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Serbia is mainly mountainous, only its northern part, about one quarter of the whole territory, is a plain (Vojvodina). The central and southern parts of the country are characterized by the River Morava, the Dinars Alps and the western Balkans chain. Serbia boasts more than 70 rivers 50 km long; the most important are the Danube and its tributary Sava.


in the II millenium BC, the region was inhabited by the Illyrians. In the X century BC, the Greek colonization of the southern region began. The Romans enlarged the town of Greek origin and fouded new ones such as Sirmium e Felix Romuliana (IV century AD). The provinces of Pannonia Inferior, Mesia Superior, Dacia Ripense and Mediterran Dacia, which form the present Serbia, were the birthplaces of 16 Roman Emperors. With the invasion of the region by Slav tribes (VI century AD) the following centuries were characterized by the presence of numerous independent tribes each one led by a so called župan. During these years the region was divided into the Raška kingdom in the eastern part of the country and Zeta which covered the central part and the Adriatic coast. In 1166, Stefan Nemanja, veliki (great) župan of the Raška kingdom, united the whole region in a single state. The following two centuries, thanks to the Nemanjić dynasty, were the country’s golden period that reached its zenith with King Milutin and his son Stefan Dečani (XIV century).

Serbia became one of the most important European Empires and its territory expanded to the Niš region. Rasko, Stefan Nemanja’s youngest son and future St. Sava, founded the Serbian Church. In June 1389 in Kosovo Polije, the Christian army of Prince Lazar, composed of Serbians, Bosnians and Bulgarians, was defeated by Sultan Murat I. A few years later, the Turkish army invaded the Balkans as far as the Austrian border. Although the Turk garrison left Belgrade in 1867, Serbia obtained independence thanks to the uprisings organized by Đorđe Petrović Karađorđe in 1804 and by Miloš Obrenović in 1815. In 1882, the Kingdom of Serbia was declared. In 1918, the Karađorđević dynasty took control of the new Kingdom of the Serbians, Croatians and Slovenians. A period characterized by serious popular riots followed, and King Alexander I was forced to dissolve political parties and to rename the country as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. From the end of WWII to 1992, when Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence, the country’s history is related to that of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia founded by Josip Broz (Tito). In 1992 Serbia and Montenegro founded the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whicht existed until June 2006.

Serbia Unesco sites

Sopoćani Monastery

On the outskirts of Stari Ras, the first capital of Serbia, there is an impressive group of medieval monuments consisting of fortresses, churches and monasteries. The monastery at Sopoćani is a reminder of the contacts between Western civilization and the Byzantine world.

Studenica Monastery

The Studenica Monastery was established in the late 12th century by Stevan Nemanja, founder of the medieval Serb state, shortly after his abdication. It is the largest and richest of Serbia’s Orthodox monasteries. Its two principal monuments, the Church of the Virgin and the Church of the King, both built of white marble, enshrine priceless collections of 13th- and 14th-century Byzantine painting.