The former “Zastava Promet” company was forgotten in only seven years. Today it stands unseen in a part of a city full of life, a hole in time and space. Left to collapse, the building is also a potential threat to the environment, given the state of the construction itself, which recently burnt down.
We are not entirely sure why we can’t find any accurate information about the one of the most obvious abandoned industrial buildings. The building is very easily accessible, the entrance is unguarded and you can enter the complex in multiple ways. Everything can be accessed with ease, from offices, technical rooms to big open spaces used for repairing vehicles. The abandonment of the complex happened very fast, given the amount of personal things left behind. The cause of this was the fire accident that happened in 2012. There is also little, to no information about this accident.
The newspaper “Blic” says: “The firemen stopped the fire that burst out in the building “Zastava Promet” in Milje Kovacevica street. No one was harmed. The fire was extinguished in an hour, but it burnt down the 10.000 square meter roof on one of the halls. Luckily the fire avoided a dozen of ethylene containers. The investigation will determine the cause of fire.” The informations about the cause were never released.
Rooms once used for vehicle repair are now filled with printed materials, registries full of names of former employees and part production manuals. Furniture and machinery scattered everywhere. Personal belongings of the employees only make the scenery even more bizarre. Books, posters, uniforms and even some stuffed toys. The building greets you with a very intense smell of gasoline and mold. Silence is often interrupted by the sound of the floorboard cracking under our feet.
Second floor is accessible by a spiral ramp (once used to move the vehicles between the floors). This ramp can also be used to get to the roof of the building. In the middle of it there is a dangerous set of stairs. Nowadays, these floors are used as street art alternative galleries.
The second building can also be easily accessed through a window next to the ramp. This building was used for administration purposes. The offices are almost intact. The fire never reached them, even though the ceilings and floors didn’t age well. Although the furniture, signs, telephones and desks are almost completely preserved.
There is almost no information about the history or the future of this complex, from a few sources we got the information that the company was launched in 1999, however, from unofficial sources, we learned that the company worked even before 1997. “Zastava Promet Beograd” was once the largest service and sales center of “Zastava” cars in Belgrade. Car part stores were widespread throughout the whole city. Former employees informed us that the entire complex was very well organized, it consisted of a service workshops and a technical inspection rooms, while the central service rooms were spread on three levels. In addition, the complex also had a paint shop, a representative office of the company “Duga”, as our source states: “The only place where the exact color shade for your car could be made.” The administrative building with offices, warehouse and spare part stores filled up parts of the complex. “Zastava” weapon store, as well as car wash and car salon were once in the complex too.
The circular ramp was one of the most important spatial attractions. “Zastava Promet” was once known as the “Auto-kuća Kosmaj”. After the privatization and change of ownership, most of the stores were issued or sold out, and some parts completely changed their original purpose. The complex has changed both the name and the owner several times through the history and today’s owner is not known. There are no informations about the plans for whether this complex will be demolished, preserved or renovated.
We believe that this situation will remain the same for a while. The complex itself is a surprise for the environment, and on the inside there is a new surprise every step of the way. You can never be sure of what will you encounter next, you can’t even know if the floor you are walking on will be there after your next step.
1. What: Former company “Zastava Promet AD”
2. Where: Mije Kovačevića 6, Palilula, Belgrade
3. How to get there: Tram: 2, 12, 3 Bus: EKO1, 25, 27, 32, 66 LINK TO THE MAP
4. Entrance: It is possible to access the complex from multiple sides, there are no guards. The office space can be accessed only through an open window at the second level, from a circular car ramp.
5. Accessibility Rating: 9/10
6. Dangers: Risk of ceiling collapse, unstable floors, the circular stairs are complitely inaccessible, parts of the building can collapse at any moment. Minimal risk of stray dogs.