There are few homes built in Belgrade during the 19th and 20th centuries that have resisted the teeth of time and turbulent historical events. Some of these few were rebuilt and turned into museums and public state buildings after the Second World War.
Aleksandar I Karađorđević was the last Serbian ruler who built two residences on the slopes of Topčider – Stari and Beli dvor, both different in architectural style and both reflect the taste of the rulers.
It could be said that they fit into the diversified architectural style of Belgrade between the two wars.
After the marriage with the Romanian princess Maria, the king wanted to build, like other rulers of Europe, a summer house not far from the city center. He chose Dedinje and, for his work, assigned to the architect Živojin Nikolić. The project was built in 1925 and the complex was completed in 1934.
The area covers an area of 134 hectares and there are clearly planned parts: the economic part (buildings for servants, stables, garages, heating installations) space for the church and the courtyard.
In charge of making interiors, parks and iconography of the church ie. Chapels were Russian emigrants, artists and architects. Among them are the most important names: Nikola Krasnov (designer, painter and decorator), S. N. Smirnov and Viktor Lukomsky.
There is little written information about the people who worked on the construction. The Archives of Yugoslavia preserves data and documents on plans and accounts, and from them it is possible to find out which Yugoslav construction companies were involved in the work and what material was delivered from abroad. During his ten-year rule Aleksandar I Karađorđević developed a living building activity throughout Yugoslavia.
One of the great endeavors is the completed temple at Oplenac.
When entering this large area today, we first encounter the building of the gendarmerie gardener and the guard barracks. There is not a small straw house in which the royal sons stayed while the children were staying, and from where the king supervised the works at the Castle.