Knez Mihailova Street, Belgrade’s central pedestrian zone and a popular shopping destination,is protected under law as a spectacular monumental ambience. Lined with remarkable buildings and mansions created in the late 1870s (Architecture),Knez Mihailova is one of the oldest and most important streets in Belgrade.It is a testimony to the city’s continuity, where traces of antique civilizations can still be found. In the Roman age, Via cardo, one of the main roads leading into town, followed more or less the same course asthe modern-day Knez Mihailova. Under Turkish rule, five mosques were built in this area. In 1867, after the Turks finally left Belgrade, acceptance of Western city planning models led to the city’s transformation. On the basis of a regulatory plan from 1867 drafted by Emilijan Josimović, the first Serbian city planning engineer, Knez Mihailova was traced as the shortest connection between the Fortress and the Town. To this day, the street has kept its authentic size, profiles and directions. All the buildings date from the same time interval and exhibit unique architectural features.The choice of materials, constructions, functions and styles reveals that they belong to the period of evolution of Belgrade architecture’s,which marked a breakup with the Balkan tradition and the implementation of European styles. The process of Europeanization brought about the development of the bourgeoisie.A merchant class was established in the city, and its representatives built their homes and palaces and opened new businesses. Although some of the buildings that constituted the front of the street were altered or replaced in the 20th century,Knez Mihailova has kept its character of a representative merchant street. At the end of the 20th century, Knez Mihailova was transformed from a popular commercial zone into the cultural center of the capital.
Kneza Mihaila, Belgrade, Serbia