Jevremovac Botanical Garden Belgrade Serbia

Belgrade’s botanical garden – Jevremovac – is a few minutes’ walk from my flat. I spent some peaceful time there yesterday afternoon. The small urban paradise is bursting with spring buds. Jevremovac was founded in the 1800s by Josif Pančić, a Serbian botanist. Pančić also created the Institute for the Study of Medicinal Herbs. The…

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Verdi’s Rigoletto at Belgrade National Theatre

Last night I attended Rigoletto at Belgrade National Theatre. The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied the opera. Rigoletto has appeared at the National Theater many times. It premiered in 2001 with soloists from Teatro Alla Scala Milan. It’s my third performance at the National Theatre. As with other performances, it was sold out. I arrived 20…

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Belgrade Serbia Rivers, Bridges, Islands, and Lakes

Serbia is a country of rivers, lakes, valleys, and mountains. Each one “tells its own story”. I’ve been exploring Belgrade’s riverside and Savamala District on foot. Early spring weather is warm and beautiful – perfect for walking. Transportation isn’t Belgrade’s forte. There’s a trolley-bus system but no metro, and traffic is heavy. Drivers are impatient…

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Jeunesses Musicales Competition Belgrade Serbia

This week I’ve enjoyed exceptional performances in Belgrade. Last night the concert was part of the 49th International Jeunesses Musicales Competition. It enables young musicians to “test and confirm their artistic values”. Belgrade Philharmonic Studentski Square  I tried to get tickets for the Belgrade Philharmonic in Studentski Trg (Students Square) – a different venue than…

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Central Belgrade Serbia

After catching my breath, I’ve continued exploring Belgrade. It’s an impressive European city influenced by Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Serbian, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires. One of the oldest cities in Europe, it’s the only capital built at the confluence of two rivers – the Danube and Sava. Complex history, language, and names make writing about Belgrade…

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Sergei Polunin Sacré Belgrade National Theatre

While exploring Belgrade I discovered the magnificent National Theatre. Founded in 1868 the theater has a museum and two stages for live ballet, opera, drama, and comedy performances. The March repertoire is amazing with something different appearing every day of the week! I joined the ticket line and booked an opera and two ballets. The…

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Belgrade Serbia

I arrived in Belgrade Tuesday evening open to a new experience but feeling a bit apprehensive and uncertain about what to expect. One writer compares the Serbian culture of “historical, religious, culinary, and psychological narratives” to “knots that must be carefully untangled”. It takes a few days to acclimate, and I’m exploring areas near my…

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Sarajevo Farewell and Isa-begov Hamam

I spent my last day in Sarajevo walking around enjoying the beautiful city. In the late afternoon I had a hamam at Isa Beg Hamam Hotel in Bistrik. The process was different from Turkish hamams previously experienced. Isa Beg Hamam Process The hamam had a large Jacuzzi and steam room divided by a warm stone sitting…

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Sarajevo Cable Car and War Bunker

This week I explored new areas of Sarajevo mostly on foot. Sarajevo’s famous cable car (Sarajevska Žičara) was on my list, but I didn’t do much research before the ride. It’s the fast way up Mt. Trebević to popular recreational areas and favorite picnic spots of locals escaping the city. Riding the cable car made…

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Barber of Seville and Lady of the Camellias Sarajevo

The Barber of Seville – Cancelled Sarajevo’s Opera and Philharmonic were set to perform The Barber of Seville on Tuesday night. Written by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini the popular comic opera first appeared in Sarajevo in 1948 with repeat performances over the years. Co-produced with the Italian Embassy the opera is based on a play…

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Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra

Last Thursday I attended a Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra performance at the National Theatre – literally around the corner from my apartment. Philharmonic season is summer, so it was lucky finding this special winter performance. Samra Gulamović, a native of Sarajevo, is the orchestra’s principal conductor. Toshio Yanagisawa was guest conductor with Boštjan Lipovšek as horn…

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