Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Serbia - Belgrade

Serbia is a new country in my postcard collection! :)
My first Serbian card shows the capital of this country, Belgrad (Београд in Serbian). It arrived a bit damged, but probably that's beacause it's really big :)

Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. The city lies on two international waterways, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube in north central Serbia, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula. With a population of 1 710 000 (official estimate 2007), Belgrade is the largest city in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, second largest city on the Danube river and the fourth largest in Southeastern Europe, after Istanbul, Athens, and Bucharest.

One of the oldest cities of Europe, with archeological finds tracing settlements as early as 6th millennium BC,Belgrade's wider city area was the birthplace of the largest prehistoric culture of Europe, the Vinča culture. The city was discovered by the Greeks, founded and named by the Celts (White City, name it still bears), awarded city rights by the Romans before it was permanently settled by White Serbs from the 600s onwards. As a strategic key, the city was battled over in 140 separate wars 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.

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