St. Sava Temple

St. Sava Temple
St. Sava Temple, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Sava, is o­ne of the largest buildings in Belgrade, and it is in fact the largest Orthodox Christian complex in the entire world, almost twice the size of the Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. Made of elegant domes topped with golden crosses, it dominates the region of Belgrade where it stands, surrounded by an extensive array of walkways, reflecting pools, and gardens. It is by far the most monumental structure in Belgrade, construction beginning in 1935 o­n the spot where the largest Orthodox Church in Belgrade stood until its destruction by invading Turks. There had been plans to build the church as far back as 1895, the 300th anniversary of the death of St. Sava, but the money and manpower was simply not available.

St. Sava Temple is made of local stone o­n the interior but its façade is made of highly polished marble o­n the interior and granite o­n the exterior. The monumental dome, towering seventy meters above the floor, was in fact constructed as a single piece o­n the ground and then lifted up o­nto existing walls, a process that took 40 days and the most advanced cranes available at the time. The cathedral was in fact not considered “finished” until 2009 due to the many delays in its construction caused by the Second World War and the subsequent Soviet invasion. Even still it is undergoing extensive touching-up and renovation, with many cosmetic changes still underway.

St. Sava Temple
The building began in 1935 with the construction of the walls and clearance of the grounds. The construction continued until the Germans invaded, at which time they used its vast grounds as a parking lot and the unfinished church as a warehouse for various German expansionist businesses. The invading Red Army later also used it as a parking lot and warehouse. During the late 1950s, interest in finishing the church slowly began to renew, but it was not until 1984 that the then-communist Yugoslav government permitted construction to begin again. It was at this time that the walls were completed and the dome was lifted.