Radul bey’s konak, one of the monuments of oriental culture in this region, is located in the centre of Zaječar, in Ljuba Nešić Street, which is also the commercial district of the City.
It is not possible to determine who built and owned the konak, but it is assumed that after the liberation of the Timok region from Turks in 1833, the konak got a new owner – Radul bey. By Sultan’s orders, the Turks had to abandon the newly liberated Nahiya (subdistrict) and to hand over their real estate properties to the Serbian government or sell them to Christians. Thus, the Konak was purchased from an unknown Turk by the wealthiest villager of Grljan near Zaječar, Radul Gligorijević, later known by the nickname Radul bey.
The Radul-bey’s konak has a ground and an upper floor. In the course of reconstruction of the building, it was found that the ground floor rooms were used as craft shops, while the residential part of the konak was far more attractive and folkloristically interesting.
Reconstruction and adaptation of the konak was completed in 1976, while the most recent rehabilitation of the building, funded by the Ministry of Culture from Belgrade, was carried out in 2008.
The permanent exhibition “Old Zaječar” is located on the first floor, which presents the City’s spiritual and material culture of 19th and 20th centuries, with a gallery on the ground floor, where, in addition to art exhibitions, other assorted events are being held. Radul bey’s konak is also the favourite meeting place for young people.
This post is also available in SRPSKI.