Located in the Zvezdara forest, 248.6 meters above sea level and a few kilometers east of the city center, the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory stands on the highest spot in Belgrade. It was founded in 1887, alongside the Meteorological Observatory, and it represents one of the oldest scientific institutions in Serbia. This is actually a marvelous complex of buildings (its author is Czech architect Jan Dubovi) – some of them are still in use and others are not, but here you can literally walk through the history of science, technology and society.
Apart from the amazing telescope and sunlight, which bathes the Observatory in golden rays and mild shadows, my favorite thing about this place is its library: its wooden and softly colored modernist interior, with so many interesting details, is also offering thousands of books and publications in the field of astronomical and astrophysical research.
The Belgrade Observatory is open for visitors every first Saturday of the month (although it’s worth checking, especially during winter): there are usually a few guided tours, of which one is in English, but it’s obligatory to announce your visit in advance. Apart from the tour itself, which lasts about an hour, I would recommend you take a long walk around all the objects and through the woods; what’s interesting is that there are also houses and buildings where some of the employees of the Observatory still live with their families.
Here I always feel like I’m not only miles, but years away from the crowded city streets.