Tasmajdan Stadium – reconstruction of history witnesses

One valuable architectural achievement has been saved from oblivion and devastation, and it will be able to successfully host some future generations of athletes, musicians or musicians.

At the end of January, Tasmajdan Stadium celebrated its 67th birthday. This multifunctional architectural achievement, the work of the architect Uglješe Bogunović i Mihajlo Janković, a few years ago it underwent a thorough reconstruction, but it was not talked about much. Perhaps it is time to make a brief review of the architectural, but also the broader cultural significance of this sports facility. Especially at the moment when the winter weather announces the continuation of the outdoor skating season, which is traditionally held on “Tasha”.

Belgrade below Belgrade

The person who possesses perhaps the most historical information related to the location of the Tasmajdan Stadium is a journalist Zoran Lj. Nikolic. Together with his colleague, Dr. Vidoje Golubović, gave birth to the legendary book “Belgrade below Belgrade“, In which Tasmajdan occupies one of the most interesting chapters. In addition to this achievement, journalist Nikolić is also responsible for the education and direct acquaintance with the location of Tasmajdan, now thousands of Belgraders, but also those who visit our city, through his popular expert guides.

For starters, the name of this location is actually a combination of two Turkish words – tash (stone) i maidan (mine), which is indicated by the underground cave spaces and tunnels, excavated in the oak when the original ancient settlement was located on the site of Belgrade. With the arrival of the Romans, the stone mine has an even more intensive function, which is confirmed by numerous pieces of stone with which the buildings were built within, but also outside the Roman castrum.

Entrance to Tasmajan Stadium; Photo via Branislava Lazović

Underground cave spaces and tunnels were excavated in the oak when the original ancient settlement was located on the site of Belgrade.

Military buildings, temples, houses, aqueduct who brought drinking water, but also numerous sarcophagi, the remains of which were found at the Belgrade Fortress, indicate the same stone excavated in the lagoons of today’s Tasmajdan. In the 19th century, travel writers and chroniclers note that the place was extracted and processed for some time. saltpeter, which was used in the production of gunpowder, and whose first-class quality is testified by Felix Kanitz. On the ground above the mine, for a long time, there was a city cemetery, some of whose monuments (together with the remains of the earth) were moved to the New Cemetery.

The interwar period additionally shaped this space, when it was built on it Church of St. Mark (architects of the Krstić brothers). Tasmajdan welcomes the Second World War as bunker and warehouse to the formations of the Third Reich, who find some objects in it and take them away at the time of withdrawal from Belgrade. After the War, members of the Red Army also investigated and intervened at this location, which from that period has been preserved in an almost original condition. Journalist Nikolić often opens steel armored doors for visitors and leads them through underground tunnels made of massive reinforced concrete. We will not reveal too much about what can be seen inside, because it is better to read a book or apply for professional guidance at the first opportunity.

Tribunes in the rock

Soon after the War, the leaders of Belgrade realized that the city needed one multifunctional stadium, where sports events would take place, but also other public, cultural and artistic activities in the open air. The design is entrusted to the team Bogunovic-Jankovic, who worked on the project in the period from 1950 to 1952. Whether from the practical ones (near the old city center) or some other conspiratorial ones (to hide the presence of bunkers), the location of Tasmajdan was chosen only for the location of the stadium. This proved to be a winning combination, having in mind the existing structure of the field, which the two architects used masterfully in shaping the structure of the stadium itself. On three sides of the stadium, the authors envisioned one ring tribune, while on the southwest side they used the existing rocky slope in which they installed another level of stands, which ended the stadium right next to the level of Tasmajdan Park.

Tribune on Tasmajdan; Photo via Branislava Lazović

The functional and aesthetic quality of the stadium brought him the October Award of the City of Belgrade for architecture in 1956.

Architect Bogunović made a special contribution to this ground floor arrangement of the stadium, who did not want the structure to have an established, functional schematism, but partly left it to nature to influence the design, and partly implemented certain authorial features of the project itself. The functional and aesthetic quality of the stadium brought him 1956 October Award of the City of Belgrade for architecture, at that time the highest medal for a certain achievement in the field of economics, science or culture.

The total area of ​​the whole complex is 5.265, while the surface area 1.800 square meters. The capacity of the stands is 7,500 seats, while with standing places on the field and stands, this number reaches up to 10,000 cities. The stadium also has two halls for all types of martial arts. In the second phase of construction, it was built olympic pool (1961), while the indoor swimming pool, with accompanying facilities, was built seven years later.

A cult place for sports and concerts

After the construction was completed, the complex took its name sports and recreation center “Tasmajdan”. During the summer season, it is open to all types of group or individual sports, such as basketball, volleyball, handball, five-a-side football, boxing and tennis, while in the winter season the stadium is intended for all types of skating competitions, but also as a public skating rink. outdoors.

The first skating sporting events took place while the stadium was still officially under construction, and hockey games took place there until 1977, when the Ice Hall “Pionir” was opened (arch. married couple Bakić). Fencing, karate and taekwondo competitions take place in the indoor halls of the stadium, while there are nalzi and bowling alley within the indoor swimming complex. In addition to various sports events, SRC Tasmajdan hosted many concerts domestic and foreign musicians, and open and closed Olympic swimming pool and circus attractions of water parks.

Tasha Hockey; Photo: Zoran Lazović

Fiche at the game

There are also several unique events that were held on “Tasha” and which are still in the memory of many, mostly older Belgraders. The first took place in 1971, when the stadium, specially arranged for the occasion, for the first and last time outside Spain, the famous Korida was a guest. It seems that no nation, except the Spaniards, understands this sport, so the same situation was in Belgrade, where the audience exclusively cheered for the bull. The second event took place in 1978, when the stadium was specially renovated again, but this time for a football match. Divided into two teams (red and white) with four Zastava 750 vehicles each, which competed to score a goal with a big soccer ball several times.

Reconstruction of the stadium

After several decades of intensive use, the stadium welcomed the beginning of the 21st century very difficult condition. The field was completely neglected, ice making machines had not been present for some time, and the stands were also devastated because there was almost no marble slab that was not damaged or fell off. Shrubs began to sprout from the rocks, so the whole place became almost eerie.

It was decided to carry out a comprehensive and thorough reconstruction, which was entrusted to a team of engineers – architects Branislava Lazović (Project Coordinator and Responsible Designer for Stadium and Fixed Skating Rink), Architects Irena Ilic (responsible designer for buildings in gates and ground floor arrangement) and a civil engineer Mirjana Jovanovic (responsible designer for construction). The works started in 2011 and were scheduled to be completed in 2014. However, the process of removing illegal buildings and evicting tenants extended the renovation works until April 2016, when the stadium was ceremoniously opened with a concert by the groups Electric Orgasm, Fish Soup, Van Gogh, Pilots and Gaul.

The project meant that the stadium, as a protected facility, would be renovated while retaining the original concept, within the existing volume and dimensions, which was done with great success. Actively playing sports events, as well as the winter skating activities that are currently open, tell us that another valuable architectural achievement has been saved from oblivion and devastation, and that it will be able to successfully host some future generations of athletes or fans.

When you are already here…


Source: Gradnja by www.gradnja.rs.

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