Voždovac is the southern gate of Belgrade. At the edge of the central Belgrade municipalities, as a contrast to life in the hustle and bustle of the city center, Voždovac settlements offer comforts of living in a natural environment with an abundance of greenery, free space and landscape parks.
Its central position in the territory of Belgrade, makes Voždovac Municipality a neighbor of eight other Belgrade municipalities.
The Avala Mt., 18 kilometers away from the center, rises above Belgrade, and at 511m above sea level, is the most popular nature spot of the Voždovac Municipality.
Way back in the 19th century, it attracted attention not only of local nature lovers, but also of foreign travel writers. Felix Kanitz, describing it as an attractive excursion place, stated that its name originates from an Arab word, meaning high, great.
This natural sight covers an area close to 490 hectares, and four fifth of it are under woods, mainly deciduous and only partly coniferous trees. It is the habitat of 597 plant species, 15 mammal species, and 67 bird species, out of which 21 species are distinctive types. A mineral found there is named avalite. Avala was proclaimed a National park in 1936.
Belgrade’s shelter from the urban way of life, Avala is one of the favorite places for recreation and leisure. There are many well marked footpaths for tracking.
One of the symbols of Belgrade and Voždovac is the TV tower on top of the Avala Mt. – 202,87m tall. At the time when it was built, in 1961, it was the only tower in the world to have an equilateral triangle as its cross section, and one of the very few towers not built directly into the ground, but elevated from the it. The base is in the form a tripod, the symbol of the Serbian tripod stool. It is one of the few towers constructed in that manner. Between 102 and 135m, there is an enclosed observation deck and coffee bar.
Timothy Byford once said that Belgrade is the only capital in Europe where nightingales can be heard only feet away from the city centre.
One of the most cherished persons in Belgrade, a famous TV director, professor of literature and translator, although born in England, Byford spent most of his life in Belgrade, living on Voždovac. He received the Serbian citizenship in 2004. Dozens of generations grew up watching children's television programs that he directed, first in the UK for the BBC, and later in ex-Yugoslavia, for TV Belgrade and TV Sarajevo. His children's TV series were a great success in the former Yugoslavia and remained popular ever since. The designation of "Byford`s forest" (Bajfordova šuma) was a long overdue recognition, as well as an everlasting memory of Timothy John Byford , a passionate amateur ornithologist and connoisseur of birds, who made a crucial contribution to the protection of the Banjička forest (Banjička šuma).
Besides Avala, Byford’s forest and Stepin Gaj, the Voždovac Municipality is enriched by many other forested areas and public parks, such as, Voždovački Park, Šumice, Padine etc.
Memorial Park Jajinci, a former shooting range in time of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, is the place where Banjica, one of the four concentration camps in Belgrade, was located during WW2. After the war ended and in memory of the victims, the area was turned into a Memorial Park, and further proclaimed a cultural heritage in 1986. It is easily reachable and on the road leading to Avala.
The birth house of field marshal Stepa Stepanović, born in 1896 can be seen in Kumodraž. The renowned military commandment, a general and field marshal, he participated in all the wars in which Serbia took part from 1876 to 1918. The house was built in the middle of the 19th century and it belonged to the older Morava type of housing from the Morava Valley, a rather common type of house built in villages around Belgrade. It, too, represents part of the cultural heritage.
At the end of 19th century, a 3.3km long road was built leading to the top of Avala Mt. Hotel “Avala” was opened 20 years later. The Monument to the Unknown Hero can be reached from there by foot. The monument was erected at the top of the old medieval town of Zrnovo.
Buses: 18, 25, 26, 33, 47, 48
Trams: 9, 10, 14
Buses to the Avala Mt.: from Slavija Sq. bus No. 33 or trams No. 9, 10, 14 to Trošarina from where buses No. 400, 401, 402, 403, 405, 407, 408 go to the village Pinosava beneath Avala.
On weekends, during the summer season, bus No. 400 goes to the top of Avala.