"Kafana" - the second Serbian house

September 30, 2016

 

There you can eat, drink, dream, sleep, love, fall in love, cry and cure the sadness. There you can make friendships, become godfather and make wedding receptions. Also, there you can make friendships, say goodbye to your lovers and former companions. There you can make alliances, political decisions and organize balls. In it, emotions are sincere, clean and bare. The greatest poets, singers and writers have sought inspiration in it, for many it is a balm for the soul, and poison for the heart. There is no person on this planet who is not loved home of bohemians, garden of the artist. One, the only and unique - tavern (kafana, Serbian translation).

 

 

Here it all began...

 

Did you know that the first "kafana" in Europe was established in Belgrade's municipality Dorcol? History tells that in Belgrade, in 1522. was founded the first tavern. She was opened by Turks, in an old building on the Lower Dorcol, in which only drank coffee. Hence, the etymological meaning of the word cafe is the place that serves coffee. However, its purpose, importance and beauty of the tavern have widely defined meaning. The official historical documents show that the capital city, at the turn of the century every 50 residents had tavern.

 

It is believed that the greatest impact on the development of these rightfully called cultural institutions was precisely the presence of people of different personal and multicultural tradition and heritage. When Belgrade, in the 16th century was recognized as a significant trading capital - Serbs, Turks, Greeks, Jews, Armenians and other nations have brought to this city something of their own and personal. Until 1881, it registered almost 230 taverns.

 

Today, for the "kafana" there are different synonyms - pub, a bar, birtija, tavern, restaurant, cafe. But the cafe is still linked to the old, good and carefree time, when it did not matter where it comes from when, whose is whose greatest enemy, but all people of all nations and nationalities are connected together to share their stories, adventures, cried and sang along, make alliances and friendships. Tavern connects and reconciles. 

 

                  Tavern Sokolovic, photo source: www.b92.net

 

 

Kafana’s anecdotes and curiosities...

 

For many pubs there are interesting facts, and their origin is also unusual. Did you know that in a restaurant - pub "Kasina", which to this day works successfully, was opened the first capital's cinema? Did you know that on the Dorcol, between old and weathered house, close to the river, in municipality Brace Baruch is cafe "Oskar", in which is served the best beans, the best chutney and "noble jelly" and baked the best down brandy? Did you know that the famous restaurant "Spring" shone first electric light bulbs and that today in this city is built electric distribution? Did you know that in the 19th century, the famous Belgrade tavern "Three Tobacco Leaves" installed the first telephone exchange? Did you know that the "Golden Keg", according to some unofficial writings, is one of the most visited tavern in Belgrade? There were filmed scene of some of the most popular films of Serbian cinema, a friendly staff will recount the history of this institution with great enthusiasm.

 

 Photo 2, Golden Keg, source: www.forum-serbia.com

 

 

Kafana "?" or "Question mark" however, is the most recognizable. It seems to me that every foreigner, no matter where he came from, wants to visit this by now, legendary place. Located in the heart of Belgrade, in the old, stony streets, located between the Orthodox church and the beautiful Ljubica’s museum. In the spring, when you can feel white roses, this place you will remember after simultaneous tavern music, church bells and the hubbub of children from a nearby elementary school, the oldest in Belgrade.

 

 Question Mark - outside look, photo source: www.forum-serbia.com

 

 Question Mark - inside look, photo source: www.forum-serbia.com

 

 

"We do not know who invented the tavern. Maybe it's better we don’t. Perhaps in the name of gratitude belong to him, and they are actually built and belong to all people of the world. Therefore, they’re part of many, most of those who have never hid that their second house is tavern", by Vidoje Golubovic.  

 

Go everywhere, but in Skadarlija always come...

 

However, the center of bohemian life is Skadarlija. There are not many dilemmas where you can with family, friends or business partners spend quality morning, afternoon or evening. This long, cobbled streets can not and should not be much to describe, because it is impossible, but to be experienced. When you step on its sidewalks, you'll feel like you're back in the old days, when the young lady, in a wide, colorful dresses walked the Promenade, the main street, and the boys tried to charm them, and music and good atmosphere are felt to each side. The sounds and smells of the old streets, stunning Serbian cuisine is something you can live only in Skadarlija. Old bohemians like Djura Jaksic, whose house is the symbol of this quarter, half of his life spent only in the taverns. 

 

Restaurants such as "Three Hats""Two white doves" or "Two Deers" are just places where you can feel the spirit and the friendly atmosphere of Belgrade. This street has been and still is one of the main tourist attractions.

 

 

 

Did you know...

 

…that the old tavern like ‘’Manjez’’, ‘’Madera’’, ‘’Majestik’’, ‘’Writer’s Club’’ and ‘’Lipov lad’’ got a new look? Although the outside looks more modern, still maintained their traditional service, distinctive menu and reasonable prices. Hedonists remain in them can enjoy and feel like home. Because it is not without reason called the cafe as a "university of life".

 

In the book "Taverns from the old Belgrade" dr Vidoje Golubovic said interesting information associated with each special taverns. Here are some...  

AMERICA - one of the most famous seaside tavern, in the Green market. It gathered lovers of oriental pleasures. He served the best Turkish delight.

TRANDAFILOVIC - well-known cafe in Cubura, chroniclers was cited as the most famous in this part of the city until the First World War, stating that the dishes talked about her all of Belgrade. From it, they say, did not come out before dawn.  

MOSCOW -  restaurant that is reached even in the Serbian and French literature. Opened in 1906, when was completed the construction of the eponymous hotel. It was built by the Imperial Russian insurance company "Rossi - Fonsiyer". It was the center of social and cultural life of the city. 

GENTLEMAN’S TAVERN - famous Belgrade café near the river Sava. It is assumed that it was built in twenties of the 19th century.

ACADEMY - restaurant in the passage of the Academy of Sciences and Arts. In it were read by local and foreign newspapers, and in the evening, as the chroniclers recorded, played the orchestra. Tavern also had a room for billiards.  

BULEVAR  - one of the most attractive Belgrade's coffee shops from the late 19th century. It was in the Terazije neighborhood. Belgradians were proud of its great hall where banquets were held.

 

Did you visit some of these taverns? Tell us your impressions.

 

 

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