Princess Ljubica (1785-1843), by her maiden name, Ljubica Vukomanović, was the daughter of a wealthy Serbian owner and the wife of Prince Miloš Obrenović (1783-1860), the ruler of Serbia and the founder of the Obrenović dynasty, which ruled Serbia for most of the 19th century.

Underlying Obrenović’s aim as a ruler of Serbia, namely the gradual exit of his small state from the sphere of the Ottoman Empire’s political influence, the mansion built in the years 1829-1831 by Obrenović’s favourite architect, Hadži-Nikola Živković, known for constructing many public buildings in Belgrade, in the first half of the 19th century, represents the transition, in architectural expression, from the Ottoman culture to the Central European culture, which would prevail in Serbia, in the second half of the 19th century. 

Princess Ljubica lived in the mansion (Konak as it is called in Serbian) with her two sons, Milan and  Mihailo until her husband was ousted from power, in 1842. She was involved in politics and the mansion, despite being officially her private residence, shows her political representative status. The existing furniture is not the original one; it is made up of genuine pieces from the Obrenović’s family patrimony, but also from the houses of the 19th century urban Belgrade families. These are typical household items that one would find in the said aristocratic houses beginning with 1930s. 

Outside, the mansion shows a prevalent Balkan style, with some minor Baroque influences. Inside, the konak displays a marked distinction between, on the one hand, the typical Ottoman objects and furniture such as the carpets, the dinner tables and the benches, the brazier (the so-called mangal), the bath (the hamam), and, on the other hand, the rooms arranged in one or other of the Central European styles, mostly of German provenience, such as Biedermeier, Altdeutsch, Baroque revival. 

Sources: flyers and brochures of the mansion and the official site> http://www.mgb.org.rs/en/visit/the-residence-of-princess-ljubica  (accessed May, 16th, 2021) 

 

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