Belgrade,(Serbo-Croatian: Beograd), Serbia, the nation's capital and largest city. Belgrade is at the junction of the Danube and Sava rivers, in the eastern part of the nation. The name Belgrade means "white city" or "white castle."
Belgrade is Serbia's major industrial city, producing a wide variety of consumer and producer goods. It is also Serbia's leading center of commerce. Historic land and water routes linking the Balkans and central Europe converge here. There is an international airport at nearby Zemun.
Attractions include Kalemegdan fortress; St. Mark's, a Serbian Orthodox cathedral; and the National Museum. There are other museums as well as galleries, concert halls, theaters, and attractive parks. The University of Belgrade dates from 1863.
Belgrade was probably settled as early as 7000 B.C. There were Illyrian, Celtic, and finally Roman settlements on its site. In the fifth century A.D., after the decline of Rome, the town was sacked by the Huns. Later, it was successively ruled by various conquerors, including Byzantines, Avars, South Slavs, Franks, Bulgars, and Hungarians.
In 1284 Belgrade passed for the first time to Serbian rule. The Hungarians regained the city early in the 1300's and lost it to the Ottoman Turks in 1521. Turkish rule continued almost uninterrupted until 1867.
Austria held Belgrade during World War I, after which the city became the capital of the newly independent Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. (The kingdom's name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929.) German forces occupied the city in 1941, during World War II, and were driven out in 1944 when the city was liberated by Yugoslav guerrillas (the Partisans) and the Soviet army. During 1991–92 Yugoslavia collapsed because of civil war. Belgrade became the capital of a new Yugoslav state, made up of Serbia and Montenegro. The city was a target of NATO bombing during military actions NATO carried out against Yugoslavia in 1999. Yugoslavia became Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. Serbia and Montenegro split into two countries in 2006.