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The Ministry of Internal Affairs

Belgrade, Serbia
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Monumentalism, as a distinct form element of the UDBA building, also represents another dimension of architecture characteristic of the USSR, that is, socialist realism there. Close political ties and a similar political climate have conditioned in our region a strong rejection of modernist settings and a return to academic principles as safe means of affirming the new ideology and its highest institutions. Although it was a residential building, the State Security Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, as the client and investor of the project, had to respond literally with program architecture. The building of the Federal Ministry of the Interior - State Security Administration was designated as the governing center of the new state and the newly established socialist order. The competitions announced at the end of 1946 demanded that, in addition to the conceptual solutions for the building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Presidency of the Government of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, proposals for the urban plan of New Belgrade be submitted. The conditions of the competition foresaw that about 20 buildings of the federal ministries would make up the architectural framework of the buildings of the Central Committee of the CPY and the Presidency of the Government. Based on a letter from the chief architect of the City of Belgrade, Nikola Dobrovic, from July 1948, it can be concluded that the MUP building was originally supposed to be erected in New Belgrade, oriented towards the transverse avenue connecting the squares in front of the CPY Central Committee and the Presidency. The designers were obliged to be in contact with the Administration of the Chief Architect during the making of the sketches, in order to harmonize the building with the surroundings and the whole of New Belgrade. Although the Ministry of the Interior considered the space provided for the construction of the facility to be appropriately situated, as it would meet the conditions of the working relationship, in terms of size it considered it inappropriate, requesting that a plot reserved for the Ministry of Justice of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia be annexed. However, in the following months and years, as a consequence of the strong repercussions of the Informbiro Resolution, there was a decentralization and reorganization of the administrative administration of the Federation, and in connection with that, the idea of building a large number of federal ministries in one place was abandoned.

The concept of New Belgrade as a governing city has been replaced by the idea of a dominant housing function. The building of the Federal Ministry of the Interior was finally erected in Kneza Milosa Street, where, even in the time of Milos Obrenovic himself, the state, administrative and military center of Serbian Belgrade was to be formed. During the hundred-year period, these state apparatus buildings were built in the upper part of the street, from the intersection with Nemanjina to King Milan Street, while in its lower part, from Nemanjina to today's Mostar, until World War II, individual housing was the predominant element of urbanization. The only example in that period was the building of the Ministry of Social Policy and Public Health, which was erected in 1933 at the very end of the odd-numbered side of the street, in the area next to which the Federal MUP building will be built in the post-war years. The main project of the new Administrative Building of the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was approved on August 28, 1950 by the Commission for the Revision of Preliminary and Main Projects at the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.

The building was erected on the corner of Kneza Milosa and Drinska streets. In architectural terms, the building is divided into three blocks, of which the central one, although withdrawn from regulation, has a dominant appearance and position. Within this block, there is also the main entrance, monumentally treated, in the form of a closed porch with a segment-shaped front surface. In the central place, on the attic above the portal, the coat of arms of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia is placed. The modern unornamented facade canvas in the secluded tract towards Kneza Milosa Street is divided by narrow pilasters between which, in the central three verticals above the monumental entrance, there are terraces with balusters, a motif that is repeated on the side of the same tract. The stone formwork covers the basement area of the ground floor, the sides of the street tracts and the corner fragments. The tract on the street regulation, as well as the tract towards Drinska, are uniquely treated as non-ornamental surfaces with accentuated horizontals that connect rhythmically arranged window openings on the floors. This articulation represents a reminiscence of modernist solutions of the interwar period. However, the massiveness and staticity of the object do not indicate the same patterns. In the organization of basic masses, there is no complex complex whose whole consists of variable geometry with the growth of one rectangular body from another, or from other, already complex ones. Elevation is not achieved by successive overhang, which would provide a certain dynamism of the object. Modernist postulates in the formal sense did not correspond to this "progressive" time and purpose of the object. Although modernism chronologically represented the closest relative of post-war architecture, its philosophy and its interpretation in Serbia and Yugoslavia largely excluded the dimension of the monumental. However, monumentalism, above all, corresponded to the new ideology, which also demanded a new aesthetic in the construction of public buildings. Ideological and political features are clearly expressed through position, dimensions, materialization, massiveness and static, ie monumental form of the object. Today, the building is an example of public architecture as a symbol of the power of the state and the party and an object of pronounced political instrumentalization during the early communism of the new Yugoslavia. Such architecture, easily understood, represented current ideological and political views and was a means of broadcasting political messages. The rustic treatment of the ground floor, the massiveness and staticity of the building in cooperation with the upper, hierarchically conceived zones of the street facade, still emphasizes the relationship of the individual to the state apparatus of the communist era. As a representative of a style that did not last long in Belgrade architecture, this distinctly rhetorical architecture has a special cultural and historical value. At the same time, with its representative position, proportions and design, its architectural and urban significance, even after the bombing in 1999, is part of the consciousness of every citizen of Belgrade. The bombing of the building of the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, half a century after its erection, is also one of the key moments in the history of Belgrade and Serbia.