Place:Belgrade, Serbia, Serbia and Montenegro

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NameBelgrade
Alt namesAlba Bulgaricasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 10
Alba Graecasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 10
Belgradsource: Rand McNally Atlas (Reprinted 1994) I-17
Belgradasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 10
Belgradosource: Rand McNally Atlas (Reprinted 1994) I-17
Bellogradum Pelgrannumsource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 10
Beogradsource: Wikipedia
Singidunumsource: GRI Photo Archive, Authority File (1998) p 12655; Orbis Latinus (1971) p 10; Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1979) p 841; Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 131
Београдsource: Wikipedia
TypeCity
Coordinates44.83°N 20.5°E
Located inSerbia, Serbia and Montenegro
Contained Places
Cemetery
Belgrade War Cemetery
Inhabited place
Novi Beograd
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Belgrade ( ; / Београд, meaning 'white city', ; ) is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. The urban area of the City of Belgrade has a population of 1.23 million, while nearly 1.7 million people live within its administrative limits.[1]

One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved within the Belgrade area in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, ThracoDacians 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.[2] It was settled by the Slavs in the 520s, and changed hands several times between the Byzantine Empire, the Frankish Empire, the Bulgarian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary before it became the seat of the Serbian king Stephen Dragutin (ruled 1282–1316). In 1521, Belgrade was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and became the seat of 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. Northern Belgrade remained the southernmost Habsburg post until 1918, when the city was reunited. As a strategic location, the city was battled over in 115 wars and razed 44 times. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from its creation in 1918 to its dissolution in 2006.

Belgrade has a special administrative status within Serbia and it is one of the five statistical regions of Serbia. Its metropolitan territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each with its own local council. The city of Belgrade covers 3.6% of Serbia's territory, and around 24% of the country's population lives within its administrative limits.[1] It is classified as a Beta-Global City.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Prehistory

Chipped stone tools found in Zemun show that the area around Belgrade was inhabited by nomadic foragers in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras. Some of these tools belong are of Mousterian industry, which are associated with Neanderthals rather than modern humans. Aurignacian and Gravettian tools have also been discovered there, indicating occupation between 50,000 and 20,000 years ago.

The first farming people to settle in the region are associated with the Neolithic Starčevo culture, which flourished between 6200 and 5200 BC. There are several Starčevo sites in and around Belgrade, including the eponymous site of Starčevo. The Starčevo culture was succeeded by the Vinča culture (5500–4500 BC), a more sophisticated farming culture that grew out of the earlier Starčevo settlements which is also named for a site in the Belgrade region (Vinča-Belo Brdo). The Vinča culture is known for its very large settlements, one of the earliest settlements by continuous habitation and some of the largest in prehistoric Europe; anthropomorphic figurines such as the Lady of Vinča; the earliest known copper metallurgy in Europe; and a proto-writing form developed prior to the Sumerians and Minoans, known as the Old European script, dating back to around 5300 BC. Within the city proper, on Cetinjska Street, a skull of a Paleolithic human was discovered in 1890. The skull is dated to before 5000 BC.

Antiquity

Evidence of early knowledge about Belgrade's geographical location comes from ancient myths and legends. The rock overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers has been identified as one of the places in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. Paleo-Balkan tribes of Thracians and Dacians ruled this area prior to the Roman conquest. Belgrade was inhabited by a Thraco-Dacian tribe Singi;[3] after the Celtic invasion in 279 BC, the Scordisci took the city, naming it "Singidūn" (dūn, fortress).[3] In 34–33 BC, the Roman army, led by Silanus, reached Belgrade. It became the romanised Singidunum in the 1st century AD and, by the mid-2nd century, the city was proclaimed a municipium by the Roman authorities, evolving into a full-fledged colonia (highest city class) by the end of the century. While the first Christian Emperor of RomeConstantine I, also known as Constantine the Great—was born in the territory of Naissus in southern Serbia, Roman Christianity's champion, Flavius Iovianus (Jovian), was born in Singidunum. 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. Across the Sava from Singidunum was the Celtic city of Taurunum (Zemun); the two were connected with a bridge throughout Roman and Byzantine times.

Middle Ages

In 442, the area was ravaged by Attila the Hun. In 471, it was taken by Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, who continued into Greece. As the Ostrogoths left for Italy, another Germanic tribe, the Gepids, took over the city. In 539 it was retaken by the Byzantines. In 577, some 100,000 Slavs poured into Thrace and Illyricum, pillaging cities and settling down. The Avars, under Bayan I conquered the whole region by 582. According to Byzantine chronicle De Administrando Imperio, the White Serbs had stopped in Belgrade on their way back home, asking the strategos for lands; they received provinces in the west, towards the Adriatic, which they would rule as subjects to Heraclius (610–641). In 829 Khan Omurtag was able to add Singidunum and its environs to the First Bulgarian Empire.

The first record of the name Belograd appeared on April, 16th, 878, in a Papal letter to Bulgarian ruler Boris I. Later, this name appeared in several variants: Alba Bulgarica, Griechisch Weissenburg (High German for 'white fortress') , Nándorfehérvár (Hungarian for 'great Bulgarian white city'), Castelbianco (Venetian for 'white fortress'), among other names. For about four centuries, the city remained a battleground between the Byzantine Empire, the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, and the Bulgarian Empire. Basil II (976–1025) installed a garrison in Belgrade. The city hosted the armies of the First and the Second Crusade, but, while passing through during the Third Crusade, Frederick Barbarossa and his 190,000 crusaders saw Belgrade in ruins.

King Stefan Dragutin (r. 1276–1282) received Belgrade from his father-in-law, Stephen V of Hungary in 1284, and it served as the capital of the Kingdom of Syrmia, a vassal state to the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Dragutin (Hungarian: Dragutin István) is regarded as the first Serbian king to rule over Belgrade.

Following the battles of Maritsa (1371) and Kosovo field (1389), Moravian Serbia, to Belgrade's south, began its final fall to the Ottoman Empire. The northern sections of what is now Serbia resisted as the Serbian Despotate, with Belgrade as its capital. The city flourished under Stefan Lazarević, the son of Serbian prince Lazar Hrebeljanović. Lazarević built a castle with a citadel and towers, of which only the Despot's tower and 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 many Balkan peoples fleeing Ottoman rule, and is thought to have had a population of between 40,000 to 50,000 people.[4]

In 1427, Stefan's successor Đurađ Branković had to return Belgrade to the Hungarian king, and Smederevo became the new capital. Although the Ottomans captured most of the Serbian Despotate, Belgrade, known as Nándorfehérvár in Hungarian, was unsuccessfully besieged in 1440[5] and 1456. As the city presented an obstacle to the Ottoman advance into Hungary and further, over 100,000 Ottoman soldiers besieged it in 1456, in which the Christian army led by the Hungarian General John Hunyadi successfully defended it. The noon bell ordered by Pope Callixtus III commemorates the victory throughout the Christian world to this day.[5]

Ottoman rule and Austrian invasions

Seven decades after the initial siege, on 28 August 1521, the fort was finally captured by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his 250,000 soldiers and over 100 ships. Subsequently, most of the city was razed to the ground and its entire Orthodox Christian population was deported to Istanbul[5] to an area that has since become known as the 'Belgrade forest'. Belgrade was made the seat of the Pashalik of Belgrade (also known as the Sanjak of Smederevo), becoming the second largest Ottoman town in Europe at over 100,000 people, surpassed only by Constantinople.[6] Ottoman rule introduced Ottoman architecture, including numerous mosques, and the city was revived with Oriental influences. In 1594, a major Serb rebellion was crushed by the Ottomans. Later, Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha ordered the relics of Saint Sava to be publicly torched on the Vračar plateau; in the 20th century, the Temple of Saint Sava was built to commemorate this event.

Occupied by the Habsburgs three times (1688–1690, 1717–1739, 1789–1791), headed by the Holy Roman Princes Maximilian of Bavaria and Eugene of Savoy, and field marshal Baron Ernst Gideon von Laudon respectively, Belgrade was quickly recaptured by the Ottomans and substantially razed each time.[7] During this period, the city was affected by the two Great Serbian Migrations, in which hundreds of thousands of Serbs, led by two Serbian Patriarchs, retreated together with the Austrians into the Habsburg Empire, settling in today's Vojvodina and Slavonia.

Principality of Serbia

At the beginning of the 19th century, Belgrade was predominantly inhabited by a Muslim population. Traces of Ottoman rule and architecture, —such as mosques and bazaas, were to remain a prominent part of Belgrade's townscape into the 19th century, several decades, even, after Serbia was granted autonomy from the Ottoman Empire.

During the First Serbian Uprising, the Serbian revolutionaries held the city from 8 January 1807 until 1813, when it was retaken by the Ottomans. After the Second Serbian Uprising in 1815, Serbia reached semi-independence, which was formally recognized by the Porte in 1830.


The development of Belgrade architecture after 1815 can be divided into four periods. In the first phase, which lasted from 1815 to 1835, the dominant architectural style was still of a Balkan character, with substantial Ottoman influence. At the same time, an interest in joining the European mainstream allowed Central and Western European architecture to flourish. Between 1835 and 1850, the amount of neoclassicist and baroque buildings south of the Austrian border rose considerably, exemplified by St Michael's Cathedral (Serbian: Saborna crkva), completed in 1840. Between 1850 and 1875, new architecture was characterised by a turn towards the newly-popular Romanticism, along with older European architectural styles. Typical of Central European cities in the last quarter of the 19th century, the fourth phase was characterised by an eclecticist style based on the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

In 1841, Prince Mihailo Obrenović moved the capital of the Principality of Serbia from Kragujevac to Belgrade. During his first reign (1815–1839), Prince Miloš Obrenović pursued the creation of new settlements, the colonization of new population and the aim to make Belgrade a centre of administrative, military and cultural institutions. His project of creating a new market space (čaršija) was less successful. The new Abadžijska čaršija couldn't compete against the already well-established market places of the city of Belgrade. Trade was still conducted in the centuries-old Donja čaršija and Gornja čaršija. New construction projects were typical for the Christian quarters and not so much for the Muslim ones. Until 1863 the number of Belgrade quarters decreases continuously, mainly as a consequence of the reduction of Muslim population. An Ottoman city map from that year counts only 9 quarters (mahale). The names of only five are known today: Ali-pašina mahala, Reis-efendijina, Jahja-pašina, Bajram-begova and Laz Hadži-Mahmudova mahala.

On 18 April 1867 the Ottoman government ordered the Ottoman garrison, which had been since 1826 the last representation of Ottoman suzerainty in Serbia, withdrawn from the Belgrade fortress. The only stipulation was that the Ottoman flag continue to fly over the fortress alongside the Serbian one. Serbia's de facto independence dates from this event. The urban planner Emilijan Josimović had a significant impact on the urbanism of Belgrade in the last third of the 19th century. He conceptualised a regulation plan for Belgrade in 1867, where he proposed an alternation of the town's crooked streets with rectangular ones. Of great importance was also the construction of political and cultural institutions as well as parks. When it comes to Josimović's work, Serbian scholars have often pointed out that it represented an important break with Ottoman traditions. However, Istanbul – the capital city of the state to which Belgrade and Serbia officially still belonged – at the same time underwent quite similar processes of urbanisation.

In May 1868, Prince Mihailo was assassinated with his cousin Anka Konstantinović while riding in a carriage through the park of his country residence

Kingdom of Serbia

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.[8] 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 (at the time Serbia numbered 2.5 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.

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.

World War I

The First World War began on 28 July 1914 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Most of the subsequent Balkan offensives occurred near Belgrade. Austro-Hungarian monitors shelled Belgrade on 29 July 1914, and it was taken by the Austro-Hungarian Army under General Oskar Potiorek on 30 November. On 15 December, it was re-taken by Serbian troops under Marshal Radomir Putnik. After a prolonged battle which destroyed much of the city, between 6 and 9 October 1915, Belgrade fell to German and Austro-Hungarian troops commanded by Field Marshal August von Mackensen on 9 October 1915. The city was liberated by Serbian and French troops on 1 November 1918, under the command of Marshal Louis Franchet d'Espèrey of France and Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia. Since Belgrade was decimated as the front-line city, Subotica overtook the title of the largest city in the Kingdom for a short while.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

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.

During this period, the city experienced fast 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. 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, while King Alexander Bridge over the Sava was opened in 1934. On 3 September 1939 the first Belgrade Grand Prix, the last Grand Prix motor racing race before the outbreak of World War II, was held around the Belgrade Fortress and was followed by 80,000 spectators. The winner was Tazio Nuvolari.

World War II

On 25 March 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 and keep Yugoslavia neutral during the conflict. 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 6 April 1941, killing up to 2,274 people. Yugoslavia was then invaded by German, Italian, Hungarian, and Bulgarian forces. Belgrade was captured by subterfuge, with six German soldiers led by their officer Fritz Klingenberg pretending to be a larger force, accepted the surrender of the city. Belgrade was then occupied by the German Army later the same month and Belgrade became the seat of the puppet Nedić regime, headed by General Milan Nedić.



During the summer and fall of 1941, in reprisal for guerrilla attacks, the 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. The resistance movement in Belgrade was led by Major Žarko Todorović from 1941 until his arrest in 1943.

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 16 April 1944, killing at least 1,100 people. This bombing fell on the Orthodox Christian Easter. Most of the city remained under German occupation until 20 October 1944, when it was liberated by the Red Army and the Communist Yugoslav Partisans. On 29 November 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 7 April 1963). Higher estimates from the former secret police place the victim count of political persecutions in Belgrade at 10,000.

Socialist Yugoslavia

When the war ended, the city was left with 11,500 demolished housing units. During the post-war period, Belgrade grew rapidly as the capital of the renewed Yugoslavia, developing as a major industrial centre.[9] In 1948, construction of New Belgrade started. 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 1962, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport was built. In 1968, major student protests led to several street clashes between students and the police.

Breakup of Yugoslavia

On 9 March 1991, massive demonstrations led by Vuk Drašković were held in the city against Slobodan Milošević. According to various media outlets, there were between 100,000 and 150,000 people on the streets. 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. Further protests were held in Belgrade from November 1996 to February 1997 against the same government after alleged electoral fraud at local elections. 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.

In 1999, during the Kosovo War, NATO bombings caused damage to the city. Among the sites bombed were various ministry buildings, the RTS building, several hospitals, the Hotel Jugoslavija, the Central Committee building, the Avala Tower, and the Chinese embassy.

After the 2000 presidential elections, Belgrade was the site of major public protests, with over half a million people on the streets. These demonstrations resulted in the ousting of president Milošević.

Contemporary period

In 2014, Belgrade Waterfront, an urban renewal project, has been initiated headed by the Government of Serbia aimed at improving Belgrade's cityscape and economy by revitalizing the Sava amphitheatre, a neglected stretch of land on the right bank of the Sava river, between the Belgrade Fair and Belgrade Main railway station. Around €3.5 billion will be invested by the Serbian government and their Emirati partners. The project includes office and luxury apartment buildings, five-star hotels, a shopping mall and Belgrade Tower. The project is, however, considered by many as controversial, since there are a number of uncertainties regarding its funding, necessity, as well as ots chosen architectural solutions.

The city is currently under rapid development and reconstruction, especially in the area of Novi Beograd, where many apartment and office buildings are under construction.

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