Belgrade is situated where the Sava river joins the Danube. Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe the second largest urban centre in the Balkan Peninsula after Athens. The oldest archaeological artefacts in Belgrade date back to the fifth millennium B.C. In the third century B.C. the members of a Celtic tribe founded Singidunum on this site, and the first record of the name Belgrade dates back to 878 A.D. During its long and tumultuous history, Belgrade has been conquered by 40 armies, and built up from the ashes 38 times.
Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and the largest city, with around 1.6 million inhabitants. It is the centre of transport, a hub for road and rail, and a regional port for river and air traffic, as well as the centre for telecommunications. The city of Belgrade covers over 3.6% of Serbia’s land mass and 15.8% of the Serbian population. Over 30 per cent of Serbians are employed in Belgrade.
The major economic and agricultural industries are based in Belgrade, especially metallurgy, metal-working and the electronic industry, followed by commerce and banking. The free trade zone is located in Belgrade, Smederevo and Pančevo, on the banks of the Danube river, covering 2,000 sqm of business space. 30% of the national product of Serbia is made in the capital.
Belgrade is the heart of Serbian culture, education and science, with the greatest concentration of national institutions in the fields of science and art. There is the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, established in 1886 as the Serbian Royal Academy: the National Library of Serbia, established in 1832; the National Museum, established in 1841 and the National Theatre, established in 1869. The city is also the seat of the Belgrade University, founded in 1808 as the ‘Great School’, as well as the seat of the University of Art.
Belgrade holds the status of a separate territorial unit in Serbia, having an autonomous city government. This territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each with their own local government.
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