August 2018 \ News \ FEATURE ON SERBIA
At peace in Belgrade square

At the magic hour, just past midnight...

By Saket Suman

At the magic hour, just past midnight when the rest of the world is in a slumber, lovers gather “near the horse” to give wings to desires that seldom find expression during the day. And what do they do? They laugh and make merry, caress their lovers, dance their hearts out and sing melodies that soothe the atmosphere. They use the cacophony of the city’s vibrant nightlife as a little night music to snatch fragments of joy from their otherwise humdrum lives. Republic Square is Belgrade’s central point and the main gathering venue for locals and visitors alike. In its concept and planning, it is in line with most other European town squares and, in fact, one can also draw similarities with New Delhi’s Connaught Place (now called Rajiv Chowk). Just as the Central Park is the meeting point around which the inner and outer circles run in India's national capital, there is a bronze statue of Prince Michael on a horse at the centre of Republic Square and surrounding it are some of Belgrade’s most recognisable public buildings, including the National Museum and the National Theatre.

But while the city’s distinct architecture--shining in the faint moonlight--draws visitors for photographs and selfies, Republic Square also has a lot of open spaces, fountains, benches to sit on and just be with oneself, along with a large number of eateries, bars and cafes dotting the various lanes that emerge from the Square. “Meet me near the horse,” is what they say in local terms to refer to the oft-frequented spot by young lovers--as also the middle-aged and old--seeking nothing more than moments of indulgence in each other’s company.

Tags: Saket Suman