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Kaluđerica

Kaluđerica (Serbian Cyrillic: Калуђерица) is a suburban settlement of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in the municipality of Grocka.

Location

Kaluđerica is the westernmost settlement in the municipality of Grocka. It is located 8 kilometres east of Belgrade (44.75° North, 20.57° East), and stretches in two fork-like urban formations between the road of Smederevski put to the north and the Belgrade-Niš highway to the south. The settlement is built in the hollow (micro valley of the Kaluđerički potok creek), with a specific microclimate, so out of all parts of Belgrade Kaluđerica is often the foggiest and the first one to have snow in winter. In modern Serbian, word kaluđerica means a nun, though the name was probably derived from the word kaluđer which means a monk (kaluđerica - a monk's place).

Population

Kaluđerica is one of the fastest growing settlements in Serbia. According to Census of 2002, Kaluđerica had a population of 22,248 and an estimated 23,481 on December 31, 2005, and being classified as a rural settlement (village) it would arguably be the largest village in the Balkans. However, most of the houses are built without the necessary building permits, so population is presumably much higher, especially after the wars in former Yugoslavia and the influx of the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo and Metohija (journalists often nickname Kaluđerica the largest illegal settlement in Europe). Both Belgrade's City Public Transportation Company (GSP) and the Telekom of Serbia, based on the number of people using their services, estimate the population between 45,000 and 50,000. News reports of 75,000 inhabitants can't be hold as true.

Kaluđerica, in urban sense, grew with Belgrade, that is, with its most eastern part Mali Mokri Lug on the north, along the Smederevski put, and Veliki Mokri Lug to the south, divded from Kaluđerica (that is, from Kaluđerica's section of Klenak) by the highway. Population of Kaluđerica:

  • 1921 - 650
  • 1971 - < 2,000
  • 1981 - 12,435
  • 1991 - 17,534
  • 2002 - 22,248
  • 2005 - 23,481

Kaluđerica is 3 (or 5) times more populous than its municipal seat, Grocka. A motion of annexing it to the city municipality of Zvezdara is rejected by the Zvezdara municipal assembly, as the problems of living in Kaluđerica are enormous and, from this point, seem to be unsolvable.

Living conditions

Significant part of settlement of 20,000 is built without any permits and plans, and for that part none of the communal problems is even remotely solved. Kaluđerica is notorious by its lack of sewage (which during strong rains spills over in the streets) or transportation (short and bending streets, with only one straight street in the settlement, and only one bus line of the public transportation, 309). With a total lack of control in the settlements expansion, in few cases it even happened that someone builds a house in the middle of the street, disconnecting it.

Neighborhoods of Kaluđerica

As Kaluđerica rapidly developed, several distinct sub-neighborhoods within the settlement were formed. Those on the north, along the Smederevski put, are mostly named after the kafanas which formerly were the only features on the road before the settlement expanded.

  • Čardak; easternmost extension of Kaluđerica, which extends from the neighborhood Tri Tiganja on the west and continues into the settlement of Leštane on the east and Radmilovac, across the road. Along and above the Smederevski put, it was named after kafana of the same name (Turkish: çardak, meaning "summerhouse").
  • Klenak; eastern extension. It is the highest part of the settlement, on the hill above, with a beautiful view on the rest of Kaluđerica. Klenak extends from Stara Kaluđerica, settlements old core on the east and stretches along the highway, with its eastern part in Zvezdara municipality, as the extension of Mali Mokri Lug. A bridge over the highway connects Klenak and Mali Mokri Lug with Veliki Mokri Lug, which expanded on the other side of the highway.
  • Moravac; north-west extension, the closest part to Belgrade. Northern sections of the neighborhood, along the Smederevski put, are administratively part of the municipality of Zvezdara. It extends into the neighborhood of Mali Mokri Lug on the west, Novo Naselje on the east and Stara Kaluđerica on the south. Named after kafana of the same name (meaning "man from Morava").
  • Novo Naselje; as the name suggests ("new settlement") is a new, rapidly developing and mostly commercial zone along the Smederevski put. It is located between the neighborhoods of Moravac (on the east), Tri Tiganja (on the west) and Stara Kaluđerica (on the south).
  • Stara Kaluđerica (old Kaluđerica), the oldest core of the settlement, further to the south from the main road. Mostly located along the Vojvode Stepe Stepanovića street.
  • Tri Tiganja; north-central section. It is an area where road which leads to the Belgrade city dump and the Nuclear Institute "Vinča" separates from the Smederevski put. There is a developing commercial zone along the road and the crossroads. It was named after kafana of the same name (meaning "three frying pans").

References

  • Jovan Đ. Marković (1990): Enciklopedijski geografski leksikon Jugoslavije; Svjetlost-Sarajevo; ISBN 86-01-02651-6

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