Situated at the confluence of the Danube
and Sava rivers, Belgrade is an ancient
settlement, whose oldest archaeological
findings go back to the fifth millennium BC.
It was founded as Singidunum by a Celtic
tribe in the third century BC, while the first
mention of Belgrade dates to 989.
Throughout its long and turbulent history,
Belgrade was captured by forty armies and
rose thirty-eight times from the ashes.
Today, Belgrade is the political and
administrative capital of Serbia and
Yugoslavia. With its two million
inhabitants, the city is of a major importance in traffic communications. Besides its
significance as a road and rail junction, Belgrade is an important international
river-to-sea and air port and telecommunications center. It possesses important
agricultural and industrial capacities, particularly in the metal, ferrous metal and
electronic industries, followed by trade and banking. The greater Belgrade area, with the
cities of Smederevo and Pancevo, encompass 2000 square meters of free trade zone
located on the banks of the Danube. Thirty per cent of Serbia's GNP is earned in
Belgrade is the capital of the Serbian culture. It has the greatest concentration of
science and art institutions of national importance. It is the seat of the Serbian
Academy of Science and Arts (SASA), founded in 1886 as the Serbian Royal
Academy; Serbian National Library, founded in 1832; National Museum, founded in
1841 and National Theatre, founded in 1869. The city is also the seat of Belgrade
University, founded in 1808 as the Great School and the University of Arts.
Belgrade has a status of a special district in Serbia with its autonomous authorities: the
City Council, Mayor and City Government. Its territory is divided into 16 municipalities,
and with its local government.