Zone: UTC +1
Dialing code: + 381 (0)11
Writing system: Cyrillic, Latin
Belgrade (Beograd) is the capital of Serbia, and has a population of around 1.6 million. It is situated in South-Eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has since ancient times been an important focal point for traffic, 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, Belgrade has for centuries been home to many nationalities. The official language is Serbian, while visitors from abroad can use English to communicate.
The first human settlements on Belgrade soil developed as far back as 7000 years ago. The area around two great rivers, the Sava and the Danube has been inhabited as early as palaeolithic period. This is borne out by numerous archaeological sites with material evidence, ranging from the culture of the Old Stone Age and other prehistoric cultures, to the Middle Ages.Vinča near Belgrade comes among the most important settlements and cultural sites of the prehistoric period. Vinča is a prehistoric tell on the very bank of the Danube, with the remnants of the material culture of the prehistoric man (the Neolithic plastics). There were discovered numerous houses, sod houses with the remnants of material culture of the prehistoric man. Each of the settled prehistoric levels, which mark individual stages of life in Vinča (in the period from around 4500 to 3200 BC), contains real treasures of a wide variety of artifacts: implements and weapons made of stones and bones, earthenware for everyday use, elaborately decorated ritual vases, a great number of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines of exceptionally impressive stylization, jewelry made of different kinds of rare and precious materials, and countless other objects and works of art made in the very Vinča or procured from distant regions - from the Central Europe, the Lower Danube river basin or from the Mediterranean.The discovered artifacts can nowadays be seen in the National Museum in Belgrade, the Belgrade City Museum, and in the Vinča Collection at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. Around 4000 BC, the Vinča culture stretched over a territory larger than the territory of any other Neolithic culture in Europe. Some of its settlements had exceeded, by their size and population, not only all the contemporary Neolithic settlements, but also the first towns that emanated much later in Mesopotamia, Aegea, and in Egypt.