Belgrade » Beograd | 81 R I TAM GRADA / RHYTHM OF THE CI TY Gotovo sve kuće duž ove stare beogradske čaršije imale su stanove na spratu, a u prizemlju ugostiteljske lokale i dućane Almost all houses along this old Belgrade market street had their living quarters on the first floor, with the ground floor occupied by hospitality venues and shops K I NG P E T E R ST R E E T When you visit Belgrade for the first time and don't have much time to get acquainted with and understand it, the best option is to traverse Kralja Petra Street. Located at the very heart of the city, it is a true representative of Belgrade's history With a stroll along Kralja Petra Street you’ll be able to familiarise yourself with theheritageof thedifferent ethnic groups of old Belgrade, as well as the shifts of different building styles, from Balkan architecture, via historical styles of academicism, secession, modernismand art deco, to contemporary styles of architecture. This important city thoroughfare symbolically links the Sava andDanube rivers, andactually the Sava andDanube escarpments, Kosančićev venac (Kosančić’sWreath) and the neighbourhood of Dorćol, a former Serbian and Turkish part of the city. The area used to be entered through Varoš Gate (marking one of the four main gates of the city that was located, according to written sources, at the intersection of Pop Lukine and Kosančićev venac streets), with access roads from various parts of the world having converged there since ancient times, and it thus comes as no surprise that this area has always had a commercial character. ALL THE SPLENDOUR OF BELGRADE ARCHITECTURE Almost all houses along this old Belgrade market street had their living quarters on the first floor, with the ground floor occupied by hospitality venues and shops. And even today we can see the great importance of Kralja Petra Street to Belgrade, due to this street and its periphery being home to the largest number of cultural monuments in our city, which are cared for by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Belgrade. A total of 14 suchmonuments of culture exist there, extending over four spatial, cultural and historical complexes: the territoryofKnezMihailova Street; the area aroundDositej‘s Lycée, Kosančićev venac; and the Historical Core of Belgrade, underneath which is located the previously excavated and researched archaeological site of Ancient Singidunum, which has been proclaimed as a cultural asset. Back in the Middle Ages this street was called Dubrovačka Street, after the Dubrovnik merchants who resided there. It continued to carry this name, in the stretch fromKosančićev venac to Zmaj odNoćaj Street, throughout the19th century anduntil 1904, when it was renamed after King Peter I Karađorđević, in honour of his coronation. That name remained until 1946, when it was renamed Seventh of July Street after World War II and until 1997. Today we again know it as Kralja Petra Street, at least up to the intersection with Tsar Dušan Street, below which it again becomes Dubrovačka Street as it stretches down to the Danube. It was in 1850, whilst staying at Belgrade’s oldest hotel, the Staro zdanje Hotel (originally called Kod jelena [Jelena’s Place]), whichwas actually located in Kralja Petra Street (on the spot now occupied by building No. 10), that travel writer Siegfried Kapper observed Belgrade through a window and wrote about howthearea resoundedwithdifferentdialects and languages, while various costumes wereworn and goods brought from exotic places and faraway travels were traded. Constructionworks undertakenduring the late 19th and early 20th centuries would gradually change the former oriental face of the street completely, as merchants understood the attractiveness of beautiful and representativebuildings of Europeancapitals that made it easier to attract customers.The concentration of properties owned by publicly prominent andwealthy citizens demonstratedKraljaPetra Street’s unique place in the structure and life of the city, while this street was simultaneously also the political, ecclesiastical, academic and social hub of Belgrade. This street’smost valuable edificeshavebeengran-