When you go from Zemun or New Belgrade, or from Višnjica, or Banovo brdo, you are greeted by the Zeleni venac (Green Wreath). At the same time, it sees you off. This part of the city has become a starting point for Belgrade. Buses turn at this place. This is where people meet and say goodbye.
Belgraders rarely stop to look at this location because for most of them it’s only a passing point. The moment they do look around, the spirit of this place pervades them. It’s certainly not the cleanest part of the city, but it is the liveliest. The market is one of the most important reasons for a large number of people, and let’s not forget that the whole location was actually named after the market.
Story of how the market was named says that there used to be a two-story house and a smaller inn, where there was a wreath made of sheet metal, painted green. Since it was built in 1920, it has been and remains one of the busiest markets in Belgrade. Because it’s along the way for everyone. At the beginning, the goods were brought by carts, while the wealthier sellers brought dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, by trucks. Booths were wooden and made by vendors. Proximity of river Sava’s port, railway and bus stations, city and intercity, influenced the fact that sellers and buyers from all over the country came to the Zeleni venac market. It has remained so to this day. You go to work, change buses at Zeleni venac, you stop by to buy food. On weekends, coming to the market is a ritual, so much so that there are still people who come here from the most remote parts of the city to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese and dried meat products. Because it was very beautiful architecturally, the people called it the “queen of the markets”.
Zeleni venac market, as one of the oldest markets in Belgrade, with a unique architectural solution of the entire market complex, has been declared a cultural monument of special importance.
The lively atmosphere due to the market and numerous public transport stops are the most striking impression of this part of the city. Just a few steps from it, there’s Branko’s tunnel, Prizrenska Street which leads to Terazije fountain. Branko’s Bridge is also nearby, as are some of Belgrade’s most beautiful streets.
The circulation of people is big and lasts until well into the night. Cars, buses, people walking… They are all in one place. But there is a moment when Zeleni venac becomes quiet and desolate. These are those winter nights, after 2 am on weekdays. There’s a moment when there is no traffic for a few minutes. These are usually the nights when the first snow falls. It then covers all the steps and tire tracks that have been made. The lights are clearer and brighter than usual. And then, a car drives by fast, the magic dissipates a little, but it is immortalized forever in our thoughts.
As a task, you have visit the market, and try to catch the first snow. You will be thrilled by both.