Endowment policy in Serbia is of a very long tradition. There has always been a custom to erect a church “for one’s soul”, a particular practice of the Serbian Nemanjić Dynasty, but of other noblemen, as well. Monasteries, rulers’ endowments, are what is most valuable of Serbia today. Endowment tradition was practiced mostly in the 19th and early 20th century, when the wealthy Serbs, merchants, lawyers, bankers, erected buildings and donated them for the common good. Those were the times when the most beautiful buildings were built in Belgrade. The Kolarac People’s University, the Captain Miša’s Building (the University of Belgrade Seat), the Nikola Spasić’s Endowment (the City Hospital complex is just one part of it), the Sima Igumanov’s Building, known as Igumanov’s Palace – those are just a part of what the eminent and less eminent Serbs bequeathed, being aware that for their success and welfare they also owed to the people they came from. Endowments reflect a strong sense of an importance of a community and that each individual has a place in it.


There are endowments in the form of funds or works bequeathed by many a writer or an artist. In Belgrade there is the Vuk Endowment, Dositej Endowment, Andrić Endowment, Endowments of Branko Ćopić, Miloš Crnjanski, Desanka Maksimović…