Cvetni trg

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Pedunculate Oak at the square in 2005
Flower Square Beograd - after reconstruction 2015 / winter
Flower Square Njegoseva

Cvetni trg or Flower Square (Serbian Cyrillic: Цветни трг) is an urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in the Belgrade municipality of Vračar.

Location[edit]

Cvetni trg is a small, triangularly shaped neighborhood in what was once the central part of the previously large neighborhood of Vračar. In terms of modern administrative division, it is located in the western part of the municipality of Vračar, on one of Belgrade's main streets of Kralja Milana and the border of the municipality of Savski Venac. Other two streets that mark the borders of the neighborhood are Njegoševa and Svetozara Markovića, but the term generally comprises a few adjoining blocks to the north and east, making a local community with a population of 25,759 in 2002.[1] Cvetni Trg is located right across the Yugoslav drama theatre and Manjež park.

History[edit]

The area of Cvetni trg was one of the Vračar areas covered in vast forests of oak and ash trees. The forest was cut down a long time ago to make place for an urban development (small open green market and future supermarket) with only one tree surviving today. A 30 meters tall pedunculate oak (Serbian: hrast lužnjak) with a crown diameter of 18 meters, it is one of the three oldest trees on the territory of Belgrade, after two oaks in the village of Šiljakovac. In 2013 it was estimated to be 200 years old. In November 2013 the tree's roots were protected with the concrete casing an it has been concluded that it is healthy and in the good shape. Dried branches are regularly removed and the cuts are covered with the protective coatings. To keep them safe, the largest branches are supported by the metallic cables.[2][3] Since 1980 it has been protected by the state as the natural treasure.

Green market was opened in 1884, and by the end of the century streets around it got sidewalks and avenues. Cvetni trg was named after the many flower shops located there, which lasted until the early 2000s (decade) when most of them were closed. The dominant feature of the neighborhood since 1958 has been the first and, at that time, largest modern supermarket in the Balkans, the first one with shelves and baskets. As a curiosity, it was the first store to sell Coca-Cola cans in this part of the world. Since 1960 it has become part of Serbia's largest store chain, Centroprom, and for decades remained Belgrade's supermarket with the highest revenues. It was renovated in 1990, and given a modern, marble appearance. However, as C-market (the successor of Centroprom) was bought by the Delta Holding system, the supermarket was closed on 1 November 2006 and the thorough reconstruction began to change its purpose from a grocery market to the BMW car salon which was to be opened on 7 February 2007. Car salon was closed and the supermarket returned on 7 May 2009(branded Maxi Exclusive).[4]

In the early 2000s (decade), the section of Njegoševa street north of Cvetni trg was closed for traffic, paved with stone and turned into a series of small stair-like plateaus, used as patios for local coffee shops, thus enlarging the area of the square.

2015 reconstruction[edit]

Despite previous recent works, after 2013, new city government headed by mayor Siniša Mali decided to do another reconstruction. As soon as the project, headed by architect Ksenija Bulatović, was chosen, both professional and public oppinion were already against it. Nevertheless, city government pushed the project and the new square was officially opened on 16 December 2015.[5] Small square, which gave a feel of being cosy and tucked in when in it, was completely buried under the white conqrete. It was soon nicknamed the “Concrete square”,[6] and seen as a sickly white, empty, sterile and resembling a great tomb.[7] It was soon evident that, appart from being completely botched, it was poorly done and that it may need new reconstruction soon.[6] As the public discontent didn’t stop, Bulatović authored a text in Politika, titled Emptiness is an event, trying to explain her work and saying that the “basic quality of an urban area is reaction of the human senses“ and that it is important “whether some area is pleasant or desirable to spent time in it“. Preachy and philosophical text only provoked the public opinion even more, and she got a harsh public response from composer Ivana Stefanović titled Great white emptiness replying that the “event“ actually makes you feel negative and unpleasant spending time in it and that the spirit of Cvetni trg, that of the small city garden, was killed and replaced by the graveyard silence.[8] Despite the public outcry, mayor Mali, who publicly said that he can’t draw even a stick figure,[9] said that the new square is “probably the most beautiful in Belgrade”.[5]

A monument to one of the greatest Serbian writers, Borislav Pekić, in a sitting position, was uncovered at the stairs of the square on 2 March 2016.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Popis stanovništva po mesnim zajednicama, Saopštenje 40/2002, page 4. Zavod za informatiku i statistiku grada Beograda. 26 July 2002. 
  2. ^ "Vekovi u krošnjama", Politika (in Serbian), p. 32, 2008-04-26 
  3. ^ Branka Vasiljević (2013), "Hrast na Cvetnom trgu dobija novu zaštitu", Politika (in Serbian) 
  4. ^ Borka (7 May 2009). "Ponovo radi supermarket na Cvetnom trgu - otvoren Maxi exclusive" (in Serbian). eKapija. 
  5. ^ a b "Otvoren rekonstruisani Cvetni trg" (in Serbian). Večernje Novosti. 16 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Cvećare kao saune" (in Serbian). Večernje Novosti. 29 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Andrej Ivanji (24 December 2015). "Bescvetni trg" (in Serbian). Vreme. 
  8. ^ Ivana Stefanović (2 April 2016), "Velika bela praznina", Politika – Kulturni dodatak (in Serbian), p. 7 
  9. ^ Maja Nikolić (25 March 2016). "Po čijim merama je krojen novi beogradski kiosk?" (in Serbian). N1. 
  10. ^ "Otkriven spomenik Borislavu Pekiću na Cvetnom trgu" (in Serbian). Politika. 2 March 2016. 

Coordinates: 44°48′21.3″N 20°27′54.2″E / 44.805917°N 20.465056°E / 44.805917; 20.465056