Belgrade » Beograd | 69 Od ćevapa do butkice u kiselom kupusu, ovde se služe specijaliteti za koje su se recepti decenijama prenosili sa kolena na koleno / From ćevapi kebabs to pork knuckle in sauerkraut, here they serve specialities made according to recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation for decades. Najstarija kafana u Beogradu je 1946. godine proglašena za spomenik kulture Belgrade‘s oldest kafana tavern was declared a monument of culture in 1946 Tekst/Words: Ana Sibinović, etnolog, Zavod za zaštitu spomenika kulture grada Beograda Fotografije / Photography: Zavod, iStock, Đ. Kojadinović B E LGR ADE ' S OL DEST K A FANA TAVE RN QuestionMark celebrates its 195th birthday FROM 1826, WHEN ITWAS CONVERTED INTOA tavern, until today, almost two centuries later, the arrangement of the space and its appearance have remained almost the same,making this house one of only a few structures that have remained almost completely unchanged architecturally - as a typical urban house from the beginning of the 19th century The famousZnakPitanja [QuestionMark] tavern is one of 16monuments of culture inBelgrade’sKralja Petra Street. The house was built in 1823, at the behest of PrinceMiloš Obrenović, by Naum Ičko, the son of Petar Ičko, famous for the peace treaty known as Ičko’s Peace. It was the property of Prince Miloš until 1826, when he gifted it to his personal doctor, Ećim Tomo Kostić. It was subsequently turned into a tavern, which was a port of call for many important Belgrade personalities. Aone-storeybuilding in theBalkan style, it was built bymastermasons fromGreece in the oldway, usingwoodenbeams, while the design was the work of an unknown architect.There are two bay windows on the main facade. Ritamgrada Rhythmof the city Its owners and names have changed during the course of its existence. Itwasfirst called “Kodpastira” [By the Shepherd], then “Kod Saborne crkve” [By the Cathedral Church], but when this name was considered an insult to the church, a question mark appeared on the tavern, as a temporary name. That “?” has remained from the 19th century until today. It is known that great Serbian language reformer Vuk Stefanović Karadžić frequented this tavernand that it was the first reading roomof newspaper SrpskeNovine [Serbian News].The first game of billiards in Belgrade was played at “?”. It is also known that this was the only tavern to ban smoking. It wasn’t even permitted to smoke in front of the house, according to a ban imposed by Prince Miloš, who “abolished” tobacco smoke there in 1824 due to its close proximity of the Cathedral Church. Protectiveworks have beenundertaken on this building several times, under the supervision of the Belgrade City Institute for the Protectionof CulturalMonuments, but its purpose has never changed. As it was in bygone times, it today remains a gathering place for important figures in the life of the city, but also numerous foreigners who are inexorably drawn to visit the oldest kafana in the capital.