The Slavic name Beligrad was first recorded in 878.
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is the only capital lying on the banks of two big rivers. It was built on the Sava and the Danube confluence. It has been a settlement for about 7000 years. Even in the prehistoric times there were settlements in this area. The first known fortification was built by the Celts in the 3rd century B.C. (Singidunum) and then the Romans took over. From the 6th century A.D. Belgrade is populated by the Slavic people, who gave the town its present name. By the 13th century, Belgrade was fought over by the Hungarians, Bulgarians, Byzantines, until a Serbian king Dragutin took it over. When emperor Dušan died, the Hungarians take Belgrade, then in 1405 Despot Stefan Lazarević make it his capital. Today we have his words recorded, “Upon arrival, I found the most beautiful place from the time immemorial, the great city of Belgrade, that as a victim of circumstances was destroyed and abandoned, and I built it and dedicated it to the Holy Mother of God”. Then once again the Hungarians took over the town, then the Turks came, calling it “A home to religious wars”. After the First Serbian Uprise, in 1806, it was returned to Serbia and in 1867, when the last Turkish garrison departed, Belgrade was liberated. As the capital of the Serbian Kingdom, during the First World War, it was occupied by the Germans, as was the case in the Second World War. Belgrade had been the capital of the state of the South Slavs, Yugoslavia, from 1918 when the SCS Kingdom had been founded until 1991 when the state broke apart.
The world encyclopaedias record that Belgrade has been the city most frequently destroyed and renewed, the city with the greatest number of significant battles fought in and for it: even 115 ones! Belgrade is the only European capital that suffered bombardment after the Second World war: it was bombarded by the NATO aviation from March till June 1999.
Today Belgrade has a population of over 1.5 million and is the seat of Serbian industry, culture and education, a significant centre of South-East Europe. The capital of Serbia, it is renown for its hospitality, visited by numerous tourists from both the neighbouring countries and the rest of Europe, as well as from all over the world. The Belgrade Fortress situated on the confluence of the Sava and the Danube – Kalemegdan, built and extended for the last two millennia, today is a tourist attraction that no visitor can fail to see.
Singidun (on) – the Celtic name of the town
Singidunum – Romanised Celtic name of Beograd
Beograd – Slavic name; first recorded in 878. in a letter of the Pope John VIII to the Bulgarian Tsar Boris
Biograd on the Danube – the name used in Montenegro, Dalmatia
Alba Graeca – Latinised name
Alba Bulgarica – Latinised name in the period of Bulgarian rule
Fehérvár – Hungarian name
Weißenburg – German name
Castelbianco – Italian name
Nandoralba – the name used in mediaeval Hungary by the 14th century
Nándorfehérvár – used in mediaeval Hungary
Landorfehérvár – used in mediaeval Hungary
Veligradon – Byzantine name, Veligradi
Βελιγράδι – Greek name
Dar Ul Jihad – Ottoman name, meaning the House of War
Belgrat – Turkish name
Prinz Eugen Stadt – name used by the Nazis