Read, Write, Run, Roam

Belgrade: where the streets have four names


…but I often was

When I first arrived in Belgrade, I found a map in one of the million folders we were given upon arrival. I kept getting lost with that map. Utterly, completely lost. Muz tried to pin it on my famous lack of direction, but the truth seemed more bizarre: I had been given an old map with completely different names for certain streets. It also didn’t help that my map was written in Latin alphabet and the street signs were Cyrillic.

People told us that some of the streets had political names that didn’t quite fit with current times, and changed to reflect older names–names that probably also had political origins, but no one cared about them anymore.

Long after I bought a decent map, of COURSE, signs like this started going up all over town:

And while it’s nice to see the history, nothing explained why the names changed. But I suppose that’s fodder for another post.

When I returned to Belgrade this summer, I found that the street signs had changed once again. The names were the same, thankfully, but now many were written in Latin and Cyrillic.

 This is great for tourism, but I can’t help but feel a bit of pride that I learned my way around town pretty well without Latin. Well, without Latin and with the indispensable Magic Map. Even with a command of Cyrillic, no trip to Belgrade is complete without one of these.  Because you never know when a street will have a new name.

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One response

  1. We spent some years in Cyprus wrestling with the same problem, different alphabet. Great post!

    January 12, 2013 at 9:17 am

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