Architecture

Historical view

The construction of the building of the House of the National Assembly, originally the House of National Representation, began in 1907, as the representative edifice for the needs of the Kingdom of Serbia.

The design for the building of the House of the National Assembly was made by the architect Konstantin A. Jovanovic, who lived and worked in Vienna. The representative parliamentary edifice was designed by Jovanovic in the manner of academic architecture of monumental public buildings. Unfortunately, the Serbian state did not have the financial resources for this kind of project.

Façade project

In 1901, the Constitution was changed and the Assembly became bicameral. The design had to be changed or adjusted. It was considered more purposeful to make a new design and therefore, in August 1901, the competition was announced for designing the House of National Representation. The architect Jovan Ilkic won the competition.

This competition did not pass without public criticism. It was considered that the winning design was too similar to Jovanovic's design and could therefore not be considered an original creation. It was also noted that it had too little of its own architectural tradition. The public requested that a new competition be held which would set a requirement of designing the parliamentary edifice in the national style.

Main façade

In spite of the fact that in 1903 the Constitution changed again, that the Assembly became bicameral, and that the ruling dynasty was changed in the meantime, the construction of the bicameral Assembly building continued.

King Peter I laid the cornerstone for the new House of National Representation on August 27, 1907, in the presence of many distinguished guests.

Due to a lack of resources, as well as to the Balkan and First World Wars, by the beginning of the establishment of the new state-the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes- the parliamentary edifice was constructed only up to the first floor.

Since the new, much bigger state was established, the planned parliamentary session halls did not provide sufficient space and their reconstruction was necessary. In 1920, along with the decision to continue construction works on the Assembly, the decision was brought to entrust the design to the architect Pavle Ilkic, son and associate of Jovan Ilkic who died in a prisoner of war camp in 1917.

Main entrance

According to the renewed design, the Assembly building continued to be constructed until 1926, when the construction works were interrupted. The following construction phase started after the death of King Aleksandar in 1934.

The Architectural Department of the Ministry of Construction assumed the responsibility for all the work and the chief architect was Nikola Krasnov, a Russian immigrant close to the court. At the time, he was the author of some of the most significant edifices in the capital.

The building of the National Assembly was finally constructed and consecrated on October 18, 1936, almost three decades after having laid the cornerstone.

Large plenary hall

The parliamentary building presents a monumental academic architectural construction. The central part of the building is dominated by the portico with the dome above it, and the lateral wings extend both to the left and right, ending with the triangular tympanums buttresses.

The subterranean part is constructed rustically in the green stone of Ripanj and the high ground floor and the upper floor, embellished only by a row of windows and pilasters, end with the roof cornice and the balustrade above it. All facades are covered by artificial stone.

Hallway in the basement

The molding of the facade has never been finalized, because the plan to place the sculptures above the lateral wings of the building, as well as in the central and lateral tympanums and the dome crown has never been implemented. The only examples of decorative plastic art on the façade are the medallions on the lateral buttresses at the window level of the first floor, the work of the sculptor Djordje Jovanovic, and sculptural decorations above the portals facing Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard and Kosovska Street, whose author is probably Petar Palavicini.

The monumental stairway leads to the vestibule - the entrance hall. A long corridor separates the vestibule from the central hall, staircase, and the small and big session halls. Along the corridor, parallel to the vestibule, there are offices.

Small plenary hall

There are two symmetrically-placed staircases made of white marble, which connect the ground floor with the first floor premises. On the first floor there are rooms for the deputy clubs, journalists and administration, but also the representative quarters of the library and diplomatic salon.

The entire design of the interior, including all the details, was made by the architect Nikola
Krasnov.

The vestibule stands out because of its significance, its successful combination of architecture, sculpture, handiwork, and richness of applied material. The representative marble floor, polychromous plaster decoration of the walls, marble pillars, first floor loggias, rich decoration of the dome drums and zenithal lightening create a magnificent framework for the four standing marble sculptures of the rulers placed in the niches.

Dome over entrance hall

The central hall is simple and dignified, done by the multiplication of portal elements with Ionian pillars in the lower zone and loggias in the upper part, connected with pilasters with Corinthian capitals. The cassetted ceiling, with glass prisms in its centre, is decorative. The integral parts of the interior are sculptures in the niches and engraved furniture.

Hall

The big plenary hall consisting of the floor level and the gallery is especially significant. The walls of the hall are partly covered by wooden plating and partly by marble. The hall is illuminated with natural light which comes from the glass semi-circular ceiling.

The representative offices with a view on Kosovska Street and King Aleksandar Boulevard differ from other offices by the way in which the walls and floors were finalized.

The walls are covered by oak and walnut woodwork and the floors are covered by intarsia parquets. The furniture is especially designed for these rooms.

The specific characteristics of the ground floor halls, left and right from the central hall, are the leaning massive pillars with the Corinthian capitals, plaster decoration of the ceiling, and especially wrought engraved door.

The interior of the library is carefully designed and the furniture is shaped in a national style.

Room in basement

The luxurious diplomatic salon, known by people as the salon of Prince Pavle, with the walls  coated by silk carpets, minutely wrought ceiling and central rosette, white woodwork, and wooden engraved door also received adequate furniture.

For its important function- the connection with the historical events and architectural and artistic values- the building of the Assembly was proclaimed a cultural monument in 1984.
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Thursday, 18 January
  • 11.00 - sitting of the Committee on Administrative, Budgetary, Mandate and Immunity Issues (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 2)

  • 14.00 - press conference of MP Dr Muamer Bacevac (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

Full event calendar