1892: Serbia’s Capital City Gets a New Type of Public Transit

October 14, 1892

The first type of tram service in the city of Belgrade in the Kingdom of Serbia (a region that is now part of the Republic of Serbia) was formally introduced. The government of Serbia’s capital had contracted with Periklos Tziklos, a native of Italy, to build this public transportation system.

The first trams to operate in Belgrade were pulled along by horses, and this system’s original line ran between Kalemegdan Park, located on a cliff at the junction of the Sava river and the Danube; and the section of the city known as Slavija, which now encompasses Slavija Square. The first person to serve as director of Belgrade’s tram system was Vinčenc Blažek.

The grand opening of this system on October 14, 1892, was marked by considerable fanfare, with thousands of local residents on hand to celebrate the occasion. The inaugural ride for the service began at eleven o’clock that morning. The passengers on board for this first-of-a-kind ride in Belgrade were several city officials. These officials included Milovan Marinković, Belgrade’s municipal president (mayor). The first tram to go into service was blessed that day by Mihailo Jovanović, the Serbian Orthodox Church’s archbishop of Belgrade and metropolitan of Serbia.  

The horses used for Belgrade’s trams were housed in a depot that had been built along what was then the Tsarigrad Road in the city. This depot was widely referred to as the “tram stables.” While electric trams were introduced to Belgrade’s system in 1894, horses continued to be used to some extent for that transportation service for another decade. (The above photo of an electric tram traveling on Knez Mihailova Street in Belgrade was taken in 1906.)

Belgrade’s tram system has continued to expand in the decades since. There are currently 11 tram lines in operation throughout the city and approximately 200 vehicles used for those runs.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

For more information on the history of trams in Belgrade, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trams_in_Belgrade

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