|Location||New Belgrade, Serbia|
|Design and construction|
Sava Centar (Serbian Cyrillic: Сава центар) is an international congress, cultural and business centre of various multi-functional activities located in New Belgrade, Serbia. It is the largest audience hall in the country and entire former Yugoslavia and one of the biggest in Europe. It has been host to numerous large scale events and performances.
The construction of the biggest congress and performance hall in Yugoslavia (as called back then - now Serbia) started in 1976. The hall would be located in the new construction area of the city of Belgrade, New Belgrade. In those years the capital of Belgrade spread across the rivers of the Sava and Danube to construct a modern alternative to the historical city. The complete construction of the project took three years, until 1979, and was headed by chief designer and team manager Stojan Maksimović. Supporting architecture such as roads and highways were also built during this period around the Sava Centar complex.
Works on the first stage of the building had to be rushed due to the scheduled Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, which took place in Sava Centar in 1977. The second phase, a large performance and congress hall, opened the following year on the occasion of the 11th Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. The planned stage at the main hall, which was supposed to be revolving, was scraped and a large stage was placed instead. By 1979, Hotel Beograd InterContinental was added to the complex to host the annual meeting of the World Bank.
On August 17, 2006, a renovated parking complex at Sava Centar was opened on the with capacity to handle 410 cars. As a result of the renovation parking fees were introduced for the first time at Sava Centar.
In its jubilee year of 2007, when Sava Centar marked its 30th anniversary, a substantial amount of money was invested in the reconstruction of the glass facade. Also, the city authorities funded the reconstruction of broken glass on the sideways-facing facade, as well as the audio equipment for concerts, while seats were replaced in the Great Hall.
Sava Centar has hosted Plácido Domingo, Montserrat Caballé, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Nina Simone, Julio Iglesias, Henryk Szeryng, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Suzanne Vega, Nigel Kennedy, B.B. King, Lou Reed, Jethro Tull, Sting, Zubin Mehta, David Byrne, Simple Minds, Gotan Project, Madredeus, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Johan Strauss Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and Okazu Philharmonic Orchestra.
It is also the venue of the Miss Serbia competition. Apart from that, this center was the host place of the Jugovizija in 1987, and later, the venue for Serbian Eurovision Song Contest selection music festivals, Beovizija.
Sava Centar has 69,720 m2 of useful and 100,000 m2 overall area, including a theatre hall with 4,000 seats, 15 conference halls, an exhibition area and a number of other facilities. It annually hosts more than half million visitors. Sava Centar is connected to Continental Hotel Belgrade via an underground hallway. The complex includes restaurants, bars, offices and shops.
The great hall, nicknamed the blue hall due to its blue seats is the largest audience hall in the country with the above-mentioned 4,000 seats, both ground and upper level included. The hall has the ability to completely change its look depending on the stage set-up. As a result seats can be taken out. It is also the place major cinema premiers are hosted.
Sava Centar has been the host of significant congress gatherings and artistic programs: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Annual General Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, 55th Annual General Meeting of Interpol, 6th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, General Meeting of UNESCO, FOREX, FISIT and 9th Summit of the non-aligned countries.
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