Sveti Marko
   Serbian Orthodox Church
Belgrade, Serbia
This Serbian Orthodox Church is located very close to the
Parliament building in central Belgrade.  It provided great
photographic opportunities, both outside and inside.
Orthodox churches tend to ban cameras, and/or be so dark
inside that decent pictures are impossible.  But Sveti Marko
was quite different.  This wide shot first reveals the lack of
any pews, an indicator that the church is Orthodox.  A small
number of chairs are provided for those who require them.   
The church features a large group of icons that combine to
form the main alter piece.  At the very top is an Orthodox
version of the last supper.  Sveti Marko provided me with a
refuge from the absurd traffic and urban crowding of
modern Belgrade.

This church design is based upon the Gracanica Monastery
in Kosovo, a Serbian heartland province whose fate is still
disputed.  The Serbs began ethnic cleansing in Kosovo
against Moslems from Albania; followed by international
intervention to protect the Moslems.  Now the Serbs accuse
Albanians of having driven Serbians out of Kosovo to
produce an illegitimate Moslem majority, which has been
granted independence by the UN.

The matter of Kosovo was decided by the United Nations
against Serbian/Russian views supporting the position that
Kosovo remains and intrinsic part of Serbia.        
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip, "Draculas
Neighborhood", by clicking on:
http://www.adventurepics.com/IBE/video1.aspx?
VF=Dracula.wmv