Belgrade, Serbia features a number of cultural monuments of national significance, and the New Palace in the centre of the city is among them. The New Palace can only be visited on certain days (usually it’s the first Sunday in the month) in a tour that also encompasses the National Parliament at the opposite end of Pioneer Park. During the tour, you are allowed to see several official rooms and cabinets of the Serbian President, his advisors and secretaries, the Grand Hall, the Congress Hall and some exceptional works of art created by prominent Serbian and Yugoslavian artists.
The Grand Hall of the New Palace
The Grand Hall of the New Palace is where various delegations, coming to visit the President, are welcomed. Besides the stylish interior, featuring marble columns and floor, you will have an opportunity to observe allegorical sculptures representing the main industries of former Yugoslavia and a bas-relief illustrating the building-up of the country destroyed by the Second World War. These are masterpieces of the famous Yugoslav sculptor and architect Toma Rosandic.
Main industries are represented including agriculture, illustrated by a young man and woman carrying wheat and fruits, and animal livestock breeding, illustrated by another pair that is accompanied with sheep. The bas-relief depicts young people working (taking place in post-war Yugoslavia), building roads, factories and other strategic facilities.
In the Grand Hall, you can also enjoy a small exhibition, tracing the development of the New Palace since its foundation.
Official rooms and cabinets of the President’s Office
On the first floor, you’ll be guided through a couple of rooms and cabinets where meetings take place. Cabinets are conveniently named, featuring prevalent colour variations. Yellow Cabinet, for example, is a meeting room with modern furnishings; the walls are adorned with paintings by famous Serbian painter Petar Lubarda. In Yellow Cabinet, pay attention to two flags, which are identical only at first glance. One is the Serbian national flag, while the other is the presidential flag.
Green Cabinet is also a meeting room (refer to this section’s photo), where commendations to the meritorious individuals are granted. Paintings created by a celebrated Serbian painter Sava Sumanovic adorn the cabinet’s walls. Rose Salon used to be a bedroom, and today it’s a study of the President’s advisor. Displayed in the salon are various gifts from foreign delegations. For the record, had you been here half a century ago, you would have seen a rock from the moon, gifted to Marshal Tito, the Yugoslav President who ruled post-war Yugoslavia until his death in 1980.
The Congress Hall
Grand Congress Hall is where official receptions, dinners and awarding ceremonies take place. Besides other works of art, two large frescoes, depicting the Kosovo Battle in 1389 (in the related photo) and demonstrations of March 27th in 1941, adorn the hall’s walls. While the Kosovo Battle symbolizes the start of the decline of the Serbian medieval state, in March of 1941 the people of Yugoslavia overthrew the government that joined the Tripartite Pact, consisting of Germany, Italy and Japan.
Useful information regarding the New Palace
To schedule a visit to the New Palace and National Parliament, you need to call the Tourist Organization of Belgrade, at the telephone number +381 11 2635 343, ten days prior to the specified date at the latest. The free guided, hour-long tour is organized in Serbian and in English.