In the Gunpowder depot

“I cannot remember when I first saw this place. It has had meaning for me – ever since I could remember. 

Later I learned that “since I could remember” was around ‘90. It was the same time when the military left it without a purpose. 

I clearly remember that I started to wonder about it intensively about ten years ago.  Growing up in and around Petrovaradin fortress, I always loved to get lost in the tunnels, museums and abandoned buildings, the secret almost invisible places.

So, ten years ago, as we were strolling around the city, thinking about what place to choose for my diploma work, I remembered! Actually my brother said “What about this place near the gate?!” 

I was amazed.. that’s it! How could I forget about it…it always inspired me.. It was perfect. 

It’s function was to protect the Belgrade gate – the entrance to the Lower Fortress. A gunpowder depot placed inside, which determined its specific construction and shape, made it unique.

It was built at the mid of the 18th century, as part of the works on the expansion of the fortification system of the Lower Fortress.  More importantly, it is a lost place, an abandoned structure – invisible heritage, and as much as it has its own charmes, I wanted to change that. 

I wanted everybody to see how great it is, and all it’s potential. At the time I thought it was a perfect place for a cultural centre, and as I learned in my research, there were others too, they saw it as a gallery, museum, or arts and crafts center. 

From that point on, I focussed on developing it with Scenatoria association by organising heritage walks and artistic performance inside, so more people can learn about it. 

But it remains empty and without purpose. Still a secret to many.

I think that the key to change is to come together and do something. What do you think?”

Author: Katarina Dajč, architect Scenatoria Association 

This digital story has been realised within the European project “Stories Behind the Cities”, founded by Creative Europe Programme, European Commission.