Captain Miša’s Mansion
Captain Miša’s Mansion, at Students’ Square 1, was built between 1858 and 1863 as the private palace of Miša Anastasijević, the “Danube Captain” and the wealthiest person in Serbia at the time.
It was designed by the Czech Jan Nevole, who also left behind a number of other architectural works around Belgrade. Built as a palace, it was presented as a gift to the Serbian people for educational and cultural purposes (the inscription on the main façade states – “Miša Anastasijević to his fatherland”). It was the greatest and most beautiful mansion in Serbia at the time.
Its architecture represents a mix of various styles, cultures and epochs, mostly presenting elements of renaissance and romanticism. In accordance with the wishes of the donor, the building housed nearly all significant educational and cultural institutions in the Principality of Serbia – the Ministry of Education, the Grand School (forerunner to the University), the First Belgrade Gymnasium, National Museum, a gallery of paintings and a library. The Ceremonial Hall was occasionally used for sessions of the National Assembly (1864-1875) and the Senate (1901-1903). It currently houses the Belgrade University Rectorate and parts of the Faculty of Philosophy.