Thursday, 8 March 2012



Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. The city is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. Its name in English translates to White city. The city proper has a population of over 1.1 million, while its metropolitan area has over 1.6 million people, making it one of the largest cities in Southeast Europe.

One of the largest prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved around the area Belgrade in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, Thraco-Dacians inhabited the region, and after 279 BC Celts conquered the city, naming it Singidūn. It was conquered by the Romans during the reign of Augustus, and awarded city rights in the mid 2nd century. It was settled by the Slavs in the 520s, and changed hands several times before it became the capital of King Stephen Dragutin (1282–1316). In 1521 Belgrade was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and became the seat of a the Sanjak of Smederevo. It frequently passed from Ottoman to Habsburg rule, which saw the destruction of most of the city during the Austro-Ottoman wars. Belgrade was again named the capital of Serbia in 1841. The north of Belgrade remained a Habsburg outpost until 1918, when it was merged into the capital city. As a strategic location, the city was battled over in 115 wars and razed to the ground 44 times. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia (in various forms of governments) from its creation in 1918, to its final dissolution in 2006.

Cathedral of St Sava

In the inner area of the City of Belgrade there are over 5,500 streets, 16 plazas and 32 squares. The oldest streets that have retained their original routes are: Vase Čarapića, Kralja Petra, Cara Dušana, Jevrejska, Narodnog fronta, Gavrila Principa, and Karađorđeva Streets. The development of the street network started in 1867, after the Turks had departed, when the regulatory plan of Belgrade was adopted, which had been drawn up by engineer Emilijan Josimović. In the territories of the 10 City municipalities, the oldest is the Student Square, and the most famous one is the Republic Square. 

Kneza Mihaila Street is a pedestrian zone and shopping center - protected by law as one of the oldest and most valuable monumental complexes of the city, with a large number of representative buildings and urban houses built at the end of 1870s. It is thought that in as early as the Roman times there was the center of the Singidunum settlement. In this area, at the time of Turks, there were winding streets with gardens, drinking-fountains and mosques. In the mid19th century, in the upper part of the street was the garden of Knez Aleksandar Karađorđević. After the making of the regulation plan of Belgrade in 1867, byEmilijan Josimović, the street has soon been built and gained its physionomy and content. The houses have been built there and the most influential and wealthiest families of the commercial and political society of Belgrade have come to live there. In 1870, the city authorities officially gave a name to this street - Ulica Kneza Mihaila.

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 (splavovi) spread along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers.
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. The Times reported that Europe's best nightlife can be found in buzzing Belgrade. In the Lonely Planet "1000 Ultimate Experiences" guide of 2009, Belgrade was placed in the number 1 spot of the top 10 party cities in the world.

                                                                             Belgrade’s Top 5:
Belgrade Fortress
  1. Belgrade Fortress.  High above the Sava and Danube confluence, on the rocky ridge which overlooks The city, Zemun and wide plains of Pannonia, there is the Belgrade Fortress with Kalemegdan, the former historical and urban center of Belgrade. This spatial complex consists of: The Fortress, divided into Upper Town and Lower Town, and the Kalemegdan park, the most popular promenade for Belgrade citizens. Because of its exceptional strategic significance, at the end of the first century A.D. the Romans built a fortress here - Roman castrum, as a permanent military camp of the IV Flavius' legion. After its destruction by the Goths and Huns, it was reconstructed in the first decades of the sixth century. Less than a hundred years later, it was destroyed by the Avars and Slavs. A mediaeval town has developed over the centuries in the Fortress area, clinging on to safety within its thick walls. The Belgrade Fortress has been destroyed and renewed many times. Above the Roman walls there are the Serbian walls, and above these the Turkish and Austrian fortifications. In the twelfth century, the Byzantine Czar Manuel Comnenus erected a new castle upon the Roman ruins. In the first decades of the fourteenth century, this small stronghold on the hill was expanded to the river banks.
  2. The Cathedral of Saint Sava or Saint Sava Temple in the Vračar region of Belgrade, is an Orthodox church, the largest in the Balkans, and one of the 10 largest church buildings in the world. The church is dedicated to Saint Sava, founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and an important figure in medieval Serbia. It is built on the Vračar plateau, on the location where his remains were burned in 1595 by the Ottoman Empire's Sinan Pasha. From its location, it dominates Belgrade's cityscape, and is perhaps the most monumental building in the city. The building of the church structure is being financed exclusively by donations. The parish home is nearby, as will be the planned patriarchal building. It is not a cathedral in the technical ecclesiastical sense, as it is not the seat of a bishop (the seat of the Metropolitan bishop of Belgrade is St. Michael's Cathedral). In Serbian it is called a hram (temple), which is in Eastern Orthodoxy another name for a church. In English, it is usually called a cathedral because of its size and importance.
  3. The National Museum.  The largest and oldest museum in Serbia. It is located in Republic Square. The museum was established on May 10, 1844. Since it was founded, its collections have to over 400,000 objects including many foreign masterpieces. The National Museum building was declared a Monument of Culture of Great Importance in 1979. The Museum has 34 archeological, numismatic, artistic and historical collections today. The main collection consists of sculptures from Vinca (6–5th millennium B.C.) such as Lady of Vinča and Lepenski Vir (7th millennium B.C.). There are also numerous sculptures, weapons, helmets and other items from ancient Rome and 1005 items from ancient Greece and items from Ancient Celtic people. The most valuable pieces from that period are Dupljaja Chariot (16-13th century B.C), golden masks from Trebenište (6th century B.C.), household sets from Jabučje (1st century A.D.), the Belgrade Cameo (4th century) .Silver belt with swastika, 5th century BC. There is also a collection from ancient Egypt. The most famous piece is a rare gold sarcophagus and mummy of the Egyptian priest Nesmin.
  4. The Old Palace. The palace was built between 1882 and 1884, according to the design of Aleksandar Bugarski, in the style of academism of the 19th century, with intention to surpass all existing residences of the Serbian rulers. A number of important events from the time of the political power of the Obrenović dynasty are linked to the Old Palace: the Palace was built when Serbia was proclaimed a Kingdom; in that same building, King Milan abdicated in favor of his son, Aleksandar, on February 22, 1889. Between 1903 and 1914, the Old Palace was the residence of the Karadjordjević dynasty. In 1919 and 1920, meetings of the Provisional National Assembly took place there. Royal festivities and receptions of foreign guests took place there until 1941.
  5. Skadarlija.  is a vintage street, an urban neighborhood and former municipality of Belgrade. It is located in the Belgrade municipality of Stari Grad (Old town) and generally considered the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade, styled as the Belgrade Montmartre. Skadarlija is located less than 300 metres (330 yd) north-west of Terazije, central Belgrade. It begins right below the Republic Square and stretches along the short, winding Skadarska Street. One of the most famous streets in Belgrade, it is less than 400 metres (440 yd) long. It connects the Despot Stefan Boulevard with the Dušanova Street, near the Bajloni open green market and the Mira Trailović Square, where it extends into the neighborhood of Dorćol. Skadarlija became a separate municipality of Belgrade in 1952, after the previous post-World War II division of Belgrade into raions from 1945 to 1952 ended. That municipality included a large portion of urban Belgrade, mainly the Danube oriented neighborhoods like Dorćol, Jalija, Stari Grad, etc. On January 1, 1957 it merged into the new municipality of Stari Grad. 

    The bohemian area. Skadarlija 


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