Former Army Headquarters Building (Belgrade)

Last updated

Army Headquarters Building Generalstab.JPG
Army Headquarters Building

The Army Headquarters Building, also known as the Stone Palace and the Baumgarten's Palace, is located in Serbia, in Belgrade at 33 Kneza Miloša street. It was built in the period from 1924 to 1928 after the design of the architect, Russian immigrant, Vasily Wilhelm Baumgarten. [1] This monumental and decorative building represents one of the best examples of public buildings erected in Belgrade in the period between two World Wars in the style of academism. After the Second World War in the time of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, it was the used as the headquarters of the Yugoslav People's Army. Since 1984 the building has been under the protection of the country and has the status of cultural monument. [2]

Contents

History

The period between two wars in Belgrade was marked by the erection of a large number of private and public buildings. In this period, the buildings were designed according to the academic concept, as monumental buildings with the symmetrical scheme of the basis, with tall columns and pilasters and other elements which represent the reminiscence to the historical styles, first of all classicism. In the late 19th century Europe the architecture of historical styles, which prevailed in the European architecture, underwent its transformation reflecting in the looser application of these styles. In Europe and in our country, the state institutions and rich investors played the important role in promotion of the architecture of historical styles. The monumental and decorative architecture were used to emphasize the power and the social position so the state and public buildings were built in this style, which became official. Technical High Schools and the Academies in the European centres contributed to the conformation and accreditation of the academic architecture based on the eclecticism as the style accepted by the state. Certain types of public buildings followed the established scheme and only individuals managed to achieve progress in creative and any other sense. Right in the period between the two wars, Belgrade begins to spread intensively. Monumental architectural masterpieces represented the confirmation and some kind of materialization of the new social reality created after the announcement of the Kingdom. After the First World War in Belgrade, the concentration of state administration made it political and administrative centre of the entire Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. One after the other, the buildings of the state ministries were built in the Kneza Miloša Street and each subsequent building was bigger and more expensive than the previous one.

When built, it was one of the most modern buildings in Europe compared to similar buildings intended for the Army Headquarters. In 1937 The Stone Palace was declared the most beautiful building in Belgrade. Nowadays, this palace represents an important cultural and historical monument. It spreads on 9.543 m² of useful area. One of the most representative halls in Serbia is in the building. It is the famous Grand War Hall, located on the mezzanine of the palace, in the room 49. Important state decisions were made in that hall, ceremonious army balls were organized, and the Government sessions were held. The interior of the Grand Hall represents an authentic masterpiece, with magnificent columns, above which there was a gallery with arch openings, where sometimes, if it was necessary, a choir was standing. The Stone Palace, that is, the Army Headquarters Building of Yugoslav Royal Army was one of the few buildings that Germans did not hit during the April bombing of Belgrade in 1941, although one of the first bombs fell only few metres from it, on the former building of the Ministry of War.

Architect

When it was erected, the Former Army Headquarters Building was one of the most monumental and most expensive buildings. The architect, Vasily Baumgarten, realized many other important works, especially in the period between the mid-twenties and mid-thirties. Along with the Army Headquarters Building, which remains his central work, he also designed the Russian House in Queen Natalija Street, the palace of the Officers' Club in Skoplje (destroyed in the 1963 earthquake), and the building of the Officers' Club in Bitolj.

About the building

Facades

The facades were firmly composed and emphasized by the rhythmical row of columns with Corinthian capitols, doubled on the cornered projections. These columns take up three-storey height and bear a massive architrave flowing along all the facades and significantly stick out from the plane. Decorative structures in full plastic representing warriors and scenes from the warrior life are set up on the cornered projections above the architraved cornice. As a rule, the groups are two-membered and they represent: the fight of warriors, the warrior and the wounded, who kills the woman and himself, and the archer and the warrior with a sword. Each group repeats three times, so the compositions of four groups set up over the cornered projections are visible on all three corners of the facade. The author of these sculptures is the architect Ivan Rik. Being familiar with the Antique Sculpture of the classical period, Rik made the sketches in which the themes, the movement, the clothes and the weapons were precisely presented. These sculptures can be classified as the better designs of the decorative plastic on the facades of the buildings in Belgrade. The workshop of the Ivana Vanik and Milan Duhač worked on the processing of these facades, richly ornamented with architectural elements.

Interior

The interior of the Army Headquarters building is richly and carefully decorated. The walls, the floors and the ceilings were done in different materials and decorative elements mostly originating from the period of Antique and renaissance. It could be said that, by style, the interior is the closest to the Russian empire style, the prevailing style in the artistic circles in the first half of the 19th century. Although the building of the former Army Headquarters was designed a hundred years later, these influences were more than obvious. The assumption is that the author was inspired by some palace or public building from the Imperial Russia, the country of his origin. The entrance, the vestibule and the ceremonial hall were the most richly decorated. The central staircase at the entrance is flanked with the parapets, and two doubled columns rise up from there, bearing the coffered ceiling. The coffered ceiling is filled with floral rosettes. The ceiling in the longitudinal hall is decorated with the stucco and painted decorations with the motifs taken from the renaissance decorative program, the ceiling above the ceremonial bifurcated staircase is decorated with the medallions and ornaments of the floral origin. The central decorative motif of the entrance part is the monumental composition at the entrance door of the ceremonial hall. This entrance was decorated with double columns in articulated roughly hewn stone with the tympanum and the sculptural composition in the high relief, and which represents Samson and a lion. The composition Samson and a lion was done by Vladimir Zagorodnjuk, the author of decorative sculptures on many other buildings in Belgrade. The composition Samson and a lion personifies the power and the fight. It is thematically appropriate in that space. Formally, it was taken from the garden architecture of the late renaissance villas and in the interior it was inappropriately used.

The Warriors' Hall

The ceremonial hall – the Warriors' hall has side-mounted windows, with rhythmically arranged columns between them, with Corinthian capitols bearing the architraved cornice. Above the cornice there are warriors' busts, naked and in armour. The ceiling is decorated with medallions with floral elements, similar to the ceiling in vestibule. Above the entrance door the cartouche with military insignations bearing two female figures was set up. The overall internal decoration of the building was done by the workshop of Spasa Petrović. A very rich decoration and the use of luxurious materials testify about the great attention dedicated to the decoration of the "Warriors' Hall " which belongs to the most beautifully decorated halls in Belgrade of that time. After the Second World War the inadequate repainting of the stucco and painting decoration was undertaken. These works contributed to even more invasive appearance of the decorative interior. The Cultural Heritage Protection Institute of the City of Belgrade finished the project for the reconstruction of the facades, [3] the project for the conservatory and restoration works in the interior of the Warriors' Hall, as well as the conservatory supervision during these works in 2009 and 2010.

Importance

Due to all its historical and architectural values, the Army headquarters building was declared a cultural property.[ citation needed ]

See more

Related Research Articles

Buda Castle castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest

Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest. It was first completed in 1265, but the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769. The complex in the past was referred to as either the Royal Palace or the Royal Castle. The castle now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum.

Stari dvor

Stari dvor was the royal residence of the Obrenović dynasty. Today it houses the City Assembly of Belgrade. The palace is located on the corner of Kralja Milana and Dragoslava Jovanovića streets in Belgrade, Serbia, opposite Novi dvor.

French Baroque architecture architecture of the Baroque era in France

French Baroque architecture, sometimes called French classicism, was a style of architecture during the reigns of Louis XIII (1610–43), Louis XIV (1643–1715) and Louis XV (1715–74). It was preceded by French Renaissance architecture and Mannerism and was followed in the second half of the 18th century by French Neoclassical architecture. The style was originally inspired by the Italian Baroque architecture style, but, particularly under Louis XIV, it gave greater emphasis to regularity, the colossal order of facades, and the use of colonnades and cupolas, to symbolize the power and grandeur of the King. Notable examples of the style include the Grand Trianon of the Palace of Versailles, and the dome of Les Invalides in Paris. In the final years of Louis XIV and the reign of Louis XV, the colossal orders gradually disappeared, the style became lighter and saw the introduction of wrought iron decoration in rocaille designs. The period also saw the introduction of monumental urban squares in Paris and other cities, notably Place Vendôme and the Place de la Concorde. The style profoundly influenced 18th-century secular architecture throughout Europe; the Palace of Versailles and the French formal garden were copied by other courts all over Europe.

French Renaissance architecture Style of French architecture

French Renaissance architecture is a style which was prominent between the 15th and early 17th centuries in the Kingdom of France. It succeeded French Gothic architecture. The style was originally imported from Italy next after the Hundred Years' War by the French kings Charles VII, Louis XI, Charles VIII, Louis XII, and François I. Several notable royal châteaux in this style were built in the Loire Valley, notably the Chateau de Montsoreau, the Chateau de Langeais, the Chateau d'Amboise, the Chateau of Blois, the Chateau of Gaillon, and the Chateau of Chambord, and, closer to Paris, the Château de Fontainebleau.

Santa María del Naranco church

The church of St Mary at Mount Naranco is a Roman Catholic Asturian pre-Romanesque Asturian architecture church on the slope of Mount Naranco situated 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Oviedo, northern Spain. Ramiro I of Asturias ordered it to be built as a royal palace as part of a larger complex that also incorporated the nearby church of San Miguel de Lillo, 100 meters away. It was completed in 842 and consecrated in 848. Its structural features, such as the barrel vault—with transverse ribs corresponding one-to-one with contraforts at the exterior, make it a clear precursor of the Romanesque construction. The exterior decorations, as well as the use of stilted arches mark the intended verticality of the composition.

Metropolitan Cathedral, Iași Church in Iași, Romania

The Metropolitan Cathedral, Iași, located at 16 Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt Boulevard, Iași, Romania, is the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Archbishop of Iași and Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina, and the largest historic Orthodox church in Romania. It is dedicated to Saint Parascheva, to the Presentation of Jesus and to Saint George. Its form was inspired by the late Italian Renaissance style, with Baroque elements dominating the interior and exterior decorative features. The Metropolitan Cathedral is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments.

Neoclassical architecture in Milan

Neoclassical architecture in Milan encompasses the main artistic movement from about 1750 to 1850 in this northern Italian city. From the final years of the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria, through the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and the European Restoration, Milan was in the forefront of a strong cultural and economic renaissance in which Neoclassicism was the dominant style, creating in Milan some of the most influential works in this style in Italy and across Europe. Notable developments include construction of the Teatro alla Scala, the restyled Royal Palace, and the Brera institutions including the Academy of Fine Arts, the Braidense Library and the Brera Astronomical Observatory. Neoclassicism also led to the development of monumental city gates, new squares and boulevards as well as public gardens and private mansions. Latterly two churches, San Tomaso in Terramara and San Carlo al Corso, were completed in Neoclassical style before the period came to an end in the late 1830s.

Belgrade Cooperative

Belgrade Cooperative was a cooperative bank founded in 1882 to promote savings and support small enterprises, craftspeople and the poor of Belgrade. Member-shareholders have been paying membership in amount of one Serbian Dinar per week. That is the way for cooperative to become a public savings bank. Luka Ćelović was the first president of cooperative, also a first Serbian insurance group.

Novi dvor New Palace, former royal residence of the Karađorđević dynasty of Serbia, later Kingdom of Yugoslavia in Belgrade

Novi dvor was a royal residence of the Karađorđević dynasty of Serbia and later Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Today it is the seat of the President of Serbia. The palace is located on Andrićev Venac in Belgrade, Serbia, opposite Stari Dvor.

National Bank Building, Belgrade Historic building in Belgrade, Serbia

The National Bank building in Belgrade is a monument of great importance, located in Belgrade, Serbia, at 12 King Petar St.

Old Town Hall (Prague)

The Old Town Hall in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is one of the city's most visited monuments. It is located in Old Town Square.

Paris architecture of the <i>Belle Époque</i>

The architecture of Paris created during the Belle Époque, between 1871 and the beginning of the First World War in 1914, was notable for its variety of different styles, from neo-Byzantine and neo-Gothic to classicism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. It was also known for its lavish decoration and its imaginative use of both new and traditional materials, including iron, plate glass, colored tile and reinforced concrete. Notable buildings and structures of the period include the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Gare de Lyon, the Bon Marché department store, and the entries of the stations of the Paris Metro designed by Hector Guimard.

The building of the Pension Fund of the clerks and servants of the National Bank of Yugoslavia, today the building of the popular „Theatre-on-Terazije“, was built in 1939, after the design of the Russian architect Grigorije Samojlov. With one residential and several official entrances, the building opens out to two Belgrade squares – 29 Terazije Square and 3 Nikole Pašića Square.

Officers Club (Belgrade)

The Officers' Club in Belgrade, is situated at 48 Kralja Milana Street and as the memorial of the development of Belgrade at the end of the 19th century it has the status of a cultural monument.

House of Vuks Foundation Historical building in Belgrade

The House of Vuk's Foundation is the name of a historical building in Belgrade, built in 1879, that serves as the headquarters of the Vuk's Foundation. Located on the Теrazije at 2 Kralja Milana Street, it is one of the oldest structures in that part of Belgrade. Aleksandar Bugarski, a prominent 19th-century Serbian architect, designed the original building as a two-story house in the Academic art style of the day.

Realka High School Building

The Realka High School Building is located at the corner of 14 Uzun Mirkova Street and Tadeuša Košćuška Street, built between 1835 and 1840 in the style of classicism, most probably after the design of Franc Janke. Its social and historical value lies in the importance it had as the school building which attended and in which taught many important persons of 19th century Serbia: the teachers Stevan Todorović, Todor Mijušković, Petar Ubavkić, Mihajlo Valtrović, Đorđe Krstić, and students Kosta Glavinić, Milan Kapetanović, Svetozar Jovanović, Milorad Ruvidić, Danilo Vladisavljević, Nikola Nestorović...The building was named after the Belgrade Realka, located in it for a long time. The oldest preserved building in Belgrade was built in European style and is a unique example of classicism.

Veterans Club Building building in Belgrade

The Veterans' Club Building in Belgrade, at 19 Braće Jugovića Street, is a monumental building, today the Military Club of Serbia, whose basic activities are informing and education of the members of the Serbian Army and the civilian sector through numerous cultural activities such as: exhibitions, concerts, book promotions, public discussions, lectures etc. The premises of the Club are also used for receptions, conferences, seminars, presentations, fairs, business meetings, cocktails, balls and fashion shows. The construction of the Club was finished in 1931 after the design of the professor and architect Jovan Jovanović and Živojin Piperski. The building was built in the style of modernism with the elements of the еxpressionism. The lot for the construction of the Club was donated by the Administration of the City of Belgrade, as a gift to former veterans. The Veterans' Club was built thanks to the donations of the members of the National Defence and the subventions given by the patron king Aleksandar the Unifier. Apart from the military purpose, many cultural associations which cherished patriotism and good relations between the army and the people, that is, the civilians. The most active associations were The Association of the reserve officers and veterans, The Association of the volunteers, Sokolska matica, Adriatic guard, the League of the friends of France etc. were also placed in the Veterans' Club. One part of the object was intended for the accommodation of the guests from the rest of the country. The Club obtained the character of a hotel mostly by constructing of the additional part towards Simina Street. The Veterans' Club has two parts, one built between 1929 and 1932, towards Braće Jugovića Street, and the other, added in 1939 towards Simina, Francuska and Emilijana Josimovića Street. After the invasion and occupation of the country in April 1941 this building was used by the German occupying authority.In August 1941 Wehrmacht officers moved in and the building became the Gestapo Headquarter for the entire Balkan. After the war, on the Victory Day, on 9 May 1946, it was officially established as the Yugoslav Army Club. The first post-war commander and the head of the Club was a professor, a colonel, an academic painter and a graphic artist Branko Šotra. In 1984,based on the decision of the City of Belgrade Assembly, the building was designated as the cultural property. Since 2010 the Club has become the seat of the Меdia centre "Defence" and the Artistic ensemble "Stanislav Binički".

Royal Bank of Canada Building, Havana

Royal Bank of Canada Building, Havana is a Neoclassical-style bank building located at corner of Calles Aguiar and Obrapia in Habana Vieja. The ground floor was dedicated to the bank, the other floors to offices that were rented; a floor was added for a semiprivate restaurant and club.

Building of the Patriarchate, Belgrade

The Building of the Patriarchate is a building in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is the administrative seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church and its head, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Finished in 1935, the building was declared a cultural monument on 18 December 1984.

Style Louis XIV Style of Louis XIV period; baroque style with classical elements

The Style Louis XIV or Louis Quatorze, also called French classicism, was the style of architecture and decorative arts intended to glorify King Louis XIV and his reign. It featured majesty, harmony and regularity. It became the official style during the reign of Louis XIV (1643–1715), imposed upon artists by the newly established Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture and the Académie royale d'architecture. It had an important influence upon the architecture of other European monarchs, from Frederick the Great of Prussia to Peter the Great of Russia. Major architects of the period included François Mansart, Jules Hardouin Mansart, Robert de Cotte, Pierre Le Muet, Claude Perrault, and Louis Le Vau. Major monuments included the Palace of Versailles, the Grand Trianon at Versailles, and the Church of Les Invalides (1675–91).

References

  1. Zavod za zaštitu spomenika kulture grada Beograda
  2. The exhibition about the restoration of the former Army Headquarters building, by the Cultural Heritage Protection Institute of the City of Belgrade, http://www.mod.gov.rs/sadrzaj.php?id_sadrzaja=2517%5B%5D. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  3. T.Videnović, S.Marković, B.Ibrajter Gazibara, The Former Headquarters, the catalogue from the exhibition, the Cultural Heritage Protection Institute of the City of Belgrade, Belgrade, 2010; B.Ibrajter Gazibara, the account of the exhibition "The Former Headquarters", The Gazette of the Serbian Conservators' Association No. 35, Belgrade, 2011