Princess Ljubica's Residence

Last updated
Princess Ljubica residence
Konak kneginje Ljubice, Bgd.JPG
Princess Ljubica residence
Princess Ljubica's Residence
General information
StatusMonument of Culture of Exceptional Importance
Location Stari Grad, Belgrade
Country Serbia
Coordinates 44°49′02″N20°27′08″E / 44.81722°N 20.45222°E / 44.81722; 20.45222 Coordinates: 44°49′02″N20°27′08″E / 44.81722°N 20.45222°E / 44.81722; 20.45222
Design and construction
Architect Hadži-Neimar

Princess Ljubica's Residence (Serbian : Конак књегиње Љубице, Konak knjeginje Ljubice) is a palace located in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Because of its cultural and architectural importance the residence has been designated a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance.



This palace was used for living until 1829, but taking into consideration its age and state Prince Miloš Obrenović had decided to build another residence. New residence as it had been called during its construction was larger and more exclusive than the Master’s as it was supposed to show the economic growth and further strengthening of power of Obrenović after having received the Hatisherif (Sultan's Edict) in 1830.

The building residence is one of the most remarkable among the preserved examples of civil architecture in the first half of the 19th century Belgrade. It was built during the period from 1829 to 1830. According to plans of Prince Miloš, the residence was supposed to have a twofold purpose – to be a home for his family, Princess Ljubica and his sons Milan and Mihailo, later rulers of Serbia and at the same time a residential palace. It was built according to ideas and under supervision of Hadži-Neimar, the pioneer of Serbian building and construction.

Prince Miloš decided to hire a constructor from Voden, Hadzi Nikola Zivkovic, since there were none in Belgrade at that time for there were no construction activities for years. Thus Hadži-Neimar became the first builder of renewed Serbia and he managed all of Prince Miloš's buildings during his first reign. Foundation started in July 1829, and the residence was finished in late autumn 1830. Princess Ljubica informed her husband in a letter from November 22, 1830 that "they have settled in the new residence". A new Turkish bath (hammam), with one-storey wing was built later on in 1836.


It is situated at the corner of Kneza Sime Markovica Street and Kralja Petra Street, former Bogojavljanska and Dubrovacka Street, in one of the oldest parts of Belgrade. Just across the present Cathedral Church the Old palace of Prince was situated stretching from the entrance of today’s Building of the Patriarchate to the garden of current Princess Ljubica Residence.

Princess Ljubica Residence is placed in a free space in the center of a garden, initially fenced by a high wall as other buildings of this type and surrounded by greenery. It had an outer yard where one could enter through the car entrance as well as the spacious inner garden toward Kosancicev venac. Princess Ljubica Residence is facing the Sava River with its main façade dominated by a bay window of the divanhana (tur. a room used for smoking and talking).


Residence’s base has a rectangular form and is proportionally large; it has three levels – basement, ground floor and an upper storey. The basement is covered by vaults while ground and upper storey have been built in classic brickwork and ”bondruk” manner with timber construction filled with unbaked bricks. Four slopes roof is covered with tiles with an octagonal dome and eight chimneys on it. [1]

This building has all characteristics of city houses of Serbian-Balkan style. Ground and upper storey have a centre hall around which all other rooms are situated, showing a traditional Oriental space concept, which originates from former closed inner yard model. There are divanhanas on both floors, which is a type of today’s dining room, but also a reception salon. The ground floor divanhana is separated from the rest of the area by two steps and lined by wooden columns divided with parapets. Wide stairs, leading into garden, are located immediately beside it and this entrance is wider than the one leading toward the street. [2]

The other divanhana, on the upper floor, is more intimate. It is lined with walls on the side, and it has only two columns facing the central space. Its floor was in line with the surrounding floor and they were all made out of wood. This divanhana is overviewing the street. [3]

Although leaning to Oriental tradition with its spacious concept, Princess Ljubica Residence represents the breaking point in architecture of Belgrade, because it largely indicates the influence of European architecture with its exterior design and decorative elements. These European concepts are especially notable in diversity of facades, broken roof lines, chimneys and dome, in secondary details of architectonic façade treatment – pilasters, arch endings and window surroundings, profiled wreaths and some interior details. Bay windows on a façade of Princess Ljubica Residence which are usually rectangular have a half-circular base. [4]

Development of the residence

Ljubica Vukomanovic, Princess consort of Serbia Ljubica Vukomanovic.jpg
Ljubica Vukomanović, Princess consort of Serbia

One of the first records about Princess Ljubica Residence is from travel-writer Otto Dubislav Pirch, [5] from 1892: “One small part of Belgrade stands out in comparison to others, and this is one small place at the Southwest end of the upper town main street. (…) Although not the largest in its form it is the most beautiful building I have seen in Serbia“.1 Consistent to its intended function, the new Residence differed from the common private houses and it “contains certain characteristics which (…) place it among fortified palaces of great Pashas and wealthy Beys (tur. for a leader of a small region or province)“. [6]

Princess Ljubica, modest by nature, wanted to arrange a high life in the Palace. Saved correspondence between the Princess and Prince Milos from January 1, 1831 states that the Princess asked her husband “to provide red socks for servants in the palace“. Presumably, the Princess got a negative reply, considering that in the letter from January 24 she claims “that she can manage without any servants“.

The main state treasury was situated in Princess Ljubica Residence during the first reign of Prince Milos. Princedom Regency held their sessions in the Residence until the return of Prince Miahilo to Serbia in 1840, who lived there until 1842.

The Lyceum was afterwards situated there, then the First Grammar School of Belgrade and the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Institution for education of deaf and dumb children was situated here in 1912 and Contemporary Art Museum since 1929. The Residence housed the Church Museum until April 6, 1941. Part of Patriarchate was located here from 1945–47 and the Republic Institute for Cultural Heritage Preservation since 1947. [7]

Preservation and restoration works were performed during the period from 1971 to 1979, when rehabilitation and renewal of facades and interiors were carried out. On this occasion, Princess Ljubica Residence, today an integral part of the Museum of Belgrade, was adapted for a prestigious museum exhibit. [8]

Princess Ljubica Residence has been proclaimed as 1st category cultural property in 1979. [9]

Related Research Articles

Miloš Obrenović I of Serbia Prince of Serbia

Prince Miloš Obrenović I of Serbia born Miloš Teodorović was Prince of Serbia from 1815 to 1839, and again from 1858 to 1860. He participated in the First Serbian uprising, led Serbs in the Second Serbian uprising, and founded the House of Obrenović. Under his rule, Serbia became an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire. Prince Miloš ruled autocratically, consistently refusing to share power, which generated strong domestic opposition. During his rule, Miloš I bought a number of estates and ships from Ottoman Turks and also became a prominent trader. He was the richest man in Serbia and one of the richest in the Balkans, with estates in Vienna, Serbia and Wallachia.

Amidža Konak

Amidža Konak is a 19th-century residence of Turkish-style architecture located in the old part of the city of Kragujevac in central Serbia. It was built in 1819-1824 by Serbian Prince Miloš Obrenović, and it was named after Sima Milosavljević-Paštrmac, called Amidža, a Serbian hajduk and staff member of the court of Obrenović. Only Amidža Konak remained from large complex of building that existed during Miloš Obrenović time. Nearby, Miloš's Konak existed, and it was destroyed in 1941, during World War II, and also, Princess Ljubica Konak, that burned down in 1884.

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.

St. Michaels Cathedral, Belgrade Church in Belgrade, Serbia

The Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel is a Serbian Orthodox cathedral church in the centre of Belgrade, Serbia, situated in the old part of the city, at the intersection of Kralja Petra and Kneza Sime Markovića streets. It was built between 1837 and 1840, on the location of an older church also dedicated to Archangel Michael. It is one of the most important places of worship in the country. It is commonly known as just Saborna crkva among the city residents. It was proclaimed as a Cultural Monument of Exceptional Importance in 1979.

Ethnographic Museum, Belgrade Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, Serbia

The Ethnographic Museum is a museum located in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is one of the oldest museums in the Balkans. The Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade fulfills its mission together with the efforts of various stakeholders in the domain of presentation, revitalization and development of crafts in Serbia.

Residence of Prince Miloš

The Residence of Prince Miloš is a royal residence in the Topčider municipality of Belgrade, Serbia. It was originally used as the palace of Prince Miloš Obrenović. It was built in 1831, after Serbia was given autonomous status in the Ottoman Empire. The grounds include a plane tree over 160 years old, one of the oldest in Europe.

Ljubica Vukomanović Princess consort of Serbia

Ljubica Vukomanović was Princess consort of the Principality of Serbia as the wife of Miloš Obrenović, Prince of Serbia, and the founder of the Obrenović dynasty, which ruled Serbia in an almost unbroken line from the time of his election as Prince to the May Overthrow in 1903. Ljubica married Miloš in 1805 and became Princess of Serbia on 6 November 1817 until her husband's abdication on 25 June 1839. She had at least seven surviving children.

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.

Area around Dositejs Lyceum

The cultural-historical complex in the area around Dositej's Lyceum is one of the oldest and most important city parts in Belgrade, which centre formed at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century.

Manaks House

Manak's House is a building on the outskirts of the former Savamala, Belgrade. It is located on the corner of Kraljevića Marka and Gavrila Principa Streets in Belgrade, Serbia. It was declared a cultural monument by the Cultural Heritage Preservation Institute of Belgrade on 9 May 1963.

Nikola Živković, known as Hadži-Neimar (Хаџи-Неимар), was the chief builder during the first reign of Serbian Prince Miloš Obrenović (1817–39). Born in Voden in 1792, he likely was schooled in Thessaloniki or Athens, where he had relatives. It is unknown when he moved to Serbia. His wife, Kostadinka Karkaljer, was from Magarevo. He had four daughters and a son. He died at Belgrade in 1870.

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".

Rakovica Monastery

Rakovica Monastery is the monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church, within the Archbishopric of Belgrade and Karlovci, located in the municipality of Rakovica in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is dedicated to the archangels Michael and Gabriel.

General Post Office, Belgrade

Main Post Office Building in Belgrade is located on the corner of Takovska Street and Boulevard of Kralj Aleksandar, close to the National Assembly, the building of the President of Serbia and the Belgrade City Assembly. It is one of the most representative buildings of the most important state institution for postal traffic and services. It was constructed in the period from 1935 to 1938 as the palace of the Post Office Savings Bank, the Main Post Office and the Main Telegraph. Since the completion of the work to date, the part of the palace from Takovska Street designed for the work of the Main Post Office has not changed its basic purpose. On the other hand, the part of the palace from King Alexander Boulevard in which the Post Office Savings Bank was located, from 1946 to September 2006, was used to house the National Bank until its relocation to a new facility on Slavija Square. Since 2003, some ministries of the Republic of Serbia were located in this building, and since 2013, it is used by the Constitutional Court of Serbia. The same year, in 2013, the Palace of the Main Post Office was declared a cultural monument.

Hammam of Prince Miloš Turkish bath or hammam (amam) is a Middle Eastern type of steam bath sauna

Hammam of Prince Miloš is the former Turkish bath in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Built in 1836-37, it was declared a cultural monument in 1948.

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.

Danilo Vladisavljević was a Serbian architect in the transition period from the 19th to 20th century. He is remembered to have contributed to the uniqueness of the Belgrade urban core.

Petar Bajalović was a Serbian architect who lived and worked during the latter part of Belle Epoque and between the two wars. He was one of the representatives of architectural modernism in Serbia.