Serbia, located on the Balkans, is a country rich in history and culture. The capital of Serbia is Belgrade, which is considered to be the center of culture and art, since it is the largest city in Serbia. Belgrade, translated in Serbian means white city, is well preserved and multi-national city. It is not only famous for historical events, architecture, science and art, but also for the many universities that have great professors and give young students quality education and many opportunities.
People in Serbia are considered to be nationalistic, religious, loud and friendly. Almost every Serbian loves his country and is proud of its history, culture and people. Serbia is multi-religion country, but the most practiced religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Because of being loud when speaking, Serbs are believed to be aggressive. This is not true, they are only speaking loud and in fact they are hospitable, friendly people who like good music, meals and joyful company. In Serbia, particularly in Belgrade, great attention is put on historical monuments and art which includes dance, painting, literature, theater, cinematography and architecture. Historical monuments and museums are well preserved and they must be visited when in Belgrade.
The Belgrade Fortress Kalemegdan
The biggest and greatest monument in Belgrade is the Belgrade Fortress Kalemegdan. The Celts built some constructions on the place where later Kalemegdan was completely built. The Romans continued building, but because of many invasions, Belgrade was destroyed. Later Justinian I rebuilt the Belgrade Fortress (Belgrade of that time), but it was again destroyed. Belgrade Fortress, in that time called Singidunum, was completely constructed when Serbia was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The fortress suffered a lot of battles and those walls defended Belgrade from complete destruction. Because of that, it got the name Kalemegdan which is formed of two Turkish words kale, which means fortress, and meydan which means battlefield. Today Kalemgdan is just the small part of Belgrade, but its significance is of the greatest concern.
Museums and cultural centers
What you should definitely visit when you are in Belgrade are the museums. There are many different museums that are astonishing and where you can see features which are of historical importance. The most famous museums are the National Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Military Museum, the Museum of Aviation in Belgrade, the Nikola Tesla Museum, the Museum of African Art, the Yugoslav Film Archive, the Belgrade City Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Science and Technology. Aside from museums, there are cultural centers such as American corner, British council, French cultural center, Goethe institute, Italian institute for culture, Spanish cultural institute Servantes, Canadian cultural center, Russian center for science and culture, Austrian cultural forum. These cultural centers have different kinds of manifestations and happenings that have a goal to inform people about certain country, about their tradition and customs. Also, there are different kinds of workshops that are held usually by educated native speakers from the certain country.
In the National Museum you can see the impressive collection of paintings, drawings and prints made by Tintoretto, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Mondrian, Rubens, Giovanni Batista Tiepolo, etc. The Nikola Tesla Museum is in the top five when in Belgrade because there can be seen original documents, letters and other items of Nikola Tesla. And if you want to get to know the rural and urban culture of the Balkans you should definitely visit the Ethnographic Museum.
Festivals and happenings in Belgrade
If you are interested in one certain field, you should arrange your trip in a way that you don’t miss a chance to attend one of the festivals that you might be interested in. The last Friday in February is the day that film-lovers wait for, because on that day the film festival FEST begins. There you can watch the greatest new movies of world cinematography. The film festival FEST is followed by another film festival, called The Belgrade Festival of Documentaries and Short Films, that begins during the last week of March and lasts for four to five days. All theatergoers will certainly enjoy the Belgrade International Theater Festival BITEF and the Belgrade Summer Festival BELEF. BELEF is the festival which unites visual art, dance, music and theater and is held in August. After BELEF, in September, you can attend BITEF, the festival that lasts for fifteen days, where the best plays are performed. On the other hand, if you are more interested in music you can visit many music festivals. Belgrade Jazz Festival is a chance for all jazz-lovers to listen to and enjoy their favorite musicians. It lasts for five days and can be attended at the end of October. Terrific classical and ethno music must not be neglected because of the greatest composers, ensembles and soloists that perform at the Belgrade Musical Festival BEMUS the second week in October. At the very beginning of November the Book Fair is held and there you can buy books of different genres by a very low price. If you like music and beer then you have to visit the Beer Fest in Belgrade which is in August and is followed by many concerts, usually rock music, and many beer brands.
All the things listed here are reasons why you should visit Belgrade. Because it is being hastily modernized, it is now possible to find great lodging for not much money. If you find the time and a little money, it is definitely recommended to visit Belgrade and see what it has to offer.