Sava Centar – Belgrade, Serbia - Atlas Obscura

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Sava Centar

A retro Yugoslav congress, cultural, and business hall built in the 1970s, with an iconic world clock. 


The Sava Centar is a prominent convention and cultural center located on the right bank of the Sava River, in the municipality of Novi Beograd. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city as it is a very wide, peculiar building clad in glass panels, which has lent it the nicknames of “crystal palace/castle” and such.

Historically, the Sava Centar has hosted a wide range of events, including business conferences, trade shows, domestic and international concerts, ballet and dance performances, theatre plays, art exhibitions, and more. It is home to many of the most monumental political conferences that occurred in the former Yugoslavia. Today, it is still open to the public, who can go in to see its wondrous retro interior in a massive building that will leave you in awe of its uniqueness on every floor.

The construction of the Sava Centar began in 1976 and was completed in 1979. It was designed by a team of Yugoslav architects led by Stojan Maksimović, taking on a Yugoslav modernist or Brutalist style that was popular at the time. The complex was originally built to host the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as various other large-scale conferences, cultural events, and performances.

Nowadays, Sava Centar is a must-visit due to its 70s interior, which has been largely untouched as if to capture the vibrant and prosperous Yugoslav past of the city. There is a beautiful and very iconic world clock that you must see in the lobby, as well as admirable conference halls where history was born. There are areas of exquisite metalwork as well as a blue-stained glow from the main windows next to plants, quaint bar areas, stalls, and little local indoor clothes shops.

Know Before You Go

The Sava Centar has been bought and refurbished by a new owner and as of 2024 is missing many of the original features on the inside, now looking mostly like any other standard modern business and conference hub.

As of May 2024 there is still some reconstruction going on outside, allowing only for access from the west side of the building through the main entrances.

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