Belgrade facts for kids
Belgrade is also one of the most popular travel destinations in Eastern Europe. It is famous for a very busy nightlife and a lot of entertainment activities.
The main tourist attractions in Belgrade are:
- Kalemegdan Fortress
- Knez Mihailova Street
- Belgrade Zoo
- Memorial Complex "Josip Broz Tito"
Belgrade lies 116.75 metres (383.0 ft) above sea level and is located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. The historical core of Belgrade, Kalemegdan, lies on the right banks of both rivers. Since the 19th century, the city has been expanding to the south and east; after World War II, Novi Beograd (New Belgrade) was built on the left bank of the Sava river, connecting Belgrade with Zemun. Smaller, chiefly residential communities across the Danube, like Krnjača, Kotež and Borča, also merged with the city, while Pančevo, a heavily industrialized satellite city, remains a separate town. The city has an urban area of 360 square kilometres (140 sq mi), while together with its metropolitan area it covers 3,223 km2 (1,244 sq mi).
On the right bank of the Sava, central Belgrade has a hilly terrain, while the highest point of Belgrade proper is Torlak hill at 303 m (994 ft). The mountains of Avala (511 m (1,677 ft)) and Kosmaj (628 m (2,060 ft)) lie south of the city. Across the Sava and Danube, the land is mostly flat, consisting of alluvial plains and loessial plateaus.
One of the characteristics of the city terrain is mass wasting. On the territory covered by the General Urban Plan there are 1,155 recorded mass wasting points, out of which 602 are active and 248 are labeled as the "high risk". They cover almost 30% of the city territory and include several types of mass wasting.
Landslides encompass smaller areas, develop on the steep cliffs, sometimes being inclined up to 90%.
Belgrade lies in the humid subtropical climate zone, with four seasons and uniformly spread precipitation. Monthly averages range from 1.4 °C (34.5 °F) in January to 23.0 °C (73.4 °F) in July, with an annual mean of 12.5 °C (54.5 °F). There are, on average, 31 days a year when the temperature is above 30 °C (86 °F), and 95 days when the temperature is above 25 °C (77 °F). Belgrade receives about 690 millimetres (27 in) of precipitation a year, with late spring being wettest. The average annual number of sunny hours is 2,112.
The highest officially recorded temperature in Belgrade was +43.6 °C (110.5 °F) on 24 July 2007, while on the other end, the lowest temperature was −26.2 °C (−15 °F) on 10 January 1893.
|Climate data for Belgrade (1981–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.7
|Average high °C (°F)||4.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.4
|Average low °C (°F)||-1.1
|Record low °C (°F)||-26.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||46.9
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||13||12||11||13||13||13||10||9||10||10||12||14||139|
|Avg. snowy days||10||7||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||8||33|
|Source: Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia|
Belgrade is a separate territorial unit in Serbia, with its own autonomous city authority. The Assembly of the City of Belgrade has 110 members, elected on four-year terms. A 13-member City Council, elected by the Assembly and presided over by the mayor and his deputy, has the control and supervision of the city administration, which manages day-to-day administrative affairs. It is divided into 14 Secretariats, each having a specific portfolio such as traffic or health care, and several professional services, agencies and institutes.
The 2014 Belgrade local elections were won by the Serbian Progressive Party, which formed a ruling coalition with the Socialist Party of Serbia. These elections ended the long-time rule of the Democratic Party, which was in power from 2004 to 2013. The Mayor of Belgrade is Siniša Mali, a political independent affiliated with the Serbian Progressive Party.
As the capital city, Belgrade is seat of all Serbian state authorities – executive, legislative, judiciary, and the headquarters of almost all national political parties as well as 75 diplomatic missions. This includes the National Assembly, the Presidency, the Government of Serbia and all the ministries, Supreme Court of Cassation and the Constitutional Court.
The city is divided into 17 municipalities. Previously, they were classified into 10 "urban" (lying completely or partially within borders of the city proper) and 7 "suburban" municipalities, whose centres are smaller towns. With the new 2010 City statute, they were all given equal status, with the proviso that suburban ones (except Surčin) have certain autonomous powers, chiefly related with construction, infrastructure and public utilities.
Most of the municipalities are situated on the southern side of the Danube and Sava rivers, in the Šumadija region. Three municipalities (Zemun, Novi Beograd, and Surčin), are on the northern bank of the Sava, in the Syrmia region, and the municipality of Palilula, spanning the Danube, is in both the Šumadija and Banat regions.
|Municipality||Classification||Area (km2)||Population (2011)|
According to the 2011 census, the city has a population of 1,166,763, while the urban area of Belgrade (with adjacent urban settlements of Borča, Ovča, and Surčin included) has 1,233,796 inhabitants, and the population of the metropolitan area (the administrative area of the City of Belgrade) stands at 1,659,440 people.
Belgrade is home to many ethnicities from all over the former Yugoslavia and wider Balkans region. The main ethnic groups are: Serbs (1,505,448), Roma (27,325), Montenegrins (9,902), Yugoslavs (8,061), Croats (7,752), Macedonians (6,970), and Muslims by nationality (3,996). Many people came to the city as economic migrants from smaller towns and the countryside, while tens of thousands arrived as refugees from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, as a result of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Between 10,000 and 20,000 Chinese are estimated to live in Belgrade; they began immigrating in the mid-1990s. Block 70 in New Belgrade is known colloquially as the Chinese quarter. Many Middle Easterners, mainly from Syria, Iran, Jordan and Iraq, arrived in order to pursue their studies during the 1970s and 1980s, and have remained in the city.
Although there are several historic religious communities in Belgrade, the religious makeup of the city is relatively homogenous. The Serbian Orthodox community is by far the largest, with 1,475,168 adherents. There are also 31,914 Muslims, 13,720 Roman Catholics, and 3,128 Protestants. There once was a significant Jewish community in Belgrade, but following the World War II Nazi occupation of the city, and subsequent Jewish emigration, their numbers have fallen from over 10,000 to just 295.
Belgrade is the financial centre of Serbia and Southeast Europe with total 17 million square metres (180 million square feet) office space, and is home to the country's central bank. Currently, over 600,000 people are employed in 120,286 companies, 60,000 enterprises and 50,000 shops. City of Belgrade owns 267,147 square metres (2,875,550 square feet) office space available for rent.
As of 2009[update], over 40% of Serbia's GDP is generated by the city, which also has 31.4% of Serbia's employed population. The city of Belgrade's 2014 nominal GDP is estimated at 16.97 billion USD, which amounts to 859,329 RSD ($10,086) per capita. GDP at purchasing power parity is estimated at $36.1bn USD, which is $31,461 per capita in terms of purchasing power parity.
New Belgrade is the main business district in the country and one of the financial centers in Southeast Europe. It offers a range of facilities such as hotels, congress halls (Sava Centar), class A and class B office buildings, and business parks (Airport City Belgrade). Currently, over 1.2 million square metres (13 million square feet) of land is under construction in New Belgrade and the estimated value of construction in the next three years is over 1.5 billion euros. The Belgrade Stock Exchange is also located in New Belgrade and has a market capitalization of €6.5 billion (US$9 billion).
With 6,924 companies in the IT sector (2013 data[update]), Belgrade is one of the information technology centers in this part of Europe, with strong growth. Microsoft Development Center located in Belgrade was at the time of its establishment fifth such center in the world. Many world IT companies choose Belgrade as regional or European center such as Asus, Intel, Dell, Huawei, NCR, etc.
In September 2013, the average monthly net salary in Belgrade was 53,564 RSD ($635), while gross salary was 73,970 RSD ($877). In the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey in 2013, Belgrade ranked 86th most expensive among 131 world cities.
According to the 2015 survey, 73% of the city's households owned a computer, 65.8% of households had a broadband internet connection and 73.9% pay television services.
Belgrade hosts many annual international cultural events, including the Film Festival, Theatre Festival, Summer Festival, Music Festival, Book Fair, Eurovision Song Contest 2008, and the Beer Fest. The Nobel Prize winning author Ivo Andrić wrote his most famous work, The Bridge on the Drina, in Belgrade. Other prominent Belgrade authors include Branislav Nušić, Miloš Crnjanski, Borislav Pekić, Milorad Pavić and Meša Selimović. The most internationally prominent artists from Belgrade are Marina Abramović and Milovan Destil Marković.
Most of Serbia's film industry is based in Belgrade. FEST is an annual film festival that held since 1971, and, through 2013, had been attended by four million people and had presented almost 4,000 films.
The city was one of the main centers of the Yugoslav new wave in the 1980s: VIS Idoli, Ekatarina Velika, Šarlo Akrobata and Električni Orgazam were all from Belgrade. Other notable Belgrade rock acts include Riblja Čorba, Bajaga i Instruktori and Partibrejkers. Today, it is the center of the Serbian hip hop scene, with acts such as Beogradski Sindikat, Škabo, Marčelo, and most of the Bassivity Music stable hailing from or living in the city. There are numerous theatres, the most prominent of which are National Theatre, Theatre on Terazije, Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Zvezdara Theatre, and Atelier 212. The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is also based in Belgrade, as well as the National Library of Serbia. Other major libraries include the Belgrade City Library and the Belgrade University Library. Belgrade's two opera houses are: National Theatre and Madlenianum Opera House.
There are many foreign cultural institutions in Belgrade, including the Spanish Instituto Cervantes, the German Goethe-Institut and the French Institut français, which are all located in the central pedestrian area of Knez Mihailova Street. Other cultural centers in Belgrade are American Corner, Austrian Cultural Forum, British Council, Chinese Confucius Institute, Canadian Cultural Center, Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Italian Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Iranian Culture Center, Azerbaijani Culture Center and Russian Center for Science and Culture. European Union National Institutes for Culture operates a cluster of cultural centres from the EU.
The most prominent museum in Belgrade is the National Museum, founded in 1844 and currently closed for reconstruction which will be ended in 2018. The Museum houses a collection of more than 400,000 exhibits (over 5600 paintings and 8400 drawings and prints, including many foreign masters like Bosch, Juan de Flandes, Titian, Tintoretto, Rubens, Van Dyck, Cézanne, G.B. Tiepolo, Renoir, Monet, Lautrec, Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin, Chagall, Van Gogh, Mondrian etc.) and also the famous Miroslav's Gospel. The Ethnographic Museum, established in 1901, contains more than 150,000 items showcasing the rural and urban culture of the Balkans, particularly the countries of former Yugoslavia. The Museum of Contemporary Art was the first Contemporary art museum in Europe founded in 1958 and has a collection of around 35,000 works including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Joan Miró, David Hockney, Ivan Meštrović and others since 1900. The Museum is currently closed due to renovation.
The Museum of Aviation in Belgrade has more than 200 aircraft, of which about 50 are on display, and a few of which are the only surviving examples of their type, such as the Fiat G.50. This museum also displays parts of shot down US and NATO aircraft, such as the F-117 and F-16. The Nikola Tesla Museum, founded in 1952, preserves the personal items of Nikola Tesla, the inventor after whom the Tesla unit was named. It holds around 160,000 original documents and around 5,700 personal other items including his urne. The last of the major Belgrade museums is the Museum of Vuk and Dositej, which showcases the lives, work and legacy of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Dositej Obradović, the 19th century reformer of the Serbian literary language and the first Serbian Minister of Education, respectively. Belgrade also houses the Museum of African Art, founded in 1977, which has the large collection of art from West Africa.
With around 95,000 copies of national and international films, the Yugoslav Film Archive is the largest in the region and among the 10 largest archives in the world. The institution also operates the Museum of Yugoslav Film Archive, with movie theatre and exhibition hall. The archive's long-standing storage problems were finally solved in 2007, when a new modern depository was opened. The Yugoslav Film Archive also exhibits original Charlie Chaplin's stick and one of the first movies by Auguste and Louis Lumière.
The Belgrade City Museum moved into a new building in downtown in 2006. The Museum hosts a range of collections covering the history of urban life since prehistory.
The Museum of Yugoslav History has collection from Yugoslav era. Beside paintings, the most valuable are Moon rocks donated by Apollo 11 crew Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins while visiting Belgrade in 1969 and from mission Apollo 17 donated by Richard Nixon in 1971. Museum also houses Joseph Stalin's sabre with 260 brilliants and diamonds, donated by Stalin himself.
Museum of Science and Technology moved to the building of the first city's power plant in Dorćol in 2005.
Belgrade has wildly varying architecture, from the center of Zemun, typical of a Central European town, to the more modern architecture and spacious layout of New Belgrade. The oldest architecture is found in Kalemegdan Park. Outside of Kalemegdan, the oldest buildings date only from the 18th century, due to its geographic position and frequent wars and destructions. The oldest public structure in Belgrade is a nondescript Turkish türbe, while the oldest house is a modest clay house on Dorćol, from late 18th century. Western influence began in the 19th century, when the city completely transformed from an oriental town to the contemporary architecture of the time, with influences from neoclassicism, romanticism, and academic art. Serbian architects took over the development from the foreign builders in the late 19th century, producing the National Theatre, Old Palace, Cathedral Church and later, in the early 20th century, the National Assembly and National Museum, influenced by art nouveau. Elements of Neo-Byzantine architecture are present in buildings such as Vuk's Foundation, old Post Office in Kosovska street, and sacral architecture, such as St. Mark's Church (based on the Gračanica monastery), and the Temple of Saint Sava.
During the period of Communist rule, much housing was built quickly and cheaply for the huge influx of people fleeing the countryside following World War II, sometimes resulting in the brutalist architecture of the blokovi (blocks) of New Belgrade; a socrealism trend briefly ruled, resulting in buildings like the Trade Union Hall. However, in the mid-1950s, the modernist trends took over, and still dominate the Belgrade architecture.
Belgrade has the second oldest sewer system in Europe.
The historic areas and buildings of Belgrade are among the city's premier attractions. They include Skadarlija, the National Museum and adjacent National Theatre, Zemun, Nikola Pašić Square, Terazije, Students' Square, the Kalemegdan Fortress, Knez Mihailova Street, the Parliament, the Church of Saint Sava, and the Old Palace. On top of this, there are many parks, monuments, museums, cafés, restaurants and shops on both sides of the river. The hilltop Avala Monument and Avala Tower offer views over the city.
Elite neighborhood of Dedinje is situated near the Topčider and Košutnjak parks. The beli dvor (White Palace), house of royal family Karađorđević, is open for visitors. The palace has many valuable artworks. Nearby, Josip Broz Tito's mausoleum, called The House of Flowers, documents the life of the former Yugoslav president.
Ada Ciganlija is a former island on the Sava River, and Belgrade's biggest sports and recreational complex. Today it is connected with the right bank of the Sava via two causeways, creating an artificial lake. It is the most popular destination for Belgraders during the city's hot summers. There are 7 kilometres (4 miles) of long beaches and sports facilities for various sports including golf, football, basketball, volleyball, rugby union, baseball, and tennis. During summer there are between 200,000 and 300,000 bathers daily.
Extreme sports are available, such as bungee jumping, water skiing, and paintballing. There are numerous tracks on the island, where it is possible to ride a bike, go for a walk, or go jogging. Apart from Ada, Belgrade has total of 16 islands on the rivers, many still unused. Among them, the Great War Island, at the confluence of Sava, stands out as an oasis of unshattered wildlife (especially birds). These areas, along with nearby Small War Island, are protected by the city's government as a nature preserve.
Tourist income in 2016 amounted to nearly one billion euros; with a visit of almost a million registered tourists. Of those, more than 70,000 arrived by 550 river cruisers. Average annual growth is between 13% and 14%.
Belgrade has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife; many clubs that are open until dawn can be found throughout the city. The most recognizable nightlife features of Belgrade are the barges (splav), spread along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers.
Many weekend visitors—particularly from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia—prefer Belgrade nightlife to that of their own capitals, due to a perceived friendly atmosphere, plentiful clubs and bars, cheap drinks, the lack of language difficulties, and the lack of restrictive night life regulation.
A more traditional Serbian nightlife experience, accompanied by traditional music known as Starogradska (roughly translated as Old Town Music), typical of northern Serbia's urban environments, is most prominent in Skadarlija, the city's old bohemian neighborhood where the poets and artists of Belgrade gathered in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Skadar Street (the centre of Skadarlija) and the surrounding neighbourhood are lined with some of Belgrade's best and oldest traditional restaurants (called kafanas in Serbian), which date back to that period. At one end of the neighbourhood stands Belgrade's oldest beer brewery, founded in the first half of the 19th century.
The Times reported that Europe's best nightlife can be found in Belgrade. In the Lonely Planet "1000 Ultimate Experiences" guide of 2009, Belgrade was placed at the 1st spot among the top 10 party cities in the world.
There are approximately one-thousand sports facilities in Belgrade, many of which are capable of serving all levels of sporting events. Belgrade has hosted several major sporting events recently, including Eurobasket 2005, the 2005 European Volleyball Championship, the 2006 European Water Polo Championship, the European Youth Olympic Festival 2007, and the 2009 Summer Universiade.
The city is home to Serbia's two biggest and most successful football clubs, Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade. Red Star won the 1991 UEFA Champions League (European Cup). The two major stadiums in Belgrade are the Marakana (Red Star Stadium) and the Partizan Stadium. The rivalry between Red Star and Partizan is one of the fiercest in world football.
According to the European Arenas Association, the Kombank Arena is one of the largest European indoor arena with capacity of 22,868. It is used for major sporting events and large concerts. In May 2008 it was the venue for the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest. The Aleksandar Nikolić Hall is the main venue of basketball clubs KK Partizan, European champion of 1992, and KK Crvena zvezda.
In recent years, Belgrade has also given rise to several world-class tennis players such as Ana Ivanović, Jelena Janković and Novak Đoković. Ivanović and Đoković are the first female and male Belgraders, respectively, to win Grand Slam singles titles and been ATP number 1 with Jelena Janković. The Serbian national team won the 2010 Davis Cup, beating the French team in the finals played in the Belgrade Arena.
Since 1996, biannual (autumn/winter and spring/summer seasons) fashion weeks are held citywide. Numerous Serbian and international designers and fashion brands have their shows on the fashion week. Belgrade Fashion Week is on the list of 40 most significant fashion weeks in the world.
Belgrade is the most important media hub in Serbia. The city is home to the main headquarters of the national broadcaster Radio Television Serbia (RTS), which is a public service broadcaster. The most popular commercial broadcaster is RTV Pink, a Serbian media multinational, known for its popular entertainment programs. One of the most popular commercial broadcaster is B92, another media company, which has its own TV station, radio station, and music and book publishing arms, as well as the most popular website on the Serbian internet. Other TV stations broadcasting from Belgrade include 1Prva (formerly Fox televizija), Nova, N1 and others which only cover the greater Belgrade municipal area, such as Studio B.
High-circulation daily newspapers published in Belgrade include Politika, Blic, Alo!, Kurir and Danas. There are 2 sporting dailies, Sportski žurnal and Sport, and one economic daily, Privredni pregled. A new free distribution daily, 24 sata, was founded in the autumn of 2006. Also, Serbian editions of licensed magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, Men's Health, Grazia and others have their headquarters in the city.
Belgrade has two state universities and several private institutions of higher education. The University of Belgrade, founded in 1808 as the "Great School", is the oldest institution of higher learning in Serbia. Having developed with the city in the 19th century, quite a few University buildings are a constituent part of Belgrade's architecture and cultural heritage. With enrollment of nearly 90,000 students, the University is one of the Europe's largest.
There are also 195 primary (elementary) schools and 85 secondary schools. Of the primary schools, there are 162 regular, 14 special, 15 art, and 4 adult schools. The secondary school system has 51 vocational schools, 21 gymnasiums, 8 art schools and 5 special schools. The 230,000 pupils are managed by 22,000 employees in over 500 buildings, covering around 1.1 million square metres (12 million square feet).
Belgrade has an extensive public transport system based on buses (118 urban lines and more than 300 suburban lines), trams (12 lines), and trolleybuses (8 lines). It is run by GSP Beograd and SP Lasta, in cooperation with private companies on various bus routes. The BusPlus ticketing system based on contactless smart cards began operating in February 2012. Belgrade also has a S-train network, BG Voz, now run by the city government (previous commuter railway network, Beovoz, was abolished around 2013). The main railway station connects Belgrade with other European capitals and many towns in Serbia. Travel by coach is also popular, and the capital is well-served with daily connections to every town in Serbia and to many other European destinations through the central bus station.
The city is placed along the Pan-European corridors X and VII. The motorway system provides for easy access to Novi Sad and Budapest, in the north; Niš to the south; and Zagreb, to the west. Expressway is also toward Pancevo and new Expressway construction toward Obrenovac (Montenegro) is set scheduled for March 2017. Belgrade bypass is connecting the E70 and E75 motorways and it is currently under construction.
Situated at the confluence of two major rivers, the Danube and the Sava, Belgrade has 11 bridges—the four main ones are Branko's bridge, Ada Bridge, Pupin Bridge and the Gazela Bridge, both of which connect the core of the city to New Belgrade. Further, an "inner magistral semi-ring" is almost done and include a new Ada Bridge across the Sava river and Pupin Bridge across Danube river, which eased commuting within the city and unload the Gazela and Branko's bridge traffic.
The Port of Belgrade is on the Danube, and allows the city to receive goods by river. The city is also served by Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) west of the city centre, near Surčin. At its peak in 1986, almost 3 million passengers travelled through the airport, though that number dwindled to a trickle in the 1990s. Following renewed growth in 2000, the number of passengers reached approximately 2 million in 2004 and 2005, over 2.6 million passengers in 2008, reaching over 3 million passengers. All-time peak, with over 4 million passengers, was accomplished in 2014, when Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport became the second fastest growing major airport in Europe.
Beovoz is the suburban/commuter railway network that provides mass-transit services in the city, similar to Paris' RER and Toronto's GO Transit. The main usage of today's system is to connect the suburbs with the city centre. Beovoz is operated by Serbian Railways. Belgrade suburban railway system connects suburbs and nearby cities to the west, north and south of the city. It began operation in 1992 and currently has 5 lines with 41 stations divided in two zones.
Belgrade was one of the last big European capitals and cities with over a million people to have no metro/subway or other rapid transit system. The Belgrade Metro is considered the third most important project in the country, after work on roads and railways. The two projects of highest priority are the Belgrade bypass and the Pan-European Corridor X.
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