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City of Belgrade
Град Београд
Grad Beograd
From upper left: West of Novi Beograd with Genex Tower, the Cathedral of Saint Sava with Karađorđe monument in front, Yugoslav Drama Theatre with Beograđanka on the right, and the Sava bridge.

Flag

Coat of arms
Location of Belgrade within Serbia
Coordinates: 44°49′14″N 20°27′44″E / 44.82056°N 20.46222°E / 44.82056; 20.46222Coordinates: 44°49′14″N 20°27′44″E / 44.82056°N 20.46222°E / 44.82056; 20.46222
Country  Serbia
District City of Belgrade
Municipalities 17
Founded 279 B.C.
City rights 150 A.D.
Unified 1918
Government
 - Mayor Dragan Đilas (DS)
 - Deputy Mayor Milan Krkobabić (PUPS)
 - Ruling parties DS/G17+/SPS-PUPS/LDP
 - City council
Area [1]
 - Urban 359.96 km2 (139 sq mi)
 - Metro 3,222.68 km2 (1,244.3 sq mi)
Elevation [2] 117 m (384 ft)
Population (2007)[3]
 - City 1,182,000
 Density 506/km2 (1,310.5/sq mi)
 - Urban Density 3,283/km2 (8,502.9/sq mi)
 Metro 1,630,000 (Table 3.2, p. 64)
 - Demonym Belgrader
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 11000
Area code(s) (+381) 11
Car plates BG
Website www.beograd.rs

Belgrade (Serbian: Београд, Beograd (About this sound listen ) is the capital and largest city of Serbia. The city lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. [4] With a population of 1,630,000 (official estimate 2007),[3] Belgrade is the third largest city in Southeastern Europe, after Istanbul and Athens. Its name in Serbian translates to White city.

Belgrade's wider city area was the birthplace of the largest prehistoric culture of Europe, the Vinča culture, as early as the 6th millennium BC.[5][6] In the antiquity, the area of Belgrade was inhabited by the Thraco-Dacian[7] tribe of Singi who would give the name to the city after a fortress was founded in 3rd century BC by the Celts, who named it Singidun (dun, fortress)[5] It was awarded city rights by the Romans[8] before it was permanently settled by Serbs from the 7th century onwards. As a strategic location, the city was battled over in 115 wars and razed to the ground 44 times[9] since the ancient period by countless armies of the East and West. In medieval times, it was in the possession of Byzantine, Frankish, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Serbian rulers. In 1521 Belgrade was conquered by the Ottomans and became the seat of the Pashaluk of Belgrade, as the principal city of Ottoman Europe[10] and among the largest European cities.[11] Frequently passing from Ottoman to Austrian rule which saw destruction of most of the city, the status of Serbian capital would be regained only in 1841, after the Serbian revolution. Northern Belgrade, though, remained a Habsburg outpost until the breakup of Austria-Hungary in 1918. The united city then became the capital of several incarnations of Yugoslavia, up to 2006, when Serbia became an independent state again.

Belgrade has the status of a separate territorial unit in Serbia, with its own autonomous city government.[12] Its territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each having its own local council.[13] It covers 3.6% of the territory of Serbia, and 24% of the country's population lives in the city.[14] Belgrade is the central economic hub of Serbia, and the capital of Serbian education and science.

Contents

Geography

Satellite view of Belgrade

Belgrade lies 116.75 metres (383 ft) above sea level and is located at confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, at coordinates 44°49'14" North, 20°27'44" East. The historical core of Belgrade, today's Kalemegdan, is on the right bank of the rivers. Since the 19th century, the city has been expanding to the south and east, and after World War II, New Belgrade was built on the Sava's left bank, merging Belgrade with Zemun. Smaller, chiefly residential communities across the Danube, like Krnjača and Ovča, also merged with the city. The city has an urban area of 360 square kilometres (139.0 sq mi), while together with its metropolitan area it covers 3,223 km2 (1,244.4 sq mi). Throughout history, Belgrade has been a major crossroad between the West and the Orient.[15]

On the right bank of the Sava, central Belgrade has hilly terrain, while the highest point of Belgrade proper is Torlak hill at 303 m (994 ft). The mountains of Avala (511 m (1,677 ft)) and Kosmaj (628 m (2,060 ft)) lie south of the city.[16] Across the Sava and Danube, the land is mostly flat, consisting of alluvial plains and loessial plateaus.

Climate

Old aerial view of Belgrade

Belgrade has a mild continental climate. The year-round average temperature is 11.7 °C (53.1 °F), while the hottest month is July, with an average temperature of 22.1 °C (71.8 °F). There are, on average, 31 days a year when the temperature is above 30 °C, and 95 days when the temperature is above 25 °C. Belgrade receives about 700 millimeters (27.56 in) of precipitation a year. The average annual number of sunny hours is 2,096. The sunniest months are July and August, with an average of about 10 sunny hours a day, while December and January are the gloomiest, with an average of 2–2.3 sunny hours a day.[17] The highest officially recorded temperature in Belgrade was +43.1 °C,[18] while on the other end, the lowest temperature was −26.2 °C on January 10, 1893.[17]

Climate data for Belgrade, Serbia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 3.5
(38)
6.4
(44)
11.9
(53)
17.5
(64)
22.5
(73)
25.3
(78)
27.3
(81)
27.3
(81)
23.7
(75)
18.1
(65)
11.0
(52)
5.3
(42)
16.7
(62)
Average low °C (°F) -2.3
(28)
-0.2
(32)
3.3
(38)
7.8
(46)
12.1
(54)
15.0
(59)
16.3
(61)
16.1
(61)
13.0
(55)
8.3
(47)
4
(39)
-0.2
(32)
7.8
(46)
Precipitation mm (inches) 47
(1.85)
44
(1.73)
46
(1.81)
56
(2.2)
71
(2.8)
91
(3.58)
67
(2.64)
53
(2.09)
51
(2.01)
46
(1.81)
57
(2.24)
59
(2.32)
688
(27.09)
Sunshine hours 62 85 155 180 210 240 279 279 210 155 90 62 2,007
Avg. precipitation days 12 11 12 12 13 12 9 9 9 9 12 13 145
Source: [19] December, 2009

History

Ancient city

The Neolithic Starčevo and Vinča cultures existed in Belgrade and dominated the Balkans (as well as parts of Central Europe and Asia Minor) about 7,000 years ago.[20][21] Some scholars believe that the prehistoric Vinča signs represent one of earliest known forms of alphabet.[22] The Paleo-Balkan tribes of Dacians and Thracians dwelled in the area before being settled in the 4th century BC by a Celtic tribe, the Scordisci, the city's recorded name was Singidūn, before becoming the romanized Singidunum in the first century AD. In 34-33BC the Roman army under Silanus reached Belgrade. In the mid 2nd century, the city was proclaimed a municipium by the Roman authorities, evolving into a full fledged colonia (highest class Roman city) by the end of the century.[8] Apart from the first Christian Emperor of Rome who was born on the territory in modern Serbia – Constantine I known as Constantine the Great [23]) – another early Roman Emperor was born in Singidunum: Flavius Iovianus (Jovian), the restorer of Christianity.[24] Jovian reestablished Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, ending the brief revival of traditional Roman religions under his predecessor Julian the Apostate. In 395 AD, the site passed to the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.[21] Across the Sava from Singidunum was the Celtic city of Taurunum (Zemun), that through Roman and Byzantine times shared a common fate with its "twin brother" (the two cities were connected by a bridge).[25]

Middle Ages

Belgrade Fortress - Despot Stefan Tower

Singidunum was occupied and often ravaged by successive invasions of Huns, Sarmatians, Gepids, Ostrogoths and Avars before the arrival of the Slavs around 630 AD. It served as the center of the Gepidean Kingdom in the early 500s, before being taken by the Avars. When the Avars were finally destroyed in the 9th century by the Frankish Kingdom, it fell back to Byzantine rule, whilst Taurunum became part of the Frankish realm (and was renamed to Malevilla).[26] At the same time (around 878), the first record of the Slavic name Beligrad has appeared, during the rule of the First Bulgarian Empire. For about four centuries, the city remained a battleground between the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary and the First Bulgarian Empire.[27] The city hosted the armies of the First and the Second Crusade;[28] while passing through during the Third Crusade, Frederick Barbarossa and his 190,000 crusaders saw Belgrade in ruins.[29] Capital of the Kingdom of Syrmia since 1284, the first Serbian king to rule over Belgrade was Dragutin, who received it as a gift from his father-in-law, the Hungarian king Stephen V.[30] Following the Battle of Maritsa in 1371, and the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, the Serbian Empire began to crumble as the Ottoman Empire conquered its southern territory.[31][32] The north, however, resisted through the Serbian Despotate, which had Belgrade as its capital. The city flourished under despot Stefan Lazarević, son of the famous Serbian ruler Lazar Hrebeljanović. Lazarević built a castle with a citadel and towers, of which only the Despot's tower and the west wall remain. He also refortified the city's ancient walls, allowing the Despotate to resist the Ottomans for almost 70 years. During this time, Belgrade was a haven for the many Balkan peoples fleeing from Ottoman rule, and is thought to have had a population of some 40–50,000.[30]

In 1427, Stefan's successor Đurađ Branković had to return Belgrade to the Hungarians, and the capital was moved to Smederevo. During his reign, the Ottomans captured most of the Serbian Despotate, unsuccessfully besieging Belgrade first in 1440[28] and again in 1456.[33] As it presented an obstacle to their further advance into Central Europe, over 100,000 Ottoman soldiers[34] have launched the famous Siege of Belgrade, where the Christian army under John Hunyadi successfully defended the city from the Ottomans, wounding the Sultan Mehmed II[35] This battle "decided the fate of Christendom";[36] the noon bell ordered by Pope Callixtus III commemorates the victory throughout the Christian world to this day.[28][37]

Turkish conquest / Austrian invasions

Belgrade in the 16th century

It wasn't until August 28, 1521 (7 decades after the last siege), that the fort was finally captured by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and his 250,000 soldiers; subsequently, most of the city was razed to the ground and its entire Christian population (including Serbs, Hungarians, Greeks, Armenians etc) was deported to Istanbul,[28] to the area since known as the Belgrade forest.[38] Belgrade was made the seat of the district (Sanjak), attracting new inhabitants—Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Ragusan traders, and others, and there was peace for the next 150 years. The city became the second largest Ottoman town in Europe at over 100,000 people, surpassed only by Constantinople.[34] Turkish rule also introduced Ottoman architecture to Belgrade and many mosques were built, increasing the city's Oriental influences.[39] In 1594, a major Serb rebellion was crushed by the Turks. Further on, Grand vizier Sinan Pasha[40] ordered the relics of Saint Sava to be publicly torched on the Vračar plateau; more recently, the Temple of Saint Sava was built to commemorate this event.[41]

Austrian conquest of Belgrade: 1717 by Eugene of Savoy, during the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-18

Occupied by Austria three times (1688–1690, 1717–1739, 1789–1791), headed by the Holy Roman Princes Maximilian of Bavaria and Eugene of Savoy,[42] respectively, Belgrade was quickly recaptured and substantially razed each time by the Ottomans.[39] During this period, the city was affected by the two Great Serbian Migrations, in which hundreds of thousands of Serbs, led by their patriarchs, retreated together with the Austrians into the Habsburg Empire, settling in today's Vojvodina and Slavonia.[43]

Serbian capital

During the First Serbian Uprising, the Serbian revolutionaries held the city from January 8, 1807 until 1813, when it was retaken by the Ottomans.[44] After the Second Serbian Uprising in 1815, Serbia reached semi-independence, which was formally recognized by the Porte in 1830.[45] In 1841, Prince Mihailo Obrenović moved the capital from Kragujevac to Belgrade.[46][47]

With the Principality's full independence in 1878, and its transformation into the Kingdom of Serbia in 1882, Belgrade once again became a key city in the Balkans, and developed rapidly.[44][48] Nevertheless, conditions in Serbia as a whole remained those of an overwhelmingly agrarian country, even with the opening of a railway to Niš, Serbia's second city, and in 1900 the capital had only 70,000 inhabitants[49] (at the time Serbia numbered 1,5 million). Yet by 1905 the population had grown to more than 80,000, and by the outbreak of World War I in 1914, it had surpassed the 100,000 citizens, not counting Zemun which then belonged to Austria-Hungary.[50]

Knez Mihailova street at the end of the 19th century

The first-ever projection of motion pictures in the Balkans and Central Europe was held in Belgrade in June 1896 by Andre Carr, a representative of the Lumière brothers. He shot the first motion pictures of Belgrade in the next year; however, they have not been preserved.[51]

World War I / Unified city

"Kalemegdan is the prettiest and most courageous piece of optimism I know."

The statue of Prince Mihailo III on Republic Square, mid 19th century.

Gavrilo Princip's assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 triggered World War I. Most of the subsequent Balkan offensives occurred near Belgrade. Austro-Hungarian monitors shelled Belgrade on July 29, 1914, and it was taken by the Austro-Hungarian Army under General Oskar Potiorek on November 30. On December 15, it was re-taken by Serbian troops under Marshal Radomir Putnik. After a prolonged battle which destroyed much of the city, between October 6 and October 9, 1915, Belgrade fell to German and Austro-Hungarian troops commanded by Field Marshal August von Mackensen on October 9, 1915. The city was liberated by Serbian and French troops on November 5, 1918, under the command of Marshal Louis Franchet d'Espérey of France and Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia. Decimated as the front-line city, for a while it was Subotica[54] that was the largest city in the Kingdom; still, Belgrade grew rapidly, retrieving its position by the early 1920s.

After the war, Belgrade became the capital of the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. The Kingdom was split into banovinas, and Belgrade, together with Zemun and Pančevo, formed a separate administrative unit.[55]

During this period, the city experienced faster growth and significant modernisation. Belgrade's population grew to 239,000 by 1931 (incorporating the town of Zemun, formerly in Austria-Hungary), and 320,000 by 1940. The population growth rate between 1921 and 1948 averaged 4.08% a year.[56] In 1927, Belgrade's first airport opened, and in 1929, its first radio station began broadcasting. The Pančevo Bridge, which crosses the Danube, was opened in 1935.[57]

National Theatre in Belgrade, mid 19th century

World War II

On March 25, 1941, the government of regent Crown Prince Paul signed the Tripartite Pact, joining the Axis powers in an effort to stay out of the Second World War. This was immediately followed by mass protests in Belgrade and a military coup d'état led by Air Force commander General Dušan Simović, who proclaimed King Peter II to be of age to rule the realm. Consequently, the city was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe on April 6, 1941, and 24,000 people were killed.[58][59] Yugoslavia was then invaded by German, Italian, Hungarian, and Bulgarian forces, and suburbs as far east as Zemun, in the Belgrade metropolitan area, were incorporated into a Nazi state, the Independent State of Croatia. Belgrade became the seat of Nedić's Serbia, headed by General Milan Nedić.

During the summer and fall of 1941, in reprisal for guerrilla attacks, Germans carried out several massacres of Belgrade citizens; in particular, members of the Jewish community were subject to mass shootings at the order of General Franz Böhme, the German Military Governor of Serbia. Böhme rigorously enforced the rule that for every German killed, 100 Serbs or Jews would be shot.[60]

Belgrade had resistance to occupation authorities. Its commander was Major Žarko Todorović Walter. He was arrested in 1943 and taken to Mauthausen concentration camp.

Just like Rotterdam, which was devastated twice, by both German and Allied bombing, Belgrade was bombed once more during World War II, this time by the Allies on April 16, 1944, killing about 1,100 people. This bombing fell on the Orthodox Christian Easter.[61] Most of the city remained under German occupation until October 20, 1944, when it was liberated by Red Army and the Communist Yugoslav Partisans. On November 29, 1945, Marshal Josip Broz Tito proclaimed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade (later to be renamed to Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on April 7, 1963). The communist takeover has resulted in estimated 70,000 deaths across Serbia, up to 10% of which have been carried out in Belgrade. [62]

Communist Yugoslavia

During the post-war period, Belgrade grew rapidly as the capital of the renewed Yugoslavia, developing as a major industrial centre.[48] In 1958, Belgrade's first television station began broadcasting. In 1961, the conference of Non-Aligned Countries was held in Belgrade under Tito's chairmanship. In 1968, major student protests against Tito led to several street clashes between students and the police. In March 1972, Belgrade was at the centre of the last major outbreak of smallpox in Europe, which, through enforced quarantine and mass vaccination, was contained by late May.[63]

Post-communist history

Pobednik (The Victor), a symbol of Belgrade

On March 9, 1991, massive demonstrations led by Vuk Drašković were held in the city against Slobodan Milošević.[64] According to various media outlets, there were between 100,000 and 150,000 people on the streets.[65] Two people were killed, 203 injured and 108 arrested during the protests, and later that day tanks were deployed onto the streets to restore order.[66] Further protests were held in Belgrade from November 1996 to February 1997 against the same government after alleged electoral fraud at local elections.[67] These protests brought Zoran Đinđić to power, the first mayor of Belgrade since World War II who did not belong to the League of Communists of Yugoslavia or its later offshoot, the Socialist Party of Serbia.[68]

The NATO bombing during the Kosovo War in 1999 caused substantial damage to the city. Among the sites bombed were the buildings of several ministries, the RTS building, which killed 16 technicians, several hospitals, the Jugoslavija Hotel, the Central Committee building, the Avala TV Tower, and the Chinese embassy.[69]

After the elections in 2000, Belgrade was the site of major street protests, with over half a million people on the streets. These demonstrations resulted in the ousting of president Milošević.[70][71]

Names through history

Belgrade has had many different names throughout history, and in nearly all languages the name translates as "the white city". Serbian name Beograd is a compound of beo (“white, light”) and grad (“town, city”), and etymologically corresponds to several other city names spread throughout the Slavdom: Belgorod, Białogard, Biograd etc.

Name Notes
Singidūn(o)- Named by the Celtic tribe of the Scordisci; dūn(o)- means 'lodgment, enclosure, fort', and for word 'singi' there are 2 theories—one being that it is a Celtic word for circle, hence "round fort", and the other that the name is Paleo-Balkan and originated from the Singi, a Thracian tribe that occupied the area prior to the arrival of the Scordisci.[72] Another theory suggests that the Celtic name actually bears its modern meaning—the White Fort (town).
Singidūnum Romans conquered the city and Romanized the Celtic name of Singidūn (in turn derived from Paleo-Balkan languages of earlier rulers)
Beograd, Београд Slavic name first recorded in 878 as Beligrad in a letter of Pope John VIII to Boris of Bulgaria which translates to "White city/fortress".[73]
Alba Graeca "Alba" is Latin for "White" and "Graeca" is the possessive "Greek"
Alba Bulgarica Latin name during the period of Bulgarian rule over the city[73]
Griechisch-Weißenburg German translation for "Greek White city". Modern German is Belgrad.[73]
Castelbianco Italian translation for "White castle". Modern Italian is Belgrado.[73]
Nandoralba, Nándorfehérvár, Lándorfejérvár In medieval Hungary. "Fehérvár" means white castle Hungarian - like the Beograd in Serbian. Modern Hungarian is Belgrád.[73]
Veligradh(i)on or Velegradha/Βελέγραδα Byzantine name. Modern Greek is Veligradhi (Βελιγράδι).
Dar Al Jihad Arabic name during Ottoman empire.
Prinz-Eugenstadt Planned German name of the city after the World War II, had it remained a part of the Third Reich. The city was to be named after Prince Eugene of Savoy, the Austrian military commander who conquered the city from the Turks in 1717.[74]

Government and politics

The Old Palace, seat of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade

Belgrade is a separate territorial unit in Serbia, with its own autonomous city government.[12] The current mayor is Dragan Đilas of the Democratic Party. The first mayor to be democratically elected after World War II was Dr. Zoran Đinđić, in 1996. Mayors were also elected democratically prior to the war.

The Civic Assembly of Belgrade has 110 councilors who are elected for four-year terms. The current majority parties are the same as in the Parliament of Serbia (Democratic Party-G17 Plus and Socialist Party of Serbia-Party of United Pensioners of Serbia with the support of Liberal Democratic Party), and in similar proportions, with the Serbian Radical Party and the Democratic Party of Serbia-New Serbia in opposition.[75]

As the capital city Belgrade also seats the National Assembly, Government and its agencies and hosts 64 foreign embassies.

Municipalities

The city is divided into 17 municipalities.[13]

Most of the municipalities are situated on the southern side of the Danube and Sava rivers, in the Šumadija region. Three municipalities (Zemun, Novi Beograd, and Surčin) are on the northern bank of the Sava, in the Syrmia region, and the municipality of Palilula, spanning the Danube, is in both the Šumadija and Banat regions.

Map of the municipalities of Belgrade
Name Area (km²) Population (1991) Population (2002)
Barajevo 213 20,846 24,641
Čukarica 156 150,257 168,508
Grocka 289 65,735 75,466
Lazarevac 384 57,848 58,511
Mladenovac 339 54,517 52,490
Novi Beograd 41 218,633 217,773
Obrenovac 411 67,654 70,975
Palilula 451 150,208 155,902
Rakovica 31 96,300 99,000
Savski Venac 14 45,961 42,505
Sopot 271 19,977 20,390
Stari Grad 5 68,552 55,543
Surčin 285 Part of Zemun
municipality until 2004.
55,000 (est.)
Voždovac 148 156,373 151,768
Vračar 3 67,438 58,386
Zemun 154 176,158 136,645
Zvezdara 32 135,694 132,621
TOTAL 3227 1,552,151 1,576,124
Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia[14]

Demographics

St. Mark's Church in Belgrade, SSW view

According to the Census 2002, the main population groups according to nationality in Belgrade are Serbs (1,417 187), Yugoslavs (22,161), Montenegrins (21,190), Roma (19,191), Croats (10,381), Macedonians (8,372), and Muslims by nationality (4,617).[76] Recent polls (2007) show that Belgrade's population has increased by 400,000 in just five years since the last official Census was undertaken.[77]

As of August 2, 2008, the city's Institute for Informatics and Statistics has registered 1,542,773 eligible voters, which confirms that Belgrade's population has risen dramatically since the 2002 Census, as the number of the registered voters has almost surpassed the entire population of the city six years before.[78] The official estimate for the end of 2007 (according to the City's Institute for Informatics and Statistics) was 1,630,000, while the number of registered citizens altogether tops at 1,710,000.[3]

Belgrade is home to many ethnicities from all over the former Yugoslavia. Many people came to the city as economic migrants from smaller towns and the countryside, while thousands arrived as refugees from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, as a result of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.[79] Between 10,000 and 20,000 [80] Chinese are estimated to live in Belgrade; they began immigrating in the mid-1990s. Blok 70 in New Belgrade is known colloquially as the Chinese quarter.[81][82] Many Middle Easterners, mainly from Syria, Iran, Jordan and Iraq, arrived in order to pursue their studies during the 1970s and 1980s, and have remained and started families in the city.[83][84] Afghani and Iraqi Kurdish refugees are among some of the recent arrivals from the Middle East.[85]

Although there are several historic religious communities in Belgrade, the religious makeup of the city is relatively homogenous. The Serbian Orthodox community is by far the largest, with 1,429,170 adherents. There are also 20,366 Muslims, 16,305 Roman Catholics, and 3,796 Protestants. There used to be a significant Jewish community, but following the Nazi occupation, and many Jews' subsequent emigration to Israel, their numbers have fallen to a mere 415.[3]

Economy

Belgrade is the most economically developed part of Serbia, and is home to the country's National Bank. Many notable companies are based in Belgrade, including Jat Airways, Telekom Srbija, Telenor Serbia, Delta Holding, Elektroprivreda Srbije , Comtrade group, Jat Tehnika ,Komercijalna banka ,Ikarbus , regional centers for Société Générale, Asus,[86] Intel,[87] Motorola,MTV Adria,[88] Kraft Foods,[89] Carlsberg,[90] Microsoft, OMV, Unilever, Zepter, Japan Tobacco, P&G,[91] and many others.[92][93]

The troubled transition from the former Yugoslavia to the Federal Republic during the early 1990s left Belgrade, like the rest of the country, severely affected by an internationally imposed trade embargo. The hyperinflation of the Yugoslav dinar, the highest inflation ever recorded in the world,[94][95] decimated the city's economy. Yugoslavia overcame the problems of inflation in the mid 1990s, and Belgrade has been growing strongly ever since. Today, over 35% of Serbia's GDP is generated by the city, which also has 31,4% of Serbia's employed population.[96] The average monthly Net pay is 46.500 RSD (€505, $760).[1] According to the Eurostat methodology, and contrasting sharply to the Balkan region, 53% of the city's households own a computer.[97][98] According to the same survey, 39.1% of Belgrade's households have an internet connection; these figures are above those of the regional capitals such as Sofia, Bucharest and Athens.[97]

Culture

The building of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, erected in 1922

Belgrade hosts many annual cultural events, including FEST (Belgrade Film Festival), BITEF (Belgrade Theatre Festival), BELEF (Belgrade Summer Festival), BEMUS (Belgrade Music Festival), Belgrade Book Fair, and the Belgrade Beer Festival.[99] The Nobel prize winning author Ivo Andrić wrote his most famous work, The Bridge on the Drina, in Belgrade.[100] Other prominent Belgrade authors include Branislav Nušić, Miloš Crnjanski, Borislav Pekić, Milorad Pavić and Meša Selimović.[101][102][103] Most of Serbia's film industry is based in Belgrade; the 1995 Palme d'Or winning Underground, directed by Emir Kusturica, was produced in the city.

The city was one of the main centres of the Yugoslav New Wave in the 1980s: VIS Idoli, Ekatarina Velika and Šarlo Akrobata were all from Belgrade. Other notable Belgrade rock acts include Riblja Čorba, Bajaga i Instruktori and others.[104] Today, it is the centre of the Serbian hip hop scene, with acts such as Beogradski Sindikat, Škabo, Marčelo, and most of the Bassivity Music stable hailing from or living in the city.[105][106] There are numerous theatres, the most prominent of which are National Theatre, Theatre on Terazije, Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Zvezdara Theatre, and Atelier 212. The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is also based in Belgrade, as well as the National Library of Serbia. Belgrade's two opera houses are: National Theatre and Madlenianum Opera House.

Following the victory of Serbia's representative Marija Šerifović at the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, Belgrade hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.[107]

Museums

Miroslav's Gospel, 12th century manuscript entered the UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme in 2005
Railway Museum

The most prominent museum in Belgrade is the National Museum, founded in 1844; it houses a collection of more than 400,000 exhibits, (over 5600 paintings and 8400 drawings and prints) including many foreign masterpieces and the famous Miroslavljevo Jevanđelje (Miroslav's Gospel).[108] The Military Museum houses a wide range of more than 25,000 military exhibits dating as far back as to the Roman period, as well as parts of a F-117 stealth aircraft shot down by Yugoslav forces.[109][110] The Museum of Aviation in Belgrade has more than 200 aircraft, of which about 50 are on display, and a few of which are the only surviving examples of their type, such as the Fiat G.50. This museum also displays parts of shot down US and NATO aircraft, such as the F117 and F16[111] The Ethnographic Museum, established in 1901, contains more than 150,000 items showcasing the rural and urban culture of the Balkans, particularly the countries of the former Yugoslavia.[112] The Museum of Contemporary Art has a collection of around 8,540 works of art including Andy Warhol, Joan Miró, Ivan Meštrović and others since 1900.[113] The Nikola Tesla Museum, founded in 1952, preserves the personal items of Nikola Tesla, the inventor after whom the Tesla unit was named. It holds around 160,000 original documents and around 5,700 other items.[114] The last of the major Belgrade museums is the Museum of Vuk and Dositej, which showcases the lives, work and legacy of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Dositej Obradović, the 19th century reformer of the Serbian literary language and the first Serbian Minister of Education, respectively.[115] Belgrade also houses the Museum of African Art, founded in 1977, which has the large collection of art from West Africa.[116]

With around 95,000 copies of national and international films, the Yugoslav Film Archive is the largest in the region and amongst the 10 largest archives in the world.[117] The institution also operates the Museum of Yugoslav Film Archive, with movie theatre and exhibition hall. The archive's long-standing storage problems were finally solved in 2007, when a new modern depository was opened.[118]

The Museum of the City of Belgrade will move into a new building in Nemanjina Street, downtown. The Museum has interesting exhibits such as the Belgrade Gospel (1503), full plate armour from the Battle of Kosovo, and various paintings and graphics. In late 2008 construction will start on a new Museum of Science and Technology.

Architecture

The Parliament of Serbia, and the headquarters of the Serbian Post, erected in 1938

Belgrade has wildly varying architecture, from the centre of Zemun, typical of a Central European town,[119] to the more modern architecture and spacious layout of New Belgrade. The oldest architecture is found in Kalemegdan park. Outside of Kalemegdan, the oldest buildings date only from 19th century, due to its geographic position and frequent wars and destructions.[120] The oldest public structure in Belgrade is a nondescript Turkish turbe, while the oldest house is a modest clay house on Dorćol, from late 18th century.[121] Western influence began in the 19th century, when the city completely transformed from an oriental town to the contemporary architecture of the time, with influences from neoclassicism, romanticism and academic art. Serbian architects took over the development from the foreign builders in the late 19th century, producing the National Theatre, Old Palace, Cathedral Church and later, in the early 20th century, the National Assembly and National Museum, influenced by art nouveau.[120] Elements of Neo-Byzantine architecture are present in buildings such as Vuk's Foundation, old Post Office in Kosovska street, and sacral architecture, such as St. Mark's Church (based on the Gračanica monastery), and the Temple of Saint Sava.[120]

During the period of Communist rule, much housing was built quickly and cheaply to house the huge influx of people from the countryside following World War II, sometimes resulting in the brutalist architecture of the blokovi (blocks) of New Belgrade; a socrealism trend briefly ruled, resulting in buildings like the Trade Union Hall.[120] However, in the mid-1950s, the modernist trends took over, and still dominate the Belgrade architecture.[120]

Tourism

Knez Mihailova (Prince Mihailo) Street, main pedestrian area in the city

The historic areas and buildings of Belgrade are among the city's premier attractions. They include Skadarlija, the National Museum and adjacent National Theatre, Zemun, Nikola Pašić Square, Terazije, Students' Square, the Kalemegdan Fortress, Knez Mihailova Street, the Parliament, the Temple of Saint Sava, and the Old Palace. On top of this, there are many parks, monuments, museums, cafés, restaurants and shops on both sides of the river. The hilltop Avala Monument offers views over the city. Josip Broz Tito's mausoleum, called Kuća Cveća (The House of Flowers), and the nearby Topčider and Košutnjak parks are also popular, especially among visitors from the former Yugoslavia.

Beli Dvor or 'White Palace', house of royal family Karađorđević, is open for visitors. The palace has many valuable works from Rembrandt, Nicolas Poussin, Sebastien Bourdon, Paolo Veronese, Antonio Canaletto, Biagio d'Antonio, Giuseppe Crespi, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Ivan Mestrovic, and others.[citation needed]

Ada Ciganlija is a former island on the Sava river, and Belgrade's biggest sports and recreational complex. Today it is connected with the shore, creating an artificial lake on the river. It is the most popular destination for Belgraders during the city's hot summers. There are 7 kilometres of long beaches and sports facilities for various sports including golf, football, basketball, volleyball, rugby union, baseball, and tennis.[122] During summer there are between 200,000 and 300,000 bathers daily. Clubs work 24 hours a day, organising live music and overnight beach parties. Extreme sports are available, such as bungee jumping, water skiing and paintballing.[123] There are numerous tracks on the island, where it is possible to ride a bike, go for a walk or go jogging.[124][125] Apart from Ada, Belgrade has total of 16 islands[126] on the rivers, many still unused. Among them, the Great War Island at the confluence of Sava, stands out as an oasis of unshattered wildlife (especially birds).[127] These areas, along with nearby Small War Island, are protected by the city's government as a nature preserve.[128]

Nightlife

Belgrade has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife, and many clubs that are open until dawn can be found throughout the city. The most recognizable nightlife features of Belgrade are the barges (сплавови, splavovi) spread along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers.[129][130][131]

Many weekend visitors—particularly from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia—prefer Belgrade nightlife to that of their own capitals, due to a perceived friendly atmosphere, great clubs and bars, cheap drinks, the lack of language difficulties, and the lack of restrictive night life regulation.[132][133]

Skadarlija, the city's old bohemian neighbourhood

Famous alternative clubs include Akademija and the famed KST (Klub Studenata Tehnike) located in the basement of the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Electrical Engineering.[134][135][136] One of the most famous sites for alternative cultural happenings in the city is the SKC (Student Cultural Centre), located right across from Belgrade's highrise landmark, the Beograđanka. Concerts featuring famous local and foreign bands are often held at the centre. SKC is also the site of various art exhibitions, as well as public debates and discussions.[137]

A more traditional Serbian nightlife experience, accompanied by traditional music known as Starogradska (roughly translated as Old Town Music), typical of northern Serbia's urban environments, is most prominent in Skadarlija, the city's old bohemian neighbourhood where the poets and artists of Belgrade gathered in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Skadar Street (the centre of Skadarlija) and the surrounding neighbourhood are lined with some of Belgrade's best and oldest traditional restaurants (called kafanas in Serbian), which date back to that period.[138] At one end of the neighbourhood stands Belgrade's oldest beer brewery, founded in the first half of the nineteenth century.[139] One of the city's oldest kafanas is the Znak pitanja.[140]

The respected Times newspaper in the UK reported that Europe's best nightlife can be found in buzzing Belgrade.[141] In the Lonely Planet "1000 Ultimate Experiences", Belgrade was placed at the 1st spot among the top 10 party cities in the world[142].

Sport

There are around a thousand sports facilities in Belgrade, many of which are capable of serving all levels of sporting events.[143] Belgrade has hosted several relatively major sporting events recently, including Eurobasket 2005, the 2005 European Volleyball Championship, the 2006 European Water Polo Championship, and the European Youth Olympic Festival 2007. Belgrade was the host city of the 2009 Summer Universiade chosen over the cities of Monterrey and Poznań.[144]

The city launched two unsuccessful candidate bids to organise the Summer Olympic: for the 1992 Summer Olympics Belgrade was eliminated in the third round of International Olympic Committee voting, with the games going to Barcelona. The 1996 Summer Olympics ultimately went to Atlanta.[145][146]

The city is home to Serbia's two biggest and most successful football clubs, Red Star Belgrade and FK Partizan, as well as a few other first league clubs. Red Star are former European Cup winners, in 1991 when they were still representing Yugoslavia. The two major stadiums in Belgrade are the Marakana (Red Star Stadium) and the Partizan Stadium.[147] The rivalry between Red Star and Partizan is one of the most famous capital derbies in eastern Europe and has become known as the Eternal derby. Belgrade Arena is used for basketball matches, and in May 2008 it was the venue of Eurovision Song Contest 2008. Along with Pionir Hall for KK Partizan and KK Crvena zvezda [148][149] while the Tašmajdan Sports Centre is used for water polo matches.

In recent years, Belgrade has also given rise to several world class tennis players such as Ana Ivanović, Jelena Janković and Novak Đoković. Ivanović and Đoković are the first female and male Serbian players, respectively, to win Grand Slam singles titles.

Panorama of Belgrade from Kalemegdan fortress

Media

Belgrade is the most important media hub in Serbia. The city is home to the main headquarters of the national broadcaster Radio Television Serbia - RTS, which is a public service broadcaster.[150] The RTS record label, PGP RTS, is also based in Belgrade.[151] The most popular commercial broadcaster is RTV Pink, a Serbian media multinational, known for its popular entertainment programs, which are considered by many to be sensationalist and of low quality. The most popular commercial "alternative" broadcaster is B92, another media company, which has its own TV station, radio station, and music and book publishing arms, as well as the most popular website on the Serbian internet.[152][153] Other TV stations broadcasting from Belgrade include Košava, Avala, Fox Televizija and others which only cover the greater Belgrade municipal area, such as Studio B. Numerous specialised channels are also available: SOS channel (sport), Metropolis (music), Art TV (art), Cinemania (film), and Happy TV (children's programs).

High-circulation daily newspapers published in Belgrade include Politika, Blic, Večernje novosti, Glas javnosti, Press (newspaper) and Sportski žurnal. Other dailies published in the city are Danas, and Kurir. Novi Plamen is currently the most left-wing magazine. A new free distribution daily, 24 sata, was founded in the autumn of 2006.

Education

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Belgrade

Belgrade has two state universities and several private institutions for higher education. The Belgrade Higher School, founded in 1808, was the earliest location of higher education in Serbia and all of the Balkans.[154] The Lyceum followed in 1841, when it was moved from Kragujevac to Belgrade, merging with the Great School into the precursor of the University of Belgrade,[155] one of the oldest educational institutions in the country (the oldest higher education facility, the Teacher's College in Subotica, dates from 1689). More than 90,000 students study at the University.[156] The University of Belgrade's Law School is the one of the foremost institutions for legal education in Southeastern Europe.

There are also 195 primary (elementary) schools and 85 secondary schools. Of the primary schools, there are 162 regular, 14 special, 15 art and 4 adult schools. The secondary school system has 51 vocational schools, 21 gymnasiums, 8 art schools and 5 special schools. The 230,000 pupils are managed by 22,000 employees in over 500 buildings, covering around 1,100,000 m².[157]

Transportation

Old Sava bridge

Belgrade has an extensive public transport system based on buses (118 urban lines and more than 300 suburban lines), trams (12 lines), and trolleybuses (8 lines).[158] It is run by GSP Beograd and SP Lasta, in cooperation with private companies on various bus routes. Belgrade also has a commuter rail network, Beovoz, now run by city government. The main railway station connects Belgrade with other European capitals and many towns in Serbia. Travel by coach is also popular, and the capital is well-served with daily connections to every town in the country.

The city is placed along the pan-European corridors X and VII.[159] The motorway system provides for easy access to Novi Sad and Budapest, the capital of Hungary, in the north; Niš to the south; and Zagreb, to the west. Situated at the confluence of two major rivers, the Danube and the Sava, Belgrade has 7 bridges—the two main ones are Branko's bridge and Gazela, both of which connect the core of the city to New Belgrade. With the city's expansion and a substantial increase in the number of vehicles, congestion has become a major problem; this is expected to be alleviated by the construction of a bypass connecting the E70 and E75 highways.[160] Further, an "inner magistral semi-ring" is planned, including a new Ada Bridge across the Sava river, which is expected to ease commuting within the city and unload the Gazela and Branko's bridge.[161] Two additional bridges are planned, both over the Danube.[citation needed]

Underground station Vukov spomenik

The Port of Belgrade is on the Danube, and allows the city to receive goods by river.[162] The city is also served by Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (IATA: BEG), 12 kilometres west of the city centre, near Surčin. At its peak in 1986, almost 3 million passengers travelled through the airport, though that number dwindled to a trickle in the 1990s.[163] Following renewed growth in 2000, the number of passengers reached approximately 2 million in 2004 and 2005.[164] In 2006, 2 million passengers passed through the airport by mid-November,[165] while during the 2007 the figure peaked at 2,5 million customers.[166]

Beovoz is the suburban/commuter railway network that provides mass-transit service in the city, similar to Paris's RER and Toronto's GO Transit. The main usage of today's system is to connect the suburbs with downtown. Beovoz is operated by Serbian Railways.[167] Belgrade suburban railway system connects suburbs and nearby cities to the west, north and south of the city. It began operation in 1992 and currently has 5 lines with 41 stations divided in two zones.[168] Stations in the city center are built underground, out of which station Vukov spomenik is the deepest at 40 meters.[169]

While Belgrade does not have a metro/subway, it has been planned. The Belgrade Metro is considered to be the third most project important in the country, after work on roads and railways. The two projects of highest priority are the Belgrade bypass and Pan-European corridor X.

International cooperation and honours

These are the official sister cities of Belgrade:[170][171][172][173]

Country City County / District / Region / State Date
Greece Greece Corfu Corfu 2010
United Kingdom United Kingdom Coventry England 1957
United States United States Chicago Illinois 2005
Pakistan Pakistan Lahore Punjab 2007
Israel Israel Tel Aviv Tel Aviv 1990
Austria Austria Vienna Vienna 2003

Some of the city's municipalities are also twinned to small cities or districts of other big cities, for details see their respective articles.

Other similar forms of cooperation and city friendship:

Country City County / District / Region / State Date Form
Greece Greece Athens Attica 1966 Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Banja Luka Republika Srpska 2005 Agreement on Cooperation
People's Republic of China China Beijing 1980 Agreement on Cooperation[174]
Germany Germany Berlin Berlin 1978 Agreement on Cooperation and Friendship
Germany Germany Düsseldorf North Rhine-Westphalia 2004 Agreement on Cooperation
Ukraine Ukraine Kiev Kiev 2002 Agreement on Cooperation
Spain Spain Madrid Comunidad de Madrid 2001 Agreement on Cooperation
Italy Italy Milan Lombardy 2000 Memorandum of Agreement, City to City Programme
Russia Russia Moscow Central Federal District 2002 Programme of Cooperation
Italy Italy Rome Lazio 1971 Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation
People's Republic of China China Shenzhen Guangdong 2009 Agreement on Cooperation[175]

Letters of Intent signed with capital cities of former Yugoslavia:

The City of Belgrade has received various domestic and international honours, including the French Légion d'honneur (proclaimed December 21, 1920; Belgrade is one of four cities outside France, alongside Liège, Luxembourg and Volgograd, to receive this honour), the Czechoslovak War Cross (awarded October 8, 1925), the Yugoslavian Karađorđe's Star with Swords (awarded May 18, 1939) and the SFR Yugoslavian Order of the National Hero (proclaimed on October 20, 1974, the 30th anniversary of the overthrow of Nazi German occupation during World War II).[176] All of these decorations were received for the war efforts during the World War I and World War II.[177] In 2006, Financial Times' magazine Foreign Direct Investment awarded Belgrade the title of City of the Future of Southern Europe.[178][179] In 2008, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC), based at the geography department of Loughborough University, published their roster of leading world cities. Belgrade is in the fourth category out of five on this list, being listed in the group of the cities with a "high sufficiency" world presence.[180]

See also

References

Bibliography

Notes

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External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quotes about Belgrade, the capital of Serbia (2006–Present):

  • I cometh and found the noblest burgh from ancient times, the grand town of Belgrade, by sorry fate destroyed and nearly void. Having rebuilt it, I consecrated it to the Holy Mother of God.
  • Soldiers! Heroes! The supreme command has erased our regiment from its records. Our regiment has been sacrificed for the honor of Belgrade and the Fatherland. Therefore, you no longer have to worry for your lives - they do not exist anymore. So, forward to glory! For King and country! Long live the king! Long live Belgrade!
  • The sky above Belgrade is wide and high, unstable but always beautiful; even during winter serenities with their icy splendour; even during summer storms when the whole of it turns into a single gloomy cloud which, driven by the mad wind, carries the rain mixed with the dust of panonian plain; even in spring when it seems that it also blooms, along with the ground; even in autumn when it grows heavy with the autumn stars in swarms. Always beautiful and rich, as a compensation to this strange town for everything that isn't there, and a consolation because of everything that shouldn't be there. But the greatest splendour of that sky above Belgrade, that are the sunsets. In autumn and in summer, they are broad and bright like desert mirages, and in winter they are smothered by murky clouds and dark red hazes. And in every time of year frequently come the days when the flame of that sun setting in the plain, between the rivers beneath Belgrade, gets reflected way up in the high celestial dome, and it breaks there and pours down over the scattered town. Then, for a moment, the reddish tint of the sun paints even the remotest corners of Belgrade and reflects into the windows, even of those houses it otherwise poorly illuminates.
  • Serbia is the ideal destination for anyone looking for an adventurous holiday, without any long-haul flights, and a love of meeting the locals. You get a real feeling of being in an exotic location, where the tectonic plates of Islam, Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism, alongside socialism and capitalism, have all collided in the past.
    • Guardian: The Observer Travel
  • Night falls in the capital of the former Yugoslavia, and music fills the air. Everywhere.
  • It is a city where you can dance until sunrise seven nights a week, where hospitality crackles in the air, and where looking good is a birthright and a religion in one.
    • CNN Traveller
  • Of all the cities I know, this one has the most beautiful position, the greatest amount of light and sunshine. It is indeed a White City, particularly from a distance. It is the whitest, the airiest of all the cities known to me, a white and sunny place, as if it had been chosen to be an image of freedom and the light in our flame…
  • This slightly disheveled air, combined with the city's vibrancy, fine restaurants, street cafes and northern European atmosphere, would make it an ideal place to spend a few days...
    • Lonely Planet
  • Once located at the border between the Turkish and Austro-Hungarian empires, it combines Central European with more Oriental influences, and adds a style and spirit of its own. I can only put it one way: Belgrade is cool.
  • Mist, not smoke, rose from the water at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers. This is the point where the biggest city in the Balkans began. Belgrade's origins lie in a Celtic settlement on a bluff with superb views across the plains. Today, the horizon is scarred with chimneys and tower blocks, but the drama of the location remains.Beneath the ridge, skeletal trees accompany the Sava to the point where it merges into, and amplifies, the artery of eastern Europe. As the Danube continues its stately progress towards the Black Sea, you can understand why the Romans, Slavs, Turks and Austrians took turns to command these heights. Nowadays, the gently decaying stratum of history known as Belgrade fortress, draped upon the high ground, is the preserve of tourists.
    • Independent.co.uk: "Back to the Balkans"
  • City break- Belgrade: If you've seen Budapest and Kraków, consider heading somewhere new in Eastern Europe. Belgrade is a fast-paced modern European capital, successfully banishing the shadows of war. The city's history has deprived it of the richness of historical buildings of other capitals, but it still boasts plenty of impressive leftovers from the Austro-Hungarian empire and a fascinating citadel with architectural influences from its many occupiers. A visit here is all about enjoying the modern architecture, dynamic atmosphere and excellent nightlife. Belgrade is best seen from the water - the city has a beautiful setting at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. If that's not enough to tempt you, the tourist office literature explains that Belgrade is a city of about two million people. More than half of them are women, renowned for their beauty, cleverness and unpredictability.
    • "The 2004 hot spots", Guardian Unlimited/The Observer

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Balkans : Serbia : Belgrade

Belgrade (Београд / Beograd in Serbian) [1] – meaning 'White City' – is the capital of the Republic of Serbia. Various styles of architecture dominate the city, while its recent resurgence as the leading hub in south-eastern Europe make it a must see destination.

The St Sava Church - the biggest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world (a must-see for all visitors)
The St Sava Church - the biggest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world (a must-see for all visitors)
Knez Mihajlova - one of the most popular pedestrian-only streets in Belgrade
Knez Mihajlova - one of the most popular pedestrian-only streets in Belgrade

Belgrade is the capital of the Republic of Serbia and is, as such, the country's largest city with a population of about 2,000,000 people. It lies on the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. The city has a long history, dating back to the 4th century BC, when the area was settled by Celtic tribes. Later on, it became the Roman city of Singidunum, and relics of that era can still be seen in the city, particularly at Kalemegdan Fortress. As it entered the Byzantine Empire, Belgrade saw many conflicts, including invasion by the Ottoman Empire, until Serbia finally became independent in the 1800s.

After the First World War, Belgrade became the seat of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (in 1928, the country changed name to Kingdom of Yugoslavia) until its collapse, and it saw violence again in 1999 with NATO's bombing campaign. This often violent history and outside influence has colored much of Belgrade's evolution, which is evident in its culture and architecture. Often caught between the hammer and anvil of clashing empires, the city has taken on a unique character, reminiscent of both Austrian and Turkish influences, with a unique set of Communist elements thrown in as Yugoslavia was expelled from the Eastern Bloc in 1948. Yet, the city has its own spirit, and in it can be found some not only very unique features, but also a healthy joie de vivre in its café culture, nightlife and often Mediterranean flavor in its view of life.

Whilst there isn't much by way of ethnic or cultural diversity in Belgrade, in terms of different migrant populations – compared to other European cities – there are minority communities (largely Roma and Chinese), as well as people from other former Yugoslav republics, such as Bosnia, Croatia and Fyrom. There is also a small expat community [2]. Cultural events from round the world, however, are starting to be increasingly common, particularly in the spring and summer months, thanks in no small part to both local arts and culture organizations, as well as foreign embassies/cultural centers. These attract a good deal of local attention, and will help in raising the city's profile as a cultural hotspot.

Belgrade is an energetic city re-discovering its tourism potential. One great new magazine, White City is a must read for anyone who plans on visiting. They call themselves an urban magazine but it's a great lifestyle magazine written in English for both locals and foreigners. It's available at any place that sells magazines in Belgrade.

Building of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Building of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

By plane

Belgrade is serviced by Nikola Tesla International Airport (IATA: BEG) [3], about 12 kilometers west of the city center, and is the home base of Jat Airways – Serbia's flag carrier airline – which flies to nearly 40 destinations worldwide. Other major airlines fly to Belgrade, such as Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa. Discount and no-frills carriers such as Ryanair, EasyJet and Wizz, however, have yet to make their entrance in the Serbian market, which makes the cost of flying to and from the city a bit higher than other destinations, although Germanwings does have a number of less expensive flights to Germany and Norwegian Air is another low cost airline operating to Belgrade.

There are shuttle busses to the city center from the airport, operated by both Jat and Lasta. These will pick up and drop off passengers at the Hotel Slavija (Jat) and the central train station (Lasta). The fares are about 250 RSD (~€3) for the Jat shuttle, and 150 RSD (~€1.60) for the Lasta bus.

Avoid taxi service being offered by drivers in the airport terminal; the drivers won't use their meters, and will charge many time the normal fare. Metered taxis can be rung in or picked up from the stand outside; just be sure to chose one with a roof sign indicating it's a city-regulated (see below) radio taxi, and insist that the trip be metered. Alternatively, you can go upstairs to the departure section and catch one of the taxis dropping off passengers. They will be happy for the return ride, and the fare should cost around 900 - 1200 RSD (~€10-13) to the city.

There is also city bus service to and from the airport. Line #72 from Zeleni Venac in central Belgrade runs twice an hour, and costs 45 dinars (~€0.5). The trip is around 40 minutes, but is decidedly less comfortable than a shuttle bus or taxi. A more comfortable city bus option is the E7 minibus, going from the airport to Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard in the city center, stopping at the major hotels (Continental, Hyatt and Park) along the way. The buses are comfortable and air-conditioned. The fare is 100 RSD (~€1.10), which is paid on-board; be sure to tell the driver what your destination is before departure.

By train

The Central Train station is located, not surprisingly, in the city center. All national and international trains stop here.

There are several international train connections from Budapest-Vienna, Budapest-Bratislava-Prague,Zagreb-Ljubljana-Munich, Zagreb-Ljubljana-Zurich and Zagreb-Ljubljana-Venice. Normally, trains should not be too late (seldom more than 1 hour), and usually are very safe. Expect the overnight train from/to Budapest to be overcrowded in summer.

There are also direct (day and night) trains from Bucharest, Kiev, Moscow, Skopje, Thessaloniki, Istanbul (21h) and Sofia and an overnight train from Bar and Podgorica, Montenegro to Belgrade. It arrives early in the morning (around 7). This is a reasonably comfortable train with sleeper cars and nice views (even at night). Upgrade to the cabins with two beds only for 100% improvement. Prices are pretty reasonable. There is also comfortable day IC train from Bar and Podgorica.

For timetables and all other infos check website of national carrier Serbian Railways [4]

By bus

Belgrade's central bus station [5] is next-door to the central train station, in Karađorđeva street. Whilst coach service to national and international destinations is frequent, departure times are usually reliable, but arrival times may be not. Timetables aren't clearly posted; the timetables that are there are in Serbian only, so ask for information inside the terminal.

Ticket reservations and purchases are made in the terminal building.

When buying a bus ticket, you will also receive a token to enter the platform area, for national travel. For international travel, you will be given a paper stub to present at the platform gate.

Be aware that most coach drivers will charge you a fee for baggage handling in the cargo compartment, though this is not a uniform practice with international travel. Also be aware that drivers rarely speak English or any other foreign language. Inform yourself about your trip prior to departure as much as you can; if in doubt, ask a fellow passenger for assistance.

Coach travel in Serbia is a hit-and-miss experience; whilst there is a huge number of companies to chose from, not all of them have clean, modern coach fleets, particularly for travel within Serbia or to neighbouring Montenegro. Coaches are more often clean and modern when embarking on trips to Croatia and Western Europe.

For international trips to the rest of Europe, Lasta [6] is the Eurolines carrier.

For long trips, drivers usually stop for 15 minutes breaks roughly every two hours, though this isn't by any means guaranteed. Pack appropriately with food and bottled water. When disembarking on breaks in the trip, make sure to either secure your belongings, or take them with you.

By car

Coming north from Subotica and Novi Sad, the E-75 highway is recommended, as well as driving to Belgrade from the south. There is also a major road called Ibarska magistrala, which provides approach from south-west (direction of Montenegro, for example). From the west, use the E-70 highway (from Zagreb, Ljubljana etc.). Major roads can be used coming east and north-east from Vršac and Zrenjanin.

Highways have toll stations, which are moderately priced. As of summer 2007, there is major roadwork on the E-75 highway north, so expect occasional delays. Serbia's only highways are parts of E-70 and E-75 roads and the highway passes right through Belgrade without a bypass, causing large unavoidable traffic jams on the Gazela bridge and at the Mostar junction.

A Belgrade trolleybus
A Belgrade trolleybus

By boat

Belgrade lies where the rivers Sava and the Danube meet. Passenger ships enable you to reach every place along the Danube in a very convenient and meditative manner with many fascinating attractions along it, but it is a quite slow and rather expensive way of travelling.

By bicycle

Belgrade is located on European bicycle route Eurovelo 6 which connects Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea.[7]

Get around

Belgrade has an extensive public transport network, covering almost all areas of the old city, Novi Beograd, Zemun and other out-lying areas. The network itself consists of a large fleet of busses, trolley buses and trams - 1,000 vehicles to be exact, but even this is not enough, and public transport in Belgrade is always crowded during rush hour. Tickets for the public transport network cost 42 RSD when purchased at a kiosk (known locally as a trafika), or 80 RSD when purchased from the driver. All tickets must be validated in manually-operated stamping machines inside the vehicle. Transport authorities routinely check tickets for validation – particularly at peak hours on major lines – and an infraction can land you with an uncomfortable fine.

If you are going to spend an extended period in Belgrade, and intend to use public transport a lot, than you can buy passes that range from 15 days to 1 month. Those must be purchased at the public transport department, and can be somewhat difficult for foreigners to acquire, since the process is long (filling out forms with most of your personal information) and attendants do not speak English.

Belgrade traffic during rush hour
Belgrade traffic during rush hour

By bus

There are over 120 urban and over 300 suburban bus lines. There are also several seasonal lines, including Ada1-Ada5, the five lines which can take you to Ada Ciganlija, and one seasonal, weekend-only line (400) which goes to the summit of Mt Avala. As of July 2007, most of the bus fleet is less than five years old. The area around Zeleni Venac is a major bus hub in the city center, with many lines going to and from Novi Beograd and Zemun stopping there.

Tickets can be bought at kiosks for RSD 42 (~0,45€) or RSD 80 (~0,90€) from the bus driver. Don't forget to validate the ticket for each ride, as there are occasional controls.

By tram

Trams are mostly old and cramped, with few being restored; some have been donated from Basel, Switzerland, but they are also well beyond their serviceable lifespan. There are 12 tram lines in Belgrade, three of which are connected to New Belgrade.

Line 2 is famous in the city with a circular route, running in both directions. The circle is known as krug dvojke (#2's circle) and rings the central city streets.

Line 3 is famous for a beautiful neighborhoods it goes trough, particularly Miloš's Konak Park.

As of summer 2009, there have been couple of interruptions in tram services downtown (Resavska St., and Kalemegdan) due to road work, and new track being laid down on existing tram lines.

By trolleybus

Trolleybuses fleet in big majority consist of old soviet made ZiU-9 and new Belarusian made Belkommunmash vehicles AKSM-321 and AKSM-333, and they run only in Old Belgrade, connecting the city center to east and south-east. There are eight trolleybus lines.

By minibus

As of April 2007, six minibus lines were introduced (E1-E7, except E3) which criss-cross Belgrade. Later, two more lines were added - E3 and E8. Minibuses are all air-conditioned, smaller and generally quicker than regular city buses. However, tickets are bought only inside a minibus and they are more expensive than ordinary ones. The latest minibus fare is 100 RSD.

By taxi

Taxis are cheap (by European standards) and plentiful, and you can either stop one in the street, or call a taxi company. Ordering a taxi by phone will usually attract a 10 - 20% discount off the final price. Make sure that you ride only in licensed cabs, which carry a little blue sign with the city coat of arms and a number on it, or you may end up paying too much. Never take a privately owned cab (the ones with the white marker on the top that does not list the name of the company), since you can pay up to four times the normal price.

Avoid using taxis in front of airports, bus and train stations! It doesn't matter even if they are licensed, these guys have removed their taximeters and will almost certainly rip you off. Ask people around to show you where the designated taxi stops are. Unfortunately, even some licensed taxis have meters that tick over at an alarmingly quick rate, thus producing vastly inflated fares.

Throughout 2007, major changes are being implemented in the taxi system, as cars are modernized to include receipt printers and an option to pay by card, though it will take some time for the whole taxi network to include this.

As of July 2008, the flag fall for starting a ride is RSD 119 (1.5€), and the rate is RSD 46 per kilometre (1st tarriff) or RSD 56 per kilometre (2nd tarriff, at night and weekends).

Take note that a normal 'step' on a taximetre is about 3 dinars a time, so if you notice a much higher step, ask for a receipt, write down the license plate number, and call 32-27-000.

By car

Not for the faint of heart, particularly during peak hours.

Yellow lanes

There are many streets which have yellow lanes. They are reserved for public transport, i.e. buses and taxis, and you are not allowed to use them. The yellow lanes are marked with a yellow line, and are indicated on traffic signs. Some yellow lanes, though, are active only in certain periods of the day, usually during rush hours.

Parking

There are new spaces for parking in the city center. There is a large parking garage with 500 spaces under the old palace in the city center, across from the parliament building.

Also, take into consideration that in the center almost all of the parking spaces in the central streets have zones marked with green, yellow or red paint on the street (yellow zone spaces are actually marked orange, to avoid confusion with other marks). You can only stay for 3, 2 or 1 hours, respectively, in those spots. You can pay using the machine usually found near the parking spots, buy the parking ticket at a kiosk or by cell phone (just text your car's licence plate number (for example: BG123456) to numbers 9111 (red zone), 9112 (yellow) or 9113 (green)). Every message you send is valid for one hour and, some 5 minutes before the hour has passed, you get a text message telling you that you can send another SMS if you want to extend your parking for the next hour. Of course, this only applies in yellow and green zones, in which you can park for more than 1 hour. After the time is up, you'll have to re-park or risk paying a fine (around €10). All of this only applies on weekdays, from 7AM to 9PM and from 7AM to 2PM on Saturdays. After that (Sa 2PM- Mo 7AM) parking is free.

There are also several public parking garages and parking lots where you can park for an unlimited amount of time during day. Fees are charged on an hourly basis. In some non-zoned areas, you also pay for parking depending on the duration of your stay, and this is paid in cash to the parking attendant.

Detailed information can be found on the Parking Servis website [8]available in English and Serbian.

By bicycle

Old Belgrade is pretty hilly and the bicycle infrastructure is scarce, so bicycle transport isn't in wide use. However, New Belgrade and Zemun are relatively flat and offer enough space for bikes to be used. Bicycle tracks link Zemun, Dorćol, Ada Ciganlija, New Belgrade and Bežanijska kosa. There is a bike lift on Brankov Bridge and the ride is free of charge and there are also some 50 bicycle racks around the city.

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring bikes into public transport vehicles.

By boat

There are several tourist boats which offer day and night cruises along the Sava and Danube.

The massive Kalemegdan and Belgrade Fortress complex
The massive Kalemegdan and Belgrade Fortress complex
  • Kalemegdan
  • Belgrade Fortress
  • Knez Mihailova Street
  • The National Museum. Currently under reconstruction. Founded in 1844, has more than 400000 items including Italian Art Collection (230 works) including Titian, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, Canaletto, Tiepollo, Carpacio,... French Art Collection (250 paintings) includes Renoir(55 works including 22 paintings), Monet, Degas, Signac, Lautrec, Matisse, Goughen, Utrillo, Pissaro, Corot... Dutch and Flemish Art Collection (120 works) include Vincent van Gogh, Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Goyen, Breughel ... Japanase Art Collection has 82 works which include Kunisada, Toyokuni, Hirosige... Cubist Art Collection includes Picasso, Cezanne, Delaunay, Arhipenko, Mondrian... Yugoslav (Serbian) Art Collection includes Paja Jovanovic, Uros Predic, Lubarda... Other Art Collections (German, Austrian, Russian...) include Durer, Gustav Klimt, Kandinsky, Sisley, Marc Chagall, Modigliani, Kassat...
  • The Temple of Saint Sava Under construction (summer 2008).
Restaurant patios in Skadarlija
Restaurant patios in Skadarlija
  • Skadarlija, (Skadarska street)
The Republic Square and National theater
The Republic Square and National theater
  • Republic Square (Main square)
The Old Palace
The Old Palace
  • The Old Royal Palace (Stari dvor)
  • Belgrade Zoo, Mali Kalemegdan 8. Summer: Daily: 8AM-8:30, Winter: Daily: 8AM-5PM.  edit
National Assembly of Serbia
National Assembly of Serbia
  • The National Assembly of Serbia
  • Tito's Mausoleum Take trolleybus # 40 or 41 from Studentski Trg or from Kneza Miloša Street in the direction of Dedinje and ask for "Kuća cveća" (House of flowers). Entry is free of charge, but the museum closes in the afternoons. Inside is the grave of the beloved second president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, along with his baton collection and two preserved rooms of his furniture.
  • Ivo Andric Museum, Andrićev Venac 8.  edit
  • Ada Ciganlija, a river island on Sava River with an artificial lake in the center of the city. The lake has an 8 km long gravel beach, which is visited by about 300,000 bathers per day during the summer. This is a great place for sports and picnics. In summer, it is swamped with people wanting to cool down in the water.
  • Veliko ratno ostrvo ("The great War Island"), a river island at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, for picnics and bird spotting.
  • Nikola Tesla Museum, Krunska 51, +381 (0) 11 24 33 886 (, fax: +381 (0) 11 24 36 408), [9]. Tu-F:10AM-6PM, Sa-Su:10AM-1PM. Museum dedicated to the man whom Serbs revere. Half of this small museum is dedicated to Tesla's personal effects, while the other half contains models of his inventions. There are English-speaking guides who are students from the Engineering Department of the University of Belgrade who can help you understand the sometimes-complicated science.  edit
  • Terazije Fountain
  • Belgrade Cathedral (Saborna crkva)
  • The Residence of Princess Ljubica (Konak kneginje Ljubice)
  • The White Palace (Beli dvor)
  • The Military Museum (Vojni muzej), inside the Belgrade Fortress
  • Avala, small mountain (511 m) near Belgrade.

Note that many of Belgrade's museums are closed on Monday. It may be wise to check before making a visit.

Do

Public Observatory (placed at Kalemegdan fortress) - There are four panoramic telescopes installed for daily observations of the city's panorama. This is the unique place in Belgrade for panoramic observations. [10]

National Museum - located at Republic Square has an enormous collection of world painters.

National Theatre - watch opera, ballet and plays - the main hall is simply amazing. Decorated with gold and artworks.

Visit a splav (literally: raft) – a barge restaurant located along the Sava and Danube rivers. There you can dine and eat with the extra feature of being on the river and enjoying the view. The music played on the barges is usually a mix of Serbian folk music and pop - amusing, though it hurts the ear.

If you have time visit the Belgrade Arena. It is the second largest arena in Europe and the largest in the Balkans. You will definitely be impressed by the architecture. The 2005 European Basketball Championships were held there.

  • The European Feature Documentary Film Festival - Magnificent 7 - [11]
  • Belgrade Beer Festival
  • Festival of new and improvized music - Ring Ring [12]
  • Belgrade Pride [13]

Buy

The currency in Serbia is the dinar . Money can be exchanged at official exchange offices (locally called Menjačnica, often carrying the emblem of the National Bank of Serbia outside the building), which are clearly labeled and they are numerous in central Belgrade, or at the airport. Micko (on Vuka Karadzica street) changes all currencies, including rare ones. There are many ATMs, which accept foreign bank and credit cards without a glitch (note: they are new machines so you won’t have any problems with them). Bank card is not accepted in many shops, restaurants and hotels. The dinar is not widely convertible outside Serbia; it is advisable to re-convert your remaining dinars to Euros or other major currencies before leaving the country.

The stores work into late hours during work days while on Saturdays they normally close around 15.00 and most of them are not open on Sundays. Therefore, finding an activity for the weekend must be thought of beforehand. At night, however, there are bars, cafés and discotheques that are open, selling cheaply priced drinks. Belgrade is reputed to have some of the best night life in Europe.

Clothes and Accessories

Import taxes make clothes and shoes in Serbia very expensive. Many items from common European chains can be found for 20% less in neighboring Budapest. Still, Belgrade has many flagship stores, mostly located on Knez Mihailova Street, or the pedestrian zone. They include Escada, Max Mara, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Sweet Years, Paul & Shark, Lacoste, Zara, Gas, Diesel, Miss Sixty, Energie, Tom Tailor, Tally Weil, Springfield, Mango, Cortefiel, Pedro del Hiero, Levi's, and Marella.

There are also many multi-brand stores selling higher class designer clothes and accessories. The most known ones are Artisti (a chain of stores throughout the city) who have the new Gucci, Prada, Bikkembergs, Dior, Tod's, DSquared2, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino collections. The second store chain is Land featuring brands such as Just Cavalli, D&G, CNC by Costume National, Iceberg. New stores include Marks and Spencer, Top Shop, Sephora and New Yorker.

The official distributor of Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Versace Jeans Couture is a store Alta Moda in Kralja Petra street. Close to Alta Moda are other designer multi brand stores such as Monobrand and EuroModa . Also, there is a shop called MilModa that is oriented to the younger population. Thus, it features Armani Jeans, Missoni Sport, D&G, Etro, Bogner, La Martina and BluMarine constantly, and (from time to time) fashion brands such as DSquared2, Richmond, Prada, creations of John Galliano and many others (they are official dealers). It is situated near St. Sava`s temple.

Multi-brand store concept is catching on very quickly, so it's not going to be a problem finding all types of clothes. Best concept stores are Buzz (Knez Mihailova street), chain of street-wear stores called Urban and Avanguardia.

Searching for accessories, watches: You can also find a variety of brands, from the affordable (Swatch & Fossil) to the most expensive (Breitling for Bentley, Cartier, Boucheron, Rado...). Accessories can be found everywhere but for the hippest you can see Dve Smizle (Millennium Shopping Mall, Knez Mihailova) and Time Zone feat. Kenzo, Christian Lacroix Bijoux, Miss Sixty Jewelry and others (Makedonska Street, next to Politika newspaper headquarters).

  • USCE Shopping Center is the largest modern shopping center in Serbia and the region, [14]
  • Delta City is the second largest shopping mall in the city, [15]
  • The Fair - Sajam is where you have a large choice of clothes to buy pretty cheaply.
  • Block 70 is where the Chinese market is located. You can buy dirt-cheap clothing imported from China. Quality is lower.
  • Old Yugoslavian currency can be purchased from street sellers. A 500 billion dinar note makes an interesting souvenir.
  • Mercator Center [16]
  • Immo Center
  • IDEA Extra Hypermarket
  • Veropoulos Hypermarket (Novi Beograd)
  • Tempo Hypermarket
  • M - Rodic Megamarket Hypermarket
  • Verano Object - Trosarina
  • Interex Konjarnik
  • Verano-Vero Multifunctional Centre
  • Merkur Bezanijska Kosa [17]
  • Merkur Karaburma [18]
  • Usce Multifunctional Centre, the largest shopping center in the city
Looking towards New Belgrade
Looking towards New Belgrade

Serbs are very proud of their food, which is heavy on grilled meats and sausages, local cheeses and bread. Salads are primarily tomato, cucumber, and onion, or cabbage. Local produce is fresh and organic.

Belgrade has hundreds of restaurants specializing in local cuisine and a few international restaurants. On the whole, prices are cheap compared to Western Europe with main dishes ranging from 8-25 dollars per person.

Most Serbian restaurants offer rostilj, a large plate of various unseasoned grilled meats, or any possible variety of grilled chicken wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese. It is possible to order fresh salads, plates of grilled vegetables, crepes, or omelets if you are not carnivorous.

Snacking and eating on the go in Belgrade are easy and cheap. Bakeries – called pekara – are ubiquitous in the city center, and you will find a wide assortment of breads, sweet and savoury pastries, sandwiches and pizza on offer. A snack or light meal of pastry and drinkable yoghurt will give you an added boost when walking about the city center.

Foods that vegetarians and meat eaters alike should try include kajmak (something between cream cheese and butter) and ajvar, a savory spread made out of red peppers. It is also worth visiting a pijaca (green market) to buy some fresh fruit, vegetables and other grocery items. The farmer's market at Zeleni Venac, close to the Hotel Moscow, is not one of the largest, but it is the one with the least expensive merchandise – in the city. Contained in a newly-built complex, it makes for an enjoyable Saturday morning experience, with the lively hustle and bustle of people milling about and stall-owners trying to attract customers. Depending on the season, an amazing assortment of fruit and veg can be found in farmer's markets, including watermelons, olives, wild mushrooms and fresh figs. Take the time to explore the stalls, and compare the quality and prices of the produce.

There is also pljeskavica, the Serbian version of a hamburger, which is about five times larger than an American hamburger and can be purchased from fast food restaurants. You can find your typical McDonalds and Pizza Hut, but most of the fast food restaurants in Belgrade are local and sell baked goods, pizza, sandwiches, and palacinke (the Serbian version of a crepe). Some may go beyond that, selling Turkish delicacies such as baklava, tulumba and other Greek/Turkish treats.

International Cuisine

There are a handful of international restaurants, including Japanese,Chinese and Indian. These are moderately priced to very expensive. Many dine out at "Peking" restaurant, and "Mao Tao" is an excellent choice as well for Chinese. Dju-Dju, "Moon" (in Makedonska 30) and Ikki Sushi Bar are perfect places for those who like sushi or other tasty japanese dishes. Zapata's is the best (and pretty much only) Mexican restaurant in town and "Cosy" (Makedonska 30) the best French Café with excellent food and prices (our favorite one too).

Skadarlija is a pleasant street filled with Serbian and Italian restaurants, not to be missed by gourmands. It is famous for its old restaurants, some of which have been around for over 100 years. Most of the restaurants have string orchestras which play a selection of traditional and modern Serbian songs, like in "Lagum 33" (Simina 33).

Fish

If you prefer a delicious fish meal try the fish gourmet restaurant Mika Alas close to Ada Ciganlija (Stari Obrenovaćki put 14; 011/254-4448; [19]). Be sure to try their delicious fish soup "ribja corba" and their very own house specialty, "smudj romanov", Pike Perch fillet in white wine cream sauce. Excellent food for an acceptable price.

Vegetarian

Vegetarijanska Gostionica "Joy of the Heart" - Svetogorska 18 (center) Tel. 011/334-5181. Not your typical Serbian meal - as they serve mostly ayyurvedic food for a decent price. Also serves fruit shakes and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Drink

Despite the warnings of the US.CDC [20], tap water in Belgrade is perfectly safe. There is a wide range of bottled waters on offer in grocery stores, supermarkets, and newskiosks ('trafikas').

Serbs love beer, and it is possible to buy a variety of domestic beers such as Jelen,Lav,MB,Pils,... along with a few imported beers, at very cheap prices. The domestic beers are quite decent. Made in Serbia beers also include Heineken, Amsteel, Tuborg, Stella Artois, and Beck's. Belgrade holds a Beer Festival annually in August.

Culture Tip: How to toast, Serbian style

Like everywhere, Serbs love to toast when in good company, whether it's in a pub or in the home with friends. When toasting in Serbia, it is expected that you look your friends at the table directly in the eyes whilst clinking glasses as a sign of respect. Say 'Živeli!' (cheers!) to everyone and take a sip. Repeat as necessary, and enjoy a night out in Belgrade!

Local wines can be good, although more expensive tends to mean more drinkable, and many of the less expensive bottles are less than satisfactory. The national alcoholic drink is rakija, a Serbian brandy that is very strong and makes a good souvenir.

For the sober crowd, Belgrade has blueberry, raspberry, tomato, peach, apple, strawberry, and any other kind of juice you can think of.

There are a couple of places worth visiting if you are a fan of cafe culture. The street best known for its trendy cafes is definitely Strahinjića Bana. On this street, cafes are full even on weekdays. All cafés serve the usual continental coffees, such as espresso and cappuccino. However, regular coffee comes in the form of Turkish coffee, not filtered coffee. If you want a filtered coffee, you need to specify this when ordering, and not all coffee shops have it. Also very popular is whipped instant coffee, commonly referred to simply as 'Nes' (as in, Nescafé). A cafe called Mani Prag (across from the Hotel Prag) is thought by some to offer the best "Serb Coffee" in the world.

The best atmosphere is on Friday evenings when the trendy youth of Belgrade descend to enjoy the music and each other. Out of numerous cafes, the best ones are: Insomnia, KontraBar, Buongiornio (also a pastry shop), Nachos, Veprov Dah (a scottish pub), Duomo (Italian and Mediterranean restaurant and cafe), Ipanema and "Cosy", a new French Café with excellent ambiance in Makedonska 30 etc.

The second cafe zone is Obilićev Venac (a street parallel to Knez Mihailova). The best cafes there are Iron, Jelena, Zu Zu's, Irish pub, Simbol and many others.

Third cafe zone (also a going out zone) is quay next to hotel Yugoslavia in Zemun. On the quay are numerous river boats (splavovi), many of them are cafes, restaurants and clubs.

Other places worth visiting: "The Three Carrots Irish pub"- bills itself as the first Irish pub in Belgrade, quite easy to miss, just turn left at the bombed out buildings coming up from the train station and walk on the left hand side of the road.

Sleep

Budget

Several hotels have opened up in Belgrade recently, mainly in the center of the city. Some are only open in the summer, but a couple function all year round.

There are also several hotels right around the train station that are relatively cheap (30-40 EUR) however the quality varies. Just walk around and you should find one with empty rooms without much difficulty.

  • Chillton Hostel, [21] Kataniceva 7, Phone: +381 11 344 18 26 SMS: +381 62 677 004 Email: chilltonhostel@gmail.com, Hostel is in the "Belgradest" part of Belgrade - Vracar, 3 stops from the train station with bus 83. Private rooms and dorms, air conditioners in all the rooms.
  • Chillton 2 Hostel, [22] Vase Čarapića (Vasina) 15, Phone: +381 11 328 3 33 SMS +381 61 328 33 33 Email: chillton2@gmail.com, Best location in Belgrade, right between Republic square and the fortress. Private rooms and dorms, air conditioners in all the rooms.
  • Friends Hostel , [23] Oblakovska 11 (Autokomanda) , Phone: +381 11 369 00 49, +381 63 166 87 75 Email: friendshostelbelgrade@gmail.com, Best location in Belgrade, Hostel is located in the city center, accommodation in double bed, Four bedrooms or six bedrooms. All rooms have cable TV, security box, free coffee and tea, wireless internet ........
  • Green Studio Hostel, Karadjordjeva 69/42, Phone: +381 11 263 36 26, +381 63 756 23 57 Email: greenstudiohostel@gmail.com, One of the best hostels in Eastern Europe. Prices start at €10 and include tons of free services, from laundry, to high speed wireless internet, to beer and rakija, and more. In the center of the city, and close to the bus and train station. From the bus station, you just cross the street with the trams and take a right and look for number 69, it is about a 20 second walk. From the train station take a left out of the door; keep walking across the next intersection into the park. From the park you should cross the street with the trams and look for number 69. About a minute walk. Works 24 hours.
  • Hotel Center, Gavrila Principa 46a, Phone: +381 11 361 96 86 Email: hostelcentar@sezampro.yu, Hostel is in the city center, in the epicenter of whole happenings. 100 m far from main bus and train station. Hostel capacity is 30 beds on 3 floors with 10 beds on every floor.2 x double rooms, 3 x 3 bed rooms, 3 x 4 bed rooms, 1 x 5 bed rooms. Rooms include: - air conditioning - 2 SAT-TV (72-81 cm) - computer LCDTFT 22” (internet access) - fax/ telephone. Accommodation, bed (+tax+residence tax+insurance) 19,8€ - €23, breakfast €3, hb (breakfast and dinner) €6. There are discounts for groups, longer stay, according to the hostel business policy
  • In Old Shoes, Brankova 18, Phone: +381 11 218 36 50, Email: info@inoldshoes.com, [24]. In Old Shoes Hostel is located just 10 min. walking distance from Main Train and Bus Station and 5 min. from the middle of Belgrade. 2, 4 and 10 beds rooms at the super cheap price of 15, 11.5 and €9.5 including air conditioning and internet!
  • Hotel Central Station, Karadjordjeva 87, Phone: +381 11 268 50 67, Email: office@hostelcentralstation.com, [25]. In the very center of the city of Belgrade a new hostel "Central Station" welcomes its guests. Unlike most facilities of its kind, "Central Station" is situated in a building regarded as a cultural monument and a city landmark. Located opposite to the Central Railway and Central Bus Station. The building has accommodated guests since the beginning of the 20th century. Back then it was known as women's hotel "Carigrad." In a completely redecorated and refurbished 150m2 space the hostel offers accommodations in twin-bed, four-bed, 6, 8, 10 bed-rooms. Guests have free internet access, a living room, a safe and secure storage room and gentlemen's and ladies bathrooms at their disposal. All rooms are air conditioned. Prices starting at €12.
  • Hostel Yellowbed, Visnjiceva 3, Phone: +381 11 2628 220, Email: office@yellowbed.net), [26] at a very heart of Belgrade where ancient and modern downtown clashes. Yellowbed is situated in well-known street of Visnjiceva, which entrances both, modern and old-fashioned Belgrade. You are about to get-in-known Belgrade within five minutes from our hostel since all social & cultural stances and events take place around. And if you desire to go out into the town, we'll provide you with all information you need, but do not forget, everything is on a 5-10-15 minutes by foot. Clubbing, restaurants, National theater, National museum, Freedom square, University square, Student park, etc. Prices from 10EUR + taxes.
  • Crossroad hostel, 41 Gospodar Jevremova, Phone: +381 63 252-529, (Email: office@crossroad-hostel.com), [27] is in the tourist core of the city, in a quiet part but on the very crossroads of the four most important tourist city areas. Prices starting at €10.
  • Belgrade Eye hostel, Krunska 6B, Phone: +381 64 2588 754, Email: belgradeeye@gmail.com [28] a large family house turned into a hostel that offers a surprising degree of comfort at very low rates (starting at €10). Private rooms are available as well as dorms.
  • UNI Hostel[29] The UNI Hostel is in the very downtown Belgrade. It is five minutes away from the train and bus station and 20 minutes away from the airport. In addition it is only one minute away from trolley loop, line 7l, which stops at the train and bus station. Price starts from 800RSD (8-bed-room) excl. BTO/Tax (114RSD). Emails: info@uni-turs.com/arazmani@uni-turs.com
  • Hostel Jelica Milanovic, Krunska 8,[30]: a highschool campus in the middle of town which functions as a hostel in summer, between June, 20th and August, 30th. Depending of category of rooms, prices are 9 or 11 €. It's also a biggest and one of the cheapest hostel in Belgrade with big variety of special services and comfortable rooms.
  • Three Black Catz Hostel, Cika Ljubina 7/49, Tel: +381 11 2629826, Email: reservationtbc@gmail.com,[31]. A flat turned into a hostel. In the heart of town on main Republic square. Prices for dormitory; €10-11 . Amazing welcome - was handed a beer from the owner as we sat down for a chat! 4-star free laundry service. Nice intimate place - neighbors drop in for a chat - no isolated backpacker ghetto here!
  • Star Hostel: Cara Urosa street no 37; tel: + 381 62 224646; Email hostel_star@yahoo.com : air-conditioned, safe-lockers backpack size, free internet + WIFI, free coffee and tea, laundry, custom guided maps, big common room with biggest movie collection, xbox, book exchange, very friendly staff, very knowledgeable about Belgrade and are there all the time for all your travel needs. Prices in between €10 and €12, private for 35. [32]
  • Sun Hostel: Novopazarska 25 located in "Vracar" part of Belgrade with great transit connections to the city centar and walk distance from Ortodox Temple of Saint Sava,famuos Kalenic open market,Gradic Pejton(craftman center), Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra(shoppong street) The Natural History Museum in NJegoseva Street and The National Library of Serbia; tel: + 381 64 11 21 040; Email hostel.sun@gmail.com : We can accommodateup to 20 people (4,6,10 bed in rooms), very comfortable rooms, air-conditioned, safe-lockers backpack size, two cpu with free internet, very friendly staff . Prices are between €10 to €19,depend of the room .
  • Hostel Tis, Koste Abrasevica 17, [33] +38111 3806050, Email: terranova@sbb.co.yu a large house turned into hostel, with a specious garden and a large living room. Comfortable 6 bed (around €12,70 per person) and 2 bed rooms (around €14,70 per person), all air-conditioned. 24h reception, parking space, safe-lockers. It is situated in 'Vračar' neighborhood. Rather far out of town and Taxi drivers often have trouble locating it, expect to pay 750 Dinars (on meter).
  • Happy hostel, Kralja Milutina no.28, Phone: +381 64 1176 075 414, (Email: happyhostel@yahoo.com), [34]. Happy Hostel is in Kralja MIlutina street no. 28, at the corner with Nemanjina street, on the Slavija square, which is the absolute cultural nucleus of Belgrade.In the immediate vicinity: the City parking lot, banks, supermarkets, buses.The following facilities are included in the price:linen and towels,washing machine and dryer,hair dryer,iron and ironing board,TV set with DVD player and stereo,cable internet,wireless internet,residence tax. We will be there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making sure you’re feeling secure as well as having fun !Prices starting at €12
  • Hotel Royal, Kralja Petra. January 2005 prices: single for 24 EUR/night, double for 35 EUR/night, both including (simple cooked) breakfast. Very central: close to shopping streets, going-out areas and the fortress. Takes credit cards. Has live music in the basement at night.
  • Beli grad, Nemanjina street 42, Phone: +381 11 3612126 or +381 64 5471320, (www.hostelbeligrad.com ; hostelbg@gmail.com) Hostel has a very central location on the Slavija Square, in Nemanjina Street, just beside McDonald's restaurant. The railway and bus station are easy to reach and the airport bus terminal is just across the street. The hostel has one 8-bed room, one 6-bed room and one private room with a French bed. All rooms are air-conditioned and dispose of personal belongings cabinets and reading lights. A spacious bathroom and a separate toilet are at disposal to guests. A kitchen is available for guests' use, as well. Wireless internet in all rooms. On check-in, guests will be given bed linen and two towels that they will return on check-out. Tax is included in the price of accommodation.
  • Manga Hostel, Resavska street 7, Phone: +381 11 324 38 77, +381 64 261 05 09 [35] New hostel in a 3-floor house, located in the very city centre (next to the House of Parliament and the City Hall... everything is really walking distance!), 1x10, 2x4, 1x1 rooms, 24hrs reception, private yard, air conditioning, free wifi, free lockers, free towels, free coffee & tea, free maps, cable TV and DVDs, 24hrs supermarkets in the surrounds. Train station is just 2 stops away (or 10 minutes walking). Beds from €13.
  • Mr. President Design Hotel, [36]. This is a very nice, new and modern hotel. It is located literally across the street from the city's train station, about 50 feet. It has 61 ultra modern web connected rooms with all of the modern conviences. The average room for 2 people cost about €100 per night.
  • Holiday Inn Belgrade located in New Belgrade, in the vicinity of Belgrade Arena
  • Metropol Palace Hotel located in city-center, in the immediate vicinity of cultural and historical sights. (currently closed for reconstruction, open Q1 2008)
  • Best Western Hotel Sumadija located in modern business part of Belgrade, Banovo Brdo. Belgrade city center is 7.5 km, Belgrade Fair 2 km and Belgrade airport is 22 km away.
  • Hotel Astoria - side street just opposite the railway station. Excellent value at €61 a double including private facilities and breakfast. Apartments available. Many thoughtful extras. Bistro restaurant good menu , good value. A short 15 minute walk to the centre of town, uphill along Balkanska Street to Terazije Square.
  • Hotel Rex, [37]. Very nice business-type hotel close to the train station, with 24 hour reception and friendly english speaking staff. Price around €60.
  • Studio APOLLO 011 Suboticka 23, Tel: +381 63 1161982, +381 61 1558752, Email: office@apollo011.in.rs, [38]. Located in pleasant surroundings of Suboticka street, at Belgrade municipality Zvezdara. Studio is only 10 minutes drive from St. Sava’s Dome, Vracar Plato and centre of the city. It is connected with city centre, New Belgrade, Fair and other parts of the city, with bus, trolleybus and tram networks. It is tidy, comfortable and pleasurable place that offers a high category hotel comfort for reasonable price.
  • Balkan Hotel,[39] [40]. A four-star hotel located downtown Belgrade, overlooking the Terazije square. Refurbished in 2006. represents a base for a modern business traveler and a complete comfort for leisure travels.
  • Moskva, Balkanska 1, +381 11 2686-255, [41]. A landmark building which was remodeled in 2009 and features small but opulent rooms with wi-fi and satellite TV. The staff apparently has been overhauled as well after previous poor reviews on that front. Counts a number of celebrities amongst its guests from its eastern bloc days.
  • Aleksandar Palas, Kralja Petra 13-15, +381 11 3305-300, [42]. A boutique hotel located near the Knez Mihailova pedestrian street and the Kalemegdan fortress.
  • Hyatt Regency Belgrade, Milentija Popovica 5, +381 11 301 1234, [43]. In New Belgrade some 9 kilometers from the airport.
  • Continental Hotel Beograd, Vladimira Popovica 10, +381 11 220 4204, [44]. Prefix Inter- has now been dropped. Located in New Belgrade, and connected thru a passageway with the Sava congress center.
  • Admiral Club Beograd, Venizelosova 31, +381 11 303 8260, [45]. In the oldest part of Belgrade “Dorćol”, near The National Theatre and famous bohemian part “Skadarlija”. In addition to the 17 elegantly appointed rooms and suites, the Hotel has unique “Glass Garden”, parlor and pastry - coffee shop.
  • In Hotel Belgrade, Bulevar Arsenija Carnojevica 56, +381 11 310 5300, [46]. In New Belgrade and some 9 kilometers from the airport, 4 kilometers from the city centre, 1 kilometer from the Sava Centre, and 200 m from the Belgrade Arena.

Private accommodation

Private accommodation is another alternative to hotels and hostel in Belgrade. You can find a lot of apartments and flats to rent. For short or long stay. Usualy this apartments are equiped very good, with everything that one apartment should have: TV, Internet, DVD, Music, washing machine, ... linens, towels, iron, hair dryer, ... housekeeping.

Belgrade in summer
Belgrade in summer

Overall, Belgrade is a very safe city, but like anywhere, you should always keep money, mobile phones, travel documents and other valuable personal items in secure places. It is important to stay away from shanty Roma towns like Karton City. If you own a car, it is preferable to have a security system. Traffic laws are usually observed, although nervous drivers can change lanes suddenly or make dangerous turns when avoiding traffic during rush hour. Taxi drivers can be notorious for swerving in and out of lanes. Pay close attention to traffic signals as a pedestrian, as Serbian drivers tend to run through red lights.

Also try to avoid getting into conflicts. If you are staying out late in a bar or a club, there is always a small chance that someone will try to pick a fight. Especially if you are in a group and a single guy is showing hostility. That is a trap by local thugs looking for a brawl. His friends are waiting around the corner. That is not because you are a foreigner, it's just the "law of the streets" anyone can be the target. Although, as a foreigner, you probably are not going to be one, in most cases they are looking for local people to fight with. Just ignore them and walk away no matter what they say or do. Chances that this will happen are very low, especially if you are hanging out in the club because of the security staff, but you should be aware of this. DO NOT try to make fun of the locals in your language especially in English. Almost everyone knows at least a little of it and everyone knows the foul words and curses. There were some cases when intoxicated tourists made fun of the locals thinking they don't understand them and ended up in a hospital.

Kosovo is a very sensitive subject. Avoid talking about it. There is quite ill-will directed towards U.S. Government (but not on a personal level) so try to avoid defending the views of the official Washington towards Kosovar independence,break-up of Yugoslavia or expelled Serbs from Croatia,Bosnia...

NEVER DISCUSS RELIGION! Unless it is only on a philosophical level and/or if you are talking to very educated people who are willing to accept different points of view. Serbia is still a very traditional country and the Serbian Orthodox Church is a very respected institution. Anything you say to discredit (on purpose or accidentally) the Orthodox Church may end up in an uncomfortable situation.

If there is a soccer game on, especially between the Red Star & Partizan soccer clubs, be sure to stay away. Almost every game has ended in serious violence, with many injured. To stay safe, it is best not to go to a soccer game at all, particularly when the Partizan soccer club is playing. Their supporters, the "Grobari" ("the grave diggers"), have recently murdered a travelling French soccer fan Following a Partizan vs Toulouse game.

If you see a traffic accident, a crime in progress or a fight just walk away. If the police asks you, don't say that you have witnessed the event. There is a certain amount of organized crime, especially in Belgrade like any other larger city in the world.

Emergencies

In case of an emergency, call 92 (police), 93 (fire) or 94 (ambulance). Always carry the phone number and an address of your embassy with you. In case of injury or illness, the place to go is the Urgentni centar (Emergency center) of the Clinical Center of Serbia. Be aware that not all medical facilities are well-stocked or have personnel that speak foreign languages, including English. Cash payment on the spot will almost certainly be required for medical services. Consult the embassy of your country, if possible.

Gay and lesbian travelers

In Serbia, including Belgrade, violence against gays and lesbians is not uncommon. The only attempt at a Gay Pride parade ended in violence. The second attempt in 2009. was canceled because of a high risk of the violence repeating again. Gay and lesbian travelers should be extremely discreet. Public displays of affection between two persons of the same sex, particularly men, can be met with violence. There is a single openly gay bar (Club X in Nušićeva Street), but it can occasionally even be unsafe to be seen arriving at or leaving this club. DO NOT DISCUSS THIS TOPIC WITH THE LOCALS UNLESS THEY BRING IT UP! You never know who you are talking to.

  • United Kingdom, Resavska 46 11000 Belgrade, +(381)(11)2645 055, [47].  edit

Stay healthy

When it snows in winter, the streets are covered in sleet the next day, so be careful when walking. The Košava, a notorious Belgrade wind, may give you a cold more quickly than you would expect, particularly in winter - take care and dress appropriately.

Also be mindful of the high number of stray animals roaming streets, particularly dogs, even in the city center. Whilst it is very rare that they demonstrate outward signs of illness or aggression, err on the side of caution and avoid coming in physical contact.

Pharmacies – called 'apoteka' – are found throughout the city center. Look for lit green crosses on building façades. Some, such as the one in Kralja Milana Str, are open twenty-four hours. These will carry a range of prescription medicines, as well as over-the-counter products like pain killers and vitamin supplements.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BELGRADE (Servian, Biograd or Beograd, i.e. " White Castle"), the capital of Servia. Pop. (1900) 69,097. Belgrade occupies a triangular ridge or foreland, washed on the north-west by the Save, and on the north-east by the Danube; these rivers flowing respectively from the south-west and north-west. The sides of the triangle slope down abruptly towards the west, more gradually towards the east; at the base stands the cone of Ayala Hill, the last outpost of the Rudnik Mountains, which extend far away to the south; and, at the apex, a cliff of Tertiary chalk, 200 ft. high, overlooks the confluence of the two rivers, the large, flat island of Veliki Voyn and several smaller islets. This cliff is crowned by the walls and towers of the citadel, once white, but now maroon with age, and, though useful as a prison and barracks, no longer of any military value. Behind the citadel, and along its glacis on the southern side, are the gardens of Kalemegdan, commanding a famous view across the river; behind Kalemegdan comes Belgrade itself, a city of white houses, among which a few great public buildings, like the high school, national bank, national theatre and the so-called New Palace, stand forth prominently. The town was formerly divided into three parts, namely, the Old town, the Russian town (Sava-Makhala or Save district), and the Turkish town (Dorcol, or Cross-road). A great change, however, took place in the course of the 19th century, and the old divisions are only partially applicable, while there has to be added the Tirazia, animportant suburban extension along the line of the aqueduct or Tirazi. A few old Turkish houses, built of plaster, with red-tiled roofs, are left among the ill-paved and insanitary districts bordering upon the rivers, but as the royal residence, the seat of government, and the centre of the import trade, Belgrade was, after 1869, III. 22 a rapidly transformed into a modern European town, with wide streets, electric tramways and electric lighting. Only the multitude of small gardens, planted with limes, acacias and lilacs, and the bright costumes of the Servian or Hungarian peasants, remain to distinguish it from a western capital. For a town of such importance, which is also the seat of the metropolitan of Servia, Belgrade has very few churches, and these are of a somewhat modest type. There were, in 1900, four Servian Orthodox churches, including the cathedral, one Roman Catholic chapel, one Evangelical chapel (German), two synagogues and one mosque. This last is kept up entirely at the expense of the Servian government.

The highest educational establishments are to be found in Belgrade: the Velika Shkola (a small university with three faculties), the military academy, the theological seminary, the high school for girls, a commercial academy, and several schools for secondary education on German models. A commercial tribunal, a court of appeal and the court of cassation are also in Belgrade. There is a fine monument to Prince Michael (1860-1868) who succeeded in removing the Turkish garrison from the Belgrade citadel and obtaining other Turkish fortresses in Servia by skilful diplomacy. There are also an interesting national museum, with Roman antiquities and numismatic collections, a national library with a wealth of old Servian MSS. among its 40,000 volumes, and a botanical garden, rich in specimens of the Balkan flora. To promote commerce there are a stock and produce exchange (Berta), a national bank, privileged to issue notes, and several other banking establishments. The insurance work is done by-foreign companies.

The bulk of the foreign trade of Servia passes through Belgrade, but the industrial output of the city itself is not large, owing to the scarcity both of labour and capital. The principal industries are brewing, iron-founding and the manufacture of cloth, boots, leather, cigarettes, matches, pottery, preserved meat and confectionery. The railway from Budapest to Constantinople crosses the Save by a fine bridge on the south-west, above the landing-place for steamers. Farther south is the park of Topchider, with an old Turkish kiosk built for Prince Milosh (1818-1839) in the beautifully laid-out grounds. In the adjoining forest of lime-trees, called Koshutnyak or the "deer-park," Prince Michael was assassinated in 1868. Just opposite the citadel, in a north-westerly direction, half-an-hour by steamer across the Danube, lies the Hungarian town of Semlin. For administrative purposes, Belgrade forms a separate department of the kingdom.

The first fortification of the rock, at the confluence of the Save and the Danube, was made by the Celts in the 3rd century B.C. They gave it the name of Singidunum, by which Belgrade was known until the 7th century A.D. The Romans took it from the Celts, and replaced their fort by a regular Roman castrum, placing in it a strong garrison. Roman bricks, dug up in the fortress, bear the inscription, Legio IV. Flavia Felix. From the 4th to the beginning of the 6th century A.D. it often changed its masters (Huns, Sarmatians, Goths, Gepids); then the emperor Justinian brought it once more under Roman rule and fortified and embellished it. Towards the end of the 8th century it was taken by the Franks of Charlemagne. In the 9th century it was captured by the Bulgarians, and held by them until the beginning of the 11th century, when the Byzantine emperor Basil II. reconquered it for the Greek empire. The Hungarians, under king Stephen, took it from the Greeks in 1124. From that time it was constantly changing hands - Greeks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, replacing each other in turn. The city was considered to be the key of Hungary, and its possession was believed to secure possession of Servia, besides giving command of the traffic between the Upper and the Lower Danube. It has, in consequence, seen more battles under its walls than most fortresses in Europe. The Turks: used to call it Darol-i-Jehad, " the home of wars for faith." During the 14th century it was in the hands of the Servian kings. The Servian prince George Brankovich ceded it to the Hungarians in 1427. The Turkish forces unsuccessfully besieged the city in 1444 and 1456, on which last occasion a glorious victory was obtained by the Christian garrison, led by the famous John Hunyady and the enthusiastic monk John Capistran. In 1521 Sultan Suleiman took it from the Hungarians, and from that year it remained in Turkish possession until 1688, when the Austrians captured it, only to lose it again in 1690. In 1717 Prince Eugene of Savoy conquered it for Austria, which kept it until 1739, improving the fortifications and giving great impulse to the commercial development of the town. From 1 739 to 1789 the Turks were again its masters, when, in that last year, the Austrians under General Laudon carried it by assault, only to lose it again in 1792. In 1807 the Servians, having risen for their independence, forced the Turkish garrison to capitulate, and became masters of Belgrade, which they kept until the end of September 1813, when they abandoned it to the Turks. Up to the year 1862 not only was the fortress of Belgrade garrisoned by Turkish troops, but the Danubian slope of the town was inhabited by Turks, living under a special Turkish administration, while the modern part of the town (the plateau of the ridge and the western slope) was inhabited by Servians living under their own authorities. This dual government was a constant cause of friction between the Servians and the Turks, and on the occasion of one conflict between the two parties the Turkish commander of the fortress bombarded the Servian part of the town (June 1862). The indirect consequence of this incident was that in 1866, on the categoric demand of Prince Michael of Servia, and under the diplomatic pressure of the great powers, the sultan withdrew the Turkish garrison from the citadel and delivered it to the Servians. (C. Mi.)


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Contents

English

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Etymology

From Slavic words beli or beo, meaning white and grad meaning city or town. It was named after the white wall of the fortress that enclosed the city.

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Belgrade

Plural
-

Belgrade

  1. The capital of Serbia; formerly the capital of Serbia and Montenegro and of former Yugoslavia.

Derived terms

Translations

See also


French

Proper noun

Belgrade

  1. Belgrade

Simple English

Belgrade is the capital city of the country of Serbia. Before the wars of the 1990s it used to be the capital of Yugoslavia.

Belgrade is also one of the most popular travel destinations in Eastern Europe. It is famous for a very busy nightlife and a lot of entertainment activities.

Belgrade main tourist attractions are: - Kalemegdan Fortrees - Knez Mihailova Street - Belgrade Zoo - Memorial Complex "Josip Broz Tito"

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Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 26, 2010

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