Бели двор / Beli dvor
|Design and construction|
The White Palace (Serbian: Бели двор, Beli dvor) is the official residence of the Yugoslav former royal family (the Royal House of Karageorgevich). It is located within the Royal Compound, in the Dedinje neighborhood of Belgrade.
The palace was designed by architect Aleksandar Đorđević in a neo-Palladian style, inspired by 18th century English country houses such as Ditchley Park. Its interior was decorated with English Georgian and 19th century Russian antiques by the French design firm Maison Jansen, which later decorated the White House during the administration of John F. Kennedy.
The palace was commissioned by and built with the personal funds of King Alexander I for his three sons.Alexander was assassinated during a state visit to Marseille, France in the same year that the construction of the palace began. Supervision of construction was overtaken by the Prince Regent Paul until its completion in 1937. Queen Maria and her three sons, including the 11-year-old King Peter II, continued to reside in the Royal Palace during this time. Prince Paul was the only member of the royal family to reside in the palace before the outbreak of the Second World War and subsequent invasion of Yugoslavia.
Following the end of the war, the new communist government seized the assets and property of the royal family. The White Palace was periodically used by president Josip Broz Tito and later by Slobodan Milošević for official state functions and foreign visits. Milošević received U.S. envoy Richard Holbrook at the palace before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began; Milošević later officially resigned his presidency in front of the palace fireplace.
The White Palace is open for public visitations on weekends during the tourist season from April to November.
The Royal Compound has also participated in tourism fairs in Belgrade and Novi Sad and during the Days of the European Cultural Heritage.
The qualified tour guides at the Palace will tell any visitor that the White Palace's notable works of art include paintings by Piero di Cosimo, Biagio d'Antonio, Nicolas Poussin (3 works), Giovanni Cariani, Sébastien Bourdon, Albrecht Altdorfer, Titian, Rembrandt attribution, Palma Vecchio (2 paintings), Carlo Caliari, Peter Paul Rubens, Carel Fabritius, Simon Vouet, two paintings by Brueghel, Antonio Canaletto, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Giuseppe Crespi, Nicolae Grigorescu, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Eugène Fromentin, Gaspard Dughet, Richard Parkes Bonington, Đura Jakšić, Ivan Meštrović, Vlaho Bukovac and others. The green and white Sèvres porcelain service was purchased in 1932 in Paris from the gallery Charpentier. The service once belonged to the Comte d'Artois.
Many of the palace's works of art were looted by communist Partisans in 1944, following the liberation of Belgrade from German occupation. One of looted pieces includes Rembrandt school's painting 'Quint Fabius Maximus'.
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