|Belgrade, Studentski trg 1|
Belgrade Attractions - Captain Misa's building from the list Belgrade Attractions is one of the most famous structures of the nineteenth century in Belgrade, and is home to the Rectorate of the University of Belgrade and part of the Faculty of Philosophy. Situated at Studentski trg, ithe house from the list Belgrade Attractions was built in the period between 1857 and 1863, according to the plans of Czech architect Jan Nevola. After completion of construction, Captain Miša gave this building to his home country for educational purposes.
In 1863 the building was given to the Great School, and today one of its half belongs to the Belgrade University, while the other half of the building belongs to the Department of Faculty for the Serbian Language and Philology and to the Seminar department for Byzantine Greek classical languages.
At the time, the edifice, as an architectural monument, was admired by fellow citizens as it was one of the richest and highest buildings in Belgrade. It was built next to the former hotel "Imperial" with whom it belonged to a series of public buildings along the main Belgrade square - the Great Market.
The construction of this facility in the immediate vicinity of Knez Mihailova street, which was still in the process of regulation, marked a turning point in the construction and architectural thinking that ruled Belgrade architecture during that period. The architecture of this building is a testimony to the transformation of Belgrade from an oriental, small town into a European capital of modern urban structures and representative buildings.
The architecture of the building represents a mixture of stylistic elements of Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance facades with decorative embellished facades. On the facade facing the University Park are sculptures of Apollo (right) and Minerva (left). In its time, the Captain Miša's building was the most monumental building in Belgrade.
It’s popular name the palace got from its builder, captain Misa Anastasijevic, famous Belgrade tradesman of salt and shipowner. The title of a "Danube captain" Anastasijevic received from Prince Milos Obrenovic, as a sign of their friendship and cooperation. The palace was built according to the plans of Czech architect Jan Nevola, who at the time of construction served as chief engineer of the Popečiteljstva vnutrenih dela. Work on the construction of the facility was performed by a builder Josef Steinlechner. The original intent of Captain Misa was to build a palace for the would-be royal couple - his daughter Sara and Djordje Karadjordjevic. However, as the St. Andrew's Assembly in 1859 decided to return Prince Milos to the imperial throne in Serbia, all hope of Karadjordjevic coming to power fell to dust.
Even during construction, the building was bequeathed to the "fatherland" to accommodate more cultural and educational institutions of the Principality of Serbia, it is immediately after the construction that the Great School moved in, followed by a High School, the Ministry of Education, Realka, National Library, National Museum and others. The ceremonial hall of the palace was a theater of important historical events: it was used in 1864 by the National Assembly; In 1868 it was home to the founding assembly of the first engineering association in Serbia; in 1875 it was home to the first exhibition of architectural records and copies of frescoes from Serbian medieval monasteries edited by Mihailo Valtrović and Dragutin Milutinović.
The wealth of decorative elements on the facades, whose origins can be sought in Byzantine, Gothic and early-Renaissance architectural sources, aroused the admiration of Belgradians, who are called the building amongst themselves the "Venetian palace." Originally, the base of the building had a symmetrical, proper form, with two distinct parts, a separated entrance area (vestibule) on the ground floor and a hall on the second floor. The romantic style of the facade particularly contributed to the contrast of the golden opposing flat surfaces and window frames as well as details implemented in terracotta. Symmetry of the building underlined the three-part division of the facade with the central portion (projection), emphasized roof cornice with the observatory at the top, with slightly lower lateral projections. The central, most representative facade, separated by shallow pilasters (pilaster strips) ending with towers on the roof crown, stand out with windows (double windows) projected on the model of an semicircular, venetian arc.
The decorative facade repertoire, in addition to the frieze of blind arcades and a decorative parapet in the highest zone consists of two full sculptures in niches, placed symmetrically on either side of the main entrance to the first floor level. The sculptures "Apollo with lyre" and "Minerva with spear and shield" allude to artistic, educational and scientific purpose with their thematic and symbolic meaning, which the building was intended to have even during bricklaying. The sculptures and medallions featuring an angel above the entrance are work of an unknown author. The peculiarity of the plastic decorations on the main facade of the building represents one of the rare surviving emblems of the Principality of Serbia, located in the medallion above the windows of the second floor, as well as in the two medallions with the year of construction, made in terracotta.
Plenty of details made in terracotta and other industrial materials indicate the wealth of the builder of the facility, as these materials during the construction of the facility could only be imported from abroad. It is assumed that copies of the Captain Miša's building were made in Vienna or Budapest, with which Serbia was the closest in cultural and artistic relations at the time. The stone facade parts, in particular the decorative console of balconies and arches which framed the entrance area were made out of stone from the territory of Serbia.
Captain Misa's building, in addition to its beauty and slick, aroused the attention of passers-by with its height. As the highest building of Belgrade, which is the title retained almost to the beginning of the twentieth century, it served to set up an observation post, which "rises 120 feet above the square and provides a beautiful view of the Belgrade and its surroundings". In a glass square tower - pavilion, the night guard had the means to overlook almost the whole of belgrade during both nights and days. He warned firefighters with a long horn on the outbreak of fire. This glass watchtower was in use until 1919, until the introduction of telephone lines, when the horn became outdated and useless.