Serbia has many abandoned buildings, factories and warehouses. For years now, photographers have traveled across Serbia finding and photographing ghost towns, ruins of factories, toppling houses, and abandoned hotels.
Old Building constructed in the middle of the 19th century to be used as a palace for the Royal family. For quite some time it was used as a hotel. Today, the 9,000 sqm building is derelict. It is located in the middle of a beautiful park in the center of Aranđelovac.
History of Royal Palace Aranđelovac
The old building is one of the most beautiful examples of the architecture of Serbian romanticism. With 9,000 m2 of space, it was originally conceived as the Assembly of the Principality of Serbia. After moving the capital from Kragujevac to Belgrade, the “Staro Zdanje” (“Old Building”) became a court — a summer house of the Obrenović dynasty.
The most impressive part of the court was the ballroom, known as the Rector’s Hall. There was a central chandelier in the hall, composed of many pieces of crystal and four smaller chandeliers, which surrounded it. The Old Building had valuable art collections of paintings, as well as stylish furniture.
In the time of King Milan and King Aleksandar Obrenović, balls were organized, which were talked about all over Serbia. In this hall, the young officer Živojin Mišić met his future wife Nemica Lujza at one of the balls. After the May coup in 1903, the “Staro Zdanje” (“Old Building”) lost its significance.
Only in 1906, when the narrow gauge railway from Belgrade to Arandjelovac was built, the Old Building became a hotel, because guests arrived by train from Belgrade every day. The prince’s residence was “nationalized” or gaven into the hands of private business, and the residence of the Serbian princes turned into a hotel. Hotel Staro Zdanje was owned by the Property Directorate of the Republic of Serbia, which was managed by the company A. D. Bukovička banja.
The decoration of the rooms, which you can see below in the photographs, appeared much later as a result of extensive reconstruction carried out in the 1970s. The courtyard of the “Staro Zdanje” (“Old Building”) is closed to visitors today, because it was turned into a ruin due to human negligence and is often targeted by thieves and vandals.
The hotel, known in the last years of its existence as the “Staro Zdanje” (“Old Building) was closed in 2006. The reason is that the new hotel with a water park that opened next door turned out to be more popular with tourists and attracted most of the already few customers in recent years.
The grandiose construction of the palace, designed by the famous architect of that time Kosta Shreplovich, began in 1859 and finished in 1867.
Although the interior decoration of the abandoned building is in bad condition, the outside is still has cultural value. Most likely, the building is doomed to turn into ruins, which will ultimately be demolished — as a hotel it turned out to be unprofitable.
On the photo below, you can see how everything looked before. It is worth paying attention to crystal chandeliers – the pride of the hotel, which remained from the times when the hotel was the residence of the ruling dynasty.
Now the chandeliers are lost, as the stained-glass windows and the decorated window openings are lost. Nevertheless, we also managed to find something interesting, such as this old switchboard, which has its place in a museum.
On the walls are pictures from the past, and portraits of celebrities cut from newspaper magazines.
In 2012, a final attempt was made to restore the building. The hotel and the adjacent buildings were bought by a local businessman for a pittance, but after he was given an estimate for the repair and restoration of the historic building, he abandoned the idea. Since 2014, the building has been completely abandoned.
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