October 2005

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In the center of Novi Pazar is the Hotel Vrbak. The Bradt travel guide writes "One of the most unusual hotels in the country. It gives weight to the theory that however much communist-period architects were under instruction to produce cheap, utilitarian housing for the proletariat, they were given completely free rein when it came to the design of hotels, that is, as long they stuck to a vaguely futuristic concept. The Vrbak is a prime example of this: a whacky architectural conceit that was taken seriously by a planning committee and immortalized in concrete."


The building consists of two hexagons joined together on two sides, with an extension reaching south across the lackluster river channel.



Inside, the cavernous atrium has a vaguely retro-Ottoman feel to it.


The Balkan commentator, Misha Glenny, who passed through this way in the early 1990s, describes the building as drab, depressing and shoddy, and remarks that it is 'a prince among such hotels'. Fro aficionados of the old Eastern-bloc aesthetic, the Hotel Vrbak is a real gem.

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Upd. on 18. déc. 2006