About Belgrade

Belgrade, capital of Serbia

‘City of the Future’ in Southern Europe. Financial Times has rated European cities and regions of the future for 2007/08 and, after winning the second round, Belgrade is gaining recognition.

Serbia is located in the Balkans (a historical and geographical region of southeastern Europe) and in the Pannonian Plain (a region of central Europe). It shares borders with Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Romania. It is landlocked, although access to the Adriatic is available through Montenegro, and the Danube River provides shipping access to inland Europe and the Black Sea.

Belgrade (Beograd) is the capital and largest city of Serbia. The city lies on two international waterways, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula. Likewise, the city is placed along the pan-European corridors X and VII. With a population of 1,630,000 (official estimate 2007), Belgrade is the largest city in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and the third largest in Southeastern Europe, after Istanbul and Athens.

One of the oldest cities in Europe, with archeological finds tracing settlements as early as the 6th millennium BC, Belgrade’s wider city area was the birthplace of the largest prehistoric culture of Europe, the Vinca culture. First mentioned by the Greek sources,[8] a settlement on today’s location was founded in 3rd century BC by the Celts who named it the White City, which it still bears. It was awarded city rights by the Romans before it was permanently settled by White Serbs from the 600s onwards. As a strategic location, the city was battled over in 115 wars and razed to the ground 44 times 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 and among the largest European cities.Frequently passing from Ottoman to Austrian rule, the status of Serbian capital would be regained only in 1841, after the Serbian revolution. Northern Belgrade, though, remained an Austrian 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. Its territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each having its own local council.It covers 3.6% of the territory of Serbia, and 24% of the country’s population lives in the city. Belgrade is the central economic hub of Serbia, and the capital of Serbian culture, education and science.