Belgrade: (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)

Belgrade is the capital city of both the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia.  The city with the suburbs has population of about 2 000 000 citizens, by far the largest Serbian city. It was found by Celts thousands of years ago, but  its Slavic name (Beograd) has been around for over eleven centuries and it means White City.
Above: Crest of Belgrade.

Its strategic location - on the banks of Danube and Sava rivers and on the route between the Western and Eastern World have made Belgrade a frequent target for foreign conquests. Historians estimate that the Serbian capital has been destroyed and/or captured forty times in its long history, which partially explains its lack of old architecture.

Belgrade is the supreme cultural and economic center of not only Serbia and Yugoslavia but also of  few neighboring countries. (Macedonia and Republic of Serbs) With sanctions lifted only recently, Belgrade is bound to retake its role as the center of entire Balkan peninsula.

Belgrade is not in the same league with European elite cities such as Barcelona, Paris, Milan, Vienna, St. Petersburg etc. in terms of architecture. Yet, in my opinion at least, Belgrade does have a charm of its own and dynamic cultural activity which goes beyond its inferior appearance. This is not to say that Belgrade is ugly as vast majority of North American cities with their horrible suburbs followed by huge plazas and shopping malls.  Perhaps Momo Kapor, a great Serbian author of short stories about Belgrade, summarized it best in his book 011 (011 is the area code for Belgrade)

      "In all honesty, Belgrade does not belong among the most beautiful European cities,
  but neither does the author of this book belong amongst the most handsome men,
so it would be rather unacceptable for me to demand some other city for myself.

                                                           I barely got this one!"

 In any case, we'll let visitors of these pages arrive at their own opinions about Belgrade. 

Above & Bellow: Winner (Pobednik)  is a huge monument erected on the highest point of the Fortress Kalemegdan following World War One. It looks across Sava River, from where Austrian forces invaded the Kingdom of Serbia in 1914. Symbolically, Winner is holding a dove in his left hand and a lowered sword in his right.

Above: In background is the National Theater. In front is Prince Mihailo, 19th Century Serbian ruler who finalized the liberation of Belgrade. 
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