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Question mark

Restaurant "?" (question mark) is the oldest Belgrade tavern. Its interior brings us back to the past times when Kosancicev venac used to be the first urban part of the city. "Question mark" is an iconic symbol of bohemian lifestyle of old Belgrade. The restaurant distinguishes itself by an authentic ambiance that dates from the 19th century and national dishes and drinks traditionally prepared.

With its charming atmosphere, the tavern is an iconic gathering place of Serbian bohemians. Within the restaurant there are two gardens offering an ideal ambiance for a complete pleasure. The gardens, but also a part of indoor restarurant, have a spectacular view of Saborna crkva (Saborna Church).

Suggestion: try everything, but do not miss "Vodenicharska muckalica".


HISTORY

A doyen of Merchant`s Guild, Naum Ichko, erected the building, where the tavern "?" is situated, as Milos Obrenovic had ordered, in 1823. The Prince gave it as a present to Toma Kostic for his merits in the Second Serbian Uprising.

On the ground floor, doctor Toma, Naum Icko`s son-in-law, opened a tavern called "Ecim-Tomina kafana" in 1826.

It is an exceptional example of the Balkan town house from the beginning of the 19th century. The house follows the street line, while the garden and the courtyard occupy the rest of the plot behind. There was a wooden oriel on the courtyard side, overlooking the garden and the well. The roof is covered in tiles, has deep eaves and high chimneys. It has timber frame construction, a cellar, ground floor and upper floor.

The tavern has changed owners and names several times. Until 1878 it had been called “Ecim-Tomina kafana” (Doctor Toma`s tavern), but the new tenant, Bogosav Marjanovic from Uzice, changed its name to “Kod pastira” (At the Shepherd). Several years later, the house acquired a new owner, who bought it in 1885. Ivan Pavlovic, who dealt in ecclesiastical artifacts, called it “Kod Saborne crkve” (At the Cathedral) in order to underline the vicinity of the Belgrade cathedral and the relation between the church and his trade. However, parish priest Novica Lazarevic complained and threatened the owner with a lawsuit because the name of the tavern was not in compliance with either the Regulation on taverns or the church. The signpost was taken down overnight, lest it should “abuse the house of God”. The owner put the question mark as a temporary solution, waiting for the public to calm down. But people from Belgrade liked the new name and the unusual sign has survived to the present day.