Youth Hostels Association of Serbia
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Serbia

Belgrade is situated in South-Eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It lies at the point where the river Sava merges into the Danube, on the slope between two alluvial planes. The river waters surround it from three sides, and that is why since ancient times it has been the guardian of river passages. Because of its position it was properly called �the gate� of the Balkans, and �the door� to Central Europe. Position: Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe and, beside Athens, the greatest urban whole of the Balkan Peninsula. The oldest archaeological artifacts from Belgrade area date back to the fifth millennium B.C. The members of a Celtic tribe founded Singidunum in the III century B.C., while the first record of the name Belgrade dates back to 989 A.D. During its long and tumultuous history, Belgrade has been conquered by 40 armies, and 38 times it has been raised up from the ashes. At Knez Mihailova street, the coordinates of Belgrade are marked: 44049�14� of northern latitude 20027�44� of eastern longitude altitude 116,75 m.Belgrade is the intersection of the roads of Eastern and Western Europe which lead through the Morava-Vardar valley and Nisava-Marica valley to the shores of the Aegean Sea, to Asia Minor and to the Middle East. Belgrade lies on the Danube river, the sailing route, which connects the Western Europe and Central Europe countries with the countries of South-Eastern and Eastern Europe. By the construction of the artificial lake and the Djerdap power station, Belgrade became a river and a sea port. The ships from the Black Sea sail to its docks, and with opening of the Rhine- Main-Danube canal, Belgrade came to the center of the most important sailing route in Europe: The North Sea - Atlantic - Black Sea route. Belgrade is the capital of Serbia, nowadays having around 2 million residents. In the field of traffic and transport, it is a city of the highest importance as a road and railway center, as a port for river and air traffic and as a telecommunication center. It spreads over 3,6% of the territory of Serbia and 15,8% of Serbian population lives in this city. Also, 31,2% of all employed workers in Serbia work in Belgrade. Important economic and agricultural capacities are developed in Belgrade, especially metallurgy, metal-working industry and electronic industry, then commerce and banking. The free trade zone is located in the wider area of Belgrade, Smederevo and Pancevo, on the banks of the Danube river, covering 2,000m2 of business space. Also, 30% of the national product of Serbia is made in Belgrade. Time zone: Belgrade lies in the central European time zone CET (GMT+1 hour). The summer daylight saving time is from the end of March to the end of October (GMT+2 hours). Territory: The urban core of Belgrade, encompasses an area of 36km2, and the total municipal territory amounts to 322km2. The perimeter of the suburban area is 419km. The greatest distance in the North-South direction is 92,98km, and in the East-West direction is 67,50km. Belgrade has the status of a separate territorial unit in Serbia, having its own autonomous city government. Administratively, Belgrade is subdivided into 16 municipalities: 10 urban and 6 suburban, having their own local governmental bodies. Climate: Belgrade has a moderate continental climate, with four seasons. Autumn is longer than spring, with longer sunny and warm periods - the so-called Indian summer. Winter is not so severe, with an average of 21 days with temperature below zero. January is the coldest month, with average temperature of 0.40C. Spring is short and rainy. Summer arrives abruptly. The hottest months are July (21.70C) and August (21.30C). The average annual number of days with temperature higher than 300C - the so-called tropical days - is 31 and that of summer days with temperature higher than 250C is 95. The characteristic of Belgrade climate is also �kosava� - the southeastern-eastern wind, which brings clear and dry weather. It mostly blows in autumn and winter, in 2-3 days intervals. The average speed of kosava is 25-43km/h, but certain strokes can reach up to 130km/h. Kosava is the largest air cleaner of Belgrade.The average annual rainfall on Belgrade and its surroundings is 685mm. The rainiest months are May and June. The average annual insolation is 2,096hours. The highest insolation of about 10 hours a day is in July and August, while December and January are the cloudiest, with insolation of 2 to 2.3 hours per day. The average number of snowy days is 27, snow cover lasts from 30 to 44 days, and its average thickness is 14 to 25cm. Natural Features: Belgrade�s surroundings consist of two different natural systems: On the north, the Pannonian depression, covered with wheat and corn, and Sumadija, with orchards and vineyards, south of the rivers Sava and Danube. The highest relief forms in Sumadija hillside are Kosmaj (628m) and Avala (511m). Starting from south, the terrain gradually descends to the north, in shapes of wide plateaus, sectioned by stream and river valleys. High plasticity of Belgrade relief, south of the rivers Sava and Danube, makes the city spread over many hills (Banovo, Lekino, Topcidersko, Kanarevo, Julino, Petlovo, Zvezdara, Vracar, Dedinje). North from the rivers Sava and Danube there are alluvial plains and loessial plateaus, which are divided by a steep section, up to 30m high. New Belgrade is situated on the left bank of Sava, beneath a loessial plateau (Bezanijska kosa), and Zemun is situated on the right bank of Danube, beneath a loessial plateau. The highest point of inner-city area of Belgrade is at Torlak (Vozdovac), being the Holy Trinity Church at 303,1m, while the lowest point is on Ada Huja (river island) at 70,15m. The highest point of the larger-city area is on the Kosmaj mountain (Mladenovac) at 628m. The absolute altitude of the Meteorological Observatory - 132m - is considered the average altitude of Belgrade. The Danube flows through 60km of Belgrade area, from Stari Banovci to Grocka, while the Sava covers 30 km from Obrenovac to its intake. The length of river banks of Belgrade is 200km. There are 16 river islands in that area, and the best known of them are Ada Ciganlija, Veliko ratno ostrvo and Grocanska ada. There are many woods in the city area, and the best preserved are the woods of Kosmaj, Avala, Tresnja, Lipovica, Topcider, Obrenovacki zabran and Bojcin. Population: Belgrade area has a population of around 2,000,000 inhabitants. As a result of its stormy past, many nations have been living in Belgrade for centuries, and Serbs are the majority (86%). Culture and education:Belgrade is the capital of Serbian culture, education and science. It has the highest concentration of nationally important science and art institutions. Among them are the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, established in 1886 as the Serbian Royal Academy; the National Library of Serbia, founded in 1832; the National Museum, founded in 1841 and the National Theatre, founded in 1869. The budget of the City of Belgrade provides financial resources, wholly or for the most part, for 30 cultural institutions. Belgrade has 19 theatres, 29 cinemas, 20 cultural centers, 4 concert halls, 7 foreign cultural centers, 43 museums, 66 galleries, 11 libraries with their municipal branches, many orchestras, choirs, jazz orchestras and cultural artistic companies. The City of Belgrade is the founder, financer and organizer of many regular annual cultural events. Most of the authors from all fields of culture and art live and work in Belgrade, the center of culture and art of Serbia. Belgrade has also hosted the famous world authors and performers in the fields of music, theatre, film... The only Serbian Nobel laureate, Ivo Andric, has created some of his greatest literary works right here, in Belgrade. The most important works of architecture, monuments and other immovable cultural properties of the Serbian people are in most part located in Belgrade. Belgrade is also the seat of the Belgrade University, founded in 1808, and of the University of Arts. Sport in Belgrade: One can often meet European, World and Olympic champions in the streets of Belgrade. It�s nice when a small country can say that it is a superpower in sports. This region is a true exporter of top class basketball, football, volleyball, water polo and handball players...The first basketball match in Belgrade took place in 1923. Today, if we exclude North America, the best basketball in the world is played right here in Belgrade. There is no gold medal we didn�t win even more than once. Vlade Divac, Sasa Djordjevic, Predrag Danilovic, Pedja Stojakovic and the other (usually) �golden boys� have conquered the world starting from Belgrade. Soccer has always been a step behind basketball, and that�s probably because it�s so pampered. The first soccer match between �Crvena Zvezda� (Red Star) and �Partizan� (Partisan) was played on January 5th 1947 and this started the tradition of the �eternal derby�. The duel between the city rivals is �the� soccer event in Serbia and Montenegro and a specific trade mark in European and world soccer. Belgrade has hosted many important world, European and Balkan sport events. Accomodation in Belgrade: Belgrade has more then enough hotels for accommodation of all visitors who would like to attend the 25th Summer Universiade. Within Belgrade there are 34 hotels categorized from 3 to 5 stars. Also, we can offer student hostels with more then 7,000 beds. Entertainment in Belgrade (Spirit of Belgrade):: One thing is for sure - IT�S NEVER BORING in Belgrade! Almost every day some meeting, event, festival, tournament, exhibition, concert, match, or performance take place. The local ones - for friends from the neighbourhood, as well as the great ones - of international importance. Belgrade has character in spades. Other places might have a lead in exoticism, but for the real beguiling Balkan spirit, it has to be Belgrade. It is a city where you can dance until sunrise seven nights a week, where hospitality crackles in the air, and where looking good is a birthright and a religion in one. In Belgrade you can taste some of the purest organically produced food and drink. Traditional cusine means that almost everything is home-grown - and it tastes that way. With a penchant for locally smoked ham, grilled meat, stuffed vegetables, specialist breads, salads, pickles and soft �kajmak� cheese, most Serbs eat enormous amounts and yet stay enviably slender. A lot of nightclubs, bars and restaurant-boats along the riverbanks make Belgrade nightlife some of the most exuberant in Europe. Spectacularly beautiful young women who look as if they have stepped from the fashion pages of Cosmopolitan, students, young men in sports clothes, musicians and writers link arms in camaraderie as they wander the cobbled streets of the nineteenth-century Skadarlija Bohemian quarter, the pedestrians Knez Mihailova Street teeming with luxury shops or Republic Square with its dozens of pavement cafes. Most Serbs go out for the evening after 10pm and most nightspots are open until at least 2am - yet there is rarely any sign of drunkenness or offensive behavior. The atmosphere is usually of people having a benignly good time enjoying everything from Procol Harum to Electric Six, Sinatra ballads to Serbia�s home-grown brand of high-energy pop music.
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