Top Ten Serbian Attractions

Top Ten Serbian Attractions

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       Serbia is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans. Serbia borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the west; additionally, it borders Albania through Kosovo, whose status as part of Serbia is disputed. The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is among the largest cities in Southeast Europe. After the arrival of the Serbs to the Balkans in the 7th century, several medieval states were formed, which evolved into the Serbian Empire in the 14th century. By the 16th century, Serbia was conquered and occupied by the Ottoman Empire, at times interrupted by the Habsburgs. In the early 19th century the Serbian revolution re-established the country as the region’s first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory and pioneered the abolition of feudalism in the Balkans. The former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina united with Serbia in 1918. Following WWI, Serbia formed Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples which existed in several forms up until 2006, when Serbia regained its independence. In February 2008 the parliament of UNMIK-governed Kosovo, Serbia’s southern province, declared independence, with mixed responses from international governments.

  1. Belgrade
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    Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia, located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to preliminary results of the latest census conducted in October 2011, Belgrade has a population of 1,718,847. Its name in English translates to White city. One of the largest prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, prospered here in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, the area was held by Thraco-Dacians, and after 279 BC the Celts conquered the city, naming it Singidūn. It was conquered during the reign of Augustus, and awarded city rights in the mid 2nd century. It was settled by the Slavs in the 520’s, and changed hands several times before it become the capital of King Stephen Dragutin (1282–1316). In 1521 Belgrade was conquered by the Ottomans and became the seat of a Sanjak. It frequently passed from Ottoman to Habsburg rule, which saw the destruction of most of the city during the Austro-Turkish wars. Belgrade was again named the capital of Serbia in 1841. Northern Belgrade remained an Austrian outpost until the breakup of Austria-Hungary in 1918. As a strategic location, the city was battled over in 115 wars and razed to the ground 44 times. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1989 and still has a special administrative status within Serbia. Its metropolitan territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each with its own local council.
    Links: Cities, Sculptures, Top Ten Vinča Artifacts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgrade,
  2. Novi Sad
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    Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative center of the South Bačka District. The city is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain on the Danube River. Novi Sad is the 2nd largest city in Serbia, after Belgrade. According to preliminary results of the latest census in Serbia conducted in October 2011, the city has a population of 355,000. It is located on the border of the Bačka and Srem regions, on the banks of the Danube river and Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal, facing the northern slopes of Fruška Gora mountain. The city was founded in 1694, when Serb merchants formed a colony across the Danube from the Petrovaradin fortress, a Habsburg strategic military post. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it became an important merchant and manufacturing center, as well as a center of Serbian culture of that period, earning the nickname Serbian Athens. The city was heavily devastated in the 1848 Revolution, but it was subsequently restored. During the city’s long history, it has maintained its multi-cultural identity, with Serbs, Hungarians and Germans being the main ethnic groups. Today, Novi Sad is an industrial and financial center of the Serbian economy, as well as a major cultural hub.
    Links: Churches, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novi_Sad,
  3. Medieval Monuments of Kosovo
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    The medieval monuments in Kosovo consist of four Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries which represent the fusion of the eastern Orthodox Byzantine and the western Romanesque ecclesiastical architecture to form the Palaiologian Renaissance style. The sites are located in the disputed region of Kosovo, which Serbia considers to be its southern province, although it unilaterally declared its independence on February 17, 2008. The properly Medieval Monuments in Kosovo now consists of: Dečani Monastery, Patriarchate of Peć Monastery, Our Lady of Ljeviš and Gračanica Monastery.
    Links: Monasteries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Monuments_in_Kosovo, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamzigrad-Romuliana,
  4. Niš
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    Niš is the largest city of southern Serbia and 3rd largest city in Serbia. According to the data from 2005, the city area of Niš has 255,295 inhabitants, while the city proper had 231,590. Niš is the administrative center of the Nišava District. It is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and Europe, and has from ancient times been considered a gateway between the East and the West. The Paleo-Balkan Thracians were formed in the Iron Age, the Triballi tribe would dwell here prior to the Celtic invasion in 279 BC which established the Scordisci as masters of the region. Naissus was among the cities taken in the Roman conquest in 75 BC. The Romans built the Via Militaris in the 1st century, with Naissus being one of the key towns. Niš is also notable as the birthplace of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor and the founder of Constantinople, as well as two other Roman emperors, Constantius III and Justin I. It is home to one of Serbia’s oldest Christian churches dating to the 4th century in the suburb of Mediana. There are about 30,000 students at the University of Niš, which comprises 13 faculties. Niš is also one of the most important industrial centres in Serbia, a center of electronics industry (see Elektronska Industrija Niš), industry of mechanical engineering, textile- and tobacco industry. Constantine the Great Airport is its international airport. In 2013 the city will host the Ecumenical Assembly of Christian Churches, to mark 1700 years of Constantine’s Edict of Milan.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ni%C5%A1,
  5. Studenica Monastery
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    The Studenica monastery is a 12th century Serbian Orthodox monastery situated 39 km southwest of Kraljevo, in central Serbia. It is one of the largest and richest Serb Orthodox monasteries. Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the medieval Serb state, founded the monastery in 1190. The monastery’s fortified walls encompass two churches: the Church of the Virgin, and the Church of the King, both of which were built using white marble. The monastery is best known for its collection of 13th and 14th century Byzantine-style fresco paintings.
    Links: Monasteries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studenica_monastery,
  6. Stari Ras and Sopoćani Monastery
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    Stari Ras, known at the time as Ras, was one of the first capitals of the medieval Serbian state of Raška, and the most important one for a long period of time. Located in the region of Raška or Sandžak (Turkish name) of Serbia, the city was right in the center of the early medieval state that started to spread in all directions. It was founded between 8th and 9th centuries and got deserted sometime in the 13th century. Its favorable position in the area known as Old Serbia, along the Raška gorge, on the crossroads between the Adriatic Sea and state of Zeta, Bosnia in the west and Kosovo in the east added to its importance as a city. There is an impressive group of medieval monuments consisting of fortresses, churches and monasteries. The monastery at Sopoćani is a reminder of the contacts between Western world and the Byzantine world. Today the city lies in mostly unenclosed and unprotected ruins close to the city of Novi Pazar, which probably began its own life as a trading enclave for Ras. However, there are plans for future reconstruction of the site. The 8th century Church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul is one of the oldest in the Balkans.
    Links: Monasteries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stari_Ras, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopo%C4%87ani,
  7. Gamzigrad-Romuliana
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    Gamzigrad is an archaeological site and spa resort located south of the Danube River, near the city of Zaječar. It is the location of the ancient Roman complex of palaces and temples Felix Romuliana, built by Emperor Galerius. The main area covers 10 acres (40,000 square m).
    Links: Top Ten Roman Architectural Works, Top 100 Busts, Top Ten Mosaics, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamzigrad-Romuliana,
  8. Kopaonik National Park
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    Kopaonik is one of the larger mountain ranges of Serbia. It is located in the central part of Serbia, while a small part is extended to north Kosovo. Its highest point, Pančić’s Peak, is 2,017 m (6,617 ft) above sea level. Kopaonik is the major ski resort of Serbia, with total of 25 ski lifts with capacity of 32.000 skiers per hour. A national park spread over 118.1 square km (45.6 sq mi) of the central part of the Kopaonik plateau was established in 1981.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten Ski Resorts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopaonik,
  9. Petrovaradin Fortress
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    Petrovaradin Fortress is a fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia. It is located in the province of Vojvodina, on the right bank of the Danube River. The cornerstone of the present-day southern part of the fortress was laid on October 18, 1692, by Charles Eugène de Croÿ. Petrovaradin Fortress has many underground tunnels as well (16 km of underground countermine system). In 1991 Petrovaradin Fortress was added to Spatial Cultural-Historical Units of Great Importance list and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.
    Links: Top Ten Forts, Top Ten Clock Towers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrovaradin_fortress, http://www.danijelbabic.com/thumbnails.php?album=10,
  10. Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbia,