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150 years since the birth of Nikolai Krasnov

150 years since the birth of Nikolai Krasnov
Written by editor-in-chief
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Nikolai Petrovich Krasnov (Moscow, 1864 - Belgrade, 1939) was one of the most important architects whose creations, both in the field of architecture and urban planning, as well as in the field of interior design and applied arts, left a significant mark in the appearance and culture of Belgrade and Serbia between two world wars. He arrived in Belgrade in 1922, after three years of refugee residence in Malta, and got employed in the Ministry of Construction, where he remained until his death in 1939.

During those seventeen years, Krasnov has built a large number of representative buildings in Belgrade, without which it would be nowadays almost impossible to imagine the capital city. Included among them is the building of the Government of Serbia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Archives of Serbia and the Church of Ružica in Kalemegdan park, the extension and remaking of the Ministry of Finance building and the building of the Yugoslav Drama Theatre (formerly "Manjež"), interiors of the National Parliament, the Royal Palace in Dedinje, the coastal bridge pylons of King Alexander’s Bridge (today the Branko’s Bridge)...

Outside Belgrade, he designed and performed the ossuary of Serbian soldiers on the island of Vido, the interior of the chapel in the Serbian military cemetery in Zejtinlik, Thessaloniki, Njegoš chapel and mausoleum on Lovćen, the interior of St. George’s church in Oplenac, Topola, the Governor’s Palace in Cetinje...

Even projects that were not implemented, as well as those which primarily belong to the field of applied arts, represent unique and valuable achievements, such as projects for: the Agrarian Bank in Belgrade, the new building of the Ministry of Finance, the reconstruction of the building  of the Ministry of Construction in Belgrade, the Hunting Lodge in Petrovčić, the garden pavilion with a reflective pond in the garden of the Royal Palace at Dedinje, a monument and a number of memorials on the road of withdrawal of the Serbian army through Albania, and numerous drafts of realized and unrealized church equipment (iconostasis of the church in Šilopaj, of the church in the military cemetery in Skoplje, of the chapel of Andrew the Apostle in the scope of the Royal Palace at Dedinje...).

He also did the draughts for the church linens, the altar equipment, stands, thrones, chandeliers, candelabras, wall lamps, furniture, jewelry, medals and diplomas, funeral decor and even the decoration of the funeral vehicle for the funeral of King Alexander I. The work of Nikola (as he used to sign himself in gratitude to his new country) Krasnov, Serbian and Russian academic, belongs to the top architectural and applied arts achievements, and his productivity is remembered as a phenomenon in its own time. Krasnov was buried in the Russian necropolis at the New Cemetery in Belgrade.

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