Belgrade (http://www.beograd.rs) is the capital and largest city of Serbia and a city of very tumultuous history. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from 1918-1991. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. It 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. Belgrade is the capital of Serbian culture, education, science and economy. As a result of its tumultuous history, many nations live in Belgrade for centuries. The official language is Serbian, while foreigners are recommended to use English in communication. There is no place in the world with such a natural combination of oriental passion and European finesse. According to preliminary results of the latest census conducted in October 2011, Belgrade has a population of 1,718,847. Its name in English translates to White city.
One of the largest prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, prospered here in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, the area was held by Thraco-Dacians, and after 279 BC the Celts conquered the city, naming it Singidūn. It was conquered during the reign of Augustus, and awarded city rights in the mid 2nd century. It was settled by the Slavs in the 520s, and changed hands several times before it become the capital of King Stephen Dragutin (1282–1316). In 1521. Belgrade was conquered by the Ottomans. It frequently passed from Ottoman to Habsburg rule, which saw the destruction of most of the city during the Austro-Turkish wars. Belgrade was again named the capital of Serbia in 1841. Northern Belgrade remained an Austrian outpost until the breakup of Austria-Hungary in 1918. As a strategic location between the East and the West, the city was battled over in 115 wars and razed to the ground 44 times and then rebuilt and has not the continuity of style and the elegance of similar European big cities. On the other hand, it has abundant vitality, sense of humor, curiosity. That’s why you will never get bored in Belgrade!
Belgrade has a special administrative status within Serbia. Its metropolitan territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each with its own local council. It covers 3.6% of Serbia's territory, and 22.5% of the country's population lives in the city.