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Terazije Square
Terazije Square
Description

The best known of the Belgrade squares began taking shape during the early 19th century.

Prince Miloš Obrenović issued the order that Serbian artisans, particularly smiths and coppersmiths, were to be displaced from the township in the moat and that they are to build their houses and shops on the location of modern-day Terazije. The Belgrade municipality handed out lots on Terazije to all those willing to stake out a plot there.

By introducing water to the township of Belgrade, the Turks built towers at fixed intervals along the brick-lined waterworks, to extract water by pipes so as to provide a higher elevation and improve the flow. One of those towers was built on the spot of modern-day Terazije Fountain. Since the Turks called those towers water-scales (“terazije”), the square was named Terazije as well. The water tower was removed in 1860 and the Terazije Fountain was set up in its place, in memory of Prince Miloš. Terazije underwent significant changes during 1911-1912, when it was completely rebuilt. The centre of the square was lined with regularly spaced flower squares bound by low iron fences, while a large fountain was built on the section facing modern-day Nušićeva Street.

Terazije became the centre of social life of Belgrade at the end of the 19th and during the early 20th century, with hotels, inns, and merchant shops. The hotel “Paris” is of particular significance among the buildings on the square, built around 1870 on the location of contemporary Bezistan. It was demolished during the reconstruction of the square in 1948. The location of modern-day “Dušanov grad” was the location of the “Kod zlatnog krsta” (“At the Golden Cross”) inn, the place where the first cinema projection was held in 1896. The old hotel “Kasina” was next to the “Paris” hotel, built around 1860 and the location of the National Assembly session during a brief period. The National Theatre performed plays there until 1920. The modern-day “Kasina” hotel was built in the same spot in 1922. The inn and cinema “Takovo” were located on the same side of Terazije between the two world wars. The hotel “Moskva” still stands on Terazije, built in 1906 in the style of the secession. The new “Balkan” hotel was built in 1936, on the foundations of the previous establishment of the same name. The small “Albanija” inn was replaced by the palace bearing the same name in 1938. The building currently housing the Terazije Theatre was built right before World War II on the location where once the famous “Šiškova” inn stood. Terazije took on its final form during the last renovation in 1947, when the squares, fountain and tram tracks were removed.

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