Today, another post about Belgrade, which I visited last month. I met my dear friend, Kathy, there and she arranged for an all day tour of this wonderful city with guide Srdjan Ristic, owner of Explore Belgrade! One of the many sites he took us to was the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Josip Broz, better known as Tito. He was the former head of Yugoslavia and can probably be best described as a benevolent dictator.
Of course Yugoslavia is long gone, now broken into several countries–and the borders are still under dispute.
I’ve been battling illness for almost a week. I had a few drugs, which helped a lot, but ran out yesterday. Today I went to a pharmacy. Supplied with the correct Turkish words I asked for medicine for diarrhea and also something for a headache. I mimed the last part by holding my head, but the pharmacist repeated the words in English for me (I take it that my Turkish pronunciations were pretty bad). Then he whisked behind the counter to get the medications. While I was waiting, a woman who worked there asked, in broken English, to help me. She had seen me mime a headache. “Hair loss?” She says.
Wow. How sick do I look?
Seriously, I’m not in bad shape. It’s all new bugs and viruses when you travel and my immune system occasionally gets overwhelmed. This too shall pass. Pun intended, Michael.
In 1594, Serbs rose up against Ottoman rule in Banat, during the Long War (1591–1606) …….though the uprising was quickly suppressed. The rebels had, in the character of a holy war, carried war flags with the icon of Saint Sava. …. Ottoman Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha ordered that the sarcophagus and relics of Saint Sava located in the Mileševa monastery be brought by military convoy to Belgrade. ….The relics were publicly incinerated by the Ottomans on a pyre on the Vračar plateau, and the ashes scattered, on April 27, 1595.
The Serbs never forgot the humiliation. This amazing church now stands on that same plateau, dominating Belgrade’s cityscape, but it wasn’t an easy rise.
Forty years after the initial idea, construction of the church began on May 10, 1935, 340 years after the burning of Saint Sava’s remains. Construction was interrupted by WWII. The occupying German army used the unfinished church as a parking lot. The Red Army later did the same. The Society for Building of the Cathedral ceased to exist. But the idea did not die and finally in 1984 Branko Pešić was chosen as new architect. He redesigned the church to use new materials and building techniques. Construction of the building began again on August 12, 1985. The walls were erected to full height of 40 meters. The greatest achievement was lifting of the 4,000 ton central dome. It was first built on the ground and lifted onto the walls, which took forty days.
Last week I traveled to Belgrade, Serbia to visit my dear friend, Kathy from New York. I stayed with her when I got off the Appalachian Trail, so I owe her in ways I can never repay. I really needed to see a friendly face and she made my month! Here are some photos from the first day. Kathy had been on a group tour and Belgrade was her final city, so I was lucky that my school schedule allowed me to join her there.
I so enjoyed my stay. So much history. This is a city I will serious consider living in. I enjoyed trying to figure out the Cyrillic Letters.