A Serbian odyssey.
September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment
I was nearing the end of my 7 day stretch in Belgrade and I was told that the St. Sava temple is a must visit. Being the largest Orthodox Church currently in use, I thought it would be a good way to contrast my tour of the Orthodox Christian monasteries that were modest in comparison, tucked away in the mountains of the countryside. St. Sava temple however was bang in the middle of the city, so I had no excuse not to go.
I picked up my camera, looked up the blogs for directions (since Google Maps for Belgrade is primarily in the Cyrillic alphabet, assuming pretty high navigational skills on the part of the average tourist!) and bought my ticket for the bus (this proved slightly unnecessary throughout my time in Belgrade though, since no one checks the tickets it’s pretty easy to skip a ride for free). I was due to get off at Slavija Square, one of the busiest traffic intersections in the city. Even though I’d never been to this part of town before, there was no mistaking my stop. The bus somehow skirted past the numerous cars zipping by and I was thrown in the middle of a frenzy of what seemed like automobile hell. Slavija Square itself is a tourist attraction, for it houses the grave of a famous Serbian socialist Dimitrije Tucovic in its centre. The standing joke however, is that the mystery lies not in its historical significance but in the amazing capability of these driving veterans to avoid crashing into one another as they drive around it.
After wandering about for a good half an hour, asking people for directions (since few spoke English and it didn’t help that my renditions of the pronunciations of the Serbian street names were laughable, to say the least!), I finally found my way to the temple. Walking down one of the radials off Slavija Square, I could see the tip of the dome of the temple. As I crept closer, I could appreciate it in it’s full glory as it stood there majestically shining in the cool evening light. The two hour long quest proved worth it’s while, inconsequential in comparison, once I stepped inside the doors of this breathtakingly grand structure.