Underground Belgrade with Travel Time Collection
February 17, 2016Amy Trumpeter
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to have an amazing ‘Underground Belgrade’ tour with Bojan from Travel Time Collection. You would never believe what is beneath the surface of this amazing city. Prepare yourself to see Belgrade as you never saw it before!
Belgrade library was the first of our underground locations. The pink building at the end of Knez Mihailova has been the public library in Belgrade since 1967. Deep underneath are the remains of a Roman aqueduct….
Bojan explained to us that ‘Singidunum’ was the ancient name of the city, before it became Belgrade. These Roman remains are around 2000 years old.
After going underground in the library, we then walked through Kalemegdan Park towards a few more underground Belgrade locations.
Kalemegdan Park is essentially ‘Fortress Park’. It comes from the Turkish terms ‘Kale’ meaning castle and ‘megdan’ meaning open square.
This stone monument was built to celebrate 100 years since the key to the city of Belgrade was given from the Ottomans back to the Serbians when Belgrade became the capital of Serbia again for the second time.
A La France Monument
We walked past the A La France monument, which was built to symbolise the help Serbia received from France during the 1st World War. The monument was created by the world renowned Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic.
One side of the statue represents Sorbonne University, where many Serbian students went following the war, and the other side represents mother France holding little baby Serbia.
Bojan also told us that many of the buildings in Belgrade were built by Russian artist Kozlov. He is essentially to Belgrade what Gaudi is to Barcelona.
Underneath Kalemegdan Park you can find a 60ft deep Roman Well. Water makes an appearance at 35m deep. The only other well like this in the whole world is in Umbria (Italy).
Bojan told us the story of a man who murdered his girlfriend by pushing her down this 60ft well. He was sentenced to death based on evidence from an Alfred Hitchcock movie stub that proved they had both been to together that same night of the murder! Thankfully, the well is now secured, so no more possibility of murder here!
Belgrade Underground Bunker
You can also explore the Belgrade underground bunker, which was used from 1951, during the fight between Tito (former president of Yugoslavia) and Stalin. Soldiers could survive here for 2 and a half months without coming to the surface!
This picture shows the air vent system that ran through the bunker….
Evidence suggests that the Yugoslav Army were stationed here, and they managed to get in and out, miraculously, without anyone knowing it was there at the time! The first tourist guides entered the bunker in 2010.
Roman Ruins Treasured store in an Underground Gunpowder Magazine
The Roman treasures found around Belgrade were collected and preserved in an underground gunpowder magazine from the Austrian period, pictured here…
What you will never believe is that for a period of time, this was actually used as a nightclub, and you can still see chewing gum on the floor from the club nights! Of course, the music and partying was slowly destroying the ruins, and thankfully, they no longer use this area for clubbing!
Roman artefacts including statues and a sarcophagus are stored inside.
We caught the sun setting over the Danube as we walked to our next underground destination. Here you can see the Western gate, which looks like a compass – a symbol of freemason heritage in Belgrade.
Underground Wine Cave Belgrade
Our final stop was an underground wine cellar, where we were offered a wine so strong that they served it with coke as a mixer!
As you can see, there is a great deal to explore underground in Belgrade. I highly recommend Bojan from Travel Time Collection, and if you want to book a tour, click here. His office is just a left off Knez Mihailova before you reach the library, near Trip and Sleep Hostel.
Bojan was great – he allowed me to go at my own pace and take it easy with my bad knee and asthma. Me and my friend Matthew had a private shortened tour!
Wear comfortable shoes on this tour, and be aware that the walking tour can be about 2 hours. Take inhalers if you have asthma and be aware that there are a lot of steps. Also, make sure that you take a bottle of water as it can be hot, especially in the summer.
I hope that you enjoy Underground Belgrade!
•This post is sponsored by Travel Time Collection. I always declare when I receive something for free so that you can trust my blog. However, my friend did tip Bojan because his time and knowledge were highly valued!