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Belgrade coat of arms
Belgrade (Serbia)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Basic data
State : Serbia
Okrug : Belgrade
Coordinates : 44 ° 49 '  N , 20 ° 28'  E Coordinates: 44 ° 49 '14 "  N , 20 ° 27' 44"  E
Height : 131  m. i. J.
Area : 359.96  km²
Residents : 1,344,844 (2016)
Agglomeration : 1,683,962 (2016)
Population density : 3,736 inhabitants per km²
Telephone code : (+381) 11
Postal code : 11000
License plate : BG
Structure and administration (status: 2018)
Community type: city
Structure : 10 urban parishes and
7 suburban parishes
Mayor : Zoran Radojičić ( SNS )
Postal address : Degree Beograd
Masarikova 5 / XVII
11000 Beograd
Website :

Belgrade ( Serbian Београд Beograd [ listen ? / I ], translated "white city", hence the old name Greek Weißenburg ) is the capital of the Republic of Serbia . The city is divided into ten urban parishes and seven suburban parishes. The core city has an area of ​​359.96 km², the surrounding suburban areas 2862.72 km², whereby the area of ​​some municipalities belongs partly to the core city and partly to the suburb. Together they form the Okrug Beograd with 1.71 million inhabitants (2011 census) , making it one of the largest metropolitan regions in Southeast Europe . With 1,344,844 inhabitants, it is also the Serbian primate city . Audio file / audio sample

With its universities , colleges and scientific institutions, Belgrade is the educational center and with numerous publishers, radio and television companies as well as daily and monthly newspapers, it is also the country's dominant media center. Belgrade is the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the residence of the Serbian Patriarch. The largest Christian church on the Balkan Peninsula, St. Sava Cathedral , is in Belgrade.

The fair Belgrade is due to its strategic location at the mouth of the Save in the Danube and on the north boundary of the Balkan peninsula , a node point of the rail and motorway network. Therefore Belgrade is often referred to as the gateway to the Balkans .

Landmark Belgrade is often contested in history, towering over the Sava flows into the Danube fortress of Belgrade . Nearby is the historic university observatory and across the river ( Novi Beograd ) the Sava Centar , built in 1977–1979 , the largest congress center of all Balkan countries.

Belgrade was the first capital of the medieval Serbian ruling dynasties at the beginning of the 15th century and has been the capital of Serbia since the 19th century . In the 20th century it was the capital of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and socialist Yugoslavia . Because of the Yugoslav rejection of Soviet hegemony and Stalinism and as a meeting place for the non-aligned people , Belgrade was an important political center during the Cold War .



Aerial view showing the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers at the Belgrade Fortress
The main square and geographical center of Belgrade is the Terazije with the Terazijska česma

The favorable location in south-east Europe on two navigable rivers and at the intersection of several trade and migration routes earned Belgrade the title of “Gate of the Balkans” and “Gate of Central Europe”.

The city is also favored locally, geographically and strategically, especially due to the topography high above the vast Srem and Banat lowlands. It borders on the landscape of the aeolian and fluvial Pannonian lowlands and the Jungalpidic fold mountain systems of the Balkan Peninsula .

The Danube bed in the lower town (Donji grad) was already settled in the Middle Ages. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the settlement area grew on the slopes and plateaus of the hilly Šumadija . Only after the Second World War did the city expand further west into the plains of the Srem.

The geographic center of the city is set at the end of the old Belgrade boulevard Knez Mihailova ulica (Fürst-Michael-Straße). This follows the ancient Cardo coming from the fortress to the confluence with the long Terazije square ( ). This is where the two avenues that were developed as main streets in the first half of the 20th century begin, Ulica Kralja Milana with Belgrade's most important traffic junction, Slavija , and Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra . From these main streets, which lead south-east into Šumadija and run straight on the plateau, the partly very steep cross streets on the Sava and Danube slopes descend ( Brankova ulica , Kamenička ulica , Balkanska ulica , Nemanjina ulica , Ulica Kneza Miloša , Bulevar Despota Stefana , Takovska ulica and Ruzveltova ulica ).

Four road bridges ( Brankov most , Savski most , Gazela , Adabrücke ), a railway bridge and a disused railway bridge ( Old and New Belgrade Railway Bridge ) lead over the Sava, which is about 400 meters wide, and the Pančevo Bridge crosses the 750 meters wide Danube. These buildings connect the old town with the opposite districts such as the new town of Novi Beograd , which was only built after the Second World War in the former flood area in the angle between the Danube and the Save Delta. Novi Beograd has grown together with the historic district of Zemun (also known as Semlin in German ) located a bit up the Danube, a Habsburg Danube town at the time of the Turkish wars and now a municipality of Belgrade. The Mihajlo-Pupin Bridge was opened in Zemun in 2014 as the second bridge over the Danube.


Topography, relief and toponyms of Belgrade.
Belgrade in a picture from the ISS (taken on March 5, 2013)

Belgrade extends over the plains of the Banat and Syrmia on the left bank of the Sava and Danube , with their large grain and maize fields, and on the right-hand, wooded, hilly low mountain range of the Šumadija , with its orchards and vineyards.

The old town Stari Grad and the fortress are at 115  m. i. J. high, north-westerly foothills of the Terazije Plateaux of the Šumadija 50 meters above the Sava estuary, which in turn is only 71 meters above sea level. The official mean height of Belgrade is the height of the weather station at 132  m. i. J. The strategically favorable position of the fortress of Belgrade is given by its location on the limestone steep slope over the Sava and Danube lowlands. The approx. 300 m wide Terazije plateau stretches from the fortress in a length of 4 km to the Vračar hill and formed the actual core area of ​​the city's civil development. To the south-east, the old town is delimited by the Mokroluški potok valley cut. The right-hand valley slope of the Mokrolušski potok formed the actual narrower city boundary within which the civil life of the city, divided into individual mahals, took place since the 18th century from the fortification in the so-called "Laudanov-šanac" ( Laudon hill ). Outside this defensive ring, peripheral Roma mahals formed, in particular Sava-mala in the “Bara Venecija” and Jatagan-mala in Mokroluški potok. To the east and south, the city's relief becomes livelier, valley cuts and gentle mountain slopes of the Topčidersko brdo and Dedinje are characterized by the residential complexes of the Serbian kings and Yugoslav presidents, and Košutnjak and Banjica by large military barracks.

The 350 m wide Sava and the over 500 m wide Danube were essential development limits of the city for centuries, especially when the left bank of the Sava was only made settable through the extensive swamps of the Bežanijska bara through amelioration in the middle of the 20th century. The uniform alluvial plains of the Sava and Danube floodplains are structured by the 20-25 meter high steep slope of the aeolian loess terrace of the Bežanijska kosa . The Loess Plateau formed the border to the alluvial flood zone from the west. Belgrade's sister city, Zemun, was built on it as an ancient foundation.

The contrast of the landscape between the lowland of the flood plain and the areas within the urban area divided by rivers and hills creates a varied relief. Especially here run the rivers and streams Topčiderska Reka , Željeznička Reka , Ostružnická Reka , Mirijevski Potok , Potok Kummodražki , Mokroluški Potok , Bolečica and the ridge of Šumadija ( Banovo Brdo , Lekino Brdo , Topčidersko brdo , Kanarevo brdo , Julino brdo , Petlovo brdo , Zvezdara , Vračar and Dedinje ). As the most important valley cut in the mountain landscape of Belgrade, the Topčiderska reka drains the peaks of the Šumadija in Kosmaj (628 m) and Avala (511 m). With the incision of Mokroluški potok, it is Belgrade's most important communicative entry and exit gate.

Small-scale chambers and extensive flood zones as well as relatively large differences in altitude characterize the city. The highest building, the Trinity Church on the 303.1 meter high Torlak (Voždovac), rises several hundred meters above the lowest point at 70.15 m, the island of Ada Huja on the Danube. The hypsometric height difference is therefore a maximum of 450 meters in the district and 175 meters in the closer city.


Whitish-yellowish limestones of the Badenium are the oldest building block in Belgrade. They were obtained from the Tašmajdan quarry. Here in the Kastron Singidunum (lower zone) and the medieval castle (upper zone)

Three geomorphologically higher units form the wider urban area of ​​Belgrade:

- the alluvial areas on the low rivers Sava and Danube in 68 to 75 mi. Above this, lie at heights of 80 to 115 mi. Loosse as cover layers, which overlie the "urban" zone and the relief components formed as plains

- the Šumadija ridge with the clump-like anticline of the "Belgrade Cape", which ends abruptly in the Belgrade fortress. This unit is heavily modified by fluvial erosion and sedimentation. Proluvial ( talus ) and deluvial ( periglacial , solifludial ) blankets are located on the slopes 25-35 m above alluvial lowlands. This unit is limited by the Avala at 506 mi. As the highest point in the city

- the neogene basin of the Mokri lug . By quartärzeitlich covered formed proluviale / deluvial ceilings and loess, there is an average of 120-190 mi J., individual ridges reach even 250 mi J.

These geomorphological units are further differentiated geologically. With increasing depth, they are broken down by increasing geological complexity.

The city center of Belgrade belongs to the central Vardar sub-zone , which ends with the Šumadija ridge in the "Belgrade Cape". The oldest facia of the Šumadija are made up of Jurassic Cretaceous limestones and clastic sediments from the Mesozoic era . Clastic sediments (sandstones, claystones, marl, clay marl, slate) and Neogene limestones are stored above this . Cover layers consist of alluvial, marshy, proluvial-diluvial and aeolian sediments. Aeolian loess store u. a. as layers up to 15 m thick (on average 3-6 m) in the old town center.

The territory of Belgrade was formed in the Neogene predominantly from the series of the Paratethys . The oldest layers are stages of the Badenium , a phase of the Paratethys over 15 million years ago. In the Badenium there was a warm and shallow sea of ​​salt. From this derive the banked limes Belgrade ridge in the fortress and Tašmajdan for the red algae ( Lithotamnium ) and bryozoans ( Bryozoa ) are characteristic. In the area northwest of Tašmajdan there are white-yellowish Baden limestones. They cover the old town from the Belgrade Fortress, via Slavija and to Čubura , the landing stage of the Sava via Kalemegdan, the Zoological Garden and Gavrilo Princip Street (ul. Gavrila Principa). The basic building blocks of old Belgrade and the medieval castle were found in the Tašmajdan limestone quarry. As an outcrop at the fortress and in Tasmajdan Park, on some central streets - Krunska, Kumanovska, Georgi Dimitrova, Borska - directly below the asphalt, it is up to 40 m deep (Kosovoska ul.) And then steps on Tašmajdan.

During the Sarmatian , the Paratethys experienced an increased supply of fresh water, the salinity decreased, which turned it into a brackish sea. The marine fauna largely died out, with snails, crustaceans and fish dominating. The limestones of the Sarmatian are therefore often dominated by visible limestone shells in Belgrade. They are the only karstable carbonate rocks in the Belgrade urban area. Some shallow sinkholes as well as previously existing short caves were found in these. Like the former ponors of individual sinkholes, they were completely degraded and filled in through anthropogenic reshaping . In Limestone of the Sarmatian, some Belgrade road tunnels, such as the Belgrade bypass road (Senjak tunnel), were created. The tallest skyscraper in the old city area, the Beograoganka , is also based on limestone from the Sarmatian. They are generally only slightly powerful. Facilities of the underground military infrastructure such as the command center of the integrated air defense (VOJIN) in Straževica and the command post of the general staff in the Karaš facility in the Topčider barracks were therefore built in the more powerful Mesozoic Jurassic limestone of the Šumadija.

Neogene clay marls and marls of the Pannonian lie above the Sarmatian . In the Pannonian, the Pannonian Sea separated from the Paratethys in the area of ​​the Iron Gate . The freshwater inland lake of the Pannonian Sea was formed. The rest of the Sarmatian marine fauna became extinct. The upper marls of the Pannonian are heavily depleted, as a hydrological collector they carry groundwater. The underlying functioning as hydrological insulator Unleached marl was under construction the diameter lines in the Belgrade railway junction and of over 6 km long tunnels ( Vračar- and Dedinje tunnel ) and the low-lying underground railway station ( Vukov spomenik ) is very important.

The Sarmatian clay marls and marls are covered by an average 3-6 m, locally 10-15 m thick layer of Quaternary loess . It dates from the early Pleistocene (850,000 a BP). The thick loess layers of southern Pannonia were deposited as Aeolian sediment during the Ice Ages. In Belgrade the loess is characterized on the surface by the formation of Chernosem (black earth), marl of the Pannonian by the brown loam.


The hydrological situation of Belgrade at the confluence of two lowland rivers

From Stari Banovci to Grocka , the Danube flows in the urban area of ​​Belgrade over a length of 60 kilometers. The Sava extends from Obrenovac to the mouth over a length of 30 kilometers. There are 16 islands on 60 kilometers of the river, the most famous of which are Ada Ciganlija , Veliko ratno ostrvo ( Great War Island ) and Gročanska Ada (Grocka Island). Belgrade's city beach - the Kupalište - is located on a separate branch of the Sava, 5 kilometers southwest of the city center .

The hydrology in the urban area is very diverse. It is characterized on the one hand by very permeable sediment accumulations in the floodplain of the lowland currents and on the other hand by barely permeable, very dense aeolian loosens . Furthermore, one encounters an underground karst hydrology developed in limestone .

City structure

The city of Belgrade ( Serbian Град Београд Grad Beograd ) has a special administrative status within the administrative districts of Serbia. Of the 17 boroughs, ten have the status of municipalities ( Serbian Градска општина Gradska opština ), seven have the status of suburban parishes ( Serbian Приградска општина Prigradska opština ). The municipalities as well as the district of the city of Belgrade are units with local self-government, the suburban municipalities have a higher level of local self-government. Most of the communities are located south of the Save and Danube . Three municipalities (Zemun, Novi Beograd and Surčin) are located on the northern side of the Sava, while the municipality of Palilula occupies both sides of the Danube.

local community Area (km²) Population (1991) Inhabitants (2002) Population (2011) City /
Barajevo 213 20,846 24,641 27,036 Suburban parish
Čukarica 156 150.257 168.508 179.031 Borough
Grocka 289 65,735 75,466 83,398 Suburban parish
Lazarevac 384 57,848 58,511 58,224 Suburban parish
Mladenovac 339 54,517 52,490 53,050 Suburban parish
Novi Beograd 41 218,633 217.773 212.104 Borough
Obrenovac 411 67,654 70.975 71,419 Suburban parish
Palilula 451 150.208 155.902 170,593 Borough
Rakovica 31 96,300 99,000 108,413 Borough
Savski Venac 14th 45,961 42.505 38,660 Borough
Sopot 271 19,977 20,390 20.199 Suburban parish
Stari grad 5 68,552 55,543 48,061 Borough
Surčin 285 was
part of Zemun until 2004
14,292 42,012 Suburban parish
Voždovac 148 156.373 160,768 157.152 Borough
Vračar 3 67,438 58,386 55,463 Borough
Zemun 138 176.158 191,645 166.292 Borough
Zvezdara 32 135,694 132,621 148.014 Borough
Belgrade 3.211 1,552,151 1,576,124 1,639,121 Metropolitan area
Map with Belgrade municipalities

Source: City of Belgrade


Belgrade lies directly on the 45th degree north latitude. There is a moderate continental climate with the four seasons usual for Europe. Autumn turns out to be a typical Indian summer and has longer sunny days and warmer periods than spring. A cold northeast wind, the Košava , is characteristic of the winter situation . It lasts two to three days at average speeds of 25 to 43 km / h, but gusts can also have maximum speeds of up to 130 km / h. As the largest “air purifier” in Belgrade, it has a special bioclimatic function.

In the CLINO period 1961 to 1990 the average annual temperature was 11.9 ° C. The warmest months are July (21.7 ° C) and August (21.3 ° C). January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 0.4 ° C. 62 days a year are frost days and 25 tropical days . Spring is short and rainy. The transition to the hot summer takes place suddenly, because positive radiation values ​​are already reached in March.

On average, the sun shines 2025 hours a year. The daily sun exposure is 9.2 hours in July, 8.2 in June and 8.6 in August, while the minimum in December is 2 hours. Snowfall days are recorded on 33.7 days with a snow cover duration of 42.7 days. The height of the snow cover is between 14 and 25 centimeters.

The extreme values ​​of the meteorological recordings made since 1888 were −26.2 ° C on January 10, 1893 and 42 ° C on August 12, 1921 and September 9, 1946. In the measurement period 1888–2003, only twelve days with temperatures above 40 ° C were recorded.

The rainfall have their maximum in early summer. The annual average is 685 mm / m².

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Belgrade 1981–2010
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 2.9 5.4 11.0 17.5 22.5 26.0 28.3 28.1 24.3 17.6 10.5 5.4 O 16.7
Min. Temperature (° C) -3.2 -1.9 2.1 7.3 12.0 15.1 16.9 16.9 13.2 8.2 3.9 -0.2 O 7.6
Precipitation ( mm ) 48 46 49 56 75 95 67 53 51 42 55 57 Σ 694
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 2.3 3.1 4.6 6.1 7.2 8.4 9.4 8.8 7.3 5.6 3.0 2.0 O 5.7
Rainy days ( d ) 8th 8th 9 10 10 10 7th 8th 6th 6th 9 8th Σ 99
Humidity ( % ) 82 77 66 60 63 65 63 62 66 70 78 81 O 69.4
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Prehistory and early history

The area at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers was inhabited from the middle to the late Paleolithic . The Neolithic Vinča culture was named after a Belgrade suburb.


Thracians and Celts

From the 6th to the 4th century BC Thracian and Scythian tribes immigrated in the 3rd century BC. Created. Later came Celtic and illyro-thrako-Celtic tribes, the Skordisker , who were mentioned by Roman about 279 BC. Are occupied. The Romans latinized the name Singidun to Singidunum , which probably means round fortress or round city .


Location Singidunums and the Legio IIII Flavia Felix
An Antoninianus coined under Carausius . On the back there is the lion, the symbol of Legio IV. Flavia Felix and the inscription LEG IIII FL.

In the 1st century BC The Romans conquered the areas up to the Danube. In addition to Sirmium and Viminatium , Singidunum was an important strategic point on the Via Militaris and the Danubian Limes . When Legio IV. Flavia Felix was moved to Singidunum in AD 86 to strengthen the imperial borders , the Roman city experienced its heyday, which gained in importance through the appointment of the emperor Hadrian as a municipality and later also in the rank of a colonia through the settlement of veterans .

Kušadak cameo ("Belgrade cameo"): Triumphant emperor on horseback over fallen barbarians, end of the 4th century, Serbian National Museum


After the division of the empire in 395, Singidunum was the north-western border post of the eastern empire and was frequently visited by the barbarian peoples during the Great Migration . The city fell to the Huns in 441 and was later devastated by the Sarmatians , Ostrogoths and Gepids during their wandering.

After 510 Singidunum was incorporated into the consolidated Byzantine Empire , which secured the Danube Limes with the Restauratio imperii operated by Justinian I. The focal city of Singidunum was renewed in the form of a significantly reduced, but strong-walled Byzantine castron within the old abandoned legion camp (Castra) . The Avaro-Slavic conquest of Sirmium meant for Singidunum the integration into the defensive battles of the Balkan campaigns of Maurikios . At that time the city was the base of operations for the Roman army .

middle Ages


Ultimately, the Slavs' conquest of the Balkans could not be prevented from 612 onwards, although Singidunum had a Roman fortress commander until 625. The name Beograd ( štokavian since 1400, previously with silbenschließendem - l : Bel -grad) was established early 7th century since the migration of Slavs. In 878 the name was first mentioned in a letter from Pope John VIII to the first Christian Knjas of the Bulgarians Boris I : episcopus Belogradensis .

Between Byzantium and Europe

Due to its border location, Belgrade remained disputed between Byzantium, the Kingdom of Hungary and the First Bulgarian Empire even in the Middle Ages . In 1018, Basil I incorporated the city into the resurgent Byzantine Empire. In 1072 the Hungarians under Solomon besieged and destroyed the city ​​by using eight siege engines against the city walls. Building materials for the fortifications of late antiquity were brought to the opposite Zemun. Johannes Kinnamos reports that the city had suffered badly, but the Byzantines subsequently renewed their rule over the city. However, due to the internal weakness of the empire, the fortifications were only repaired, not renewed. A defense of Belgrade therefore posed great problems for the Byzantines. When the crusaders passed by in 1096, the Byzantine commander did not rely on the defensive capabilities of the walls of Belgrade, but withdrew his troops south to the more fortified Naissus (Niš). According to Byzantine sources, Emperor Manuel I had the defensive walls completely renewed in the form of a castron . The work continued with interruptions until 1165. From now on the Byzantine army and fleet operated from Belgrade against the Hungarian Empire. This strengthened the northern border of the empire against Hungary, just as Belgrade received its common medieval name Greek Weißenburg (in Byzantine sources Βελιγράδον , Veligradon ). A term that remained in use until the 16th century.

As early as 1154, the Arab cartographer Idrisi reported that Belgrade was a lively city with many churches. After the Battle of Sirmium , Manuel I wrestled the Hungarian King Stephan III. extensive territorial losses in the peace of Belgrade . Around the middle of the 12th century the Serbs gained in importance. Stefan Nemanja was granted the title Großžupan by Manuel I in 1166 , and after Manuel's death in 1183 Stefan fell together with the Hungarian King Béla III. entered Byzantine territory and they conquered Belgrade.

During the Crusades, Belgrade was an important stop for the French, German and Hungarian knights on their way to the Promised Land . The first three crusades passed through the city in 1096, 1147 and 1189. In 1189, Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa was the first German Emperor to stay in Belgrade. More than 700 years later, the last German Emperor, Wilhelm II , also visited the city.

Belgrade becomes Serbian residence

King Stefan Dragutin received from the Hungarian King Stephan V , his father-in-law, as a dowry of his daughter Katalina (Katharina) in 1268 with the Mačva landscape, also her largest city and ecclesiastical center Belgrade as a domain. Belgrade was thus peacefully incorporated into the stock of the Serbian Empire and received a Serbian administration. In 1276 Dragutin also became King of Serbia, but abdicated in 1282 after he fell from his horse in favor of his brother Stefan Uroš II Milutin . Dragutin then established his own northern Serbian empire, ruling Belgrade, which existed from 1282 to 1316. A visit by the Byzantine emperor's daughter and Serbian queen Simonis ( Simonida ) is documented in detail in the old Serbian rulers' biographies. She visited Belgrade in 1315 together with her sister-in-law Katalina in a splendidly guided train. In particular, it is reported that she prayed with devotion in the great Metroplitan church in front of the miraculous icon of the Most Holy Mother of God . The Byzantine icon of Mary of the Belgrade Mother of God Hodegetria was the palladium (protector) of Belgrade throughout the Middle Ages and was kept in the Metropolitan Church of Our Lady asleep on the northern slope of the fortress. From the possession of this miraculous icon as well as its function as the seat of a metropolitan, one can conclude that Belgrade was already of greater importance at that time. The icon of Mary, venerated by its citizens, remained until 1521, when it was brought to Istanbul with residents by Sultan Suleyman.

After Dragutin's death, Belgrade fell to Milutin, but the Hungarians under Charles I snatched it from him in 1319.

The heyday as the capital of the Serbian despotate

Situation of the fortress around 1460
The despot's gate on the northeast side of the castle was the main entrance to the upper town under Stefan Lazarević

As a result of the decline of the Serbian Empire, which resulted from the military defeats against the Ottomans in the Battle of the Maritza and especially on the Blackbird Field, the original Serbian heartland shifted from Kosovo and today's Macedonia to the north, first to the Morava and later to the Danube border. Stefan Lazarević (1389–1427) was able to strip off Ottoman suzerainty through the crushing defeat of Bayezid I after he had participated as an Ottoman vassal in the battle of Ankara against Timur . During the return trip he was given the honorary title of despot by the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II , the second highest title in the Byzantine Empire after the Emperor, and he used the subsequent Ottoman interregnum to set up his new residence in Belgrade, which was given to him by Emperor Sigismund . With income from the rich silver mines in Rudnik, Novo Brdo and Srebrenica as well as the ore trade with Venice and Ragusa, the resurgent despotate prospered , so that Stefan Lazarević based his residence on an ambitious urban matrix, which as a universal center based on the paradigm consecrated to God Christian metropolis of Emperor Constantine and could be converted into a real New Constantinople, which in itself was New Jerusalem, on a much smaller scale.

The generous expansion of the city, castle and sacred buildings was fundamentally based on the idea of ​​hierarchy, the transfer of universal and regional Christian relics, and the dedication of the city to St. Mary (like Constantinople). Based on the great city archetypes of Christian ecumenism, Belgrade was to become a new center of Christianity ( umbillicus mundi ). Konstantin Kostenezki, the most important contemporary witness of the heyday of Despot Stefan's residence, describes this hierarchy in his praise of Belgrade in the vita of the despot Stefan Lazarević with exuberant words: in parallels to the archetypal representation of the Seven Hills of Jerusalem and Constantinople, the “God-protected” imperial palace of Constantinople and other sacred places, the topography, location and architecture of Belgrade are equated with the most important sacred places in Jerusalem and Constantinople. In the Serbian building tradition, this hierotopic concept of New Jerusalem was formerly only reserved for the most important Nemanjid monasteries such as Studenica, Žiča and Hilandar or the Ravanica monastery founded by Prince Lazar, which had a national character and were dedicated to regional cults.

On the other hand, the hierotopic concept of Belgrade was based on a universal character through the transfer of Christian relics and religious cults from Constantinople and the necessary new construction of sacred places and reliquary shrines. Both the imperial relics of the Byzantine Empress Theophano, who was venerated as the protector of the Serbian scepter, and in particular the relic of the first Christian Roman Emperor - Emperor Constantine the Great , were brought to Belgrade. It is possible that even relics relating to Mary, the patron saint of the city, who had a significant visual presence through the Hodegetria icon of Belgrade at the eastern city gate, were kept here.

“From the Amselfeld (Kosovo) to the Ismailern (Ottoman) prisoner until the arrival of the Tsar of the Persians and Tartars crushed them and released me from their grip with divine gentleness. Coming from there, on my return, I found the most enchanting place, where the great city of Beligrad has always stood and now I have found it destroyed and abandoned. I decided to rebuild it and consecrate it to the Mother of God and to give freedom to its inhabitants. "

- Stefan Lazarević : Charter of Belgrade (Povelja grada Beograda) , 1405, received in the Vita of the Despot from Constantine Philosopher

Today the former Belgrade relic of the right hand of Emperor Constantine can be found as a silver reliquary in the Moscow Kremlin . Made from richly handcrafted silver filigree, it dates from the beginning of the 15th century and has an inscription that is written in the Serbian version of Old Slavonic. It was presented to the Russian Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich by the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1558, but came from the booty from the capture of Belgrade in 1521 by the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman I. The high esteem of the relic of the right hand of Emperor Constantine is also shown by the fact that it was originally in Moscow was kept in the Imperial Palace Church, the Church of the Resurrection of the Kremlin, the most important reliquary in Moscow.

The elementary renewed city became a cultural and economic center in the 23 years as a residential city, in which traders and craftsmen as well as learned and wealthy citizens of different nationalities (Hungarians, Venetians, Ragusans) through edicts of the despot (the citizens who received a seal letter of the Despots owned, were exempt from many taxes) settled. The colonies of the Greeks, Tsinzars, Armenians and Ragusans were in their own area, today's Dorćol. During this period, the Despot's castle with the palace chapel, a library, the Belgrade city cathedral Mitropolija with the Church of Our Lady asleep (Uspenija prečiste Vladičice) , the Church of St. Petka Paraskeva, the Franciscan monastery, a Danube port, a hospital and were built in the city a hostel intended for travelers. The new buildings were made possible by the expansion of the Belgrade city walls and the separation of the upper (residence) and lower town (civil town). The court of the literarily active Stefan Lazarević experienced an emphatic cultural heyday ( palaeological renaissance ) and was an important refuge and gathering place for Orthodox scholars who contributed to the establishment of an important late medieval writing school (Belgrade writing school) . During this time, 40,000–50,000 people lived in Belgrade. One of the best-known residents was the Neo-Platonist and hagiographer Stefan Lazarević, Konstantin Kostenezki. Konstantin Kostenezki was the most important witness of urban renewal and, in his literary praise of Belgrade in the vita of the despot Stefan Lazarević, praised Belgrade as the new Jerusalem: “And who has ever described the location, appearance and beauty of Belgrade! (Stefan) had a lot built for the people inside and outside; these structures are as huge as Solomon's temple in Jerusalem: the shadow of the buildings falls on the surroundings as from the Babylonian tower; and the hanging gardens, ... This truly tsarist of all cities was also the most beautiful ... and the despot also had the imperial residence strikingly decorated and ditches and a double wall drawn around the city. "

Ottoman conquest from the 15th century and Turkish wars

Turkish miniature of the siege of Belgrade 1456
Prinz Eugen at the Battle of Belgrade in 1717 ( HGM )

Ottoman advance to the Danube border

The Despot who followed Stefan Lazarević, Đurađ Branković , had to return Belgrade to the Hungarian King Sigismund . For Sultan Mehmed II - after the fall of Constantinople - Belgrade and the completion of the conquest of Serbia were the prerequisites for reaching Central Europe . On July 4th, 1456, he commanded the first great siege of Belgrade and led it himself. The Christian defenders, led by Johann Hunyadi , were not only able to successfully repel this attack by the new Ottoman world power, but rather drove the sultan, who was wounded in battle, and the Ottoman army in panic fleeing. A major factor was the complex redesign of the castle, which had previously been carried out by Stefan Lazarević based on findings from oriental and crusader castles , with a tower-rich and moat-reinforced fort castle , with a mighty donjon and a large double wall surrounded by moats , with heavily protected gates. After the victory, which decided the fate of the Christians in the opinion of the time , Kalixt III ordered . the noon bells that continue to ring in all churches around the world. The feast of the Transfiguration of Christ is a reminder that the news of the Christian victory arrived in Rome on August 6th.

Under Ottoman suzerainty

It was only under Suleyman I that Belgrade could be captured on August 28, 1521 . The loss of the key fortress was, as the contemporary diplomat Busbecq reported at the court of Suleyman, responsible for the subsequent loss of Hungary and the expansion of the Ottoman Empire beyond Buda to the gates of Vienna .

The Hungarian troops withdrew, the Serbian residents were relocated to Constantinople , and some of the Serbian crews of the Danube Fleet joined the Ottoman Navy as sailors. The city became the administrative center of the Sanjak Smederevo . In addition to the Danube fleet, the Serbian Martolos were also stationed here. The city's Christians did not have to pay taxes, but they had to see to it that the fortress was preserved. In 1594, a Serbian uprising was violently suppressed and in revenge the relic of the Serbian national saint Sveti Savas was burned on the Vračar . To commemorate this outrage, the memorial cathedral of St. Sava was built on this site in the 20th century . In the Ottoman period, Belgrade was an important trading city on the caravan route between Buda and Constantinople , where merchants and traders of different origins ( Turks , Armenians , Greeks and Roma ) lived. According to Evliya Çelebi , Belgrade had 98,000 inhabitants in 1660, of whom 21,000 were non-Islamic. Due to the long Ottoman rule, oriental residential buildings still shaped the city at the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, almost the entire Ottoman cultural heritage was destroyed: Of the 217 mosques mentioned in the 17th century, 160 palaces ( serails ), seven public baths ( hammams ), numerous markets with their bazaars , six caravanserais and several hans , 17 dervish monasteries ( Tekken ) , eight Islamic universities ( madrasas ) and nine law schools ( darülhadis ) only one mosque and one mausoleum ( Türbe ) have survived.

Turkish Wars

Map of Belgrade and the surrounding area at the time of the Josephinian land survey 1769–1772

After successfully defending against the Turks in front of Vienna in 1683, the Holy League was able to push the Ottomans back behind Belgrade in the Great Turkish War . The siege of Belgrade under the command of Max Emanuel ended on September 6, 1688 with the capture of the city. The imperial troops were able to conquer Belgrade three times (1688–1690, 1717–1739, 1789–1791), but not hold it permanently. Because of this constant fighting, the Ottomans called Belgrade Dar Ul Jihad ( House of War ). The conquest of Belgrade under Eugene of Savoy in the double battle of Belgrade in 1717 produced the later folk song Prinz Eugen, the noble knight , which, in its adaptation as an art song, was received in ballads from classical to modern music.

Since the 18th century, the theme of the Turkish wars for Belgrade established itself widely in the European art scene (including Alaric Alexander Watts, The Siege of Belgrade , Julius Becker's comic opera Die Siege von Belgrade , Stephen Storaces' opera buffa The siege of Belgrade , The stories of lies of Baron Münchhausen , Victor Hugo Dernende Danube River , Hans Christian Andersen A Picture of Turks and Europe , Ján Kollár Belehrad , Therese von Jacob Belgrad in Flames and in Alexander William Kinglakes Eothen ).


Building the national capitals

Former largest mosque in Belgrade, the Batal Mosque, was demolished for the construction of the parliament, the Skupština.
View of Belgrade in 1890

At the beginning of the 19th century, the cityscape of Belgrade was marked by destruction from the last Austro-Turkish war as well as internal unrest between the Ottoman central authority and local governors. The population of Belgrade and the other cities in Belgrade's Pašaluk had been of the majority Muslim faith since the 17th century. Traces of Ottoman rule remained visible in the cityscape of Belgrade until well into the 19th century - with 11 mosques, several dervish houses and a bazaar.

"Crossing the Save", a triptych by Elmar von Eschwege from 1915. It depicts the conquest of Belgrade by Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 208 .

In 1804 the Serbs began under the leadership of Karađorđe the first Serbian revolution against the Ottomans, who in particular against the influential Janissaries taught. The insurgents held Belgrade from January 8, 1806 to 1813. In 1815, under Miloš Obrenović, the second Serbian revolution took place , which led to the recognition of an autonomous principality .

Until 1841, the city of Kragujevac acted as the capital of the autonomous principality of Serbia. In 1841 Miloš Obrenović made Belgrade the capital of Serbia. Seven years later, the first streets in Belgrade were given official names. In 1839 the first Belgrade grammar school was established. Up to the end of the century the number of high schools increased continuously. The Lyceum, also founded in Kragujevac in 1839, was relocated to Belgrade after only two years and was named "High School" in 1863. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Belgrade University was to emerge from this. However, the training of craftsmen was neglected, so that the city only had a permanent craft school until the end of the 1880s. The systematic promotion of relevant training centers, which only began at the beginning of the following century, came too late to have counteracted the decline of the craft or the widespread illiteracy among masters and journeymen. The education of the rural population, who made up the overwhelming part of the Serbian population, was in an even more desolate state.

With the exception of the fortress, in which an Ottoman regiment remained until 1867, Belgrade became part of the newly formed Principality of Serbia. The city, until the 1870s practically limited to the area within the actual Belgrade Schanze, retained its oriental character for a long time. Within the hill, Belgrade was divided into a western Christian-Serbian and an eastern Muslim-Jewish part. A single church, built in 1841, faced over a dozen mosques. Belgrade was also integrated into the Levantine economic cycle for a long time . A camel caravan coming from Serres last reached Belgrade in 1854.

After the incident on the Čukur Česma on June 15, 1862 and the resulting ethnically motivated popular uprising between Serbian and Turkish residents of Belgrade and the bombardment of the city by the fortress command, the Kanlidzi conference resulted in the evacuation of the Muslim and Turkish residents under pressure from the great powers Belgrade decided to go to Istanbul. On April 18, 1867, the last Ottoman fortress commander had to leave the principality and the residence was finally relocated from Kragujevac to Belgrade, which marked the end of the 346-year Ottoman rule in the city. This event also ushered in the general “deosmanization” and modernization of the cityscape, in that contemporary and representative buildings were created for the national institutions, but all mosques, with the exception of the Bajrakli Mosque, as well as most of the Turkish monuments fell victim to these projects . This sideline "deregulation" of the Ottoman buildings in order to create space for the new buildings, for example, also fell victim to the largest mosque in Belgrade for the new construction of the Skupština. Therefore, only a few parts of the old town still show the old oriental building fabric. However, some Turkish-language names of districts and squares have been preserved.

During his first reign between 1815 and 1839, Prince Miloš Obrenović consistently pursued the creation of new settlements, the colonization of new sections of the population and the goal of making Belgrade a center of administrative, military and cultural institutions. He was less successful with the project he initiated to build a new marketplace (čaršija). This new Abadžijska čaršija could not keep up with the city's already established marketplaces. Trade continued to take place in the centuries-old Donja čaršija (Lower Market Square) and Gornja čaršija (Upper Market Square). New building projects were carried out mainly in the Christian quarters, only to a lesser extent in those inhabited by Muslims. Until 1863, the number of mahale continued to decrease, mainly as a result of the decrease in the Muslim population. An Ottoman city map from that year identified only 9 mahale. Only five names of these mahale are known: the Ali-pašina mahala, the Reis-efendijina, the Jahja-pašina, the Bajram-begova and the Laz Hadži-Mahmudova mahala.

The development of Belgrade architecture from 1815 can be divided into several periods. In the first phase, between 1815 and 1835, construction was carried out mainly in the Balkan or Balkan-Ottoman style. At the same time, an interest in Central and Western European architecture began to develop. Two princely residences have survived from this period. Between 1835 and 1850, the building styles of classicism and baroque, which were perceived as European, were increasingly used. A building from this period is the one in which the Pedagogical Museum is located today. In the third epoch (1850–1875) serious attempts were made to turn to romanticism. This envisaged combining Romanesque and Gothic architecture and that of the early Renaissance. The last quarter of the 19th century was characterized by eclecticism, based on the Renaissance and Baroque.

Emilijan Josimović, an urban planner trained in Vienna, played a decisive role in the future design of Belgrade from the beginning of the last third of the 19th century. In 1867 he submitted a corresponding regulatory plan. Above all, this envisaged that the previous curved streets should be replaced by straight, right-angled ones. The establishment of political and cultural institutions and public parks were also of central importance. Serbian scholars always emphasized the break with the Ottoman tradition with regard to Josimović's ideas, although at the same time similar urbanization measures could be observed in Istanbul - the capital of the empire of which Belgrade and Serbia were still part in 1867.

As a result of the Berlin Congress in 1878, Belgrade developed into a key city in the Balkans, which was accompanied in particular by rapid modernization of the capital.

The National Bank of Serbia , founded in 1884, moved to the National Bank building in Belgrade in 1890 .

The population rose to 69,100 by 1900; In 1905 there were over 80,000 inhabitants and before the First World War around 100,000.

First World War

German tomb of the fallen in 1915 on Košutnjak. The complex, which is only partially preserved today, was commissioned by Field Marshal Mackensen himself

The fall of the Obrenović dynasty in 1903 changed the political climate in the Kingdom of Serbia . Out of the latent conflict for supremacy in the Western Balkans between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, which was further nourished by the Bosnian annexation and the Balkan wars , the assassination attempt in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 , gave rise to an uninhibited conflict that triggered the European July crisis. The Balkan regional conflict thus rocked up to the First World War . Belgrade was attacked on July 29, 1914, one day after the declaration of war. The Serbian troops ultimately successfully defended the city, which was taken twice by Austria-Hungary, but could not be held. As a result of the intervention of the German Reich , the fighting for Belgrade took place from October 6th to October 11th, 1915. The Central Powers had to storm the city with landing troops from the Banat and Syrmia and the construction of pontoon bridges. Some military-historical peculiarities of the capture of Belgrade in 1915 are significant: the armed forces of the Central Powers were the largest to storm the city in Belgrade's history; For the first time in a big city there was heavy street fighting with modern artillery and infantry and it was the largest landing that has ever been carried out in military history. Field Marshal August von Mackensen commissioned the establishment of a commemorative military cemetery complex for German, Austrian and Serbian soldiers who had died in particular in the area of Košutnjak and Topčidersko brdo due to the heavy fighting in the autumn of 1915 . The fall of Belgrade marked the beginning of the full occupation of Serbia, which lasted until November 5, 1918. At that time, Belgrade was a railway junction for the supply and transit of troops of the Central Powers to the Salonika Front and the Ottoman Empire. Although Serbia was under the Austro-Hungarian administration, the German Reich controlled all railway connections and stations on Serbian soil. The Balkan suit, celebrated in the German Reich as an important propaganda success against the Entente , passed through Belgrade . German railway troops set up a railway connection across the Sava, which served transversal rail lines to Thessaloniki and Constantinople directly via the Topčider station .

After the war, Belgrade became the capital of the newly established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes . In the interwar period, the city experienced rapid economic and population growth with rapid modernization, which made an urban development plan necessary in 1923. The population grew from 239,000 inhabitants in 1931 to 320,000 inhabitants in 1940. The population growth between 1921 and 1948 averaged 4.08 percent per year. The first airport was opened in Belgrade in 1927, and the first radio station started operating in 1929. In 1934 Belgrade received the first fixed road bridge with the King Alexander Bridge over the Save.

Second World War

The street uprising of March 27, 1941 in Belgrade with the overthrow of the government was the immediate trigger for the German attack on Yugoslavia
Field Marshal Ewald von Kleist took on the victory parade of the Wehrmacht troops on April 14, 1941 in front of the Skupština in Belgrade.
"Registration of Jews", admission by the propaganda company in April 1941
During the liberation of Belgrade, the Ulica Kneza Miloša , where all the administrative authorities of the German occupiers were based, including the headquarters of the Gestapo, was particularly fierce

On March 25, 1941, Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact , which sparked a street revolt in Belgrade. On April 5, the Soviet Union concluded a friendship and non-aggression pact with the new Yugoslav government Dušan Simowitsch . The next day, the German air force bombed Belgrade with devastating losses for the civilian population, even though the capital had been declared an open city and was therefore not defended. Hitler's decision was based on his need for retaliation for the Yugoslav "treason"; It is not for nothing that the bombing was called a “criminal court” operation. The heavy bombardment of the German air force destroyed large parts of the city, u. a. The National Library burned down, and the relevant fund of medieval historical manuscripts was destroyed. The New Castle was badly damaged. Thousands of people died in the attack.

Serbia was occupied as a "German Protected Area" and placed under German military administration. In Belgrade a military staff of the Wehrmacht was set up with a " military commander for Serbia ", from September 1941 the "authorized commanding general for Serbia". This consisted of two staffs, a civilian under Harald Turner and a command staff of the General Staff for Serbia. A formal Serbian puppet government led by Milan Nedić was set up to assist them. Belgrade itself was to be developed into a "German Imperial Fortress", which was supposed to secure the access to the Danube between the Iron Gate and Vienna. In addition there were the considerations to rename Belgrade after a victory of the Third Reich after the general Eugen von Savoyen in Prinz Eugen-Stadt . In the course of securing resources and economic exploitation of the Balkans and the control of the military supply corridors to the Mediterranean Sea, Belgrade became a central transport hub for the German armed forces.

An anti-Freemason exhibition accompanied the attacks on the civilian population that began in the summer and autumn of 1941. The Belgrade Jews were deported to the Sajmište concentration camp in the city and to the Banjica concentration camp on the outskirts of the city . More than 100,000 people were killed here by the end of the war. The Jewish community that had settled on the Danube slope in Dorčol in the Stari Grad district since the plague in 1643 numbered 12,000 people before the Second World War. Only 1115 survived the occupation. A memorial near the former Jewish quarter on the banks of the Danube commemorates the Holocaust .

The terror of the civilian population reached a cruel climax when the German military governor of Serbia, General Franz Böhme , ordered the soldiers of the Wehrmacht to shoot 100 Serbs or Jews for every German soldier killed.

Belgrade was the center and seat of the German administration in the southeast. In the building of the former Foreign Ministry on Ulica Kneza Miloša there was a branch of the German Propaganda Ministry with the Southeast Europe Department headed by the head of the Gestapo Belgrade, Karl Kraus . After the conversion of Radio Belgrade to Soldatensender Belgrade under the direction of Karl-Heinz Reintgen (1915–1990), the radio contributions for the Wehrmacht troops in the region and North Africa were broadcast from the headquarters of the Gestapo Belgrade with the function of ideological indoctrination.

In the course of the Allied attacks on the Romanian oil fields near Ploieşti , Belgrade was bombed as an alternative target for the first time on April 16, 1944; 1600 people died. Further attacks by Allied bomber fleets, particularly aimed at the military infrastructure of the German occupation forces, continued until September 19, 1944. With the defeat of the Wehrmacht in Romania, a large unit of the Red Army , the 3rd Ukrainian Front under Marshal Fyodor Ivanovich Tolbuchin , came to Serbia from the end of September 1944 . Under the commanding Vladimir Zhdanov , in a joint military operation coordinated with the 1st Proletarian Brigade of the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army under the leadership of Peko Dapčević , the city was taken against Army Groups F and E , which were withdrawing from the Balkans, and liberated from German occupation. The last Wehrmacht soldiers left their bases in the city after heavy street fighting on October 20, 1944. The liberation of Belgrade also sealed the internal Serbian power struggle between partisans and Chetniks and, with the occupation of all levels of leadership in Serbia by the Tito partisans, formed an unmistakable signal for the future political reorganization of Yugoslavia. Marshal Josip Broz Tito proclaimed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia on November 29, 1945 , of which Belgrade became the capital.

16,800 Wehrmacht soldiers were killed in the fighting for Belgrade, 9,738 were taken prisoner. 2994 soldiers of the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army and 960 soldiers of the Red Army were also dead.

Belgrade had suffered considerable damage during the war. The bombing of the city by the German and Allied air fleets in 1941 and 1944 killed 6,000 residents. Immediately after the liberation in 1944, only 270,000 people lived in the city. Over 7,000 buildings were totally or severely destroyed, and almost 18,000 apartments were no longer habitable.

From the socialist city to the disintegration of Yugoslavia

From 1944 to 1991 Belgrade was both the capital of the non-aligned socialist Yugoslavia and the republic of Serbia. During this time, the city received representative mansion buildings with reference to the former royal residences and new presidential villas on Dedinje. In addition, the government buildings of Yugoslavia and the New Belgrade district ( Novi Beograd ) were designed in modernist architecture.

After the break with the Soviet Union in 1948, Yugoslavia saw itself as a pioneer in the movement of the non-aligned states. Belgrade hosted the founding conference of this movement from September 1 to 6, 1961. After the first student riots against the worsening social differences in the city in 1968 , the adoption of a new Yugoslav constitution in 1974 and the associated strengthening of federal elements led to further unrest on the streets of Belgrade, which expressed the questioning of Tito's political directions that time were.

The normalization of relations with the Soviet Union and the open borders to the west led to Belgrade becoming an important cultural metropolis across national borders in the 1970s and 1980s. During this time, for example, the monument architect Bogdan Bogdanović opened a liberal summer school for philosophy and architecture in 1977 . The informal painter Mića Popović , also director of numerous films, as well as Yugoslav musicians celebrated success abroad and took up western trends in the New Wave . As a literary center, Belgrade achieved a remarkable position in Eastern Europe thanks to politically and artistically independent authors such as the modern Danilo Kiš , the dissident Milovan Đilas and the journalist and essayist Dedijer . The October Salon was one of the most important book fairs in Europe at the time. Belgrade has been the venue for film (“FEST”), theater and dance (“BITEF”) and music festivals (“BEMUS”). As a sports city, teams from Belgrade took part in important European competitions, at the same time the city was the venue for numerous international tournaments. The CSCE's first follow-up conference was held from October 1977 to March 1978 in the Sava Centar , which was set up specifically for this purpose .

Belgrade from 1991

Ministry of Defense in Belgrade destroyed by NATO attacks

After the collapse of the Second Yugoslavia in 1991, Belgrade became the capital of the newly formed Federal Republic of Yugoslavia , which led to political and social uncertainty in Serbia. This became evident on the one hand in the riots on March 9, 1991 and in mass demonstrations in 1996/1997. The late 1990s were marked by the crackdown on civil protests and the suppression and liquidation of opposition politicians during the regime of Slobodan Milošević . War-related shortages and an economic embargo created the black market and war profiteering. This also led to a new economic class, the Serbian oligarchs , also called taikune . The crisis years culminated in the Kosovo War with Operation Allied Force, which began on March 24, 1999 : NATO began its 78-day air raid against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which hit the inner city of Belgrade particularly hard. In the heaviest bombing of the city in the night between May 7th and 8th, the Chinese embassy was completely destroyed . This led to a serious crisis in relations between the great powers of the United States and the People's Republic of China, and NATO was forced to refrain from any further drops in the inner city of Belgrade for the rest of the bombing. In individual places in the cityscape, ruins of the war can still be seen, which were neither removed nor rebuilt. Instead of the bombed-out Chinese Embassy, ​​the decision was made to build the Chinese Cultural Center in Belgrade during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2016, which will be inaugurated for the twenty-year commemoration in 2019.

On October 5, 2000, revolutionary-minded citizens overturned the protests of the student movement Otpor! joined, largely non-violent, the regime of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade. The parliament building of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was partly set on fire by the crowd.

From February 4, 2003 to June 3, 2006 Belgrade was the main administrative seat of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and has been the capital of the independent Republic of Serbia since the breakup of Montenegro .


The role of the city in Serbia

The Parliament of the Republic of Serbia (Dom Narodne Skupštine)
The old city palace now houses the town hall (Skupština grada Beograda)

Belgrade is the seat of the President and the Government of Serbia, as well as the seat of numerous authorities and ministries. Since the state became independent, most of the consulates have settled in the city, including the American and Israeli embassies in the district with the Sava church, and the French embassy near the former fortress.

City government

The city forms an independent political unit that is administered by the city government. The politics of the city administration is naturally shaped by coexistence, but also by conflicts with the state government. Belgrade is always the focus of political, social and societal events in the country. For example, on March 9, 1991, the then mayor Milorad Unković ordered a large contingent of police, army and JNA tanks onto the streets of Belgrade to crush the mass demonstration by the opposition under Vuk Drašković . On October 5, 2000, a mass demonstration brought down the Milošević government by storming parliament. Since 1839 Belgrade had 65 mayors, including Nikola Pašić (1889-1891, 1896-1897) and Zoran Đinđić (1997). First mayor was Slobodanka Gruden (1993-1994). Outstanding was the long term of office of Branko Pešić (1965–1974), and that of Bogdan Bogdanović (1982–1986) was shaped by controversies and conflicts . The first democratically elected mayor since World War II was Milorad Unković in 1989. From 2004 until his death on September 27, 2007, Nenad Bogdanović from the Democratic Party (DS) was mayor of Belgrade. He was succeeded by Zoran Alimpić (until May 10, 2008). 2008–2014 Dragan Đilas was mayor (Coalition For a European Belgrade ). In the local elections on March 16, 2014, the SNS won the city parliament elections with 43.62%. It was also able to win an absolute majority of 63 seats (out of 110). Acting mayor is Siniša Mali. Four parties are represented in the city parliament: SNS 43.62% (63 seats), DS 15.7% (22 seats), SPS-PUPS-JS 11.49% (16 seats), DSS 6.39% (9 seats) .

Twin cities

Belgrade has twinned cities with the following cities:

Belgrade maintains a cooperation and friendship with:

coat of arms

The little coat of arms

Blazon : “Divided, above in blue on a sloping partition a black-jointed white battlement wall, inside a framed open round portal with swung-out gate wings, two pointed, black-windowed corner weir cores and attached tower with projecting crenellated crown and four black windows (2/2), below in red two silver wavy beams, from the lower one growing a golden trireme with three kneaded golden masts, the middle main mast higher, on black men , each with a silver square sail on a golden yard, and nine black straps (3/4/2) from silver openings. "

The first mention of the Belgrade coat of arms dates from 1403, when Belgrade first became the capital of the Serbian despotate. The Belgrade coat of arms from 1555 under Hungary bears the name Fuggers mirror of honor. With the Austrian conquest of Belgrade in the 18th century, the coat of arms tradition, which had been discontinued under the Ottomans, was revived and a new coat of arms was drawn in 1725 at the suggestion of the imperial governor Alexander von Württemberg .

It was not until 1931 that Belgrade's mayor Milan Nešić suggested the redesign of today's Belgrade coat of arms, for which a committee of artists, heraldists , historians , generals and councilors was formed. The representation of the coat of arms should:

  1. the shape of a shield that ends in a gentle tip,
  2. the colors of the country, the rivers, a Roman trireme and a rampart with a tower and an open gate,
  3. as well as the color of the ground as a sign of frequent warlike suffering red , the rivers and walls as a sign of the "white city" white and the sky as a symbol of hope and belief in a better future blue .

The tender was won by Đorđe Andrejević Kun's draft , which was published in the “Belgrader Allgemeine Zeitung”.


Urban development

Urban development of Belgrade from 1815 to 1900

The historic old town, today a large part of Stari Grad , was congruent with the city area until 1850. It was delimited by a palisade rampart with three gates (Vašarska kapija, Stambol kapija, Vidin kapija) between the Save and Danube. Within the hill , the Stara Caršija, Dorčol and the Stari Vašar (market square) formed districts of the civil town. The population doubled from 1840 to 1860 to around 20,000. The fortress , administered by the Ottomans with an Ottoman military governor, remained politically and territorially independent until 1867. After the Ottomans briefly lost control of most of the rural areas in the Paschalik of Belgrade in 1804 and 1813 , they legalized the sovereignty of the prince over the Christian residents in the Paschalik of Belgrade in an agreement with Miloš Obrenović from 1830. The Muslim residents were placed under the authority of the Ottoman authorities, while Christian and Jewish residents, who made up about half of the population in 1836, came under the authority of the city's magistrate. Until the end of the Ottoman military administration, the Muslims were forbidden from selling their own property in the city. Only in 1841 was it permitted for the first time to build a Christian church inside the ski jump (Saborna Crkva, 1841). After 1833, the Ottoman Empire increasingly lost interest in public administration, and the magistrate also took over the public water supply for the wells (çesme / česme). As a result of the Belgrade uprising that flared up at a well (çükür çemse / Čukur čemsa) in 1862, which developed from internal ethical conflicts between Christians and Muslims, it was decided that the Ottoman military administration would be handed over to the Serbian authorities until a transitional period in 1867. The Ottoman flag remained on the fortress until 1878 as a symbol of imperial affiliation to the Ottoman Empire.

After the military withdrawal, which accompanied the extensive migration of the Muslim inhabitants of Belgrade, a general regulation of the urban area within the redoubt was worked out, which became necessary due to the emptied Muslim city quarters. In the "de-Osmanization" of the oriental character and the planned urban completion of the national capitals, in which the majority of Ottoman buildings were demolished (all but one of the former 16 mosques fell victim to regulation), the generous structure was also created modern administrative district started. Until the outbreak of World War I, the city grew together with the older settlement Palilula in the southern extension of the Sava Mala (today Savski Venac) and Vračar. After 1918, the left banks of the Sava and Danube , which were administered by the Habsburgs , were added to the urban area of ​​Belgrade, but it was not until 1948 that city regulation was implemented here with the construction of Novi Beograd .

Population development


Between the 13th and 16th centuries, the population doubled, in 1284 around 25,000 people were registered, in 1426 already 50,000. The sharp decline in numbers up to the beginning of the 19th century can be found in the numerous battles and conquests. For more details, see history .

Years 1660–1895
Number of inhabitants
year 1660 1683 1820 1834 1846 1850 1854 1859 1863 1867 1874 1878 1884 1890 1895 1900
Residents 98,000 100,000 approx. 5,000 approx. 8,450 14,386 15,485 16,733 18,890 14,760 24,612 27.605 50,000 35,483 54,249 59,115 69.100-
Years 1901-2000
Number of inhabitants
year 1910 1914 1919 1920 1931 1940 1941 1959 1965 1981 1991
Residents 89,876 100,000 approx. 0090,000 112,000 0238.775 approx. 430,000 340,000 542,000 1,000,000 1,480,000 1,552,151
From 2001 onwards
Number of inhabitants
year 2002 2008 2011 2019
Residents 1,546,812 1,650,000 1,659,440 1,694,056

Further sources: population development 1834–1940

Some reasons for the obvious changes in the 20th century

At the time of the last census in 2008, there were about 1.65 million citizens registered in Belgrade. Due to the ongoing population migration, Belgrade's annual natural population decline of 4,000 people is offset by an annual migration balance of 11,000 newcomers. According to preliminary estimates by the Municipal Office for Statistics and Information Technology, the urban population has increased by 150,000 since the last census. This means that today there are around 1.7 million people in the urban area. In order to get reliable figures, a random statistical population survey was carried out until April 15, 2009. A general census was carried out in 2011 and showed 1.659440 million inhabitants for Belgrade.

The population development in Belgrade was very dynamic after the Second World War. The transformation of Belgrade as the capital of an agricultural state in the time of the kingdom to an industrial city in socialist Yugoslavia was not completed even with the dissolution of the state. In Yugoslavia, for example, at the beginning of the 1990s, the degree of urbanization was only 53 percent. The efforts of rapid industrialization and the associated need for labor required the influx of people from rural areas. This caused the population to rise more than two and a half times (in the agglomeration), from 634,000 in 1948 to 1,621,000 in 1999.

The rural-urban migration was until the 1980s very high, but then fell noticeably. During the 1980s, on the other hand, the daily shuttle traffic increased, which turned out to be a disadvantageous development of the rapid population growth due to the inadequate transport infrastructure and the oversized city. There are 60,000 commuters in the city every day who come to the city for work, training or studies (as of 2011).

The population decreased from the 1980s onwards, mainly due to the discontinuity of economic and social development and the emigration of academically trained people . This was not compensated for in the crisis-ridden 1990s by the influx of refugees from those displaced in the civil war . Most recently, since 1999, a further 136,000 internally displaced persons have left Kosovo and settled in Belgrade.

Since the mid-1980s, one of the most noticeable developments was the establishment of large Roma poor settlements. According to unconfirmed data, up to 100,000 Roma are said to live in particular in poverty gottos in Novi Belgrade. This led to social conflicts with the city administration and local residents. The largest of these settlements, Karton City or Gazela , is located between blocks 19 and 21 on the left bank of the Sava not far from the Gazela Bridge and houses around 130 families with over 1,000 residents. Even after many years of planning, they could not agree on resettlement, but in early April 2009 the city began to evict smaller Roma slum settlements.

Population structure

The Serbs make with 1,417,187 inhabitants, the clear majority in Belgrade. They are followed by Yugoslavs (22,161), Montenegrins (21,190), Roma (19,191), Croats (10,382), Macedonians (8,372) and Bosniaks (4,617).

The largest groups of foreigners legally registered in Belgrade come from the area of ​​the former Yugoslavia. The largest non-European ethnic group are the Chinese who came to Belgrade in the 1990s. New Belgrade Block 70 is known as Chinatown among Belgrade residents .

Due to Yugoslavia's position in the non-aligned movement and its good relations with the Arab states, numerous Arab students came to Belgrade in the 1970s .


Tašmajdan and St. Mark's Church

According to the 2002 census, 90.68 percent of Belgrade residents belong to the Orthodox Church , around 1.03 percent of the Roman Catholic Church and around 0.24 percent of the Protestant Church . About 1.29 percent profess Islam , 0.03 percent Judaism , 2.02 percent other denominations, and 3 percent declare that they are non-believers.

Belgrade is the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, a Roman Catholic Archbishop ( Archdiocese of Belgrade ) and various Protestant regional churches.



Headquarters of the Serbian National Bank

Belgrade generates more than 30 percent of the Serbian GDP . The city also employs more than 30 percent of the Serbian population. The average monthly per capita income in Belgrade is RSD 47,500 . This corresponds to a per capita GDP of 6,864 EUR or 10,836 US dollars, after purchasing power parity (PPP) 18,204 US dollars. In 2007, 45.4 percent of urban households owned a computer . According to the same survey, 39.1 percent of households have an Internet connection.

Established businesses

Modern office building in New Belgrade

The service sector developed rapidly with the settlement of administrations, banks and insurance companies as well as the headquarters of publishing houses and media companies due to its status as the capital of Serbia and the former capital of Yugoslavia shortly after the Second World War. In the 21st century, 72 percent of employees work in the service sector, 25 percent in manufacturing and 3 percent in agriculture and forestry. The manufacturing industry mainly consists of mechanical engineering ( IMT Rakovica - factory for engines and tractors) from foundries. Then there are the construction and engineering industry ( Mostogradnja ), energy production ( Energoprojekt ), automotive and defense industry ( Vojnotehnički Institute VTI, Tehnicki opitni centar ), the shipbuilding and the textile and chemical industry ( Prva Iskra , Galenika , Tehnogas , Beopetrol , Tehnohemija ). The petrochemical industry in the Pančevo area is represented by a large refinery (Rafinerija Beograd). The armaments industry, whose exports are carried out centrally by the Belgrade-based company Jugoimport , was and is of particular importance to the foreign trade . In the vicinity of Belgrade, the aviation industry is also represented by the companies Utva in Pančevo, JAT Tehnika in Surčin and Moma Stanojlović in Batajnica .

Belgrade is also home to many multinational companies , including Société Générale , Intel , Motorola , Mondelēz International , Metro Cash & Carry , Unilever , OMV , Carlsberg , Microsoft and Japan Tobacco . The city is also the seat of the Serbian National Bank and important state-owned companies such as Air Serbia , Telekom Srbija , Telenor Srbija and the center of the local private sector ( Delta Holding ).

In the newly created industrial zone of the Airport City in addition to Mercedes-Benz , DHL , Siemens confiscated and other companies in the first consisting of twelve glass office towers Business Park.

The regionally significant Belgrade Fair (Beogradski Sajam) is the country's most important exhibition center. On an area of ​​84,000 m² there are 16 halls in which over 40 trade fairs take place every year. The best-known of these are the October Salon, the Partner Military Fair and the Belgrade Motor Show.


The city was visited by 1,142,943 tourists in 2018. 938,448 of them came from abroad, which makes up 84% of all tourists in Belgrade.

Belgrade is Serbia's most important tourist center with a large number of hotels and hostels.

The three existing large shopping malls in the city ( Usce , Mercator , Delta City ) will be supplemented by the Delta Planet mall at the car command center in spring 2014 . In addition to the Knez Mihailova shopping street in the Stari Beograd district, the malls are known for their wide, predominantly international range.


The State Press Agency of the Republic of Serbia, TANJUG

Radio and television

Belgrade is the most important media location in Serbia. This is where the public television service RTS is located , with three television and four radio programs. RTS also owns the record label PGP RTS, which has its own music studios. The city's private television stations that can be received nationwide include Happy TV , Prva TV , Pink International and B92 , the latter operating their own radio programs in addition to the television station. The B92 is a west-oriented and pro-European Serbia, as well as the local public broadcaster Studio B . Both took a strong stand against the Milošević regime in the 1990s, which, at the time, led to several bans and closings. Numerous cable broadcasters are also based in Belgrade.


Belgrade also hosts the state press agency of the Republic of Serbia Tanjug . The daily newspapers Politika , Borba , Blic , Večernje novosti and Glas javnosti are important nationwide . The liberal newspaper Danas and the tabloids Kurir , Press , ALO! , Srpski Telegraf , Informer and Pravda . The free newspaper 24sata is also published and distributed in Belgrade. The weekly political magazines include the internationally renowned issues of NIN and Vreme . The oldest entertainment magazines in the country, Ilustranova politika and Politikin zabavnik , also appear in Belgrade. Numerous international licensed editions such as Playboy , CKM , BRAVO , Cosmopolitan , JOLIE , Burda and many more also have branches in Belgrade. The most successful domestic tabloid magazines are Svet and SCANDAL! .


Memorial column of the despot Stefan Lazarević, marble obelisk in Crkvina, 1427

Belgrade is the main Serbian literary center. The first well-known writers in Belgrade are the despot Stefan Lazarević and Konstantin Kostenezki from the first half of the 15th century. The 2 m high obelisk of Stefan Lazarevic, which contains an inscription on the despot's death, has been preserved in the church in Crkvine near Mladenovac . The medieval literary tradition was only revived at the beginning of the 19th century. First and foremost, the enlightener Dositej Obradović and the language reformer, linguist and collector of Serbian folk epics Vuk Stefanović Karadžić are outstanding . With Romanticism, Serbian literature took up the European currents, and Belgrade, along with Vienna, became the center of the literary creation of the Serbs. The most important Belgrade authors include the romantic Đura Jakšić , the realist author Simo Matavulj and, as the first outstanding playwright, Branislav Nušić .

Two of the contemporary Belgrade writers are considered classics of Serbian literature: Ivo Andrić and Miloš Crnjanski . Nobel laureate Andrić wrote his three great historical novels here during his house arrest during the German occupation in World War II, including the internationally best-known Serbian novel The Bridge over the Drina , for which Andrić was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. Andrić's only contemporary novel set in Belgrade is Das Fräulein (Serbian Gospođica ). But Crnjanski remains the more important pioneer for modern Serbian literature, followed by Branko Ćopić , Borislav Pekić and Mehmed Meša Selimović . With the modern authors and also experimental styles of Danilo Kiš , Milorad Pavić and Bora Ćosić , Serbian authors are receiving great international attention for the first time and are models of the modern Serbian novel. One of the most influential Belgrade authors of her time was Svetlana Velmar-Janković , who addressed the political situation in both historical and contemporary Belgrade in her works.

With the works of Dušan Kovačević and Biljana Srbljanović , the theater is experiencing a generation of authors who critically question current events and society and point the way to new drama trends. One of the most important emigrants among Belgrade authors today is undoubtedly the American poet and translator of South Slavic literature Charles Simic , whose autobiography A Fly in the Soup: Memoirs comments on the Belgrade Youth Days and the time of the air raids with the typical comedy of Serbian authors.

The National Library, the original building of which was bombed out on Košanićev Venac in 1941 and replaced in 1972 by the new Serbian National Library on Vračar, is the largest library in the city and is currently being modernized.


Cathedral of St. Sava on the Vračar. It is the largest church on the Balkan Peninsula. 1926-2018.
Sheikh Mustafa Türbe
Konak the Princess Ljubica


Belgrade offers a large number of sights from different epochs and historical buildings of different cultures. The modern expansion of Belgrade and its role as the capital demanded representative buildings, which in the residences of the Serbian rulers, administrative and government buildings of democratic governments and the architecture of authoritative socialist rulers also required a different topos. The city owes its present appearance mainly to the urban planning extensions after the First and in particular the Second World War. Only in the old town, in the Stari Grad district and in the fortress of Belgrade have older historical buildings from the Middle Ages and the Turkish era been preserved.

The fact that Belgrade was still a small, more oriental than European-looking market with less representative architecture and an inharmoniously structured cityscape at the beginning of the 20th century is testified by the travelogue of the young Le Corbusier , who described the city in 1910 with little praise: Have a whole two days we get rid of the illusion of it (Belgrade), and so finally and thoroughly, since the city is a thousand times less defined than Budapest. We had imagined the gate to the east many times over, a city vibrating with colorful vibrancy, and imagined it to be with cavalry decorated and decked out in feathers and lacquered boots. This is a ridiculous capital; even worse, a disreputable city, dirty and disorganized. But their situation is staggering.

Only after the First World War did Belgrade take on more modern contours, which also appear modernized inside thanks to an urban educated bourgeoisie. The formerly not very representative buildings of the administration and government have now been designed in a contemporary manner by internationally experienced architects. The residences of the Serbian kings also contrast with the oriental-looking Konaks ( Konak of Princess Ljubica and Konak of Prince Miloš ) of the 19th century. The Konaks gave way to the European royal houses worthy of classical residences (Old and New Castle, Royal Castle and Beli dvor ), the low restaurants ( CAFÉ "?" [1823]) more modern and luxurious restaurants (Restaurant London , Restaurant Ruski Car [1890]), the one-storey town houses ( Kosaničev Venac ) multi-storey houses ( Knez Mihailova ulica ).

In the interwar period, Belgrade turned into a real big city , with a juxtaposition of architectural trends of modernity, such as the Bauhaus style ( Palata Albanija ), neoclassicism ( Skupština ) and the pseudo-Byzantine style ( Church of St. Mark ). After the Second World War, a historical discontinuity determined urban planning development. With the end of the monarchy and the takeover of power by the communists, the architects also oriented themselves towards the socialist architectural language . However, the country's cultural institutions receive special funding, and both the numerous theaters and museums receive special funding during this period. Larger sports facilities are also being built for the first time, and the industrialization of the suburbs through large socialist companies and newly built urban districts ( Novi Beograd ) are changing the cityscape. An obstacle to the rapid population growth for urban development after 1945 is the inadequate expansion of the transport infrastructure, as no modern, high-capacity local public transport system has been set up to date.

Houses of worship

Church of St. Vasilije Ostroški in Novi Beograd
  • Cathedral of St. Sava (planning 1894–1935, construction 1935–1941, 1985-)
  • Church of Our Lady Ružica (17th century new building)
  • Chapel of St. Para Sheva (1867; new building in 1937)
  • Ascension Church (1860; 1937 new building)
  • Nikolaj Church (1725–1731)
  • Alexander Nevsky Church (1877–1891; 1912–1929 new building)
  • Church of St. Vasilije Ostroški (1996-2001)
  • Trinity Church
  • Mitropolija City Cathedral
  • Markuskirche (1835; 1931–1940 new building)


In Belgrade there is a Jewish cemetery in the Palilula district . The memorial for the Jewish victims of fascism by the Yugoslav architect and sculptor Bogdan Bogdanović, designed from 1951 and completed in 1952, is located in the cemetery . In addition to the Jewish cemetery, there is also the Heroes' Cemetery for the liberators of Belgrade in World War II . The Belgrade New Cemetery is located in the Zvezdara district .

Belgrade Fortress

The double-towered Zindan gate

The most important building and most famous landmark of Belgrade is the Belgrade Fortress . The strategic location here has favored urban fortification since ancient times . After the first Celto-Thracian settlement in the 1st century AD, the Romans fortified the plateau with a castrum , the Byzantines in the 6th century with a fort and the Serbian despot Stefan Lazarević with an extensive medieval castle with double walls and moats and a lock.

In the course of the Turkish Wars, after the conquest of Prince Eugene , the castle was expanded into a fortress with artillery bastions. After the fortress has been destroyed and reconstructed several times, its core consists of a 15th century complex with extensions from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The fortress is divided into the upper and lower town. The upper town is enthroned on a limestone spur at a height of 125 m, 50 m below the lower town stretched on the alluvial plain in the Save Delta . The Great War Island is located in the delta of the Sava and the Danube .

The fortress, which has been continuously expanded since the rebuilding of the Byzantine castron and a deltoid castle in the 12th century under the Byzantine emperor Manuel I , today extends over 50 hectares with green spaces. Within the complex there are two churches, several gates and chain bridges, two Fountains, several monuments, the exhibition pavilions of the Natural History Museum, the military museum with an arsenal of tanks, rifles and missiles, the art gallery Pavilion Cveta Zuzorić and the zoological garden .

Every year on Republic Day on February 15, the celebrations begin with artillery salute shots by the guards from the fortress.

Monument of Ferman

The monument of Ferman in front of the Stambol Gate in Kalemegdan commemorates April 19, 1867, when a Ferman (decree) of Sultan Abdul Aziz initiated the departure of the last Turkish fortress commander Ali-Pasha Riza and the Turkish occupation and symbolically presented Prince Mihailo with the city keys were. This ended almost 350 years of Turkish rule in Belgrade.

The large and small Kalemegdan parks extend on the site of the former glacis on the fortress front . Numerous bronze busts of important Serbian scholars, writers and artists are displayed in Kalemegdan. The communist tomb of the national heroes has been on a terrace since 1948 . The partisans and communists Đuro Đaković (1886–1929), Ivan Milutinov (1901–1944), Ivo Lola Ribar (1916–1943), and Moša Pijade (1890–1957) are buried here.

Traditional Balkan architecture

Old Belgrade cafe question mark

With the liberation of Belgrade, most of the Ottoman buildings disappeared with the exception of the Bajrakli Mosque , the Türbe of Damad Ali-Paşa and the Balkan Konaks ( residences ) and town houses with the (residence) of Princess Ljubica , ( Konak the Princess Ljubica ) (1829– 1831) , the CAFÉ "?" (1823) and the Manak House (around 1830) as well as the Vuk and Dositej Museum (Vukov i Dositejev muzej) . It is housed in the building of the former Great School, which in 1808 the Serbian enlightener and first Serbian education minister Dositej Obradović opened as a lyceum .

Outside the city lies the Konak of Prince Milos in the Topčider Park . After the Konaks for his wife and children in the city, Prince Miloš Obrenović had this built in 1831–1834. Towards the outskirts, the building fabric is becoming increasingly modern and hardly shows any typical Balkan style elements.

European classicism

Historic building of the Serbian Academy , 1923–1924
The new castle, seat of the Serbian President, Stojan Titelbah, 1911–1922
Government building of Serbia, Nikola Petrovič Krasnov, 1926–1928
Dom Sindikata , meeting place of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia
Concrete giant of the Genex Tower , also known as the Western Gate of Belgrade.

The urban renewal of Belgrade is closely connected with the name Emilijan Josimović , whose regulatory plan drawn up in 1867 was adopted. He had the city wall with the hated city ​​gate of the Stambol kapija razed, streets straightened and buildings built in the popular neoclassical style in the years that followed.

The Serbian architects of the 19th century took up western styles such as neoclassicism , romanticism and academic art . The National Theater (1868/1869) was built on Trg Republike in place of the Stambol Kapija according to plans by the architect Aleksandar Bugarski. The construction corresponds to the general type of theaters of that time, especially the building of the La Scala in Milan , whose Renaissance conception and decorative processing were adopted. The Sveti Sava House was built in 1890, the building of the first Serbian observatory in 1891. Furthermore, the city administration had the Serbian National Museum built on the Republic Square according to plans by Andre Stevanović and Nikola Nestorović by 1902. In front of the museum is the equestrian statue of Prince Mihailo Obrenović by Enrico Pazzi from 1882. The building of the Third Belgrade Grammar School, built in 1906, is significant . The building of the old telephone switchboard in Belgrade was built in 1908. Out of the numerous classical buildings on Belgrade's boulevard, Knez Mihailova ulica (Fürst-Michael-Straße), the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, completed in 1924, rises above all designs by Dragutin Đorđević and Andre Stevanović in an academic style with elements of secession . One of the few secession buildings in Belgrade is the Hotel Moskva . It dates from 1908 and is prominently located on the Terazije .

An extension of the boulevard Knez Mihailova took place with the Ulica Kralja Milana at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, from the Terazije. The Old Castle , the official residence of the Obrenović dynasty, was built here. This was also built by Aleksandar Bugarski in the academic style in 1882–1884 and exceeded all previous residences of the Serbian rulers in the city in terms of size and furnishings. This is where the city council of Belgrade is housed in the 21st century. Opposite is the New Palace , built between 1911 and 1922. Originally planned by King Peter I Karađorđević , it was the official residence of King Alexander I Karađorđević until 1933 , who in 1933, after moving his permanent residence to the Dedinje, gave the building to the city as the Museum of King Peter I. The President of Serbia has resided here since the 1990s.

Outside the city, on the Dedinje, the royal castle can be found together with the Beli dvor with the chapel of St. Andrew the Apostle. The Kara bisorđević dynasty resided here from 1903 until the outbreak of World War II. The Royal Palace is built in the neo-Byzantine style and in its interiors it imitates the magnificent rooms in the Moscow Kremlin .

Socialist classicism

The Ada Bridge opened in 2013 and is one of the new landmarks of Belgrade.
Crypt of the Cathedral of St. Sava on the Vračar

After the First World War , which was victorious for Serbia , Belgrade was structurally adapted as the capital of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia , which had grown into a regional power . Generous government and representative buildings were built and presented as a metropolis of the western Balkan peninsula .

On the summit of the 511-meter-high Avala south of Belgrade, the monument of the Unknown Soldier commemorates those who died in the First World War . The monument is considered the main work of the house artist of the Karadordevic dynasty, the Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović . A total of 8000 m³ of granite from Jablanica were procured for the construction of the monument . The monumental figures of the eight caryatids who embody the Yugoslav peoples were made from blocks of up to 15 tons in weight. The victorious end of the war, on the other hand, was made visible with the bronze victory monument of Pobednik on the terrace of the Belgrade fortress.

The buildings of Russian architects in the city are particularly noteworthy. They emigrated from Moscow and Saint Petersburg during and after the Russian October Revolution . The monarch Aleksandar Karađorđević commissioned them with the construction of further monumental buildings, as had already begun with the Hotel Moskva . The most important Russian architect of this interwar period was Nikola Petrovič Krasnov . The current Serbian government building ( Zgrada Vlade Srbije 1926–1928, formerly the Ministry of Finance), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1926–1929), the interior design of the Skupština and the rooms of the Royal Palace on Dedinje come from Krasnov and were heavily damaged during the NATO bombing in 1999 . Other Russian emigrants such as Vasilij Fjodorovič Baumgarten built the General Staff Building (1924–1928), Viktor Lukomski the building of the Serbian Patriarchate (1936), and Valerij Staševski built the Russian Orthodox Church in Tašmajdan. The Russian architect Vasilij Androsov worked on the final design of the Alexander Nevsky Church .

The medieval Serbian-Byzantine style was revived with the St. Sava Cathedral, begun in the Vračar district in the late 1930s, as the largest Christian Orthodox cathedral in Southeast Europe. With a floor area of ​​3500 m² by 7570 m², it roughly corresponds to the dimensions of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul . At the same time, the second largest church, the Markuskirche , began, which could not be completed until 1941. It stands not far from the National Assembly of Serbia, the Skupstina, and imitates the style of the Gračanica Monastery , which is the outstanding sacred building of the Palaiological Renaissance and one of the most famous buildings of Byzantine art .

Tito's communists, who came to power after the Second World War , adopted the classicist monarchist structures and traditions. At the same time they drew on contemporary models of socialist classicism and, after 1948, on the international style , which was shaped by the school of Le Corbusier . The monumental memorials and the interior fittings of the government buildings, which are decorated with numerous heroic depictions of partisan battles, corresponded to the communist architectural concept. Among the few buildings in Belgrade that belong to socialist classicism are the Glavna Posta, which is decorated with columns and towers, the building of the railway administration and the Dom Sindikata house on Trg Nikole Pašića (former Marx-Engels-Platz).

In addition to the numerous apartment blocks in Novi Belgrade, the Genex Tower ( Mihajlo Mitrović ; 1970–1980) also corresponds to the concept of brutalism coined by Le Corbusier . In the 1960s, the influences of the Western European architectural style meant that architects from the former Yugoslavia were able to build skyscrapers with glass facades, including the Palata Ušče (Mihajlo Janković; 1961) and the Beograđanka (1979).

The expansion of the city on the left side of the Sava after the Second World War led to the conception of the completely new city of Novi Beograd. Around 1947, the team of Anton Urlih, Vladimir Potočnjak, Zlatko Najman and Dragica Perak planned what is now called Palata Srbije , which was completed in 1959 under the direction of Mihajlo Janković . In addition, Stojan Maksimović ( Sava Congress Center , 1977, Hotel Intercontinental , 1979) and Branislav Jovin ( Mostarska petlja ) created other important modern buildings in Belgrade. The Palata Srbije and the Museum of Modern Art are among the nationally artistically outstanding architectures of the modern era in Belgrade .


The building of the Craft Association in Belgrade was built in 1933

With the investment fund “Emaar Properties” in Dubai, the Serbian government has launched the joint construction project Beograd na vodi (“Belgrade on the water”, English title Belgrade Waterfront ), the aim of which is to create a new business hub in Belgrade. This project envisages the construction of around 1.5 million m² of usable space on a total area of ​​88 hectares. The project is to be implemented in five to six construction phases. According to the investors, the whole project should be feasible in five to seven years and will be built on the site of the previous Belgrade Central Station with all main and side tracks. For this purpose, all train connections to the old main station were relocated to the new Beograd Centar station by June 2018 . In 2016, the police and politicians came under public criticism for their role in enforcing demolitions in the Savamala district affected by the construction project. There were multiple demonstrations against the demolition work.

The lack of financial resources and numerous administrative problems had so far delayed the construction of the new station. This is to be completed from a loan from the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development, worth 25 million euros, and the space for the new district will be made free. The total investment costs of the Beograd na vodi project are expected to amount to just under 3 billion euros.

Transport infrastructure

air traffic

Nikola Tesla Airport in Surčin

The Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, which opened in 1962, is located 18 km from the city center in Surčin . It replaced the previous international airports in Pančevo (1923) and Beograd (1927; two kilometers south of Zemun). The technical bases of the airlines Air Serbia and Aviogenex as well as the aviation museum and the police helicopter team are located at the Nikola Tesla airport . There are direct scheduled flights to all major European cities. During the holiday season, charter flights also connect Belgrade with the tourist centers on the Mediterranean . The number of passengers rose from around 1.6 million in 2002 to around 4.6 million in 2014. In addition to the airport in Surčin, there are also the airports Batajnica and Pančevo near Belgrade, which are not used for scheduled flights.

Rail transport

Railway and road bridges over the Sava ( Gazela , old and new railway bridge )

In addition to the historic main train station , the former stop of the Orient and Acropolis Express , the Novi Beograd train station is the city's most important train station. Since January 2016, the first stage of the new Belgrade Central Railway Station, which has been under construction for four decades, has been completed and serves regional and urban rail connections. However, this station is still only served by suburban trains similar to the S-Bahn. The current Belgrade terminus on the bank of the Sava ( ) is the most important long-distance train station in Železnice Srbije . In addition to the daily train connections to the Adriatic coast on the Belgrade – Bar line, there are other international train connections from here. From the end of 2015, the Budapest-Belgrade connection is to be expanded into a high-speed route and Belgrade will be connected to the European express rail system for the first time. The 350 km long high-speed line, 185 km of which will be on Serbian territory, is the first investment of its kind in Europe to be made by China through the China Railway Group . [outdated]

In 1971 an elementary reconstruction of the railway infrastructure was decided as an integral part of the major project of the Belgrade railway junction , which provided for the implementation of an intermodal freight network, as well as the operation of long-distance trains , light rail and subway via central transport hubs. From 1974 the construction of the New Belgrade Railway Bridge ( ) and from 1977 the new Belgrade Center Station ( ), mostly called Prokop , constructed as a through station , began. On the left bank of the Sava, the Novi Beograd station was built with a rail-bound rapid transit system based on independent track layouts. Together with the further expansion of the S-Bahn and the installation of a subway, this is to become the backbone of public transport .

Road traffic

Night scene of the streets of Belgrade captured from the ISS

Belgrade is connected to the European trunk road network via the Pan-European Transport Corridor X , the street variant of which corresponds to the former Autoput Bratstvo i jedinstvo and to which the city motorway with the Gazela bridge ( ) serves as the main artery of transit traffic. Existing highways connect Belgrade with Novi Sad , Niš and Zagreb . The Belgrade Ring Motorway , which is completed in sections, and the Inner Magistralen Half Ring ( Unutrašni magistralni poluprsten ) with the New Savebrücke , which are currently under construction, are currently the most important road traffic projects. Slavija is the central distributor for tram and bus traffic and therefore the main transport hub and busiest square in the metropolis . This is where the long-distance main road of Kralja Milana coincides with Nemanjina ulica . The station district is particularly critical, as the Savska ulica, which also serves tram traffic, connects road traffic to Belgrade's main train station and the long-distance bus station and directs it to and from the Gazela and the other river bridges Brankov Most and Savski most .

Local public transport

Local public transport accounts for 47.9% of inner-city transport in Belgrade. It is thus well above the transport figures in Western European metropolises (Berlin 24.6%, Zurich 23%), although there is no underground network in Belgrade and there is only a rudimentary S-Bahn network. Belgrade is one of those Central and Eastern European cities (such as Warsaw, Prague, Moscow, Budapest) in which local public transport has a share of over 40% in passenger transport.

Bus traffic has the largest share with 40%, followed by trams (2%), trolleybuses (1.3%) and rail traffic (0.5%).

Station of the Beovoz Vukov spomenik light rail

Trams, omnibuses

The city transport company GSP Beograd is the main operator of local public transport . It maintains the Belgrade tram (twelve lines), the Belgrade trolleybus (seven lines) and 112 bus routes . In addition, there are individual private bus routes. Most of the suburbs can only be reached by buses operated by the Lasta transport company . In the inner city, the GSP serves the BG: Voz Stadtbahn with eight stations. This is connected to the Beovoz suburban trains of the Železnice Srbije at three transfer stations . The means of payment for most forms of transport (except for Beovoz and taxi) is the contactless BusPlus card.


Belgrade light rail network

The Beovoz line network was introduced in 1991/1992 in the timetable of the then ŽTP-Beograd. Since then it has been expanded to five lines with a total length of 330 km. It crosses the central urban area in two tunnels running in north-south direction, a total of 35 km long and up to 43 m deep. The inner city ​​center is connected via the Beograd centar , Karadordev park and Vukov spomenik stations . BG: Voz was founded in 2010. This transports passengers on the main route of the new Belgrade railway junction , the connection Batajnica - Pančevački most . The Beovoz train sets complement the inner-city S-Bahn traffic on the connections to Valjevo, Inđija, Resnik , Pančevo and Mladenovac with the transfer stations to the BG: Voz in Batajnica, Beograd Centar and Pančevački Most. The central hub in long-distance and local rail transport is the Novi Beograd station (in 2012). The light rail is to be connected to the future subway via Vukov Spomenik and Beograd centar . An expansion to Surčin Airport is being discussed. The city sees the S-Bahn network as the most important mode of transport to be developed for short to medium-term transport planning. During peak times, a frequency of 15 minutes is guaranteed on the main line of the BG: Voz. While the Beovoz is operated by the Železnice Srbije and tickets have to be bought at the ticket counters of the train stations, the BG: Voz is integrated into the integrated system of the GSP-Beograd. This uses the above-mentioned BusPlus electronic chip tickets, which cannot be obtained at the railway counters.

Belgrade Metro

The plan for the construction of a subway for Belgrade has determined the city's traffic planning since around 2005. The Serbian state has included the project in its agenda of the three most important infrastructure measures. For the further implementation, the city had convened a commission of experts from large subway systems in Europe, who gave separate reports. With the fundamental decision to build the underground, a line has been drawn under two decades of controversial debates. The stop of the metro planning by the city in 1982 is considered a serious mistake by today's traffic planners, because despite the estimated costs of the equivalent of 1.1 billion euros for 14 km of route length, sustainable traffic development does not seem possible without an independent local transport rail system.


Belgrade lies on the Danube, the shipping route that connects the countries of Western and Central Europe with the countries of Southeast and Eastern Europe. With the construction of the reservoir and the Eisernes Tor hydroelectric power station on the Danube, Belgrade developed into an important river port. Since the opening of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal , Belgrade has had a water connection to the North Sea. The port complex on the Danube covers an area of ​​120 hectares and is one of the centers for freight transport. On this area there are 290,000 m² of closed warehouses and 650,000 m² of open storage spaces as well as a container terminal of 44,000 m². Since the end of the Yugoslav wars, more and more Danube cruise ships have come to Belgrade, some of which go as far as the Danube Delta biosphere reserve . There is a separate port at the mouth of the Sava for the cruise ships.

Social infrastructure and education

School system and universities

The Kapetan Mišino Zdanje , the Kolarac is next to its function of the rectorate of the University of Belgrade also the most important home of the Belgrade symphonies and the venue for classical and modern concerts.
Electrotechnical Faculty of Belgrade University
The vocational technical aviation school "Petar Drapsin", a middle school for aviation technicians with a retired Mig-21 in the schoolyard

Belgrade has 280 municipal schools with a two-tier school system. 195 of these provide eight-year primary education and 85 belong to the intermediate level, including 51 vocational secondary schools. 21 grammar schools and 8 art schools enable further higher education. Belgrade grammar schools are mostly sorted by number (first, second grammar school, etc.). In 2008, a total of 230,000 students were registered, distributed in 22,000 classrooms in over 500 buildings. The total area of ​​the school classrooms is 1,100,000 square meters.

Belgrade is the location of two state universities, a private university and numerous scientific research institutions, the Serbian Academy and other state higher education institutions. The University of Belgrade emerged from the Great School , which existed between 1808 and 1813 and was originally located in the Konak of Princess Ljubica. On the occasion of the reopening in 1863, the large school moved into the Kapetan Mišino Zdanje , a representative building in the Stari Grad district . Almost 50 years later, in 1905, it became a university. This makes it the earliest institution for higher education in Serbia and one of the first in the Balkan Peninsula . With more than 89,000 students at 31 faculties and 8 scientific research institutions, it is also one of the largest in the region in the 21st century. The individual faculties are widely spread across the city. The Faculties of Philosophy, Philology and the Faculties of Mathematics and Natural Sciences are gathered around the Studentski trg . The Faculty of Economics below the Zeleni Venac and the Medical Faculties below the Vračar are located in the Savski Venac district . The Faculty of Law , the University Library of Belgrade , the Faculty of Mining and Geology, the Faculty of Technology, the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering are located in the Palilula district . At the beginning of the 1990s, some faculties moved into a campus on the outskirts of the city: the faculties of pharmacy and pharmacology were able to move into several building complexes in the Kumodraž district and, thanks to modern scientific and technical equipment and the spacious laboratories, develop into leading institutes in Europe. A new location for the facilities of the Faculty of Biology, which were previously spread over several buildings, is, after a construction break of almost twenty years, in the half-finished shell originally intended only for the botanical institutes in the Jevremovac Botanical Garden, through the expansion of the original construction plans and the joint integration of the institutes by the university management in October 2008 was decided.

Scientific research institutions

The Institute for Nuclear Sciences "Vinča" with the only experimental nuclear reactor in the country, the "VTI" ("Vojno Tehnički Institute") in Žarkovo as the only institute in Southeast Europe for aerodynamic research in aircraft and rocket construction of the former JNA and today's VJ, the eight largest Wind tunnel systems, including several systems with wind tunnels that reach supersonic speeds, and the Military Geographic Institute (“Vojno-geografski Institut”) (VGI) not far from the central cemetery “Novo Groblje”, occupy an important position among the mathematical-technical research institutions .

The Biological Institute "Siniša Stanković" is dedicated to environmental protection, the geography, geomorphological and anthropogeographical research the Geographical Institute "Jovan Cvijić", the preservation of biodiversity the Natural History Museum Belgrade and the research of medicinal plants the Institute "Josif Pančić". Another institution is the Institute for Immunobiology and Virusology "Torlak". The central historical archive of the country is the "Istorijski Arhiv Srbije" (Historical Archive of Serbia), important historical and ethnological scientific research institutes which are committed to the knowledge of the Balkan Peninsula in their humanities subjects, are affiliated with the Serbian Academy of Sciences, in addition to the aforementioned "Geographic Institute Jovan Cvijić ”, the“ Balkanological Institute ”(Balkaološki Institute),“ Institute of Byzantism ”(Vizantijski Institute),“ Institute of the Serbian Language ”(Institut za Srpski jezik) and the“ Ethnographic Institute ”(Etnografski Institute).


Belgrade has 59 health institutions, namely 16 health centers, 4 clinic and hospital centers, 3 special hospitals, 5 clinics, 1 clinic center, 14 institutions and institutes with inpatient treatment, 12 institutions without inpatient treatment, 3 institutions for the protection of health and the pharmacy company “ Beograd ”with over 100 pharmacies. The healthcare facilities with inpatient treatment have a total of 12,035 standard beds.

The Military Medical Academy is also located in Belgrade . It was opened in 1884 and is now the largest hospital building in Serbia.


Restaurant in the Skadarlija


Belgrade is characterized by a dynamic and diverse culture. The city conveys an idiosyncratic cultural mix through its former border location between Orient and Occident and Yugoslavia's position in the Cold War . A certain nostalgia of the great times as the former residence of the so-called “Red Monarch”, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, when the city was also the “capital” of the non-aligned movement, still resonates with the residents in the modern architecture characterized by socialist urban planning . Tito's sustainable legacy is therefore also being marketed profitably for tourism everywhere. An example of this is a sightseeing tour from the train station Danube port around the headland of the Kalemegdans to the former royal train station Topčider in Tito's luxury train with its art deco style salons.


The city was one of the most important centers of Yugoslav rock music of the 1980s: VIS Idoli , Ekatarina Velika and Šarlo Akrobata came from Belgrade. Other well-known Belgrade rock music groups are Riblja čorba , Bajaga i Instruktori . The city is also the center of turbo folk , whose internationally best-known epigon, Ceca Ražnatović , lives here. Today the city with the groups Beogradski sindikat , Škabo and Marčelo is also the most important meeting place for the local hip-hop scene and for Serbian brass music , including the Boban Marković Orchestra.

Theater and opera

The Yugoslav Drama Theater
(Jugoslovensko Dramsko pozorište), rebuilt after a fire in 1997

Out of the numerous theaters, the renowned stages of the Belgrade National Theater , the Theater am Terazije, the Yugoslav Drama Theater - Yugoslovensko dramsko pozorište , the Belgrade Drama Theater - Beogradsko dramsko pozorište and the Atelier 212 stand out. The Jugoslovensko dramsko pozorište shows outstanding works by authors from the former Yugoslavia , including the plays by Dobrica Ćosić , Jovan Hristić , Velimir Lukić - Slobodan Šnajder , Dušan Kovačević , Dejan Dukovski and Biljana Srbljanović .

The Belgrade Drama Theater specializes more in the classical and avant-garde international works, among which the performances of Arthur Miller , Tennessee Williams and Bertolt Brecht stand out.

The first performance in Eastern Europe of Beckett's Waiting for Godot took place in Atelier 212 . There are also pieces by almost all of the major modern authors. The Belgrade theater festival BITEF took place in Atelier 212 for the first time in 1967.

One of the youngest theaters in Belgrade is the Zvezdara Theater , which was founded in 1984 . It has quickly become an important institution through the performance of contemporary works by Dušan Kovačević, Aleksandar Popović and Siniša Kovačević. The actors appearing here include many well-known film and television actors: Danilo-Bata Stojković, Bogdan Diklić, Lazar Ristovski (among others in Underground ), Ljiljana Dragutinović, Danilo Lazović, Bora Todorović , Mihajlo-Miša Janketić, Dragan Jovanović and Dragan Jovanović . a.

Opera and ballet are located in the National Theater and in Zemun in the Madlenijanum Opera House. Ballet has only been shown in Belgrade since 1923. In the early days it was Russian emigrants who took over the repertoire and training. The Bolshoi -Elevin and later director of the National Theater, Nina Kirsanova, as well as the former soloist in the Mariinsky Ballet of Saint Petersburg and soloist in Diahilev's Ballets Russes , Jelena Polyakova, became the first prima ballerina of the Serbian National Theater, established here in the 1920s all the great French and Russian Classics such as Don Quichotte , Giselle , Petrushka , Coppelia , Sleeping Beauty , Nutcracker and Swan Lake and Scheherazade . As one of the first male soloists of this generation of Russian emigrants, Oleg Sergeevič Grebenščikov was also a ballet master and composer in the national theater from 1924 to 1946. During this time, the great prima ballerina of the Ballets Russes, Tamara Karsavina, visited Belgrade in 1928 and 1927 by Anna Pavlova . The repertoire includes the performance of all classical European choreographies, including Petipas in particular , as well as the pieces to Goran Bregović's Kraljica Margo and Stevan Hristić's ballet Ohridska legenda , which are mainly known to the local audience . The state ballet school “Lujo Davico” is dedicated to training the stage dancers of the National Theater. Ašhen Ataljanc in particular has become internationally known among the ballet dancers trained here and former soloists of the Belgrade Ballet . Dame Margot Fonteyn recalls a memorable ballet performance by the Royal Ballet in the Belgrade National Theater , which she and her then partner Robert Helpmann describe in the 1950s as the most outstanding performance in their nearly fifty-year world career thanks to an overwhelming reception from the Belgrade audience.

The Belgrade Philharmonic has existed for 85 years (founded in 1923), but has not yet had its own philharmonic building. Classical concerts mainly take place in the concert hall of Zadužbini Ilije M. Kolarca ( Kolarac Kapetan Mišino Zdanje for short ).

The only musical and revue theater in Southeast Europe is the Theater am Terazije - Pozorište na Terazijama , which has existed since 1948 . It shows performances of well-known musicals by Gershwin , Cole Porter , Bernstein , Bob Fosse , Richard Rodgers , Oscar Hammerstein and others.


The Miroslav Gospel in the National Library is the oldest Serbian written testimony and since 2005 UNESCO - World Soundtrack Awards

The most important museum is the Serbian National Museum, founded in 1844 . It houses a collection of 400,000 exhibits (more than 5600 paintings as well as 8400 drawings and prints), including several foreign masterpieces as well as the Miroslav Gospel from the 12th century.

The Army Museum shows the country's military history from ancient times to the NATO air raids in 1999, including parts of the Lockheed F-117 that was shot down in Srem .

Belgrade Aviation Museum

The aviation museum at the airport shows more than 200 aircraft with a focus on domestic aviation history as well as the weapons and aircraft used during the NATO air war. Many aircraft are also located outside the museum. The Ethnographic Museum holds a rich selection of folk costumes from the former Yugoslavia with over 150,000 objects.

The Museum of Modern Art has 8,540 works that were created on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

The Nikola Tesla Museum , founded in 1952, presents memorabilia of the physicist and replicas of his inventions. The museum also manages the scientist's rich estate. A museum dedicated to the work of the language reformers Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Dositej Obradović is the Vuk and Dositej Museum . One of the more unusual museums in Belgrade is the Museum of African Art , founded in the days of solidarity with developing countries .

Tito's memorial column in front of the building complex of the Yugoslav History Museums

The most visited museum in Belgrade is the Museum of the History of Yugoslavia , dedicated to the former President of Yugoslavia, Marshal Josip Broz Tito . It is located in the former Forbidden City in the Savski Venac district on Dedinje . The museum complex has existed since 1980 with Tito's mausoleum, the so-called Kuča cveča house , which is dedicated to the memory of the president and communist rulers as well as war heroes. Since a not inconsiderable part of the forbidden city was still partly inhabited by Slobodan Milošević until 2002 and was separated from the memorial complex of Kuča cveča by a high concrete wall, the Beogradski zid , the whole complex could only be attached to Memorial Museum 25 at the end of 2008 May connect. This also includes the former residence of Tito and Milošević, the villa at Užička ulica 11, which was the target of an attack during the NATO bombing and is now the only object in poor condition, the hunting lodge and Milošević's legendary oval secret residence, the villa Mir , during the negotiations with Milošević about his handover to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, to the museum.

The Serbian Railway Museum with around 4,000 exhibits is located in the Savski Venac district .

With 95,000 copies of domestic and international films, the Yugoslav Film Archive is the largest in the region and among the 10 largest in the world.

Eating and drinking culture

The traditional Belgrade cuisine is shaped by the influences of Turkish, Austro-Hungarian and Balkan cuisine in general. Due to the city's location near the border with Hungary and Ottoman and Balkan influences, dishes from different countries can be found. Meat dishes come from Turkish and Hungarian cuisine, pastries came from Austria or Bohemian cuisine (e.g. pancakes serb. Palačinke ). The Starogradska muzika is played especially in the restaurants in the bohemian district of Skardarlija .

Belgrade offers a number of large traditional farmers' markets, the most famous of which is the Zeleni venac .

The cityscape of Belgrade in lively areas includes grilled snacks with various grilled meats and grilled vegetables.

Belgrade Kafana

Another specialty of Belgrade culture is the Kafana , the Belgrade coffee house. In addition to the typical Turska kafa (equivalent to a mocha ), a variety of other coffee specialties and grilled dishes such as Ćevapčići (often with ajvar and flatbread) are served. Fruit brandies - rakija -, especially Slivovic and various desserts, are served with it. The well-known Belgrade almond cake ( Beogradska torta od badema ) can also be found in the numerous Poslastičarnica , which specialize in desserts , such as in the magnificently decorated Ruski Car coffee house , which dates back to 1890.

Rakia culture

Belgrade is located in the middle of an important fruit-growing area, the Šumadija. Since Serbia is also the world's second largest plum producer, from which the traditional Šlivovica is distilled, it is not surprising that this typical national drink is offered on many different occasions.


Belgrade hosts many major annual cultural events. These include the Belgrade Film Festival FEST and the Belgrade Theater and Dance Festival BITEF (Belgrade International Theater Festival), one of the oldest theater festivals that has been one of the most important theater festivals in Europe since the 1970s. Also worth mentioning are the Belgrade Summer Festival BELEF , the Belgrade Music Festival BEMUS , the October Salon and the Belgrade International Book Fair .

Numerous foreign cultural organizations based in Belgrade organize theater or cinema performances and concerts. These organizations include the Instituto Cervantes , the Goethe-Institut and the Center Culturel Français , all of which are located on Ulica Knez Mihailova. Other cultural institutions include the American Corner , the Austrian Cultural Forum , the British Council and the Russian Center for Science and Culture (Российский центр науки и культуры), the Confucius Institute , the Canadian Cultural Center , the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Culture Center of the Islamic Republic of Iran .

The Belgrade Days, which are accompanied by numerous events, take place every year on April 16 and 19. They go back to the two dates of the first documentary mention, April 16, 878 in the letter of Pope John VIII to the Bulgarian Prince Boris and April 19, 1867, when the last Ottoman commander of the fortress of Belgrade, Ali Risa Pascha , Prince Mihailo Obrenović handed over the keys to the city.

The Belgrade Fashion Week ( Beogradska nedelja mode ) has been held twice a year since 1996 . With increasing international participation, Belgrade's position as a fashion center in Southeast Europe is to be consolidated.



In the course of its history, Belgrade has repeatedly hosted world and European championships and other international competitions, such as the first swimming world championship in 1973 or the 34th European basketball championship in 2005. The city has more than 1000 sports facilities, including 8 stadiums, 16 sports centers, 6 indoor swimming pools, 6 sports halls, a horse racing track, a golf club, etc. a.

In amateur boxing , Belgrade hosted the 1987 World Cup, the 1978 World Championships, the 1961 and 1973 European Championships and the 1966 Balkan Championships.

In professional boxing, Belgrade was the venue of the EBU European championship fight in light heavyweight between Domenico Adinolfi and Mate Parlov on July 10, 1976 , which Parlov won by knockout in the eleventh round. On June 17, 1978 the world championship fight of the WBC in the light heavyweight between Mate Parlov and John Conteh was held here, which Parlov won on points.

The largest sports facilities in the capital are:

The Red Star Stadium was one of the most modern stadiums in socialist Yugoslavia. It was inaugurated on September 1, 1963 with the soccer league game Red Star Belgrade against HNK Rijeka (2: 1). In addition to the home games of the Red Star Belgrade club, international matches of the Serbian national team as well as a few European Cup matches of various Belgrade clubs take place here.

The Ada Ciganlija is a former island on the Sava and is now the largest sports and leisure facility in Belgrade. After its connection with the shore, a lake was created. It is one of the favorite destinations for Belgrade residents during the hot summer. The Ada has 7 km of beach and objects for various sports.

From July 1 to July 12, 2009, Belgrade hosted the 25th Summer Universiade . The university estate Belville with 14 apartment buildings and 120,000 m² of living space was built to accommodate the athletes .

The most famous football clubs in the city are Red Star and Partizan Belgrade . But OFK Belgrade , one of the oldest clubs in Serbia, Rad and FK Zemun are also among the more important.


The old bohemian district of Skadarlija

There are clubs worth seeing in floating boats on the banks of the Sava and Danube. Belgrade has retained its reputation as a city with a vibrant nightlife to this day.

The city is often a weekend destination for numerous tourists from neighboring countries, especially from the former Yugoslavia, due to the wide range of clubs, bars and restaurants. Belgrade's vibrant nightlife also has the reputation of a leading European party city internationally.

Clubs like Akademija and KST (Klub studenata tehnike) are located in the basement of Belgrade University and are therefore popular with students. One of the well-known places for cultural events is the SKC (Student Cultural Center) opposite the Beograđanka landmark . Many national and international stars appear in the SKC.

The Skadar Street is (serb., With its numerous cafes and restaurants Kafana called) is known. Many of these catering establishments date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and have achieved a certain degree of notoriety due to their long history. One of the oldest kafanas is the Znak pitanja . At the end of the street is the oldest Belgrade brewery, which was founded in the 19th century.

Belgrade parks, recreational areas and floodplain landscapes

In Mali Kalemegdan is the bronze Meštrovićs Anđeo smrti ( German  Angel of Death ) belonging to the
Blackbird Field Cycle . The large sculpture was first exhibited in 1911 at the World Exhibition in Rome.
Konak by Miloš Obrenović in Topčider
Park 25th Maj includes the Museum Complex of the History of Yugoslavia

Apart from natural forest and green areas, Belgrade has a total of 65 parks with a total area of ​​36.2 hectares.

The most important park in Belgrade is the Kalemegdan . In the former glacis of the Belgrade Fortress, the 7-hectare zoo , the Military History Museum of Belgrade , the Serbian Natural History Museum , the Cvijeta Zuzorić Gallery and the bronze statues of Simon Roksandić ( Borba , Fight of the Fisherman with the Snake, 1906) and Ivan are among others Meštrović ( Pobednik , 1928, Merci à la France , 1934, Anđeo smrti , 1911).

Opposite the Skupština is the Pionirski Park , which was originally part of the Old Castle . Here stands the New Palace , the current seat of government of the President of Serbia, as well as a reminder of the breakthrough of the Entente at the Thessaloniki Front and liberation in World War observation tower of the Serbian general staff from Kajmakčalan . Andrićev venac , whose bronze commemorates the writer Ivo Andrić , runs between Pionirski Park and Kralja Milana Street .

The 10.9 hectare Tašmajdan was created in a former quarry. There are also a number of caverns and former military entrenchments. The park is divided into the small and large Tašmajdan. In the great Tašmajdan is the church of Sv. Marko and a Russian Orthodox Church.

In place of the disbanded Turkish cemetery, opposite today's University of Belgrade, Belgrade's first park was established in 1869. Today it is called Akademski (Univerzitetski) Park . From 1827 to 1927, one side of the Turkish cemetery also featured the city's central open market.

The Jevremovac Botanical Garden in the Stari Grad district is one of the oldest botanical gardens on the Balkan Peninsula. Originally set up in Dorčol in 1874, King Milan I. Obrenović made 4.5 hectares of his orchards available in 1889 on the condition that the botanical garden be named after his grandfather Jevrem.

Around the Sava Cathedral and the National Library of Serbia lies the St. Sava Park , which is joined by the 2.86 hectare Karađorđev Park , in which in 1806 the camp of the Serbian freedom fighters under Karađorđe was located when the fortress was attacked.

With 211 hectares, Veliko ratno ostrovo and, with 800 hectares, Ada ciganlija and the wooded Košutnjak (330 hectares) and Topčider hills (111 hectares) are the largest green spaces in the city. Above the Topčiderska reka on the Topčider are the Beli dvor of the Karađorđević dynasty and the Royal Castle , which were also used as representative residences of the socialist governments of Yugoslavia between 1945 and 2000. In the valley of the Topčiderska reka in today's Topčider Park stands the Milošev konak , built in the old Balkan style , the former residence of Prince Miloš Obrenović .

The 25th Maj . Park is dedicated to the memory of Yugoslav history and consists of the residence and the burial place ( Kuča cveča ) of Josip Broz Titos, which is now the complex of the Museum of the History of Yugoslavia . On the anniversary of Tito's birth and death (May 4 and May 25), numerous supporters of the former communist partisan leader and long-time President of Yugoslavia still gather here.

In Novi Beograd there are several large green spaces on the banks of the Sava and Danube. At the mouth of the rivers is the 14-hectare park prijateljstva , which was established on the occasion of the First Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. The boards of numerous important heads of state, who symbolically planted a tree here, were set up in the Allee des Friedens . In addition to the Museum of Modern Art, there is also the monument of the eternal flame as a reminder of the NATO bombing in 1999 . The lookout tower in Gardoš above Zemun offers a wide panoramic view of the Danube, Zemun, Belgrade city center and Novi Beograd.

City festival

Bronze relief Charter of Belgrade , Vukov spomenik station

Today's city festival on Spasovdan ( Ascension Day ) was introduced on the occasion of the establishment of the Church of the Assumption of Christ in 1863 and has taken place every year since 1991 in the form of an icon procession between the Terazije - Slavija and the Church of the Assumption of Christ after it was closed after 1945.

Originally, in the statute of the Charter of Belgrade , Stefan Lazarević, after his happy return from the battlefield near Ankara , when he received Belgrade from King Sigismund in 1403, designated the Dormition of the Virgin Mary as the day of the patron saint's feast in the new residence city of his despotate . With the transfer to the capital he chose in the Povelja grada Beograda (dt. Charter of Belgrade), the Theotokos as patroness of the city. The original icon of Our Lady as the protection of the city hung in the 15th century above the gate of the despot in the fortress of Belgrade . The decisive battle between the Hungarians under Johann Hunyadi and the Ottomans under Mehmed II during the first Turkish siege of the city took place at this gate on July 22nd, 1456 .


Due to its eventful history, Belgrade has been given numerous names in different languages. From the Celtic and Roman Singidunum to the Byzantine Singidon , the strategically important fortress and settlement was also called Alba Graeca (Latin name) until the 19th century . This name indicates the time of the Byzantine (Graeca - Greek) supremacy in this region. In Byzantine sources, the city was referred to as Veligradon - a slight modification of Belgrade. It was also the city as Alba Bulgarica (name of the city by the invasion of the proto-Bulgarians ), Bello grado (Italian), Nándorfehérvár and Landorfehérvár (during the rule of Hungary in the Middle Ages) or Greek Weissenburg how to time in the 19th century in German Reich knew. During the rule of the Ottomans, Belgrade was also given the nicknames Dar Ul Jihad , which meant the House of War, House of Freedom and Hill of Struggle and Glory . As Beograd, the White City , the Serbian capital first appeared in the year 878 in a letter of Pope John VIII. To the Bulgarian Prince Boris I as episcopus Belogradensis on. The name probably goes back to the light color of the limestone used to build the fortification, while the Avar name has historically been lost.

Three ships of the Yugoslav Navy were designated as Belgrade class .

Order of the Legion of Honor

The city of Belgrade has received the following awards throughout history:

The four named orders are also shown on the coat of arms of Belgrade together with the coat of arms of Belgrade.

In 2006 the city was named “City of the Future of Southern Europe” by the renowned fDi Magazine (publisher: Financial Times ) .

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Belgrade was ranked 139th out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018.

Belgrade is the namesake for the asteroid (1517) Beograd in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter . On March 28, 1938, the asteroid was discovered by the astronomer Milorad B. Protić and named by him after his hometown Belgrade.

The home of Jevrem Grujić was the first declared urban cultural monument in 1961.


  • Branislav Dimitrijević: Socialist Consumerism, Westernization and Cultural Reproduction. The "post-communist" transition in Tito's Yugoslavia. In: Back from the future. Eastern European Cultures in the Age of Post-Communism. Edited by Boris Groys et Aleja Frankfurt / Main: Suhrkamp, ​​2006, ISBN 3-518-12452-8 , pp. 195–277, p. 221 (On the significance of the first conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned States in 1961 for Belgrade culture. )
  • Holm Sundhaussen: History of Serbia: 19. – 21. Century . Böhlau, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-205-77660-4 .
  • Adolph Stiller (Ed.): Belgrad. Moments of architecture . Architecture in the Ringturm XXV. Müry Salzmann Verlag, Salzburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-99014-049-9 .
  • Jürgen Krusche, Philipp Klaus, Ed .: Bureau Savamala Belgrad - Urban Research and Practice in a Fast-changing Neighborhood. JOVIS Verlag 2015, ISBN 978-3-86859-359-4 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Belgrade  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Commons : Belgrade  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Belgrade  - Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  2. a b Beograd u brojkama ( Memento from February 16, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Ekološki Atlas Beograda - Ekološka Karta Područja JP ( Memento of the original from December 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Mora ispod Beograda
  5. Ekološki Atlas Beograda - Hidrogeološka Karta Područja JP ( Memento of the original from December 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. src
  7. ^ Administrative division of the city of Belgrade. Belgrade Official Website, accessed December 16, 2010 .
  8. a b c Republički Hidrometeorološki Zavod Srbije - Srednje Mesečne, Godišnje i ekstremne vrednosti 1961–1990 ( Memento from June 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Wolfgang Weischet, Willfried Endlicher: Regional climatology. Part 1: The New World: America, New Zealand, Australia . (1996)
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