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Mostar interchange or colloquially Mostar (Serbian: Мостарска петља, translit. Mostarska petlja) is one of major interchange and a surrounding urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in Belgrade's municipality of Savski Venac.
The Mostar looped interchange was constructed in 1974, as one of two major ones (the other one being Autokomanda) on the highway Belgrade–Niš. The highway runs right through the urban centre of Belgrade, which is still an issue of debate even though the road was originally intended as a fast, intercity Bežanija-Autokomanda freeway. The interchange itself was built on the location of the old neighbourhood of Jatagan Mala. Construction began in 1967 and some technical specifications of the interchange include:
- It covers an area of 20,000 m2 (220,000 sq ft)
- It has an elevation of 22 m (72 ft)
- It's crossed by double tram tracks
- It has 6 underground pedestrian passages and 4 passarellas, leading to 4 bus and 2 tram stops
- A curiosity factor is that it is one of the very few interchanges downtown.
Due to its construction, Mostar incidentally serves as a water collector so during the major rains it gets regularly flooded by the pond created by the rainwater.
A bitter dispute between the mayor of Belgrade, Nenad Bogdanović and a group of architects from the previous city's establishment (including the construction of Mostar and Auto Komanda) resulted in mayor's description of the interchanges from October 2006: 'Those are the two worst interchanges and the only ones in the world with traffic lights...people who made those are today criticizing us.'
The surrounding neighbourhood is almost entirely non-residential. The northern side is occupied by the buildings of the Ministry of the Interior (destroyed in the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia) and the Clinical Centre, which is the largest clinical complex in Belgrade. The southern side comprises the 'BIP' brewery, the Belgrade Centre railway station in Prokop, a series of half-ruined storages and former factories and the facilities of the Belgrade Fair. In south it borders the neighborhood of Senjak. To the west it continues into the Belgrade-Niš highway and to the east to the Novi Beograd and further to Belgrade-Zagreb highway (over the Gazela bridge). The ruined old mill south of the loop was completely renovated and updated with the additional two new buildings. Today it is location of the Radisson Blu Old Mill hotel.
In the mid-19th century, the area was a meadow, with only the Topčider road passing through. It was used as the training ground for the army and as the pasture for the sheep. Czech émigré Smutek, who owned a kafana, arranged a large estate and a beautiful garden in the area, which then became known as Smutekovac. It became a popular excursion site for the Belgraders, which originally came by fiacres and later by the tram "Topčiderac", which connected the downtown with Topčider. In the 1870s the area was parceled and Đorđe Vajfert purchased the land from the lawyer Pera Marković. As he was a German subject, he couldn't own properties in Serbia. Instead he paid the entire sum to Marković who issued him a receipt. Vajfert then started to build the brewery, predecessor of the modern BIP brewery at the same location. As soon as he was granted Serbian citizenship, Vajfert received a deed on the land. He finished the brewery and turned the surrounding estate into an exquisite garden, which hosted many banquets and parties. In 1892, city authorities organized a banquet with Nikola Tesla as the guest of honor. Kafana "Mostar", which was established in the vicinity gave name to the entire neighborhood. The street which was the extension of the Topčider road, later renamed Miloša Velikog, was named Vajfert boulevard until 1930 when was renamed to the Vojvoda Putnik boulevard. The connecting point of two streets, where the interchange is today, was known as the Square of the Defenders of Belgrade.
- "Iz starog Beograda - Bulevar vojvode Putnika", Politika (in Serbian), 4 June 1967
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