Senjak

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Template:For Senjak (Template:Lang-sr, Template:IPA-sh) is an urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia. Located in Savski Venac, one of the three municipalities that constitute the very center of the city, it is an affluent and distinguished neighborhood lavished with embassies, diplomatic residences, and mansions. Senjak is generally considered one of the wealthiest parts of Belgrade.

History and etymology

Before it became interesting to Belgrade's upper classes, Senjak was an excellent natural lookout. As many farmers kept their hay throughout the entire city, fires were quite frequent, so it was ordered for hay to be collected and kept in one place, and the area of modern Senjak was chosen, apparently also getting its name in the process (from the word seno, Serbian for hay). A more romantic theory of the neighborhood's name (from the word sena, Serbian for 'shade' or 'shadow') confronts the former theory.

Senjak originally belonged to the former municipality of Top?idersko Brdo, which in 1957 merged with the municipality of Zapadni Vra?ar to create the municipality of Savski Venac.

During the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, a number of buildings in the neighborhood such as the Swiss ambassador's residence were damaged or affected by the conflict.

The first tram link established in Belgrade was from the Kalemegdan fortress to Senjak.

Geography

Senjak is located 3 km south-west of downtown Belgrade, on top of the hilly cliff-like crest of the western slopes of Top?idersko Brdo, overlooking Belgrade Fair right below and the Sava river (from which, at the closest point, Senjak is only 100 meters away). It borders the neighborhoods of Top?ider and Careva ?uprija (south), Mostar (north), Prokop and Dedinje (east). The triangularly shaped neighborhood has many smaller streets but it is bounded by two wide boulevards, named after Serbian army vojvodas from World War I: Vojvoda Miši? and Vojvoda Putnik. The population of Senjak (local community Top?idersko Brdo-Senjak) was 7,249 in 2002.

Characteristics

Just like the neighboring Dedinje, Senjak is generally considered among Belgraders as one of the richest neighborhoods in the city. After 1945, it shared much of the same fate as Dedinje: when Communists took over, they declared almost all former residents as state enemies and forced them out of their mansions, so the new Communist political and military elite moved in. Some measures in removing the former high class were brutal as only those who fled the country stayed alive. Those unlucky were taken into a nearby woods and shot, with their remains lying in unmarked graves for decades until they were exposed by construction workers clearing trees for a new soccer field.

Some of the main points of interest in the area are:

  • Military Academy; after World War I, military academy was constructed by orders of King Peter I. The academy's building is majestic, with heavy cream-colored walls and tall windows. During World War II the occupational German forces made it the headquarters for their military operations in the Balkans. The Allies bombed the neighborhood during the war in order to destroy the headquarters and the bridge over the Sava, but they didn't manage to hit it or cause any damage to the building or the bridge.
  • House of King Peter; a vacant summer house of King Peter I, it stands across the soccer field of "FK Grafi?ar" and close to the building of the military academy.
  • Museum of African Art; it was established from the private collection of a Yugoslav diplomat, and contains many rare pieces.
  • Museum of Toma Rosandi?; located in the house, where the famous sculptor lived and worked until his death, was built by himself in 1929, and now holds a unique collection that is, unfortunately, not open to public, except on certain days (such as The Museum Night).
  • Ecole Française de Belgrade, an international French school founded in 1951. The school is composed of a nursery school, an elementary school, a middle school and a high school.
  • Senjak Gymnastics Club, which was a starting point for the future career of the renowned Yugoslav rhythmic gymnast Milena Reljin.
  • The Archives of Yugoslavia and stadium and restaurant "FK Grafi?ar", both in the vicinity of Top?iderska zvezda, small roundabout with streets spreading in all directions connecting Senjak, Dedinje, downtown Belgrade, Top?ider and further to the south (Kanarevo Brdo, Rakovica, etc.).
  • Two state protected trees of the Himalayan white pine, native to Afghanistan and Himalaya. They were planted in 1929, in the yard of the family of the famous scientist Milutin Milankovi?, in the Žanke Stoki? street.
  • The westernmost section of Senjak, called Gospodarska Mehana (Template:Lang-sr) after the oldest operational kafana in Belgrade (founded in 1820 in the then periphery of the city), occupies the slopes descending to the Sava river, just across the southern end of Belgrade Fair and north of the Top?ider river's mouth into the Sava. In the early 19th century it had its own customs house and was a stop for the ferry which transported pigs across the Sava into Austria.
  • BIGZ building
  • Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration (member of Singidunum University)
  • International School of Belgrade

References

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External links

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