History of Belgrade
Belgrade (Beograd) is the capital of Serbia having about 2 million inhabitants. Belgrade is situated in South-Eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers in north central Serbia, where the Pannonia meets the Balkan Peninsula. Belgrade is the capital of Serbian culture, education, science and economy. As a result of its tumultuous history, a lot of nations have been living in Belgrade for centuries, and Serbs of Orthodox Christian religion are the majority of population (90%). The official language is Serbian, while foreigners are recommended to use English in communication.
Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe and since ancient times it has been an important traffic focal point, an intersection of the roads of Eastern and Western Europe. Its history lasts full 7000 years. The area around two great rivers, the Sava and the Danube has been inhabited as early as Palaeolithic period.
Ancient sources provide the oldest known name for Belgrade - Singidunum. 6000 years long history - and the first written documents date back to the 3rd century B.C. The name of the settlement was preserved throughout the Roman rule. With the division of the Roman Empire in 395, Singidunum passed over to the Eastern Empire, i.e. Byzantium, and the name of the city gained a Greek sound: Singidunum became Singidon. Favoured by the weaknesses in the defence of the Byzantine border, Slavs started frequently crossing the Danube in the 6th century and gradually settled in the area. The stone built fortress rising above the rivers was dubbed Beli Grad (white city). The first record of the Slavic name Beograd dates back to 878y.
Between the 16th and 19th century Belgrade is referred to with various names in different languages: Alba Graeca, Alba Bulgarica, Bello grado, Nandor Alba, Griechisch Weissenburg, Castelbianco... However, all these names are translations of the Slavic word Beograd.