Visit one of many Belgrade parks and forests
The oldest of the city parks was created in 1870. It is a green environment within and around the Belgrade Fortress, known as Kalemegdan Park, including the Great and Small Kalemegdan, i.e. the Upper and Lower Town.
The word tašmajdan means rock quarry or rocky field in Turkish, therefore the entire neighbourhood, with the quarry itself, was named Tašmajdan. A graveyard was formed in the area during the eighteen-twenties, remaining there until 1886. Tašmajdan was designed as a city park by the general urbanist plan from 1950, with a sports and recreation centre at its lower end.
The botanical garden of Belgrade – Jevremovac, is an urban oasis near the city center. It was founded in 1874 by decree of the Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Serbia, at the suggestion of Mr. Josif Pančić, the most renowned Serbian botanist, who became it’s first manager. In 1889, King Milan Obrenović donated the estate (inherited from his grandfather named Jevrem) to the Great School in Belgrade for the purpose of construction of the Botanical Garden, provided it is named “Jevremovac”. It exists to this day at the same location and under the same name.
The Academic Park is located on the Students’ Square. The location of the square was part of the civilian settlement of Singidunum during Roman times. There are few data on the appearance and function of the area during the middle ages. It was used for military exercises during the Austrian rule of Belgrade during the 18th century, while it served as a place for prayers during Turkish rule, as well as a graveyard that remained until the eighteen-sixties.
The Pioneer's Park is located in the very heart of the city. The field where the park is located was a barren and swampy environment during the early 19th century, covered in bulrush. The grounds were purchased by one of the more prominent persons in Serbia at the end of the eighteen-thirties, Stojan Simić, who constructed the house later to be named the Old Residence. It was sold thereafter, along with the gardens, to the state, to be repurposed as the court of Prince Alexander Karađeorđević.
The Manjež Park, named after a riding school, is located in the city centre. It was the place where the barracks of the Regimental Guard Cavalry were located until 1931. The park was built between 1931 and 1933, based on the designs from the General Plan from 1923. The park planner, engineer Aleksandar Krstić, is a pioneer of modern horticulture in the region. The park is one of the few green environments in the heart of the city, built between the two world wars and shaped according to the principles of the classicist style.
The Bohemian spirit of Čubura is long gone. Its true soul lies in the mud underneath the asphalt and those few acres of Čubura Park.
Karađorđe’s Park is located on the slopes of western Vračar, in the exact spot where the camp of the main insurgent army of Karađorđe stood in 1806. During the charge against the Belgrade Fortress and its capture, approximately fifty insurgents were killed. They were carried to the camp and buried there on orders by Karađorđe. The graves of those killed were marked by their families with stone markers, some of them surviving to this day.
One of the oldest parks in Belgrade, Topčider, is located in the valley of the Topčider River. The name Topčider stems from the Turkish word topči – cannoneer and the Persian word der – valley. An artillery camp once stood there where the Turks cast cannons to attack Belgrade in 1521, during the siege of Belgrade. Later it became the favourite picnic ground of the pashas of Belgrade. The residence of Prince Miloš Obrenović was built there during his reign, as the chief building of the residential complex.
A unique park started to grow and flourish on New Belgrade, where a new city was being born after World War II – Friendship Park, also known as Peace Park. It is located in the spot where a branch of the Danube meets the Sava. This part of New Belgrade is one of the most representative areas of the city. The park was created in 1961 at the initiative of the Youth Nature Conservation Movement (“Pokret mladih gorana”) of Belgrade, marking the First Conference of the Heads of States and Governments of the Non-aligned Countries.
The forest-park and picnic grounds of Košutnjak extend over a surface of 330 hectares, at an altitude of 250 m above sea level. The forest of deciduous and evergreen trees is crisscrossed by numerous footpaths. Košutnjak was likely named after does (“košuta”), once present in the forest. The thick forest was a closed palace hunting ground until 1903, when it was opened to the public. Košutnjak contains two specially arranged complexes: the sports and recreation centre “Pioneer City” and the Film City with a complex of ateliers.
Zemun city park was founded on the ground of a former quarantine station - Kontumac in 1880. A small park quickly grew up into a well arranged complex dominated by two restored churches: the Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel the Archangel, built in 1786 and the Catholic Church of St. Rocco, built in 1836.