report the Bank for the 1890. says follows "...Bank has a house, on which she can be proud of as well as our capital, where she serves on ornament". large credit goes to architect Kosta Jovanovic who developed the plans and under whose supervision who developed the plans, and under whose supervision the building was constructed.[2]

After World War I, the Privileged National Bank of the Kingdom of Serbia became the National Bank of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Because of functional needs, in the period from 1922–25, the building of the Bank become an extended, taking up on that way entire surface of the urban block, and taking a shape of an irregular pentagonal base. As the author of the of extension project was selected again Konstantin Jovanovic, who was adhering to stylistic principles applied in the older part of the building, successfully completed this task. In such a closed form of block with internal atrium courtyard, administrative palace of the Bank is preserved to date. While without urban dominant position, which allows a full consideration of the building, the Palace of the Bank is realized in a harmonious way, and with full of monumental size and representativeness. Stylistic and formal basis, which served as a model of Jovanovic, as his role model lies in the architecture of palaces of late-Renaissance palace of the sixteenth-century in Italy. It also stands out and apparent influence of Jovanovic professor and prominent Viennese architect Gottfried Semper.[2]


Individual buildings on whose stylistic values Jovanovic adds his work are two palaces: the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, by Antonio Sangala junior, and Michelangelo (built in 1513th and 1534 - 1546.), and Palace of Oppenheim Dresden, from the mid-nineteenth century by Gottfried Semper. National Bank building in Belgrade as the most important work in the oeuvre of the architect Konstantin Jovanovic, this building on the best represent a primary characteristic of the author, that in conceiving facades varies theme of Renaissance architecture with an eclectic approach, which is reflected in the use of the individual elements of the architectural ornaments taken from the Baroque period. This way of conception a architectural work is in a remarkable way demonstrated in process of building the palace of the National Bank, Which is puts National Bank in the position of Jovanovic's most important works so far in his career. Also this is the most important achievement of academic architecture in Serbia.[2]

The facade of the building[edit]

The facade is done in the standard academic manner, in the form of a three-partition the horizontal division. Clearly differentiation of zone is based on the contrast between the lower and higher rustic peaceful facades, which are mutually a split with a deep wreath. The zone of ground floor and basement were characterized by severe and monolithic rustic processing, facilitated properly, by series of rhythmically arched windows. Architectural aesthetics of the area carries clearly association of the fifteenth century Florentine palaces. Monotony of ground floor is smashed by solemnly processed portals of, which were placed in a direction of Kralja Petra and Cara Lazara streets. In the formulation of the higher zones architect Jovanovic allows himself greater freedom. The strict hierarchy of the first-floor composition pattern is given a more dynamic edge by alternating differently topped windows and accentuating the imposing windows above the entrances. The second-floor zone, simplified by a row of less ornate window openings, is surmounted by a protruding cornice and a balustraded parapet.[2]

Interior design[edit]

The artistically wealthy design of interior spaces includes a large number of functional and decorative arts and crafts objects, which form an integral part of the architecture of the building. Particular accent was placed on the design of functional nodes: the vestibule in the one part of the building and the counter hall in the other. Being available to the public, these spaces were richly decorated in the neo-Renaissance style, with a composition pattern based on contrasts between full and empty surfaces, and monochrome and vibrant polychrome details, on the generous use of floral ornamentation, and on the alternation of different materials.

Interior is reinforced by an ensemble of decorative wall painting. It is well preserved and most prestigious created in the early 20th century. It followed European trends of the time and was conceived as fully subordinate to architecture. The painted decoration followed European trends of the time and was conceived as fully subordinate to architecture. This type of decorative painting is understandably devoid of the painter’s personal touch. The painted decoration from 1925., from the part of the building shows the same pattern, iconography and style as the older part. Its iconography displays a compilation of motifs based on free quotation from various mythologies and artistic traditions. The symbolism of the decoration, through the, sphinxes, motifs of cornucopias, refers to the function of the building, conveying the idea of success, affluence and prosperity. it should be highlighted and in terms of artistic merit is the allegorical bust of Serbia, a work of the sculptor Djordje Jovanović originally intended for the monument to the heroes of the Battle of Kosovo in Kruševac. Set up in the vestibule of the older part of the building particularly emphasizes the national character of the institution, and it is the work of sculptor George Jovanovic.

The National Bank represent on the best way a modern European aspirations, and in the field of academic architecture, and of the work of Konstantin Jovanović, Serbia’s best connoisseur of academic architecture. The architect’s distinctive interpretation and the institutional importance of the National Bank make this building a remarkable testament to the social aspirations and economic and architectural achievement of the Kingdom of Serbia. In a year of 1979. building was designated a heritage property of outstanding significance. in a year of 1979. building was designated as a cultural heritage of outstanding significance.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Завод за заштиту споменика културе града Београда (in Serbian). Office of the Republic for Protection of Cultural Monuments - Belgrade, Retrieved 18 June. 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e National Bank bilding, Retrieved 18 June. 2014.


  • Ljiljana Babić, “Život i rad arhitekte Konstantina A. Jovanovića” (general part), ZAF V-6 (1960);
  • Ljiljana Babić, “Život i rad arhitekte Konstantina A. Jovanovića” (special part), ZAF VI-2 (1961);
  • Ljubomir Nikić, “Iz arhitektonske delatnosti Konstantina Jovanovića u Beogradu”, GGB XXIII (1976), 127–130;
  • Divna Djurić Zamolo, Graditelji Beograda 1815–1914 (Belgrade 1981), 55;
  • Milan Šćekić, Konstantin Jovanović arhitekt, Catalogue of K. Jovanović’s Legacy from the Belgrade City Museum collections (Belgrade 1988);
  • Aleksandar Kadijević, Estetika arhitekture akademizma (XIX–XX vek) (Belgrade 2005), 314, 315, 354;
  • Bojan Radovanović, 110 godina Narodne banke 1884–1994 (Belgrade 1994);
  • Gordana Gordić, “Palata Narodne banke”, Nasledje II (1999), 85–94;
  • Ivan Kleut, “Graditeljski opus Konstantina Jovanovića u Beogradu”, GGB LIII (2006), 214–249

CHPIB Documentation.

External links[edit]