In XIX century place where Slavija is today, was swamp, partially covered with a reed, where Belgrade inhabitants hunted wild ducks. The development of the Slavija square started when a well-known Scottish businessman Francis Mackenzie, bought a large estate, known as “Simicev majur” and built a house for himself. Mackenzie did not start agricultural work, he dried up and parceled land and he start selling it.After Mackenzie´s death in 1895 in Belgrade comes his successor Guinness, which confirms to Metropolitan Mikhail that Mackenzie bequeathed a part of his estate to the future Temple of Saint Sava. Street which has long called “Marsala Tolbuhina”, get the name after him “Mackenzie´s street”.
In 1882. began construction of the first hotel Slavija, and lasted until 1888.
Hotel had cafe, dining room, hall for events, even the music hall. In the garden of the hotel famous orchestra Rajfler played every night. Draga Masin was a regular guest in restaurant of hotel Slavija, before she became a Queen of the Kingdom of Serbia and wife of King Aleksandar Obrenovic, last King of Obrenovic dynasty .
The hotel was destroyed during the bombing on April 6, 1941.
During those years at the Square were famous taverns “Three peasants” and “Rudnicanin”, as well as the theater “Slavija” who resisted until the end of the last century.
In 1962, on the occasion of the European Championship in Athletics, the present hotel Slavija was built. He later expanded in Mackenzie´s street. Many years after that, hotel Slavija Lux (now Slavija Garni) was built, on the other side of Sent Sava Street.