For a hotel in Belgrade, check out the historic Hotel Moskva. Opened in 1906, anyone who is anyone who has visited Belgrade has stayed here, from British author Graham Green to Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie. It was used as Gestapo Headquarters in 1941-44. It was ideally located right in the center of Belgrade at the end of the pedestrianized main street that leads to Belgrade fortress. Immaculate rooms, friendly staff and a good, cooked breakfast.
Moskva is a 4 star hotel, and one of the oldest operating hotels in Serbia. Originally a 36 room inn within the Palace Rossiya, Moskva opened in 1908, with investment from the Russian Empire. The hotel eventually expanded its facilities to take up the entire palace. It was personally opened by King Peter I of Serbia.
Moskva is located directly on Terazije Square in the downtown core, and part of the Stari Grad municipality. It provides a wonderful skyline view of Novi Beograd, across the Sava River. Three streets intersect here, Terazije, Prizrenska, and Balkanska. There are eleven active water springs underneath the Hotel. But it is the only hotel in Belgrade without a Room 13. Most charmingly, the restaurant is named after Tchaikovsky.
This is from the hotel’s website: Welcome to Moskva Hotel, a landmark of Belgrade, one of the most important architectural gems of the Serbian capital, built in the style of the Russian secession which has been under state protection since the second half of the previous century. It was inaugurated by King Petar I Karadjordjević himself in 1908. During its over a century long history, this historic hotel has hosted over 45 million people including some famous names such as: Albert Einstein, Ana Pavlova, Leonid Brezhnev, Indira Gandhi, Ray Charles, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Bernardo Bertolucci, Orson Welles, Louis Armstrong, Samuel Beckett, Jee-yack Nicholson, Tiger Woods, Nikola Tesla, Sinatra, Albert Camus, Maksim Gorky, Graham Greene, Audrey Hepburn, Thom Hanks, Jean-Paul Sartre, Kirk Douglas, Leon Trotsky, Michael Douglas, Milla Jovovich and many others. And most importantly, my buddy Dirty Pat McDermott (and Renae) from Annapolis, by way of Bucharest.
Regarding the architecture: The building was designed by Belgrade architect Jovan Ilkić and supported by architects Andra Stevanović and Nikola Nestorović. Ilkić’s design employed a Secessionist style that skillfully incorporated Neoclassical elements. The surface of the outer walls from the second floor to the roof were lined with yellowish tiles decorated with green-colored ornaments. The ceramic lining was brought in from the Zsolnay factory in Pécs that supposedly still keeps the casts it originally used to mold it. The upper part of the hotel’s façade was laid with a maiolica decorative relief titled Glorification of Russia, which depicts the Roman god Neptune. Neptune often symbolized Imperial Russia’s yearning for maritime dominance.
So, rumor has it that the hotel is haunted. This is not the first time I have stayed in a hotel rumored to be haunted. Anyone else been to the famous Mission Inn in Riverside?
Well, with this history and architecture, and my first visit to Serbia, I look forward. Maybe the ghost of Albert Einstein will instill some life changing wisdom into my meager brain? Or maybe I will end up a trumpet virtuoso like King Louis Armstrong? The previous guest list is truly amazing.
I will be here for two interesting nights. Their website makes it clear that with Russia removed from the SWIFT system, hotel business with carry on without regard to Russia.