Back in 1937, when the issue of connecting Zemun and Belgrade was finally resolved by building the King Alexander’s Bridge, the capital of Kingdom of Yugoslavia solemnly organized its first fair manifestation “Autumn Fair”. The area where it was held is today known as Staro sajmište (Old Fairgrounds), which is located in New Belgrade near Branko’s Bridge. The first fair opened on September 11th.
Following year, in March, the first Belgrade Car Show was organized, an event that is still held today. There were over 800 exhibitors, and it was visited by over 300,000 people. At that time, the population of Belgrade was smaller.
Same year, Philips set up a television broadcast station at the Fair, as part of the Second Autumn Fair. Visitors could follow the programs of that station on the receivers in the pavilions.
In addition to serving as an exhibition space, cultural events were also organized at the Fair. First Yugoslav Concert Festival was held there in April 1938 and the Second Festival of Yugoslav Folk Dances and Melodies in 1939.
As the Second World War was heating up in Europe, pre-military training was organized at the Old Fairgrounds. During the war, all fair activities were suspended, and the space turned into camps.
After the war ended, this location was abandoned, and Belgrade Fair ceased to be held. Buildings were abandoned, some demolished to the ground. What was left was given to painters and artists for ateliers and studios. Monument to honor camp victims was erected nearby in 1995. It’s located across from the Belgrade on Water complex, between Branko’s and the Old Sava Bridge.
Belgrade Fair experienced its second opening in 1957, after the post-war renovation and construction. Location was moved to the right bank of Sava, where it is today. Completely new fair complex was built, and the first event was the Technology Fair. The following year, from a studio specially built for the occasion, TV Belgrade broadcast its first show from a new location, on the anniversary of Phillips’ display.
Belgrade Fair is the organizer of numerous national, regional and international events, but also other events with a large number of participants. New Year’s Fair attracts the youngest visitors because there is an amusement park for them. You can buy incredible things, things you wouldn’t even dream about. Book fair is perhaps the most visited event, which, in addition to visitors, also gathers great world and local writers. If you find yourself in Belgrade in October, be sure to stop by. Sail by Belgrade Fair on Horizont boat and decide on visiting one of Belgrade’s landmarks.