Savamala

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Savamala (Serbian Cyrillic: Савамала) is an urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in Belgrade's municipalities of Savski Venac and Stari Grad.

Location[edit]

Savamala is located south of the Kalemegdan fortress and the neighborhood of Kosančićev Venac, and stretches along the right bank of the Sava river. Its northern section belongs to the municipality of Stari Grad, while central and southern sections belong to the municipality of Savski Venac. The central street in the neighborhood is Karađorđeva.

Originally, the entire western section (Terazije slopes) of today's city center was called Savamala, roughly bounded by the modern streets and squares of Terazije, King Milan's, Slavija, Nemanjina and Prince Miloš'. The entire area was known as Zapadni Vračar, but that name completely disappeared from usage, while as Savamala today is considered only a section along the Karađorđeva street.

History[edit]

Savamala was the first new settlement constructed outside the fortress walls of Kalemegdan. Construction began in the 1830s as ordered by the prince of Serbia, Miloš Obrenović, after a popular pressure to build a Serbian settlement outside the fortress and the Turkish settlement. The area was originally a bog called Ciganska bara (Serbian for Gypsy pool), but the name was later changed (and still survived as such) to Bara Venecija (Venice pool). The pool was drained (becoming a neighborhood of its own) and Savamala grew around it.

Characteristics[edit]

The name comes from the name of the Sava river and mahala, contracted usually to ma('a)la in Serbian, one of the Turkish words for neighbourhood or block of houses.

Due to its relative low altitude toward the Sava, and lack of any protection, Savamala is the only part of the central urban area of Belgrade that gets flooded during the extremely high waters of the river. It was almost completely flooded in 1984 and during the major floods in 2006.

Although considered as one of the most neglected parts of downtown Belgrade (mostly due to the very bad maintenance of the Karađorđeva street and surrounding buildings), Savamala is the location of many important traffic features in the city: the Karađorđeva street itself (with a railway parallel to it and the tram tracks), two bridges over the Sava (Brankov most and (Stari) Savski most), central bus station and bus station of the Lasta transportation company, Belgrade's main train station and the Sava port (Savsko pristanište). The area (squares and parks) around the bus and train stations is known for prostitution and pornographic cinemas, further contributing to the already poor image of the neighborhood.[citation needed] The population of Savamala was 4,273 in 2002.

Other important features include the Bristol Hotel and the University of Belgrade Faculty of Economics.

Coordinates: 44°49′07″N 20°26′42″E / 44.81861°N 20.44500°E / 44.81861; 20.44500