Republic square

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It covers the space between the "Gradska Kafana" (City Restaurant), "Jadran" cinema, the National Theatre and the Army Hall of Serbia. The present square was formed after the demolition of the Stambol Gate in 1866 and the construction of the National Theatre in 1869.

The Gate had been built by the Austrians at the beginning of the XVIII century, and stood in the area between the present monument to Prince Mihailo and the National Theatre building. It was the largest and most beautiful town gate at the time when Belgrade was encircled by the moat. It was named after the road which led through it - to Constantinople (Istanbul). The people remember the Stambol Gate as the place where the Turks executed the "raya", their non-Muslim subjects, by impaling them on stakes. It was also the place where during the attack on Belgrade in 1806 in the First Serbian Insurrection, one of the leading Serb military commanders, Vasa Carapic, was fatally wounded. In memory of this sad event, a street near the square and a monument in the vicinity were named after him.

After the establishment of Serbian rule and the demolition of the Stambol Gate, the site of the present square was not laid out for a long time. The National Theatre was the only large building standing here for more than thirty years. The square gradually started to acquire more buildings after the monument to Prince Mihailo was erected in 1882. The place where now the National Museum is, was the location of long single-storied building which housed, among other things, the famous "Dardaneli restaurant". This was the meeting-place of members of the artistic circles of the time. The building was pulled down to make way in 1903 for the Treasury (now the building of the National Museum). In a small park next to the National Theatre, there were the well-known "Kolarac" restaurant and cinema (owned by Ilija Milosavljevic - Kolarac, a merchant and benefactor). The "Riunione" Palace, where the "Jadran" cinema is located today, was built in 1930.

In the place of today's Press House, there have been old and single-storied buildings with shops, until the World War II. Most of the buildings were destroyed during the German bombing on April 6, 1941. After World War II the tram tracks have been removed (until then, a tram terminus had been here), and the square, where for a short time were the crypt and the monument to the Red Army soldiers died during the liberation of Belgrade in 1944 (their remains have been transferred to the Cemetery of the Liberators of Belgrade), was removed. Later, the biggest building on this square, the "Press House" has been constructed. The "City Restaurant" and the International Press Center are situated there.

WINE AND DINE NEARBY