The White Palace
The White Palace (Serbian: Beli Dvor) is the Serbian royal palace located in Belgrade. It is part of the Royal Compound, a complex of royal residences and green areas located in the Dedinje district, one of the most populated parts of the Serbian capital. The Royal Compound covers an area of 100 hectares, of which 27 surround the Royal Palace and 12 the White Palace.
The White House was designed in neo-Palladian style by architect Aleksandar Đorđević, probably inspired by 18th-century English villas such as Ditchley Park. Its interiors were decorated by the French house Maison Jansen in the English Georgian style. The furniture is in the Russian style of the 19th century.
During the construction of the Royal Palace, Yugoslav King Alexander I wanted to build a house for his children, so the White Palace came into existence. After the assassination of King Alexander I in 1934 in Marseille, Queen Mary and the prince’s children, including the young King Peter II, who was 11 years old, stayed at the Royal Palace and the New Palace in downtown Belgrade, which became the family’s official residence. later the seat of the Serbian presidency. The construction of the White Palace continued until 1936 when the works were completed. It then became the residence of Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia and his family until King Peter II came of age.
The exterior walls are plastered in white, while the decorations of the windows, cornices and pillars in stone are always white, which is why the building got its name. The main façade has a flat central structure with two protruding side masses. The atrium is preceded by a portico with pillars reminiscent of the Doric style, which supports the terrace overlooking the windows on the second floor. There are three entrance doors and they all have glass panes: they are separated by pilasters with capitals of the same style as the pillars. On the second floor, three central windows have a decoration that ends in a triangular molding and is flanked by ionic pilasters that support the gable at the top of the facade, above three small windows on the third floor. The windows on the first floor of the two side bodies are three-part: the central one is higher and ends with an arch.
The first floor of the building is raised from the ground floor: to the atrium, behind the pillars, there is a staircase, while all around the building the height difference is decorated with hewn stone. The side walls are flat with a slight central protrusion, while the rear façade is completely flat and also has a porch supported by double ionic pillars preceded by a staircase. The three rear access doors are separated by double ionic pilasters.
Around the terrace of the building stretches a balustrade with stone pillars; the same decoration is present on the balustrades of the terraces that cover the atriums and on the balconies. The interior has a very large entrance leading to a dining room furnished in the style of Chippendale and to other rooms with furniture in the style of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The entrance overlooks the gallery on the second floor which is reached by a staircase and which is entered from another room. A large window on the ceiling gives light to both floors of the building.
After the Second World War, when the communist government ruled the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the White Palace was used by Tito, and later by Slobodan Milošević. After the “Bulldozer Revolution” on October 5, 2000, the royal family, who lived in the United Kingdom, was invited to return to Yugoslavia, which they did in 2001. Prince Alexander Karađorđević, his wife Catherine, and the prince’s three children now live in the royal compound.
The White House is open to the public on weekends between April and November. The palace houses a variety of collections, including paintings by Eugène Fromentin, Simon Vouet, Nicolas Poussin, Sébastien Bourdon, Albrecht Altdorfer, Rembrandt, Paolo Veronese, Antonio Canaletto, Bruegel, Biagio d’Antonio, Giuseppe Crespo, Frany Xaver Winterhalter, Đuro Jakšić, Stevan Todorović, Ivan Meštrović and Vlaho Bukovac.
Old Palace was the royal residence for the Obrenovic dynasty, while today is the Assembly of Belgrade. It is at the corner of Kralja Milana and Dragoslava Jovanovica Streets, across from the New Palace. Palace, which was built by King Milan in the period 1881-1884, was the residence of King Petar I Karadjordjevic (period 1903-1921) and King Alexander I (1921-1922), and today it is the seat of the Belgrade City Assembly. In the spirit of academic and Renaissance decoration, it was designed by Alexander Bulgarian. It‘s a very representative building, which was originally embellished with two domes with golden crowns on top. However, since the Palace was badly damaged in World War II, today‘s appearance of the Palace is somewhat changed.
Commissioned between the two world wars by soon-to-be-assassinated King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, the Royal and White Palaces in Belgrade’s exclusive Dedinje neighborhood were residences of King Peter II and used by the communist regime after WWII. Today they are home to the descendants of the Karađorđević dynasty and can be visited only by guided tour. The two-hour tour leaves from Nikola Pašić Square Wednesdays and on weekends from April through to October.
Covered in white marble, the Royal Palace was built in 1929 in the Serbian-Byzantine style. Its most impressive rooms are the Entrance Hall (decorated with copies of frescoes from Serbia’s medieval monasteries), the baroque Blue Drawing Room, and the Renaissance-style Dining Room and Gold Drawing Room. The classicist White Palace – intended for the king’s three sons and only completed after his assassination, in 1937 – has several rooms furnished in the style of Louis XV and Louis XVI.
The basement (with a wine cellar, billiards room, and cinema) is painted in the style of the Terem Palace at the Kremlin in Moscow, featuring scenes from Serbian national mythology. The palaces house a large art collection from the Karađorđević family, and the complex also includes a small chapel dedicated to St Andrew.
The Fantast castle was built in the spirit of pseudo-romantic architecture of “fantastic castles”, such as the Swallow’s Nest in the Crimea. The base of the building is square with towers at the corners, and a representative main porch and staircase. The side towers and the white color of the castle are the most impressive and make the building monumental. The tower and four corner towers are made in the neo-Gothic style, and the ceremonial hall and both entrances are made in the neoclassical style.
The chapel was built at the same time as the castle, in the neo-Byzantine style. The iconostasis was painted by our famous painter Uroš Predić, otherwise a great friend of Bogdan Dunđerski. Next to the castle, a chapel in the neo-Byzantine style was built, dedicated to St. George, and it was partly done by the Belgrade master of the iconostasis Carabiner.
Three mosaics on the portal and the Last Supper were also painted by Uroš Predić in two years. The Mother of God got the appearance of Mara at the request of Bogdan Dunđerski himself. The chapel, where Bogdan Dunđerski is buried, was also not spared mysticism. All you have to do comes to this chapel for the Transfiguration and you will feel that mystique. Especially interesting is the icon of Stefan the First-Crowned, which has a silver imprint of someone’s lips in its lower right corner.
That imprint allegedly mystically appears and mystically disappears. Few people have seen him. They say he is most visible at the Transfiguration. On that day, at midnight, the winding soul of Bogdan Dunđerski leaves the grave and goes on a tour of the estate, his Fantast.
The castle complex itself is located in the hunting area of the Bečej Hunting Society and abounds in several games (pheasants, rabbits, partridges) and high game (deer and roe deer). In addition to hunting, it is possible to organize fishing in a nearby pond. The castle is 14 kilometers away from Bečej on the road to Bačka Topola.
The castle complex covers about 65 hectares. In the castle itself, there are two ceremonial halls: a larger one with 70 seats and a smaller one with 30 seats, a ceremonial salon with period furniture, as well as Bogdan’s salon with old furniture. There is also a memorial display that talks about the owners. A restaurant with two halls was located in the basement of the castle. Until recently, the hotel was located in the castle.