Ex National Library Belgrade

Image by Djordje Vidojevic

Đorđe Vidojević photo

Đorđe from Belgrade

I love maps, flea markets and film photography. Belgrade is my kilometer zero...

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I don’t think there is anything worse than the words ‘library’ and ‘flames’ in the same sentence when we talk about books.

Well, that was the fate of the first National Library of Serbia. In 1941, it was bombed by Germans and along with the building, up in flames went a book collection of 500,000 volumes and other invaluable collections of maps, manuscripts, catalogues, journals, etc.

A new building could easily be constructed in its place, but we can never recover its collection. And that’s why, in my opinion, the hole where the National Library once stood is valid, and we should not build anything in its place. I like being reminded that something so important was there every time I pass by because my mind wanders off and tries to imagine a library that existed there and all the books that disappeared. On the fence that surrounds it, you will see a photograph of what the library looked like as well as some paintings and poems that were inspired by the events of ’41.

But this is what happens when your city gets razed to the ground 44 times and is battled over in 115 wars in its long history. What was once there tells you as much about Belgrade and its people as every other building or monument that still grace this city.

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Đorđe from Belgrade

Đorđe Vidojević photo

I love maps, flea markets and film photography. Belgrade is my kilometer zero...

Read all articles

Details about this spot

Categories

Address

Kosančićev venac, Belgrade

Opening Times

24 hours daily

Price

Free
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)