The Robinson Library >> General and Old World History >> Balkan Peninsula >> Yugoslavia >> Serbia

(Beograd) the capital and largest city of Serbia

bird's-eye view of Belgrade

Belgrade's location at the junction of the Danube and Sava rivers has made the city a scene of political and military conflicts for hundreds of years. The city covers an area of about 124 square miles and has a population of about 1,800,000.

Celtic tribes settled the area that is now Belgrade in the 300's B.C. The Romans later captured the settlement, which they named Singidunum, and it subsequently developed into a city. As the Roman Empire declined, Slavic tribes took over the city and renamed it Beograd.

Belgrade became the capital of the Serbian kingdom in 1404. Turks captured the city in 1521, and it was the scene of numerous battles between Turks and Austrians into the 1700's. During the 1800's, Belgrade was a center of revolutionary activity by Serbian nationalists fighting for independence from Turkish rule. Serbia finally won complete independence from Turkey in 1878, and Belgrade remained the country's capital.

Austro-Hungarian forces occupied Belgrade during World War I. In 1919, the city became the capital of the newly created Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and it remained the kingdom's capital after it was renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. The city again fell victim to occupation in 1941, when it was captured by Germany. It remained under German control throughout most of World War II. The city's emergence as a major industrial center began soon after its liberation by Russian forces.

As the capital of Communist Yugoslavia, Belgrade became the center of anti-Communist protests in the early-1990's, and of the 1996 break-up of Yugoslavia into several independent states.

Belgrade coat of arms

World War I
World War II

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The Robinson Library >> General and Old World History >> Balkan Peninsula >> Yugoslavia >> Serbia

This page was last updated on June 18, 2017.