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Košutnjak (Serbian Cyrillic: Кошутњак, pronounced [kǒʃutɲaːk]) is a park-forest and urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is divided between in the municipalities of Čukarica (upper and central parts) and Rakovica (lower part).
The name, košutnjak, is derived from the medieval hunting forests of the Serbian nobility, meaning doe's breeder. (In Serbian, košuta means doe, hind), as does used to live freely in the park until the World War I.
Košutnjak is located 6 km southwest from the downtown Belgrade. It is bordered by the neighborhoods of Topčider to the north and west, Kanarevo Brdo to the northwest, Rakovica and Skojevsko Naselje to the south, and Žarkovo (with its extensions of Cerak, Cerak II, Repište) and Banovo Brdo (with its extension of Sunčana Padina) to the east. Filmski Grad (to the southwest) and Golf Naselje (to the northwest) are sub-neighborhoods of Košutnjak.
Pionirski Grad (Serbian Cyrillic: Пионирски Град, pronounced [piǒniːrskiː ɡrâːd]) is a sub-neighborhood of Košutnjak, in its south-central section, which belongs to the municipality of Rakovica. It is a small weekend-settlement, without permanent population, just west of the neighborhood of Filmski Grad. The name, pionirski grad in Serbian means "pioneer's town".
Košutnjak is one of the most popular recreational places in Belgrade. Sports Center Košutnjak is one of the largest and most diverse in the city (stadiums, pools, etc.), while the park also has an auto-camp, modern settlements of Filmski Grad and Pionirski Grad, big studios of the national broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia, many popular restaurants and arranged paths criss-crossing the forest.
In the lower parts, Košutnjak and Topčider forests grew together, while in the upper parts they are divided by the river Topčiderska reka and a railway passing through the river's valley (both Košutnjak and Topčider have their own, separate train stations).
Košutnjak gained a sort of historical notoriety as prince of Serbia, Mihailo Obrenović III was assassinated while walking in the park on June 10, 1868 (May 29, Old Style), and when Ivan Stambolić, Slobodan Milošević's political opponent was abducted from the park on August 25, 2000 and later assassinated.
Until World War II, the pheasants were abundant too and in this period Košutnjak was a healing destination for many city children. After 1945 city urbanists considered the way Topčider-Košutnjak complex has been handled was wrong, especially the expansion of the railway station into the marshalling yard and construction of Filmski Grad (both especially hurt Košutnjak's appeal), so the Belgrade's General Urbanistic Plan (GUP) in the 1950s projected the complete removal of the railway objects from the Topčider valley, but that was never executed.
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