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This page is about Belgrade in Yugoslavia. For other uses see Belgrade (disambiguation)

Belgrade (Serbo-Croatian, Beograd, German Belgrad ), (population 1.2 million, 1.6 including the suburbs) is the capital of Serbia (since 1817) and Yugoslavia (1918-2003). The city lies on the outfall of the Sava river to the Danube river in northern Serbia.

Originally (from the 3rd century BC) the Celtic and later Roman settlement of Singidunum, the site passed to the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, experienced occupation by successive invaders of the region - Huns, Sarmatians, Ostrogoths and Avars - before the arrival of the Serbs around 630 AD. Next recorded in 878 as Beligrad ("white fortress" or "white town") under the rule of the Bulgarian kingdom, it passed again to Byzantine and Bulgarian rule before emerging as a city of the medieval Serbian kingdom.

The first Serbian king to rule Belgrade was Dragutin(1276.-1282.),who got it as a present from Hungarian king.

Subsequently occupied by Hungary and in 1521 captured by the Ottoman Turks, Belgrade remained under Ottoman rule for nearly three centuries. Thrice occupied by Austria (1688-1690, 1717-1739, 1789-1791), the city was briefly held (1806-1813) by Serbian forces during the first national uprising against Ottoman rule, and in 1817 became the capital of an autonomous principality of Serbia (except in the period from 1818-1839, when Kragujevac was the country's capital city).

With the departure of its Turkish garrison (1867) and Serbia's full independence (1878) and elevation to a kingdom (1882), Belgrade became a key city of the Balcans. But despite the opening of a railway to Niš[?], Serbia's second city, conditions in Serbia as a whole remained those of an overwhelmingly agrarian country, and in 1900 the capital had only 69,000 inhabitants.

After occupation by Austro-Hungarian and German troops in 1915-1918 during World War I, Belgrade experienced faster growth and significant modernisation as the capital of the new kingdom of Yugoslavia during the 1920s and 1930s, growing in population to 239,000 by 1931 with the incorporation of the northern suburb of Zemun, formerly on the Austro-Hungarian bank of the river.

On April 6, 1941, Belgrade was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe (killing thousands of people) and Yugoslavia was invaded by German, Italian, Hungarian and Bulgarian forces. City remained under German occupation until October 20, 1944, when it was liberated by Yugoslav Partisan forces and the Red Army. In the post-war period Belgrade grew rapidly as the capital of the renewed Yugoslavia, developing as a major industrial centre. Sarajevo was a short period of time considered as a candidate for the capital.

On March 9, 1991 massive demonstrations were held against Slobodan Milosevic in the city. Two people were killed and tanks were deployed in the streets in order to restore order.

Belgrade was bombed by NATO aviation during the Kosovo War in 1999 which caused substantial damage. Among bombed sites where the ministeries of defense, interior and finance, the presidential residency, few television and radio broadcasting stations ("Pink", "Kosava", "Radio S", "ELMAG") including National Television (Radio Television of Serbia) killing 17 technicians, hospital "Dragisa Misovic", private houses in "Zvezdara" comunity, Socialist Party headquarters, a hotel "Jugoslavija" and the Chinese embassy. The NATO officials claimed that the later was bombed because NATO planners used outdated maps.

After rigged elections in 2000 Belgrade was the site of major demonstrations which caused the ousting of president Slobodan Milošević.

Famous tourist and historical sites from Belgrade include the Avala hill, the Kalemegdan, the Dedinje ward and the Tito's mausoleum, called Kuća cveća (The House of Flowers).

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