For a city that has been destroyed down to the ground 42 times, sometimes it is a real challenge to preserve some of its magnificent buildings. Luckily, this one is still standing! Palata Srbije (The palace of Serbia), previously known as SIV (Savezno izvršno veće Jugoslavije – Federal Executive Council of Yugoslavia).
This is architecture at its best. It is the largest building in Serbia by the area it covers. Its simplicity and brutality just blow my mind every time I pass by it. It doesn’t scream in your face as some buildings do, but it stands silently by a busy road, just observing. It has six salons (one for each of the Republics that Yugoslavia was made of), the ceiling was inspired by Piet Mondrian’s work, one big hall with a chandelier that weighs over 4 tons and over 700 offices. Surrounded by big green areas it stands out even more. If you are willing to get up really early I suggest catching a glimpse of the sun rising over it.
Now it is being used by the government of Serbia and unfortunately, it is not open to visitors, unless you happen to be in Belgrade during the night of the Museums that usually takes place in May. But I recommend going from the city centre, crossing the Brankos bridge and after a short walk you will be greeted by it. Trust me, it’s worth it.