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We visited a green paradise in the heart of Belgrade - but also a "hell" worth stepping into

The biggest crowd - if you can call it a "crowd" since this is a fairly quiet place, is in the Japanese Garden

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Botanička bašta

Photo: Mateja Beljan

While sweat is running down your face and you're patiently waiting to get out of the city transport Line 29, passing Takovska Street or the Banija restaurant, be sure to pay attention to tall canopies that rise above the busy streets - they are a part of the Belgrade Botanical Garden, whose greenery remains sidelined in a cloud of smoke and dust, on the "triangle" of three major traffic routes.

The magnificent entrance to this green oasis is from Takovska Street, while the other sides of the garden are less representative when viewed from the outside - because of a fence, an unfinished building, the dilapidated structures that surround it...

But, it is worth getting out of the city transport even on the hottest day and experience the garden, officially called Jevremovac, from the inside by walking through this sole oasis of peace on the stretch from Kalemegdan to Tasmajdan.

Botanička bašta

Photo: Mateja Beljan

This garden hides its surprises, but that does not mean you should bypass its "ordinary" parts. Because, not only do healthy and large canopies rise above the walking paths, but next to each plant you can read about the species in question and which part of the world is its natural habitat...

And the view of the city is completely different from this place, courtyard buildings that have been extended and grafted on seem to have become one with the garden, while the powerful socialist-realist building of the Urban Institute stands in contrast to nature and looks more impressive than when viewed from the street.

The biggest crowd - if you can call it a "crowd" since this is a fairly quiet place, is in the Japanese Garden. There is a stream, a mini waterfall, you can jump over the water, climb a "hillock," cross a wooden bridge... all these are elements of a traditional Japanese garden.

There is also a pond full of water lilies and unusual fish swimming in it.

For those who know how to pose for a picture, this is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the city.

Another big attraction in the Botanical Garden is its large greenhouse. Here you can peek into the richness of tropical flora, and it feels like you'rre in a jungle.

True, the air here is not as pleasant as when you sit outside and have some juice under the canopy - you will probably sweat like in a sauna. During the summer heat, this is a real "hell" - but it is definitely worth entering and peeking into the plant world, which you certainly can't see anywhere else in one place - the charm of this place is its multitude of tropical and unusual plants.

The paths in the greenhouse are narrow, and it is not crowded at all. You can make your way in peace through the leaves of palm trees and various unusual plants for which there is often no Serbian word. Cactus lovers will find a real prickly paradise in the left wing of the greenhouse.

While walking in the park, stop by some of our species, too, because the specimen in the Garden are very much preserved and healthy.

There is also a "hotel" for insects, as another thematic part of this park, as insects are very important for maintaining ecological balance.

Video: Another hot day in Serbia, few Belgraders wear masks and respect measures

(Mateja Beljan)

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