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Ušće

Coordinates: 44°49′09″N 20°26′13″E / 44.819039°N 20.436931°E / 44.819039; 20.436931


Ušće (Serbian Cyrillic: Ушће, pronounced [ûːʃt͡ɕe]) is an urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in Belgrade's municipality of Novi Beograd. Ušće is located on the mouth of the Sava river into the Danube, thus the name (ušće is Serbian for confluence). It occupies Novi Beograd's Blocks 10, 13, 14, 15 and 16 on the Sava's left and the Danube's right bank, covering a tip of land that overlooks the islands of Malo Ratno Ostrvo and Veliko Ratno Ostrvo to the north and the old core of Belgrade, the fortress of Kalemegdan to the west. Ušće borders the neighborhoods of Staro Sajmište and Savograd on the south. As a compact grassy and forested area it stretches along the bank of the Danube into the Block 10, to the Zemun municipality and the Jugoslavija hotel, and the ENJUB shopping mall.

Characteristics

Like all of Novi Beograd, Ušće is flat, and without buildings to hide that fact like in the rest of the municipality, that is quite obvious here. With only three buildings and several smaller edifices, Ušće is the least urbanized section of Novi Beograd but some residential blocks are administratively attached to the local community of the same name, which had the population of 6,623 in 2002. Ušće is a vast grassy and forested area (2,5 km x 1 km) along the river banks. As such, it is used by many Belgraders as a recreational area or as a place for organizing political gatherings or musical concerts. However, many areas are not cultivated, but left to grow wild. During the high levels of the Danube and the Sava, bank areas are always flooded.

Buildings

Ušće has only three buildings, but two of them are monumental. One is the Palace of the Federation (Serbian: Палата Федерације, Palata Federacije), a seat of the former federal governments of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro (also called the SIV building). Another monumental building is the Ušće Tower, with 134 m(antenna) of height almost tallest building in the Balkans (it was second tallest before the NATO attack on Serbia in 1999 when Avala TV Tower just outside Belgrade was razed). Third important building is the Museum of Contemporary Art, close to Sava river's left bank.

Other facilities in the neighborhood are several restaurants along the river banks and the Park of Friendship (Serbian: Парк пријатељства, Park prijateljstva), where during the Communist rule of Yugoslavia by Josip Broz Tito, many world politicians and dignitaries used to plant a tree when they visited Belgrade. Park has been in very bad shape lately as a result of little to no maintenance.

Sava's left bank contains numerous barges (Serbian: сплав, splav), which since the early 1990s became center of the famed Belgrade's night life.

Motorsport circuit

Ušće was also the site of temporary street circuit where races were held since 1967. and were held almost every year afterwards. The track (in a 2.310 meter configuration) encompasses roads around the blok 15 (Ušće park), passing near the Ušće Tower, along the Branko's Bridge and then along the Sava bank, with its start-finish straight just across the eternal fire monument. The circuit is popularly known as "a circuit without right hand turn", although it has two slight right-handers, and it is famous for its high speed S-curve near restaurant "Ušće" and Museum of Contemporary Art, on Sava coast, which exist because the road had to navigate around the previously made Ranney collector. The first race was held on 30. April, 1967. but the most remembered is the one held in 1969. (on a 4.350 configuration) when around 40.000 spectators flocked to see powerful Fiat Abarths in European Touring Car Challenge, and Formula Vee cars race on the streets. After poor management and maintenance of roads and circuit, and race cars reaching high speeds in 90s and 2000s, FIA and drivers continuously criticised the safety of the track, lack of proper barriers and run-off areas. After many unfortunate events, and a fatality in 2005, the circuit was taken off the calendar and "Grand Prix of Belgrade" was subsequently replaced with a race held in Batajnica Air Base. Despite these events, the race on Ušće was held in 2008, and never again. The rich history of races held on Ušće have gained somewhat a "classic" status in Serbia and former Yugoslavia, with meany people's associations on hearing the word "Ušće" firstly reminding them about the race.[1][2][3]

Gathering place

Due to its central location and wide-open space, Ušće has hosted some mass gatherings:

  • On March 11, 1991, Milošević's regime organized a large counter-rally in direct response to March 9th Protest two days earlier. The gathering was seen as the regime's attempt at showing that anti-regime protesters of the prior days were a lone, politically instrumentalized, and misguided group of destructive-minded youth. Milošević himself did not address the crowd, but some of the most prominent members of his Socialist Party of Serbia did. The crowd on hand mostly consisted of older generation members, many of whom were workers and pensioners bussed in for the occasion from other parts of Serbia.

Concerts and festivals

  • On June 17, 2006, Serbian turbo-folk singer Ceca Ražnatović performed for more than three hours in front of the crowd of more than 100,000 people, in support of her Idealno loša album that got released the same day.
  • On July 14, 2007 The Rolling Stones finally played a concert in Serbia after several previous cancellations. The 2-hour show in front of more than 65,000 people was part of their A Bigger Bang Tour.
  • On June 19 and June 21, 2010, Ušće Fest was held, with Bajaga i Instruktori and Vlado Georgiev playing on the 19th, and Billy Idol performing on the 21st. The festival was originally organized as a three-day event, but the scheduled performance by Goran Bregović and Severina on the second night, the 22nd, got cancelled due to stormy weather.
  • On June 25, 2011, Zdravko Čolić performed a 4-hour concert in front of 100,000 people.
  • On 19 May 2013, Depeche Mode performed a 2 hour and 20 minute concert before some 27.198 people as part of their The Delta Machine Tour.[9]
  • On 15 June 2013, Jelena Karleuša performed a concert called Viva La Diva Show in front of 40,000 people.
  • On 28 June 2013, Ceca Ražnatović held a concert in front of about 130,000 people to promote her album "Poziv".

References

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