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2020
Belgrade, Republic of Serbia – May 11th – 15th, 2020
About Belgrade

Belgrade is located in South-eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula, at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe. The city lies upon the Danube River, the aquatic route connecting the countries of Western and Middle Europe to the countries of the South-eastern and Eastern Europe. Its harbour is visited by ships from the Black Sea, and with the deployment of the Rhine-Main-Danube channel it found itself at the centre of the most important aquatic route in Europe: Northern Sea – Atlantic – Black Sea. Due to its position it was rightfully named “Gates of the Balkans” and the “Doors of Middle Europe”.

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is the third largest city in South-eastern Europe after Istanbul and Athens. Just over 1,700,000 people live in it is growing into a true metropolis. More than a quarter of the population of Serbia lives there today! Belgrade has been permanently settled since the mid Neolithic period, the time when its area played host to the Vincian culture, more than 4,000 years B.C.E. The Greeks came later, followed by the Romans who pushed the Celts across the Sava and Danube rivers, installing their fourth legion, the Legio Flavia, at Singidunum. They built a mighty fort on the Kalemegdan ridge with a city next to it. From the Celtic dun and the Roman castrum the city grew into a significant border fortification of the Huns and then the Byzantine emperors Anastasius and Iustinianus, the Avars, Bulgars, Ugars, Serbs, Turks and Austrians, until it became the capital of modern Serbia during the 19th century. The name Belgrade was first recorded in a letter on April 16, 878, when Pope John VIII notified the Bulgarian Emperor Mihail Boris that he had removed from office Sergi (“episcopus Belgradensis”) due to sinful living. Belgrade had around ten names in the past. As each conqueror claimed it, they immediately changed its name, but the new name almost always spoke of its beauty and whiteness. It was called Belgrad, Bello Grado, Alba Urbs, Alba Graeca, Griechisch Weissenburg, Nándor Fehérvár, Nándor Alba, Castelbianco. All these names are translations of the Slavic word Beograd. This city, living through and surviving numerous wars and destruction during the centuries, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and thus had a number of symbolic names, such as: House of Winds, Combat Hill, Thinking Hill, House of Freedom…

It became the capital of the Serb medieval state during the reign of King Dragutin Nemanjić who married the princess Katerina and therefore received Belgrade, Mačva and Srem as dowry from the Hungarian king, as well as during the time of Despot Stefan Lazarević who, as the vassal of the Ugric king received Belgrade in his possession, along with a number of other large estates. Only in the 19th century, at the time of the First Serbian Uprising and subsequently, during the reign of Prince Miloš, from 1841 onwards, did Belgrade become the permanent capital of the Principality, and thereafter the Kingdom of Serbia. Following World War I, in 1918, it became the capital of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and thereafter of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After World War II it regained its position as the capital of the country of Yugoslavia that changed its name a number of times, only to become, once again and finally, the capital of Serbia.

Useful links:
http://www.tob.rs/en
http://www.serbia.com/about-serbia/