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Republic of Serbia
Република Србија/ Republika Srbija
Flag of Serbia Coat of arms of Serbia
Flag Coat of arms
AnthemБоже Правде / Bože Pravde
"Lord оf Justice"

Location of Serbia
Location of  Serbia  (orange)

on the European continent  (white)  —  [Legend]

(and largest city)
361) 44°48′N 20°28′E / 44.8°N 20.467°E / 44.8; 20.467
Official languages Serbian1
Demonym Serbian
Government Parliamentary republic
 -  President Boris Tadić
 -  Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković
 -  President of Parliament Slavica Đukić Dejanović
Legislature National Assembly
 -  First state 850(*) 
 -  First Kingdom 1077 
 -  Serbian Empire 1345 
 -  Independence lost 15402[1][2][3] 
 -  Serbian revolution 15 February 18043 
 -  De facto independence 25 March 1867 
 -  De jure independence 13 July 1878 
 -  Independent Republic 5 June 2006 
 -  Total 88 361 km2 (113th)
34 116 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.13
 -  2008 estimate 7,365,507[4] (excl. Kosovo
 -  Density 107,46/km2 (94th)
297/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $80.717 billion[5] 
 -  Per capita $10,911[5] (excluding Kosovo) 
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $52.183 billion[5] 
 -  Per capita $7,054[5] (excluding Kosovo) 
Gini (2007) .24 (low
HDI (2006) 0.821 (high) (65th)
Currency Serbian dinar4 (RSD)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .rs (.yu)5
Calling code 381
(*)Expulsion of Byzantine troops and official Christianization
1 Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, Romani, Romanian, Rusyn, Slovak and Ukrainian are Recognised and protected by the ECRML
2 Last Serb duchies, Hungarian vasaals, annexed to Ottoman Empire
3 Statehood Day

4 The Euro is used in KiM alongside the Dinar.
5 .rs became active in September 2007. Suffix .yu
will exist until September 2009.

Serbia en-us-Serbia.ogg /ˈsɝːbiə/ (Serbian: Србија, Srbija), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија, Republika Srbija), is a country in Central- and Southeastern Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central part of the Balkans. Serbia is bordered by Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia and Albania[6] to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the west. The country's capital, Belgrade, was titled "City of the Future of South Europe" in 2006.[7] Although landlocked, Serbia has 2,000 km of navigable waterways on the Danube, Sava, Tisza and their respective canals,[8] through which it forms part of a European canal network, connecting the North Sea with the Black Sea.[9]

For centuries, located at, and shaped by, the cultural boundaries between the East and the West, a powerful medieval kingdom – later renamed the Serbian Empire[10] – occupied much of the Balkans. The Serbian state disappeared by the mid-16th century, torn by domestic feuds, Ottoman, Venetian, Hungarian and later, Austrian occupations. The success of the Serbian revolution against Ottoman rule in 1817 marked the birth of the Principality of Serbia, centered in the Šumadija region. This was the first nation-state in CEE.[11] Formal independence was enacted in 1878. In 1912 Kosovo was reacquired from the Ottoman Empire[12] and the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Raška (Sandžak) has been terminated. In 1918 the region of Syrmia, followed by the former autonomous Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina proclaimed their secession from Austria-Hungary to unite with the Kingdom of Serbia.

The current borders of the country were established after World War II, when Serbia became a federal unit within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Serbia once again became an independent state in 2006, following the Montenegrin independence referendum. Serbia is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Council of Europe which it presided over in 2007. It is also a potential candidate for membership in the European Union and a militarily neutral country.[13]

In February 2008, the parliament of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. Serbia's government, as well as the UN Security Council, have not recognized Kosovo's independence. The response from the international community has been mixed. Presently, Kosovo is recognised by 57 out of 192 member states. On October 8, 2008, the majority of the UN states backed Serbia in its judicial move on Kosovo, aimed at determining whether the secession was legal.[14]



Mountain ranges and major rivers of Serbia.

Serbia is at the crossroads between Central-, Southern- and Eastern Europe, between the Balkan peninsula and the Pannonian Plain. Serbia offers an outstanding potential when river transportation is concerned.[15] A highly cost effective way of transport can be pursued on 2000 km of navigable rivers (and canals): the Danube, Sava, Tisa, joined by the Timiş River and Begej, all of which connect Serbia with Northern and Western Europe (through the Rhine-Main-Danube CanalNorth Sea route), to Eastern Europe (via the Tisa, Timiş, Begej and Danube Black Sea routes) and to Southern Europe (via the Sava river). The two largest Serbian cities – Belgrade[16] and Novi Sad, as well as Smederevo – are major regional Danubian harbours.

The northern third of the country is located entirely within the Central European Pannonian Plain. The easternmost tip of Serbia extends into the Wallachian Plain. The north eastern border of the country is determined by the Carpathian Mountain range,[17] which runs through the whole of Central Europe. The Southern Carpathians meet the Balkan Mountains, following the course of the Velika Morava, a 500 km long (partially navigable) river. The Midžor peak is the highest point in eastern Serbia at 2156 m. In the southeast, the Balkan Mountains meet the Rhodope Mountains, connecting the country with Greece. The Šar Mountains of Kosovo form the border with Albania, with one of the highest peaks in the region, Djeravica (2656 m). Dinaric Alps of Serbia follow the flow of the Drina river (at 350 km navigable for smaller vessels only) overlooking the Dinaric peaks on the opposite shore in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Over a quarter of Serbia's overall landmass (27%) is covered by forest.[18] In 2010, as projected, the national parks will take up 10% of the country's entire territory.[19]


Danubian Đerdap gorge, the largest lake in Serbia, surrounded by Carpathian mountains

The Serbian climate varies between a continental climate in the north, with cold winters, and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall patterns, and a more Adriatic climate in the south with hot, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy inland snowfall. Differences in elevation, proximity to the Adriatic Sea and large river basins, as well as exposure to the winds account for climate differences.[20] Vojvodina possesses typical continental climate, with air masses from northern and western Europe which shape its climatic profile. South and South-west Serbia is subject to Mediterranean influences. However, the Dinaric Alps and other mountain ranges contribute to the cooling down of most of the warm air masses. Winters are quite harsh in Sandžak because of the mountains which encircle the plateau.[21]

The average annual air temperature for the period 1961–90 for the area with an altitude of up to 300m is 10.9 °C. The areas with an altitude of 300m to 500m have an average annual temperature of around 10.0 °C, and over 1000 m of altitude around 6.0 °C.[22]

In the summer of 2007, temperatures were as high as 46°C in Serbia (July 23, 114.8°F).

National parks

Serbia has 5 national parks:


Early history

Serbia's strategic location between two continents has subjected it to invasions by many peoples. Greeks colonized its south in 4th century B.C., the northernmost point of the empire of Alexander the Great being the town of Kale.[23] Belgrade, Prehistoric capital of Europe,[24] is believed to have been torn by 140 wars since Roman times.[25] The northern Serbian city of Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica) was among the top 4 cities of the late Roman Empire, serving as its capital during the Tetrarchy.[26] Contemporary Serbia comprises the classical regions of Moesia, Pannonia, parts of Dalmatia, Dacia and Macedonia.[27] Around the 6th century, Slavs appeared on Byzantine borders in great numbers.[28] Slavic people have been under nominal Serbian rule since the 7th century. They were allowed to settle in Byzantium by its emperor Heraclius after their victory over the Avars.[29]

Throughout its early history, various parts of the territory of modern Serbia have been colonized, claimed or ruled by:

No fewer than 17 Roman Emperors were born in the land that is now Serbia.[30]

Medieval Serb kingdoms and the Serbian Empire

Golubac fortress overlooking the Danube river

According to legend, the Serbs were ruled by the descendants of the Unknown Archont who led them to the Balkans from White Serbia; its three related medieval dynasties follow a continuous bloodline all the way to the 1400s A.D.

At first heavily dependent on the Byzantine Empire as its vassal, under the Višeslav-Vlastimirović dynasty- Raška (Rascia)- gained independence by expulsion of the Byzantine troops and heavy defeat of the Bulgarian army (847-850). Official adoption of Christianity soon followed (under Prince Mutimir Vlastimirović).[31] First dynasty died out in 960 A.D. with the death of Prince Časlav, who managed to unify all the Serb populated lands, centered between contemporary South Serbia and Montenegro, almost all of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the coastal south of Croatia.[32] The wars of succession for the Serb throne led to incorporation into the Byzantine Empire (971).

Around 1040 AD an uprising in the coastal Serb lands, in the medieval state of Duklja, overthrew Byzantine rule. Duklja then assumed domination over the Serbian lands between 11-12th centuries under the dynasty of Vojislavljević (who, according to legend, they were descendants of the 1st dynasty). In 1077 A.D. Duklja became the first Serb Kingdom (under Michael I- ruler of Tribals and Serbs),[33] following the establishment of the catholic Bisphoric of Bar. From late 12th century onwards, a new state called Raska, centred in present-day southern Serbia, rose to become the paramount Serb state. Over the 13th and 14th century, it ruled over the other Serb lands (the Hum, Travunia and Duklja/Zeta, whereas Bosnia was detached from Serbia proper by its incoporation into Hungary). During this time, Serbia began to expand eastward (toward Nis), southward into Kosovo and northern Macedonia and northward toward Srem and Macva for the first time. This shift away from the Adriatic coast brought Serbia increasingly under the influence of the Eastern Orthodox, although a substantial proportion of Catholics were found in the coastal regions. By the beginning of the 14th century Serbs lived in four distinctly independent kingdoms- Dioclea, Rascia, Bosnia and Syrmia.[34][35][36]

The House of Nemanjić, descendants of the kings of Duklja, moved from Duklja to Raška, signaling a shift towards continental Serbia in the late 12th century. A direct result of this was the establishment of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1217, which rivaled the Catholic Bishopric of Bar. Under the Nemanjic dynasty, Medieval Serbia reached itsn economic, legal, miiltary and religious apogee. The Serbian Kingdom of Raška was proclaimed in 1219, joined later by the Kingdom of Syrmia and the Banovina of Mačva. Finally, the Serbian Empire under Stefan Dušan was formed in 1346. Under Dušan's rule, Serbia reached its territorial peak, becoming one of the larger states in Europe, portraying itself as the heir of the run-down Byzantine Empire, and indeed was the most powerful Balkan state of the period. The renowned Dušan's Code, a universal system of laws, was enforced. The Serbian identity has been profoundly shaped by the rule of this dynasty and its accomplishments, with Serbian Orthodox Church assuming the role of the national spiritual guardian.

Medieval fortress of Bač, Vojvodina
Medieval Serbia at its greatest extent under Emperor Stefan Dušan[37]

As a result of internal struggle between rival noble families, and heavy losses inflicted by the Ottomans in the epic Battle of Kosovo, the Serbian Empire had dissolved into many statelets by the beginning of the 15th century. Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, constant struggles took place between various Serbian kingdoms on the one hand, and the Ottoman Empire on the other. The turning point was the fall of Constantinople and its last emperor (of Serbo-Greek ethnicity)[38] Constantine Dragaš- Paleologus, to the Turks. The Serbian Despotate fell in 1459 following the siege of the "temporary" capital Smederevo, followed by Bosnia a few years later, and Herzegovina in 1482. Montenegro was overrun by 1499. Belgrade was the last major Balkan city to endure Ottoman onslaughts, when it joined the Catholic Kingdom of Hungary. Serbs, Hungarians and European crusaders heavily defeated the Turkish in the Siege of Belgrade of 1456. Several Serbian despots ruled in parts of Vojvodina as vassals of the Hungarian kings with the title of Hungarian barons. After repelling Ottoman attacks for over 70 years, Belgrade finally fell in 1521, along with the greater part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Forceful conversion to Islam became imminent, especially in the southwest (Raška, Kosovo and Bosnia). More to the south, the Republic of Venice grew stronger in importance, gradually taking over the coastal areas.

Ottoman and Austrian rule

The Early modern period saw the loss of Serbia's independence to the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, interrupted briefly by the revolutionary state of the Emperor Jovan Nenad in the 16th century. Modern times witnessed the rise of the Habsburg Monarchy (known as the Austrian Empire, later Austria-Hungary), which fought many wars against the Ottoman Turks for supremacy over Serbia. Three Austrian invasions and numerous rebellions (such as the Banat Uprising) constantly challenged Ottoman rule. Vojvodina endured a century long Ottoman occupation before being ceded to the Habsburg Empire in the 17th-18th centuries under the terms of the Treaty of Karlowitz (Sremski Karlovci). As the Great Serb Migrations depopulated most of Kosovo and Serbia proper, the Serbs sought refuge in more prosperous (and Christian) North and West were granted imperial rights by the Austrian crown (under measures such as the Statuta Wallachorum in 1630). The Ottoman persecutions ofChristians culminated in the abolition and plunder of the Patriarchate of Peć in 1766.[39] As Ottoman rule in the South grew ever more brutal, the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I formally granted the Serbs the right to their autonomous crown land, speeding up their migrations into Austria.

The Serbian Revolution and independence (Principality of Serbia)

The quest for independence of Serbia began during the Serbian national revolution (1804-1817), and it lasted for several decades. For the first time in Ottoman history an entire Christian population had risen up against the Sultan.[40] The entrenchment of French troops in the western Balkans, the incessant political crises in the Ottoman Empire, the growing intensity of the Austro-Russian rivalry in the Balkans, the intermittent warfare which consumed the energies of French and Russian Empires and the outbreak of protracted hostilities between the Porte and Russia are but a few of the major international developments which directly or indirectly influenced the course of the Serbian revolt.[40] During the First Serbian Uprising (first phase of the revolt) led by Karađorđe Petrović, Serbia was independent for almost a decade before the Ottoman army was able to reoccupy the country. Shortly after this, the Second Serbian Uprising began. Led by Miloš Obrenović, it ended in 1815 with a compromise between the Serbian revolutionary army and the Ottoman authorities. The famous German historian Leopold von Ranke published his book "The Serbian revolution" (1829).[41] They were the easternmost bourgeois revolutions in the 19th-century world.[42] Likewise, Principality of Serbia abolished feudalism- second in Europe after France.[43]

The Convention of Ackerman (1826), the Treaty of Adrianople (1829) and finally, the Hatt-i Sharif of 1830, recognized the suzerainty of Serbia with Miloš Obrenović I as its hereditary Prince.[44][45] The struggle for liberty, a more modern society and a nation-state in Serbia won a victory under first constitution in the Balkans on 15 February 1835. It was replaced by a more conservative Constitution in 1838.

In the two following decades (temporarily ruled by the Karadjordjevic dynasty) the Principality actively supported the neighboring Habsburg Serbs, especially during the 1848 revolutions. Interior minister Ilija Garašanin published The Draft (for South Slavic unification), which became the standpoint of Serbian foreign policy from the mid-19th century onwards. The government thus developed close ties with the Illyrian movement in Croatia-Slavonia (Austria-Hungary).

Following the clashes between the Ottoman army and civilians in Belgrade in 1862, and under pressure from the Great Powers, by 1867 the last Turkish soldiers left the Principality. By enacting a new constitution without consulting the Porte, Serbian diplomats confirmed the de facto independence of the country. In 1876, Montenegro and Serbia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, proclaiming their unification with Bosnia. The formal independence of the country was internationally recognized at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, which formally ended the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78; this treaty, however, prohibited Serbia from uniting with Principality of Montenegro, and placed Bosnia and Raška region under Austro-Hungarian occupation to prevent unification.[46]

Kingdom of Serbia

Two autonomous Serbias - Habsburg (n)- and Principality of Serbia (s) in 1849

From 1815 to 1903, Kingdom of Serbia was ruled by the House of Obrenović (except from 1842 to 1858, when it was led by Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević). In 1882, Serbia, ruled by King Milan, was proclaimed a Kingdom. In 1903, the House of Karađorđević, (descendants of the revolutionary leader Đorđe Petrović) assumed power. Serbia was the only country in the region that was allowed by the Great Powers to be ruled its own domestic dynasty. During the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), the Kingdom of Serbia tripled its territory by acquiring part of Macedonia,[47] Kosovo, and parts of Serbia proper.

As for Vojvodina, during the 1848 revolution in Austria, Serbs of Vojvodina established an autonomous region known as Serbian Vojvodina. As of 1849, the region was transformed into a new Austrian crown land known as the Serbian Voivodship and Tamiš Banat. Although abolished in 1860, Habsburg emperors claimed the title Großwoiwode der Woiwodschaft Serbien until the end of the monarchy and the creation of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918.

World War I and the birth of Yugoslavia

On 28 June 1914 the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina by Gavrilo Princip (a Yugoslav unionist member of Young Bosnia) and an Austrian citizen, led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Kingdom of Serbia. In defense of its ally Serbia, Russia started to mobilize its troops, which resulted in Austria-Hungary's ally Germany declaring war on Russia.

Serbian soldiers crossing the river Kolubara during the Battle of Kolubara in World War I.
Monument to the Unknown Hero - in memory of the Serb soldiers who fell in World War I

The retaliation by Austria-Hungary against Serbia activated a series of military alliances that set off a chain reaction of war declarations across the continent, leading to the outbreak of World War I within a month.

The Serbian Army won several major victories against Austria-Hungary at the beginning of World War I, such as the Battle of Cer and Battle of Kolubara - marking the first Allied victories against the Central Powers in World War I.[48] Despite initial success it was eventually overpowered by the joint forces of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria in 1915. Most of its army and some people went into exile to Greece and Corfu where they recovered, regrouped and returned to Macedonian front (World War I) to lead a final breakthrough through enemy lines on 15 September 1918, freeing Serbia again and defeating Austro-Hungarian Empire and Bulgaria.[49] Serbia (with its major campaign) was a major Balkan Entente Power[50] which contributed significantly to the Allied victory in the Balkans in November 1918, especially by enforcing Bulgaria's capitulation with the aid of France.[51] The country was militarilly classified as a minor Entente power.[52] Serbia was also among the main contributors to the capitulation of Austria-Hungary in Central Europe.

Serbian soldiers were 8% of the total of combatants killed Entente in World War I.

Prior to the war, the Kingdom of Serbia had 4.5 million inhabitants.[53] According to the New York Times, in 1915 alone 150,000 people are estimated to have died during the worst typhus epidemics in world history. With the aid of the American Red Cross and 44 foreign governments, the outbreak was brought under control by the end of the year.[54] The number of civilian deaths is estimated by some sources at 650,000, primarily due to the typhus outbreak and famine, but also direct clashes with the occupiers.[52] Serbia's casualties accounted for 8% of the total Entente military deaths or 58% of the regular Serbian Army (420,000 strong) has perished during the conflict.[55] The total number of casualties is placed around 1,000,000[56]-> 25% of Serbia's prewar size, and an absolute majority (57%) of its overall male population.[57] L.A.Times and N.Y.Times also cited over 1,000,000 victims in their respective articles.[58][59]

The extent of the Serbian demographic disaster can be illustrated by the statement of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Vasil Radoslavov: "Serbia ceased to exist" (New York Times, summer 1917).[60] In July 1918 the US Secretary of State Robert Lansing urged the Americans of all religions to pray for Serbia in their respective churches.[61][62]

Kingdom of Yugoslavia ("First Yugoslavia")
History of Serbia
Coat of Arms of Serbia
This article is part of a series
Medieval Serbia
Serbian Empire
Moravian Serbia
Battle of Kosovo
Serbian Despotate
Ottoman/Habsburg Serbia
First Habsburg Serbia
Second Habsburg Serbia
Revolutionary Serbia
Modern Serbia
Principality of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia
Serbian Campaign (World War I)
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Serbia (1941-1944)
Republic of Užice
Socialist Republic of Serbia
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World War II and civil war in Serbia

Invasion of Yugoslavia

Various paramilitary bands resisted Nazi Germany and its Allies, but they fought each other and ethnic oponents as much as the invadors.[63] The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was in a precarious position in World War II. Fearing an invasion by Nazi Germany, the Yugoslav Regent, Prince Paul, signed the Tripartite Pact with the Axis powers on 25 March 1941, triggering massive demonstrations in Belgrade. On 27 March, Prince Paul was overthrown by a military coup d'état (with British support) and replaced by the 17-year-old King Peter II. General Dušan Simović became Peter's Prime Minister and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia withdrew its support for the Axis.

In response to this Adolf Hitler launched an invasion of Yugoslavia on 6 April. By 17 April, unconditional surrender was signed in Belgrade. After the invasion, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was dissolved and, with Yugoslavia partitioned, the remaining portion of Serbia became part of the Military Administration of Serbia, under a joint German-Serb government, with military power controlled by the German armed forces, while a Serb civil government led by Milan Nedić was permitted to try to draw Serbs away from their opposition to the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia.

Not all of what is present-day Serbia was included as part of the military administration. Some of the contemporary Republic of Serbia was occupied by the Independent State of Croatia, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Bulgaria, the Fascist Italy's Balkan protectorates, the Albanian Kingdom and the Kingdom of Montenegro. In addition to being occupied by the (Wehrmacht), from 1941 to 1945, Serbia was the scene of a civil war between Royalist Chetniks commanded by Draža Mihailović (Legion of Honour laureat by Harry Truman) and Communist Partisans commanded by Josip Broz Tito. Against these forces were arrayed Nedić's units of the Serbian Volunteer Corps and Serbian State Guard. The Soviet and Bulgarian occupations in 1944 swinged in favour of the partisans who were established as a state regime, with Karadjordjevic dynasty banned from returning to Serbia.[64] The Syrmia front was the last sequence of the civil war in Serbia. Tens of thousands of young men from bourgois families were brought to the front without weapons nor training and left to the Nazi.[65]

Genocide of Serbs by the Ustaše regime in Croatia
Memorial to Serb, Jewish, and Roma victims of the genocide that took place at the Jasenovac concentration camp in World War II in the Independent State of Croatia now modern-day Croatia. The events had a profound impact on Serbian society and relations between Croats and Serbs.

Serbia's society was profoundly affected by the events that took place during World War II, especially in the neighboring Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH), an Axis puppet state which controlled what is modern-day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and parts of modern-day Serbia. The regime selected to led the puppet state was the Croatian ultranationalist and fascist Ustaše movement. The Ustase promised to purge the state of Serbs, Jews, and Roma who were subject to large-scale persecution and genocide, most notoriously at the Jasenovac concentration camp.[66] The Jewish Virtual Library estimates that between 45,000 and 52,000 Serbs were killed at Jasenovac and between 330,000 and 390,000 Serbs were victims of the entire genocide campaign.[67] The estimated number of Serbian children who died is between 35,000 and 50,000. The Yad Vashem center reports that over 600,000 Serbs were killed overall in the NDH,[68] with some 500,000 people of many nationalities and ethnicities murdered in one camp Jasenovac.[69] After the war, official Yugoslav sources estimated over 700,000 victims, mostly Serbs. Misha Glenny suggests that the numbers of Serbs killed in the genocide was more than 400,000.[70]

The atrocities that took place in Croatia against Serbs has led to a deep sense of antagonism by Serbs towards Croats, whose relations between each other had already been historically tense, but the war deeply aggravated this division. A number of governments have attempted to lessen. Reconciliation between the two peoples was attempted under Joseph Broz Tito's policy of Brotherhood and Unity. To a degree this succeeded, as during the Tito-era, intermarriages between Serbs and Croats increased, but this effort was destroyed with the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s as rival Croat and Serb nationalism promoted xenophobia towards each other. The most recent attempt was made at the commemoration to the Serb casualties of the Jasenovic concentration camp in April 2003, when the Croatian president Stjepan Mesić apologized on behalf of Croatia to the victims of Jasenovac.[71] In 2006, on the same occasion, he added that to every visitor to Jasenovac it must be clear that the "Holocaust, genocide and war crimes" took place there.[72]

Socialist Yugoslavia ("Second Yugoslavia")

Serbia within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Shown as internally divided into Central Serbia, Vojvodina, and Kosovo.

On 29 November 1945, the constitutional assembly established by the Yugoslav Communist party proclaimed the abolition of the Serbian-led monarchy of Yugoslavia[73] - and the royal family was banned from returning to the country.[74][75] A communist regime was established under a dictatorship led by Yugoslavia's Communist Party leader Joseph Broz Tito. Tito, who was of Croat- Slovene[76] descent personally sought inter-ethnic unity in the aftermath of the violent division of the country in World War II through a policy called Brotherhood and Unity which sponsored cooperation between the peoples and promoted a united Yugoslav identity over existing ethnic or religious identities, repressed nationalists of any nationality, and forced the different peoples to work with each other to solve their differences. This would become highly controversial in Serbia in the latter years of Tito's rule. Serbia was one of 6 federal units of the state, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija, or SFRJ). Over time Serbia's influence began to wane as reforms demanded by the other republics demanded decentralization of power to allow them to have an equal say[citation needed] as they claimed that the centralized system had allowed Serb hegemony[citation needed]. This began with the creation of the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina which initially held modest powers. However, reforms in 1974 made drastic changes, giving the autonomous provinces nearly equal powers to the republics, in which the Serbian parliament held no control over the political affairs of the two provinces, and technically only held power over Central Serbia. Many Serbs, including those in the Yugoslav Communist party, resented the powers held by the autonomous provinces. At the same time, a number of Kosovo ethnic Albanians in the 1980s began to demand that Kosovo be granted the right to be a republic within Yugoslavia, thus giving it the right to separate, a right which it did not have as an autonomous province. The ethnic tensions between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo would eventually have a major influence in the collapse of the SFRY.

Milošević era, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the Kosovo War

Slobodan Milošević rose to power in Serbia in 1989 in the League of Communists of Serbia through a serious of coups against incumbent governing members. Milošević promised reduction of powers for the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. This ignited tensions with the communist leadership of the other republics that eventually resulted in the secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, and Slovenia from Yugoslavia.[citation needed]

A skyscraper building in Belgrade on fire after being bombed by NATO aircraft during the Kosovo War.

Multiparty democracy was introduced in Serbia in 1990, officially dismantling the former one-party communist system. Critics of the Milošević government claimed that the Serbian government continued to be authoritarian despite constitutional changes as Milošević maintained strong personal influence over Serbia's state media.[77][78] Milošević issued media blackouts of independent media stations' coverage of protests against his government and restricted freedom of speech through reforms to the Serbian Penal Code which issued criminal sentences on anyone who "ridiculed" the government and its leaders, resulting in many people being arrested who opposed Milošević and his government.[79]

The period of political turmoil and conflict marked a rise in ethnic tensions and between Serbs and other ethnicities of the former Communist Yugoslavia as territorial claims of the different ethnic factions often crossed into each others' claimed territories[80] Serbs who had criticized the nationalist atmosphere, the Serbian government, or the Serb political entities in Bosnia and Croatia were reported to be harassed, threatened, or killed by nationalist Serbs.[81] Serbs in Serbia feared that the nationalist and separatist government of Croatia was led by Ustase sympathizers who would oppress Serbs living in Croatia. This view of the Croatian government was promoted by Milošević, who also accused the separatist government of Bosnia and Herzegovina of being led by Islamic fundamentalists. The governments of Croatia and Bosnia in turn accused the Serbian government of attempting to create a Greater Serbia. These views led to a heightening of xenophobia between the peoples during the wars.

In 1992, the governments of Serbia and Montenegro agreed to the creation of a new Yugoslav federation called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which abandoned the predecessor SFRY's official endorsement of communism, and instead endorsed democracy.

In response to accusations that the Yugoslav government was financially and militarily supporting the Serb military forces in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia, sanctions were imposed by the United Nations, during the 1990s, which led to political isolation, economic decline and hardship, and serious hyperinflation of currency in Yugoslavia.

Milošević represented the Bosnian Serbs at the Dayton peace agreement in 1995, signing the agreement which ended the Bosnian War that internally partitioned Bosnia & Herzegovina largely along ethnic lines into a Serb republic and a Bosniak-Croat federation.

When the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia refused to accept municipal election results in 1997 which resulted in defeat in municipal municipalties, Serbians engaged in large protests against the Serbian government, government forces held back the protesters. Between 1998 and 1999, Serbia's official peace was broken when the situation in Kosovo worsened with continued clashes in Kosovo between the Serbian and Yugoslavian security forces on one side and the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) on the other, which was known as the Kosovo War.

Fall of Milošević and post-Milošević political transition

In September 2000, opposition parties claimed that Milošević committed fraud in routine federal elections. Street protests and rallies throughout Serbia eventually forced Milošević to concede and hand over power to the recently formed Democratic Opposition of Serbia (Demokratska opozicija Srbije, or DOS). The DOS was a broad coalition of anti-Milošević parties. On 5 October, the fall of Milošević led to end of the international isolation Serbia suffered during the Milošević years. Milošević was sent to the International Criminal Court on accusations of sponsoring war crimes and crimes against humanity during the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo which he was held on trial to until his death in 2006. With the fall of Milošević, Serbia's new leaders announced that Serbia would seek to join the European Union (EU). In October 2005, the EU opened negotiations with Serbia for a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), a preliminary step towards joining the EU.

Serbia's political climate since the fall of Milošević has remained tense. In 2003, Zoran Đinđić was assassinated by a Serb ultranationalist. Nationalist and EU-oriented political forces in Serbia have remained sharply divided on the political course of Serbia in regards to its relations with the European Union and the west.

From 2003 to 2006, Serbia has been part of the "State Union of Serbia and Montenegro." This union was the successor to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ). On 21 May 2006, Montenegro held a referendum to determine whether or not to end its union with Serbia. The next day, state-certified results showed 55.4% of voters in favor of independence. This was just above the 55% required by the referendum.[82]

Republic of Serbia

On 5 June 2006, following the referendum in Montenegro, the National Assembly of Serbia declared the "Republic of Serbia" to be the legal successor to the "State Union of Serbia and Montenegro."[83] Serbia and Montenegro became separate nations. However, the possibility of a dual citizenship for the Serbs of Montenegro is a matter of the ongoing negotiations between the two governments. In April 2008 Serbia was invited to join the intensified dialogue programme with NATO despite the diplomatic rift with the Alliance over Kosovo.[84]

Government and politics

On 4 February 2003 the parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia agreed to a weaker form of cooperation between Serbia and Montenegro within a confederal state called Serbia and Montenegro. The Union ceased to exist following Montenegrin and Serbian declarations of independence in June 2006.

After the ousting of Slobodan Milošević on 5 October 2000, the country was governed by the Democratic Opposition of Serbia. Tensions gradually increased within the coalition until the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) left the government, leaving the Democratic Party (DS) in overall control.

Boris Tadić, President of Serbia

Serbia held a two-day referendum on 28 October and 29 October 2006, that ratified a new constitution to replace the Milošević-era constitution.

The current President of Serbia is Boris Tadić, leader of the center-left Democratic Party (DS). He was reelected with 50.5% of the vote in the second round of the Serbian presidential election held on 4 February 2008.

Serbia held parliamentary elections on 21 May 2008. The coalition For a European Serbia led by DS claimed victory, but significantly short of an absolute majority. Following the negotiations with the leftist coalition centered around Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and parties of national minorities (those of Hungarians, Bosniaks and Albanians) an agreement was reached to make-up a new government, headed by Mirko Cvetković.

Present-day Serbian politics are fractious and extremely divided between nationalist and liberal European Union advocating parties. Issues include proposals to restore the Serbian monarchy whose family members have stated that they are interested in forming a constitutional monarchy in Serbia. However, none of the larger parties actively support restoration.

Administrative subdivisions

Serbia's borders (recognized by UN)[6]

Serbia is divided into 24 districts plus the City of Belgrade. The districts and the City of Belgrade are further divided into municipalities. Serbia has 2 autonomous provinces: Vojvodina with (7 districts, 46 municipalities) and Kosovo and Metohija. Kosovo has declared independence but is still presently under the administration of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo; international negotiations began in 2006 to determine its final status (See Kosovo status process); Kosovo declared its independence on 17 February 2008, which Belgrade opposes.

The part of Serbia that is neither in Kosovo nor in Vojvodina is called Central Serbia. Central Serbia is not an administrative division, unlike the two autonomous provinces, and it has no regional government of its own. In English this region is often called "Serbia proper" to denote "the part of the Republic of Serbia not including the provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo", as the Library of Congress puts it.[85] This usage was also employed in Serbo-Croatian during the Yugoslav era (in the form of "uža Srbija", literally: "narrow Serbia"). Its use in English is purely geographical, without any particular political meaning being implied.


Ethnic map of Serbia according to the 2002 Census
Serbia (excluding Kosovo) in 2002

Serbia is populated mostly by Serbs. Significant minorities include Hungarians, Bosniaks, Albanians, Roma, Croats, Czechs and Slovaks, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Germans etc. The northern province of Vojvodina is ethnically and religiously diverse.

According to the last official census[87] data collected in 2002, ethnic composition of Serbia is:

The census was not conducted in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo, which is under administration by the United Nations. According to the EU estimates however, the overall population is estimated at 1,350,000 inhabitants, of whom 90% are Albanians, 8% Serbs and others 2%.There are also around 200,000 Serbian and other refugees,who are expelled from Kosovo. Refugees and IDPs in Serbia form between 7% and 7.5% of its population – about half a million refugees sought refuge in the country following the series of Yugoslav wars (from Croatia mainly, to an extent Bosnia and Herzegovina too and the IDPs from Kosovo, which are the most numerous at over 200,000)[88] Serbia has the largest refugee population in Europe.[89] On the other hand, it is estimated that 500,000 people have left Serbia during the '90s alone.[90] Significant amount of these people were college graduates. Serbia has the fourth oldest overall population on the planet,[91] mostly due to heavy migration and low level of fertility, which is expected to continue in long terms.

Belgrade, the capital city
The main square in Niš

Officially recognized cities (over 100,000 on municipal level)—2002 census data (2005/2007 data for Novi Sad/Belgrade).[92]

City Population
Urban Metropolitan
Belgrade 1,576,124 1,710,000
Novi Sad 255,071 333,895
Niš 236,722 252,131
Kragujevac 175,473 211,580
Subotica 99,471 147,758
Zrenjanin 79,545 131,509
Leskovac 78,030 156,252
Smederevo 77,808 109,867
Pančevo 77,087 127,162
Kruševac 75,256 131,368
Čačak 73,217 117,012
Užice 63,577 83,022
Valjevo 61,035 96,761
Kraljevo 57,411 121,707
Šabac 55,240 122,893
Vranje 55,052 87,288
Novi Pazar 54,604 85,249
Sombor 51,471 97,263


Serbia (excluding Kosovo) in 2002
religion percent
Eastern Orthodoxy
Roman Catholicism

For centuries straddling the religious boundary between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, joined up later by the penetration of Islam, Serbia remains one of the most diverse countries on the continent. Centuries on, different regions of Serbia remain heavily cosmopolitan: Kosovo province houses a 90% Muslim community, Vojvodina province is 25% Catholic or Protestant, while Central Serbia and Belgrade regions are over 90% Orthodox Christian.

Among the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Serbian Orthodox Church is the westernmost. According to the 2002 Census,[87] 82% of the population of Serbia (excluding Kosovo) or 6,2 million people declared their nationality as Serbian, who are overwhelmingly adherents of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Other Orthodox Christian communities in Serbia include Montenegrins, Romanians/Vlachs, Macedonians, Bulgarians etc. Together they comprise about 84% of the entire population.

Catholicism is mostly present in Vojvodina (mainly in its northern part), where almost 20% of the regional population (minority ethnic groups such as the Hungarians, Slovaks, Croats, Bunjevci, Czechs etc. belong to this Christian denomination. There are an estimated 433,000 baptized Catholics in Serbia, roughly 6,2% of the population, mostly in the northern province.

Protestantism accounts for about 1.5% of the country's population.

Islam has a strong historic following in the southern regions of Serbia - Raska and several municipalities in the south-east. Bosniaks are the largest Muslim community in Serbia at about 140,000 (2%), followed by Albanians (1%), Turks, Arabs etc.

With the exile of Jews from Spain during the infamous Inquisition era, thousands of escaping families and individuals made their way through Europe to the Balkans. A goodly number settled in Serbia and became part of the general population. They were well accepted and during the ensuing generations the majority assimilated or became traditional or secular, rather than remain orthodox Jews as had been the original immigrants. Later on the wars that ravaged the region resulted in a great part of the Serbian Jewish population either being killed or escaping to Yugoslavia[clarification needed] and Austria-Hungary.


With a GDP for 2008 estimated at $80.717 billion[93] ($10,985 per capita PPP), the Republic of Serbia is considered an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank.[94] FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in 2006 was $5.85 billion or 4.5 billion. FDI for 2007 reached $4.2 Billion while real GDP per capita figures are estimated to have reached $7 100 (October 2008).[95] The GDP growth rate showed increase by 6.3% (2005),[96] 5.8% (2006),[97] reaching 7.5% in 2007 and 8.7% in 2008[98] as the fastest growing economy in the region.[99]

At the beginning of the process of economic transition (1989), its favorable economic outlook in the region was hampered by politics, its economy being gravely impacted by the UN economic sanctions of 1992–95, as well as the sizable infrastructure and industry damage, suffered during the Kosovo war. Its problems were only augmented by losing the ex-Yugoslavia and Comecon markets. After the ousting of former Federal Yugoslav President Milošević in October 2000, the country experienced faster economic growth, and has been preparing for membership in the European Union, its most important trading partner.

Nikola Tesla on 100 Serbian dinar banknote

The recovery of the economy still faces many problems, among which unemployment (14%)[100] high export/import trade deficit and considerable national debt are most prominent. The country expects some major economic impulses and high growth rates in the next years. Serbia has been occasionally called a "Balkan tiger" because of its recent high economic growth rates, which averaged 6.6% (in the past three years), with FDI at its record levels.

Apart from its free-trade agreement with the EU as its associate member, Serbia is the only European country outside the former Soviet Union to have free-trade agreements with the Russian Federation and, more recently, Belarus.[101] Apart from its favorable economic agreements with both the East and West, such steps could be soon undertaken with Turkey and Iran.[102] By doing this Serbia hopes to establish an export-oriented economy.[103]

Serbia grows about one-third of the world's raspberries and is the leading frozen fruit exporter.[104]



89% of households in Serbia have fixed telephone lines, and the number of cell-phone users surpasses the number of population of Serbia itself by 23%, accounting to 9,21 million users (7,5 million citizens). (Telekom Srbija–5,6 million, Telenor has 3,1 million users and Vip mobile has the rest).[5] 42% of households have computers, 33% use the internet, and 42% have cable TV, which puts the country ahead of the certain member states of the EU.[105][106][107][108]


Serbia is proud of the fact that it owns one of the world's oldest airline carriers, the Jat Airways, founded in 1927.[109] There are 3 international airports in Serbia: Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Niš Constantine the Great Airport and the Vršac international airport.

The country, especially the valley of the Morava, is often described as "the crossroads between East and West", which is one of the primary reasons for its turbulent history. The Morava valley route, which avoids mountainous regions, is by far the easiest way of traveling overland from continental Europe to Greece and Asia Minor. Modern Serbia was the first among its neighbours to acquire railroads- in 1858 the first train arrived to Vrsac, then Austria-Hungary[110] (by 1882 route to Belgrade and Niš was completed). The railway system is operated by Serbian Railways.

European routes E65, E70, E75 and E80, as well as the E662, E761, E762, E763, E771, and E851 pass through the country. The E70 westwards from Belgrade and most of the E75 are modern highways of motorway / autobahn standard or close to that. As of 2005, Serbia has 1,481,498 registered cars, 16,042 motorcycles, 9,626 buses, 116,440 trucks, 28,222 special transport vehicles, 126,816 tractors, and 101,465 trailers.[111]

The Danube River, central Europe's connection to the Black Sea, flows through Serbia. Through Danube-Rhine-Mein canal the North Sea is also accessible. Tisza river offers a connection with Eastern Europe while the Sava river connects her to western former Yugoslav republics near the Adriatic Sea.


Felix Romuliana imperial palace, one of 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Serbia

Tourism in Serbia is mostly focused on the villages and mountains of the country. The most famous mountain resorts are Zlatibor, Kopaonik, and the Tara. There are also many spas in Serbia, one the biggest of which is Vrnjačka Banja. Other spas include Soko Banja and Niška Banja. There is a significant amount of tourism in the largest cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, but also in the rural parts of Serbia like the volcanic wonder of Đavolja varoš,[112] Christian pilgrimage across the country[113] and the cruises along the Danube, Sava or Tisza. There are several popular festivals held in Serbia, such as the EXIT Festival (proclaimed the best European festival by UK Festival Awards 2007 and Yourope, the European Association of the 40 largest festivals in Europe) and the Guča trumpet festival. 2,2 million tourists visited Serbia in 2007, a 15% increase compared to 2006.[114]


Miroslav Gospels, one of the oldest surviving documents written in Serbian Church Slavonic wrote in 1186

For centuries straddling the boundaries between East and West, Serbia had been divided among: the Eastern and Western halves of the Roman Empire; between Kingdom of Hungary, Bulgarian Empire, Frankish Kingdom and Byzantium; and between the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire (later Austria-Hungary), as well as Venice in the south. The result of these overlapping influences are distinct characters and sharp contrasts between various Serbian regions, its north being more tied to Western Europe and south leaning towards the Balkans and the Mediterranean Sea. Despite these confronting influences Serbian identity is quite solid, being described as the "most westernized of the Eastern Orthodox peoples, both socially and culturally" by the Encyclopedia of World History (2001).[115]

The Byzantine Empire's influence on Serbia was profound, through introduction of Greek Orthodoxy from 7th century onwards (today- Serbian Orthodox Church). Different influences were also present- chiefly the Ottoman, Hungarian, Austrian and also Venetian (coastal Serbs). Serbs use both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. The monasteries of Serbia, built largely in the Middle Ages, are one of the most valuable and visible traces of medieval Serbia's association with the Byzantium and the Orthodox World, but also with the Romanic (Western) Europe that Serbia had close ties with back in Middle Ages. Most of Serbia's queens still remembered today in Serbian history were of foreign origin, including Hélène d'Anjou (a cousin of Charles I of Sicily), Anna Dondolo (daughter of the Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo), Catherine of Hungary, and Symonide of Byzantium.

Serbia has eight cultural sites marked on the UNESCO World Heritage list: Stari Ras and Sopoćani monasteries (included in 1979), Studenica Monastery (1986), the Medieval Serbian Monastic Complex in Kosovo, comprising: Dečani Monastery, Our Lady of Ljeviš, Gračanica and Patriarchate of Pec- (2004, put on the endangered list in 2006), and Gamzigrad - Romuliana, Palace of Galerius, added in 2007. Likewise, there are 2 literary memorials added on the UNESCO's list as a part of the Memory of the World Programme: Miroslav Gospels, handwriting from the 12th century (added in 2005), and Nikola Tesla's archive (2003).

The most prominent museum in Serbia is the National Museum, founded in 1844 ; it houses a collection of more than 400,000 exhibits,(over 5600 paintings and 8400 drawings and prints) including many foreign masterpiece collections and the famous Miroslavljevo Jevanđelje.Currently museum is under reconstruction. The museum is situated in Belgrade.


Headquarters of the Belgrade University, pictured in 1890

Education in Serbia is regulated by the Ministry of Education. Education starts in either pre-schools or elementary schools. Children enroll in elementary schools (Serbian: Osnovna škola / Основна школа) at the age of seven, and remain there for eight years.

The roots of the Serbian education system date back to the 11th and 12th centuries when the first Catholic colleges were founded in Vojvodina (Titel, Bač). Medieval Serbian education, however, was mostly conducted through the Serbian Orthodox monasteries (Sopocani, Studenica, Patriarchate of Pec) starting from the rise of Raska in 12th century, when Serbs overwhelmingly embraced Orthodoxy rather than Catholicism.

The first university in Serbia was founded in revolutionary Belgrade in 1808 as the Belgrade Higher School, the precursor of the contemporary University of Belgrade. For example, the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law is today one of regional leaders in legal education. The oldest college (faculty) within current borders of Serbia dates back to 1778; founded in the city of Sombor, then Habsburg Empire, it was known under the name Norma and was the oldest Slavic Teacher's college in Southern Europe.[116]


All holidays in Serbia are regulated by the Law of national and other holidays in Republic of Serbia (Zakon o državnim i drugim praznicima u Republici Srbiji). The following holidays are observed state-wide:[117]

Date Name Notes
1 January / 2 January New Year's Day (Nova Godina) non-working holiday
7 January Orthodox Christmas (Božić) non-working holiday
27 January Saint Sava's Day - Spirituality day (Savindan - Dan Duhovnosti) working holiday (in memory on the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church)
15 February Candlemas - Statehood day (Sretenje - Dan državnosti) non-working holiday (in memory on the First Serbian Uprising)
25 April Orthodox Great Friday (Veliki petak) non-working holiday (date for 2008 only)
26 April Orthodox Great Saturday (Velika subota) non-working holiday (date for 2008 only)
27 April Orthodox Easter (Vaskrs) non-working holiday (date for 2008 only)
28 April Orthodox Easter Monday (Veliki ponedeljak) non-working holiday (date for 2008 only)
1 May / 2 May Labour Day (Dan rada) non-working holiday
9 May Victory Day (Dan pobede) working holiday
28 June Saint Vitus' Day - Day of the fallen for the fatherland (Vidovdan - Dan Srba palih za otadžbinu) working holiday (in memory of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389)

Also, members of other religions have the right not to work on days of their holidays.


Stadion Crvena Zvezda, the largest football stadium in Serbia
Belgrade Arena, one of the largest sport venues in Europe

The Sport in Serbia revolves mostly around team sports: football, basketball, water polo, volleyball, handball, and, more recently, tennis. The two main football clubs in Serbia are Red Star Belgrade and FK Partizan, both from capital Belgrade. Red Star is the only Serbian and former Yugoslav club that has won a UEFA competition, winning the 1991 European Cup in Bari, Italy. The same year in Tokyo, Japan, the club won the Intercontinental Cup. Partizan is the first club from Serbia to take part in the UEFA Champions League group stages subsequent to the breakup of the Former Yugoslavia. The matches between two rival clubs are known as "Eternal Derby" (Serbian: Вечити дерби, Večiti derbi).

Serbia was host of EuroBasket 2005. FIBA considers Serbia national basketball team the direct descendant of the famous Yugoslavia national basketball team. KK Partizan was the European champion in 1992 with curiosity of winning the title, although playing all but one of the games (crucial quarter-final game vs. Knorr) on foreign grounds; FIBA decided not to allow teams from Former Yugoslavia play their home games at their home venues, because of open hostilities in the region. KK Partizan was not allowed to defend the title in the 1992-1993 season, because of UN sanction. Players from Serbia made deep footprint in history of basketball, having success both in the top leagues of Europe and in the NBA. Serbia is one of the traditional powerhouses of world basketball, winning various FIBA World Championships, multiple Eurobaskets and Olympic medals (albeit as FR Yugoslavia).

Serbian capital Belgrade hosted the 2006 Men's European Water Polo Championship. The Serbia national water polo team was previously known as the Yugoslavia national water polo team. After becoming independent, Serbia have won 2006 European championship, finished as runner-up in 2008 and won bronze medal at 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. VK Partizan won 6 titles of European champion and it is the second best European team in history of water polo.

Serbia and Italy were host nations at 2005 Men's European Volleyball Championship. The Serbia men's national volleyball team is the direct descendant of Yugoslavia men's national volleyball team. After becoming independent, Serbia won bronze medal at 2007 Men's European Volleyball Championship held in Moscow.

Serbian tennis players Novak Đoković, Ana Ivanović, Jelena Janković, Nenad Zimonjić and Janko Tipsarević are very successful and led to a popularisation of tennis in Serbia. Serbia Davis Cup team qualified for the 2008 Davis Cup World Group.

Milorad Čavić in swimming, Olivera Jevtić, Dragutin Topić in athletics, Aleksandar Karakašević in table tennis, Jasna Šekarić in shooting are also very popular athletes in Serbia.

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  115. ^ f. Serbia. 2001. The Encyclopedia of World History
  116. ^ "Sombor: History by dates". 
  117. ^ "Zakon o državnim i drugim praznicima u Republici Srbiji" (in Serbian). 2007-11-06. Retrieved on 2008-03-13. 

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