Sittin’ on the Dock of the Danube in Zemun
We were fortunate to have good weather when my
(sister in law) was in town, so we took her to Zemun. Zemun is technically within Belgrade’s city limits, but its history and location across the Danube has a very different feel than downtown Belgrade.
That’s because the municipality of Zemun spent much of its history as under Austrian-Hungarian rule rather than Ottoman rule. From 1717-1918, Zemun was an important border city, and, if this article is correct, a point for smugglers, spies and rebels passing into Belgrade. The city regained a nefarious reputation in the 1990s, when the Zemun clan of the Serbian mafia rose to power. But not to worry, tourists and RHOB family: the city is a safe and popular destination for foreigners, Beogradjani, and Zemunci alike.
Zemun is also distinctive for its diverse population. By the mid-1700s, Zemun had become a melting pot of religion and ethnicity, and many Germans settled into the area. Here’s a postcard of Zemun that calls Trg Magistarski “Haupt Platz.”
And here’s a more recent photo:
Zemun shared municipal services with Belgrade in the 1930s, but it appears to have been officially incoporated into the White City after WWII. Fortunately, Zemun’s riverside walk, 1700s buildings, and slower pace of life were left relatively untouched.
There have been a few new additions, though. I’m pretty sure this isn’t historic graffiti, and the barges ferrying Mercedes along the river look pretty new. There is a lot to see in the heart of Zemun, but we decided to simply take in the sights from a riverside restaurant, sitting on the dock of the Danube, wasting time…