Definitions

Dedinje

Dedinje

Dedinje (Serbian Cyrillic: Дедиње) is an urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in Belgrade's municipality of Savski Venac. Dedinje is generally considered the wealthiest part of Belgrade, a site of numerous villas and mansions owned by the diplomats and the top members of city's plutocracy.

Location

Dedinje is located on the eastern slopes of the hill of Topčidersko Brdo, 7-8 kilometers south of downtown Belgrade to which it is connected by the Kneza Miloša street. It borders the neighborhoods of Senjak (west), Prokop and Mostar (north), Stadion and Diplomatska Kolonija (actually, Dedinje's sub-neighborhood; east), Banjica, Lisičji Potok and Topčider (south). It is well connected to the other parts of Belgrade by several boulevards (of Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević, Vojvoda Putnik) and broad streets (Teodora Drajzera, Neznanog junaka, etc). Main street in the neighborhood itself is the Užička street.

History

Before it was urbanized, the area of modern Dedinje was known for its vineyards and had different names, though all variants of one the same: Dedija, Dedina, Dedino brdo (literally, old man's hill; Serbian deda means old man, grandfather).

Dedinje belonged to the municipality of Topčidersko Brdo, which in 1957 merged with the municipality of Zapadni Vračar to create the municipality of Savski Venac. Dedinje (local communities which comprise its area) had a population of 8,704 in 2002.

Dedinje became popular among Belgrade's rich even before World War II, when it was on the outskirts of the city (thus many military barracks intended to defend the city, which later spawned tens of kilometers further). Many beautiful mansions in green neighborhood have been built, but in 1945 when Communists took over, they declared almost all former residents a state enemies and forced them out of their houses, so the new Communist political and military elite moved in, Tito being among the first. It continued after the collapse of Communism in 1980s, when the nouveau riche (politicians (like Slobodan Milošević), shady businessmen (like Karić family or Željko Mitrović) and criminals (like Željko Ražnatović Arkan) moved into the neighborhood and began expanding their villas and erecting high concrete walls. Most of such construction was illegal, often intruding on the property of Dedinje families that had been there for generations preceding the arrival of the nouveau riche/criminal class. Apart from this, the neighborhood is a site of many embassies, diplomatic residences and some of Belgrade's most expensive restaurants and clubs.

Characteristics

Some of the prominent features of the neighborhood are:

  • Hajd park, occupying the northern, triangular section of the neighborhood, named after the London's park of the same name (Hyde Park)
  • The House of Flowers and the adjoining "Museum of the 25th May", the tomb of the former Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito.
  • The vast secret military complex of Karaš (in Teodora Drajzera street), built and dug into the hill from 1965 to 1980, with numerous barracks and kilometers of underground passages, brought to public for the still unsolved murder of two young soldiers on a watch in 2004.
  • A hospital complex which includes the hospitals of Železnička bolnica and one of the major Belgrade's hospital Dragiša Mišović, whose neonatal nursery ward was notoriously bombed by NATO in 1999, even with the ongoing deliveries.
  • Ultra-modern building of RTV Pink.
  • Beli Dvor ("White Court"), a court of the former Serbian and Yugoslav royal dynasty Karađorđević and the present residence of Aleksandar Karađorđević and his family.
  • several old or rare non-native trees protected by the state. They include:

- the cedar tree in the Tolstojeva street, believed to be planted personally by the major Serbian botanist, Josif Pančić, in 1880.

- the tulip tree, between the Pukovnika Bacića and Maglajska streets, native to China and North America, with tulip-like flowers.

- yellow-flowered sophora tree, native to China and Korea.

References

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