Coordinates: 44°N 21°E / 44°N 21°E / 44; 21
Republic of Serbia
Република Србија (Serbian)
Republika Srbija (Serbian)
Coat of arms
"Боже правде / Bože pravde"
"God of Justice"
Serbia (green) and the disputed territory of
Europe (dark grey).
Serbia in the World
and largest city
44°48′N 20°28′E / 44.800°N 20.467°E / 44.800; 20.467
Ethnic groups (2011)
• Prime Minister
• Medieval principality
late 8th century
• Medieval kingdom/empire
• Ottoman conquesta
• Principality of Serbia
• Internationally recognized
• National unification
• Independent Republic
5 June 2006
• Including Kosovo
88,361 km2 (34,116 sq mi) (111th)
• Excluding Kosovo
77,474 km2 (29,913 sq mi)
• 2017 estimate
7,058,322 (excluding Kosovo)  (104th)
91.1/km2 (235.9/sq mi) (121th)
$112.475 billion (78th)
• Per capita
$16,063 (excluding Kosovo) (83rd)
$42.378 billion (86th)
• Per capita
$6,052 (excluding Kosovo) (88th)
high · 66th
Serbian dinar (RSD)
• Summer (DST)
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
From the fall of
Smederevo until conquest of Belgrade,
Serbia (/ˈsɜːrbiə/ ( listen), Serbian: Србија /
Srbija, IPA: [sř̩bija]), officially the Republic of Serbia
(Serbian: Република Србија / Republika Srbija), is a
sovereign state situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast
Europe in the southern
Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. It
Hungary to the north;
Bulgaria to the east;
Macedonia to the south; Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
the west and claims a border with
Albania through the disputed
territory of Kosovo.
Serbia numbers around 7 million residents. Its
capital, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest and largest cities in
Slavic migrations to the
Balkans postdating the 6th
Serbs established several states in the early Middle Ages.
The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by
Rome and the Byzantine
Empire in 1217, reaching its peak in 1346 as a relatively short-lived
By the mid-16th century, the entire modern-day
Serbia was annexed by
the Ottomans, at times interrupted by the Habsburg Empire, which
started expanding towards
Central Serbia from the end of the 17th
century, while maintaining a foothold in modern-day Vojvodina. In the
early 19th century, the
Serbian Revolution established the
nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which
subsequently expanded its territory.
Following disastrous casualties in World War I, and the subsequent
unification of the former Habsburg crownland of
Vojvodina (and other
territories) with Serbia, the country co-founded
Yugoslavia with other
South Slavic peoples, which would exist in various political
formations until the
Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s.
During the breakup of Yugoslavia,
Serbia formed a union with
Montenegro, which dissolved peacefully in 2006. In 2008, the
parliament of the province of
Kosovo unilaterally declared
independence, with mixed responses from the international community.
Serbia is a member of the UN, CoE, OSCE, PfP, BSEC, CEFTA and it is
acceding to the WTO. Since 2014 the country has been negotiating
its EU accession with perspective of joining the
European union by
2025 and is the only country in the current enlargement agenda
which is designated as "free" by Freedom House.
Serbia formally adheres to the policy of military
neutrality. An upper-middle income economy with a dominant service
sector followed by the industrial sector and agriculture, the country
ranks high by the
Human Development Index
Human Development Index (66th), Social Progress
Index (45th) as well as the
Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index (56th).
2.2 Ancient history
2.3 Middle Ages
2.4 Ottoman and Habsburg rule
2.5 Revolution and independence
2.6 Balkan Wars,
World War I
World War I and the First Yugoslavia
2.7 World War II and the Second Yugoslavia
Breakup of Yugoslavia
Breakup of Yugoslavia and political transition
4.1 Law and criminal justice
4.2 Foreign relations
4.4 Administrative divisions
7 Education and science
8.1 Art and architecture
8.4 Theatre and cinema
9 Public holidays
10 See also
12 External links
See also: Names of the
Serbia and Origin hypotheses of the
Vinča culture figure, 4000–4500 BC
The origin of the name, "Serbia" is unclear. Various authors mentioned
Serbs (Serbian: Srbi / Срби) and
Sorbs (Upper Sorbian:
Serbja; Lower Sorbian: Serby) in different variants: Surbii, Suurbi,
Serbloi, Zeriuani, Sorabi, Surben, Sarbi, Serbii, Serboi, Zirbi,
Surbi, Sorben, etc. These authors used these names to refer to
Sorbs in areas where their historical (or current) presence
was/is not disputed (notably in the
Balkans and Lusatia), but there
are also sources that mention same or similar names in other parts of
the World (most notably in the Asiatic
Sarmatia in the Caucasus).
Theoretically, the root *sъrbъ has been variously connected with
Russian paserb (пасерб, "stepson"), Ukrainian pryserbytysia
(присербитися, "join in"), Old Indic sarbh- ("fight, cut,
kill"), Latin sero ("make up, constitute"), and Greek siro (ειρω,
"repeat"). However, Polish linguist Stanisław Rospond
(1906–1982) derived the denomination of Srb from srbati (cf. sorbo,
absorbo). Sorbian scholar H. Schuster-Šewc suggested a connection
with the Proto-Slavic verb for "to slurp" *sьrb-, with cognates such
as сёрбать (Russian), сьорбати (Ukrainian),
сёрбаць (Belarusian), srbati (Slovak), сърбам(Bulgarian)
and серебати (Old Russian).
From 1945 to 1963, the official name for
Serbia was the People's
Republic of Serbia, which became the
Socialist Republic of Serbia
Socialist Republic of Serbia from
1963 to 1990. Since 1990, the official name of the country is the
"Republic of Serbia".
Main article: History of Serbia
Main article: Prehistoric sites in Serbia
Lepenski Vir culture figure, 7000 BC
Archeological evidence of
Paleolithic settlements on the territory of
Serbia are scarce. A fragment of a human jaw, was found in
Sićevo (Mala Balanica) and believed to be up to 525,000—397,000
Approximately around 6,500 years BC, during the Neolithic, the
Starčevo, and Vinča cultures existed in or near modern-day Belgrade
and dominated much of the Southeastern Europe, (as well as parts of
Central Europe and Asia Minor). Two important local
archeological sites from this era,
Lepenski Vir and Vinča-Belo Brdo,
still exist near the banks of the Danube.
Main article: Roman heritage in Serbia
During the Iron Age, Thracians, Dacians, and
encountered by the
Ancient Greeks during their expansion into the
south of modern
Serbia in the 4th century BC; the northwesternmost
point of Alexander the Great's empire being the town of
Kale-Krševica.[better source needed] The Celtic tribe
Scordisci settled throughout the area in the 3rd century BC and
formed a tribal state, building several fortifications, including
their capital at
Singidunum (present-day Belgrade) and Naissos
Remnants of Felix Romuliana Imperial Palace,
UNESCO World Heritage
The Romans conquered much of the territory in the 2nd century BC. In
167 BC the
Roman province of Illyricum was established; the remainder
was conquered around 75 BC, forming the
Roman province of Moesia
Superior; the modern-day Srem region was conquered in 9 BC; and Bačka
Banat in 106 AD after the Dacian Wars. As a result of this,
Serbia extends fully or partially over several former
Roman provinces, including Moesia, Pannonia, Praevalitana, Dalmatia,
Dacia and Macedonia.
The chief towns of Upper
Moesia (and wider) were: Singidunum
Viminacium (now Old Kostolac),
Remesiana (now Bela
Palanka), Naissos (Niš), and
Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica), the
latter of which served as a Roman capital during the Tetrarchy.
Seventeen Roman Emperors were born in the area of modern-day Serbia,
second only to contemporary Italy. The most famous of these was
Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor, who issued an
edict ordering religious tolerance throughout the Empire.
Roman Empire was divided in 395, most of
under the Eastern Roman Empire, while its northwestern parts were
included in the Western Roman Empire. By the early 6th century, South
Slavs were present throughout the
Byzantine Empire in large
Serbia in the Middle Ages
The Proclamation of Dušan's Law Codex
The Proclamation of Dušan's Law Codex in
Skopje Fortress in 1349
Serbs, a Slavic tribe that settled the
Balkans in the 6th or early 7th
century, established the Serbian Principality by the 8th century. It
was said in 822 that the
Serbs inhabited the greater part of Roman
Dalmatia, their territory spanning what is today southwestern Serbia
and parts of neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, the Byzantine Empire
and Bulgarian Empire held other parts of the territory. Christianity
was adopted by the Serbian rulers in ca. 870, and by the
mid-10th-century the Serbian state stretched the
Adriatic Sea by the
Neretva, the Sava, the Morava, and Skadar. Between 1166 and 1371
Serbia was ruled by the
Nemanjić dynasty (which legacy is especially
cherished), under whom the state was elevated to a kingdom (and
briefly an empire) and Serbian bishopric to an autocephalous
archbishopric (through the effort of Sava, the country's patron
saint). Monuments of the Nemanjić period survives in many monasteries
(several being World Heritage) and fortifications. During these
centuries the Serbian state (and influence) expanded significantly.
The northern part, Vojvodina, was ruled by the Kingdom of Hungary. The
period known as the Fall of the
Serbian Empire saw the once-powerful
state fragmented into duchies, culminating in the Battle of Kosovo
(1389) against the rising Ottoman Empire. The
Serbian Despotate was
finally conquered by the
Ottomans in 1459. The Ottoman threat and
eventual conquest saw large migrations of
Serbs to the west and
Ottoman and Habsburg rule
Main articles: Ottoman Serbia,
Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia (1718–39), and
Great Migrations of the Serbs
After the loss of independence to the Kingdom of
Hungary and the
Serbia briefly regained sovereignty under Jovan Nenad
in the 16th century. Three Habsburg invasions and numerous rebellions
constantly challenged Ottoman rule. One famous incident was the Banat
Uprising in 1595, which was part of the Long War between the Ottomans
and the Habsburgs. The area of modern
Vojvodina endured a
century-long Ottoman occupation before being ceded to the Habsburg
Empire at the end of the 17th century under the Treaty of Karlowitz.
The Great Migrations into Habsburg Empire, led by Patriarch Arsenije
In all Serb lands south of the rivers
Danube and Sava, the nobility
was eliminated and the peasantry was enserfed to Ottoman masters,
while much of the clergy fled or were confined to the isolated
monasteries. Under the Ottoman system, Serbs, as Christians, were
considered an inferior class of people and subjected to heavy taxes,
and a small portion of the Serbian populace experienced Islamisation.
Ottomans abolished the
Serbian Patriarchate of Peć
Serbian Patriarchate of Peć (1463), but
reestablished it in 1557, providing for limited continuation of
Serbian cultural traditions within the empire.
Great Serb Migrations
Great Serb Migrations depopulated most of southern Serbia, the
Serbs sought refuge across the
Danube River in
Vojvodina to the north
Military Frontier in the west, where they were granted rights
by the Austrian crown under measures such as the Statuta Wallachorum
of 1630. The ecclesiastical center of the
Serbs also moved northwards,
to the Metropolitanate of Sremski Karlovci, as the Serbian
Patriarchate of Peć was once-again abolished by the
1766. Following several petitions, the
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor Leopold
I formally granted
Serbs who wished to leave the right to their
In 1718–39, the
Habsburg Monarchy occupied
Central Serbia and
established the "Kingdom of Serbia". Apart from
Vojvodina and Northern
Belgrade which were absorbed into the Habsburg Empire, Central Serbia
was occupied by the
Habsburgs again in 1686–91 and in 1788–92.
Karađorđe Petrović elected as Supreme Leader he became the central
figure and driving force of the national liberation movement of the
Revolution and independence
Main articles: Serbian Revolution, Principality of Serbia, and Kingdom
See also: Serbian
Vojvodina and May Overthrow
Serbian Revolution for independence from the
Ottoman Empire lasted
eleven years, from 1804 until 1815. The revolution comprised two
separate uprisings which gained autonomy from the
Ottoman Empire that
eventually evolved towards full independence (1835–1867).
During the First Serbian Uprising, led by Duke
Serbia was independent for almost a decade before the Ottoman army was
able to reoccupy the country. Shortly after this, the Second Serbian
Miloš Obrenović leader of the
Second Serbian Uprising
Second Serbian Uprising in Takovo, the
second phase of the Serbian Revolution.
Led by Miloš Obrenović, it ended in 1815 with a compromise between
Serbian revolutionaries and Ottoman authorities. Likewise, Serbia
was one of the first nations in the
Balkans to abolish feudalism.
The Convention of Ackerman in 1826, the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829
and finally, the Hatt-i Sharif, recognized the suzerainty of Serbia.
The first Serbian
Constitution was adopted on 15 February
Following the clashes between the Ottoman army and
Serbs in Belgrade
in 1862, and under pressure from the Great Powers, by 1867 the last
Turkish soldiers left the Principality, making the country de facto
independent. By enacting a new constitution without consulting the
Porte, Serbian diplomats confirmed the de facto independence of the
country. In 1876,
Serbia declared war on the Ottoman Empire,
proclaiming its unification with Bosnia.
The formal independence of the country was internationally recognized
Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin in 1878, which formally ended the
Russo-Turkish War; this treaty, however, prohibited
uniting with Bosnia by placing Bosnia under Austro-Hungarian
occupation, alongside the occupation of Sanjak of Novi Pazar. From
1815 to 1903, the
Principality of Serbia
Principality of Serbia was ruled by the House of
Obrenović, save for the rule of Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević
between 1842 and 1858. In 1882,
Serbia became a Kingdom, ruled by King
Milan I. The House of Karađorđević, descendants of the
Karađorđe Petrović, assumed power in 1903
following the May Overthrow. In the north, the 1848 revolution in
Austria led to the establishment of the autonomous territory of
Serbian Vojvodina; by 1849, the region was transformed into the
Banat of Temeschwar.
World War I
World War I and the First Yugoslavia
Main articles: Balkan Wars, Serbian Campaign of World War I, and
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
In the course of the
First Balkan War
First Balkan War in 1912, the Balkan League
Ottoman Empire and captured its European territories,
which enabled territorial expansion into Raška and Kosovo. The Second
Balkan War soon ensued when
Bulgaria turned on its former allies, but
was defeated, resulting in the Treaty of Bucharest. In two years,
Serbia enlarged its territory by 80% and its population by
50%; it also suffered high casualties on the eve of
World War I, with around 20,000 dead. Austria-
Hungary became wary
of the rising regional power on its borders and its potential to
become an anchor for unification of all South Slavs, and the
relationship between the two countries became tense.
Nikola Pašić, Prime Minister during World War I.
The assassination of
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on 28 June
Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Young Bosnia
organization, led to Austria-
Hungary declaring war on Serbia. In
defense of Serbia, and to maintain her status as a Great Power, Russia
mobilized its troops, which resulted in Austria-Hungary's ally Germany
declaring war on Russia.
Serbia won the first major battles of
World War I, including the
Battle of Cer
Battle of Cer and
Battle of Kolubara
Battle of Kolubara –
marking the first Allied victories against the
Central Powers in World
Despite initial success, it was eventually overpowered by the Central
Powers in 1915. Most of its army and some people fled through Albania
Greece and Corfu, suffering immense losses on the way.
occupied by the Central Powers. After the
Central Powers military
situation on other fronts worsened, the remains of the Serb army
returned east and lead a final breakthrough through enemy lines on 15
September 1918, liberating
Serbia and defeating the Austro-Hungarian
Empire and Bulgaria. Serbia, with its campaign, was a major Balkan
Entente Power which contributed significantly to the Allied
victory in the
Balkans in November 1918, especially by helping France
force Bulgaria's capitulation.
Serbia was classified as a minor
Serbia's casualties accounted for 8% of the total Entente military
deaths; 58% (243,600) soldiers of the Serbian army perished in the
war. The total number of casualties is placed around 700,000,
more than 16% of Serbia's prewar size, and a majority (57%) of its
overall male population. As the Austro-Hungarian Empire
collapsed, the territory of Syrmia united with
Serbia on 24 November
1918, followed by
Banat, Bačka and Baranja
Banat, Bačka and Baranja a day later, thereby
bringing the entire
Vojvodina into the Serb Kingdom.
Picture from the scene of the assassination of King Alexander I of
Yugoslavia in Marseilles
On 26 November 1918, the
Podgorica Assembly deposed the House of
Petrović-Njegoš and united
Montenegro with Serbia.
On 1 December 1918, at Krsmanović's House at Terazije, Serbian Prince
Regent Alexander of
Serbia proclaimed the Kingdom of the Serbs,
Croats, and Slovenes under King Peter I of Serbia.
King Peter was succeeded by his son, Alexander, in August 1921. Serb
centralists and Croat autonomists clashed in the parliament, and most
governments were fragile and short-lived. Nikola Pašić, a
conservative prime minister, headed or dominated most governments
until his death. King Alexander changed the name of the country to
Yugoslavia and changed the internal divisions from the 33 oblasts to
nine new banovinas. The effect of Alexander's dictatorship was to
further alienate the non-
Serbs from the idea of unity.
Alexander was assassinated in Marseille, during an official visit in
1934 by Vlado Chernozemski, member of the IMRO. Alexander was
succeeded by his eleven-year-old son Peter II and a regency council
was headed by his cousin, Prince Paul. In August 1939 the
Cvetković–Maček Agreement established an autonomous Banate of
Croatia as a solution to Croatian concerns.
World War II and the Second Yugoslavia
World War II in Yugoslavia
World War II in Yugoslavia and Socialist Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia
See also: Invasion of Yugoslavia, Axis occupation of Serbia, and World
War II persecution of Serbs
Yugoslav coup d'état, demonstrations in capital
Yugoslav accession to the Tripartite Pact.
In 1941, in spite of Yugoslav attempts to remain neutral in the war,
Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia. The territory of modern
divided between Hungary, Bulgaria, Independent State of
Albania and Montenegro), while the remaining part
Serbia was placed under German Military administration, with
Serbian puppet governments led by
Milan Aćimović and Milan Nedić.
The occupied territory was the scene of a civil war between royalist
Chetniks commanded by
Draža Mihailović and communist partisans
commanded by Josip Broz Tito. Against these forces were arrayed Axis
auxiliary units of the Serbian Volunteer Corps and the Serbian State
Guard. Draginac and
Loznica massacre of 2,950 villagers in Western
Serbia in 1941 was the first large execution of civilians in occupied
Serbia by Germans, with
Kragujevac massacre and
Novi Sad Raid
Novi Sad Raid of Jews
Serbs by Hungarian fascists being the most notorious, with over
3,000 victims in each case.
Serbia (right) occupied by Germany, Italy, Hungary,
After one year of occupation, around 16,000
Serbian Jews were murdered
in the area, or around 90% of its pre-war Jewish population. Many
concentration camps were established across the area. Banjica
concentration camp was the largest concentration camp, with primary
victims being Serbian Jews, Roma, and Serb political prisoners.
During this period, hundreds of thousands of
Serbs fled the Axis
puppet state known as the Independent State of
Croatia and sought
refuge in Serbia, seeking to escape the large-scale persecution and
genocide of Serbs, Jews, and Roma being committed by the Ustaše
Republic of Užice
Republic of Užice was a short-lived liberated territory
established by the Partisans and the first liberated territory in
World War II Europe, organized as a military mini-state that existed
in the autumn of 1941 in the west of occupied Serbia. By late 1944,
Belgrade Offensive swung in favour of the partisans in the civil
war; the partisans subsequently gained control of Yugoslavia.
Belgrade Offensive, the
Syrmian Front was the last major
military action of World War II in Serbia.
The victory of the Communist Partisans resulted in the abolition of
the monarchy and a subsequent constitutional referendum. A one-party
state was soon established in
Yugoslavia by the League of Communists
of Yugoslavia, between 60,000 and 70,000 people were killed in Serbia
during the communist takeover. All opposition was suppressed and
people deemed to be promoting opposition to socialism or promoting
separatism were imprisoned or executed for sedition.
Serbia became a
constituent republic within the SFRY known as the Socialist Republic
of Serbia, and had a republic-branch of the federal communist party,
the League of Communists of Serbia.
Belgrade celebrating liberation from the Axis powers, 20
Serbia's most powerful and influential politician in Tito-era
Yugoslavia was Aleksandar Ranković, one of the "big four" Yugoslav
leaders, alongside Tito, Edvard Kardelj, and Milovan Đilas.
Ranković was later removed from the office because of the
disagreements regarding Kosovo's nomenklatura and the unity of
Serbia. Ranković's dismissal was highly unpopular among
Serbs. Pro-decentralization reformers in
Yugoslavia succeeded in
the late 1960s in attaining substantial decentralization of powers,
creating substantial autonomy in
Kosovo and Vojvodina, and recognizing
a Yugoslav Muslim nationality. As a result of these reforms, there
was a massive overhaul of Kosovo's nomenklatura and police, that
shifted from being Serb-dominated to ethnic Albanian-dominated through
Serbs on a large scale. Further concessions were made to
the ethnic Albanians of
Kosovo in response to unrest, including the
creation of the University of Pristina as an Albanian language
institution. These changes created widespread fear among
being treated as second-class citizens.
Breakup of Yugoslavia
Breakup of Yugoslavia and political transition
Main articles: Breakup of Yugoslavia, Yugoslav Wars, and Republic of
Slobodan Milošević rose to power in Serbia. Milošević
promised a reduction of powers for the autonomous provinces of Kosovo
and Vojvodina, where his allies subsequently took over power, during
the Anti-bureaucratic revolution. This ignited tensions between
the communist leadership of the other republics, and awoke nationalism
across the country that eventually resulted in its breakup, with
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo
declaring independence.[better source needed]
Montenegro remained together as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Fueled by ethnic tensions, the
Yugoslav Wars erupted, with the most
severe conflicts taking place in
Croatia and Bosnia, where the large
ethnic Serb communities opposed independence from Yugoslavia. The FRY
remained outside the conflicts, but provided logistic, military and
financial support to Serb forces in the wars. In response, the UN
imposed sanctions against
Serbia which led to political isolation and
the collapse of the economy (GDP was $24 billion in 1990 to under $10
billion in 1993).
Multi-party democracy was introduced in
Serbia in 1990, officially
dismantling the one-party system. Critics of Milošević claimed that
the government continued to be authoritarian despite constitutional
changes, as Milošević maintained strong political influence over the
state media and security apparatus. When the ruling Socialist
Serbia refused to accept its defeat in municipal elections in
Serbians engaged in large protests against the government.
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and territories of Serb breakaway
Republika Srpska and
Republika Srpska Krajina) during the
Yugoslav wars (1991–95)
In 1998, peace was broken again, when the situation in
with continued clashes between the Albanian guerilla
Army and Yugoslav security forces. The confrontations led to the short
Kosovo War (1998–99), in which
NATO intervened, leading to the
withdrawal of Serbian forces and the establishment of UN
administration in the province.
After presidential elections in September 2000, opposition parties
accused Milošević of electoral fraud. A campaign of civil resistance
followed, led by the
Democratic Opposition of Serbia
Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS), a broad
coalition of anti-Milošević parties. This culminated on 5 October
when half a million people from all over the country congregated in
Belgrade, compelling Milošević to concede defeat. The fall of
Milošević ended Yugoslavia's international isolation. Milošević
was sent to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia. The DOS announced that FR
Yugoslavia would seek to join
the European Union. In 2003, the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was
Serbia and Montenegro; the EU opened negotiations with the
country for the Stabilization and Association Agreement. Serbia's
political climate remained tense and in 2003, the prime minister Zoran
Đinđić was assassinated as result of a plot originating from
circles of organized crime and former security officials.
On 21 May 2006,
Montenegro held a referendum to determine whether to
end its union with Serbia. The results showed 55.4% of voters in favor
of independence, which was just above the 55% required by the
referendum. On 5 June 2006, the
National Assembly of Serbia
National Assembly of Serbia declared
Serbia to be the legal successor to the former state union. The
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from
17 February 2008.
Serbia immediately condemned the declaration and
continues to deny any statehood to Kosovo. The declaration has sparked
varied responses from the international community, some welcoming it,
while others condemned the unilateral move. Status-neutral talks
Serbia and Kosovo-Albanian authorities are held in Brussels,
mediated by the EU.
In April 2008
Serbia was invited to join the Intensified Dialogue
NATO despite the diplomatic rift with the alliance over
Serbia officially applied for membership in the European
Union on 22 December 2009, and received candidate status on 1
March 2012, following a delay in December 2011. Following a
positive recommendation of the
European Commission and European
Council in June 2013, negotiations to join the EU commenced in January
Main article: Geography of Serbia
Topographic map of Serbia
Located at the crossroads between Central and Southern
Serbia is found in the
Balkan peninsula and the Pannonian
Serbia lies between latitudes 41° and 47° N, and longitudes
18° and 23° E. The country covers a total of 88,361 km2
(including Kosovo), which places it at 113th place in the world; with
Kosovo excluded, the total area is 77,474 km2, which would
make it 117th. Its total border length amounts to 2,027 km
Albania 115 km,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina 302 km, Bulgaria
Croatia 241 km,
Hungary 151 km, Macedonia
Montenegro 203 km and
Romania 476 km). All
of Kosovo's border with
Albania (115 km), Macedonia (159 km)
Montenegro (79 km) are under control of the
Serbia treats the 352 km long border between Kosovo
and rest of
Serbia as an "administrative line"; it is under shared
Kosovo border police and Serbian police forces, and there
are 11 crossing points.
Pannonian Plain covers the northern third of the country
Vojvodina and Mačva) while the easternmost tip of
into the Wallachian Plain. The terrain of the central part of the
country, with the region of
Šumadija at its heart, consists chiefly
of hills traversed by rivers. Mountains dominate the southern third of
Dinaric Alps stretch in the west and the southwest, following
the flow of the rivers
Drina and Ibar. The
Carpathian Mountains and
Balkan Mountains stretch in a north–south direction in eastern
Ancient mountains in the southeast corner of the country belong to the
Rilo-Rhodope Mountain system. Elevation ranges from the
Balkan Mountains at 2,169 metres (7,116 feet) (the highest peak
in Serbia, excluding Kosovo) to the lowest point of just 17 metres (56
feet) near the
Danube river at Prahovo. The largest lake is
Đerdap Lake (163 square kilometres or 63 square miles) and the
longest river passing through
Serbia is the
Danube (587.35 kilometres
or 364.96 miles).
Đavolja Varoš, natural wonder in southern Serbia
Kopaonik, ski resort in south-central Serbia
Tara National Park in western Serbia
Veliki Krš, part of Serbian Carpathians
Main article: Climate of Serbia
The climate of
Serbia is under the influences of the landmass of
Eurasia and the
Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. With mean
January temperatures around 0 °C (32 °F), and mean July
temperatures of 22 °C (72 °F), it can be classified as a
warm-humid continental or humid subtropical climate. In the north,
the climate is more continental, with cold winters, and hot, humid
summers along with well distributed rainfall patterns. In the south,
summers and autumns are drier, and winters are relatively cold, with
heavy inland snowfall in the mountains.
Differences in elevation, proximity to the
Adriatic Sea and large
river basins, as well as exposure to the winds account for climate
Serbia is subject to Mediterranean
Dinaric Alps and other mountain ranges contribute
to the cooling of most of the warm air masses. Winters are quite harsh
Pešter plateau, because of the mountains which encircle
it. One of the climatic features of
Serbia is Košava, a cold and
very squally southeastern wind which starts in the Carpathian
Mountains and follows the
Danube northwest through the Iron Gate where
it gains a jet effect and continues to
Belgrade and can spread as far
south as Niš.
The average annual air temperature for the period 1961–1990 for the
area with an altitude of up to 300 m (984 ft) is
10.9 °C (51.6 °F). The areas with an altitude of 300 to
500 m (984 to 1,640 ft) have an average annual temperature
of around 10.0 °C (50.0 °F), and over 1,000 m
(3,281 ft) of altitude around 6.0 °C (42.8 °F).
The lowest recorded temperature in
Serbia was −39.5 °C
(−39.1 °F) on 13 January 1985,
Karajukića Bunari in Pešter,
and the highest was 44.9 °C or 112.8 °F, on 24 July 2007,
recorded in Smederevska Palanka.
Serbia is one of few European countries with very high risk exposure
to natural hazards (earthquakes, storms, floods, droughts). It is
estimated that potential floods, particularly in areas of Central
Serbia, threaten over 500 larger settlements and an area of 16,000
square kilometers. The most disastrous were the floods in May
2014, when 57 people died and a damage of over a 1.5 billion euro was
List of rivers of Serbia
List of rivers of Serbia and List of lakes of Serbia
Almost all of Serbia's rivers drain to the Black Sea, by way of the
Danube river. The Danube, the second largest European river, passes
Serbia with 588 kilometers (21% of its overall length) and
represents the largest source of fresh water. It is joined by its
biggest tributaries, the
Great Morava (longest river entirely in
Serbia with 493 km of length),
Tisza rivers. One
notable exception is the Pčinja which flows into the Aegean. Drina
river forms the natural border between
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina and
Serbia, and represents the main kayaking and rafting attraction in
Due to configuration of the terrain, natural lakes are sparse and
small; most of them are located in the lowlands of Vojvodina, like the
aeolian lake Palić or numerous oxbow lakes along river flows (like
Zasavica and Carska Bara). However, there are numerous artificial
lakes, mostly due to hydroelectric dams, the biggest being Đerdap
(Iron Gates) on the
Danube with 163 km2 on the Serbian side (a
total area of 253 km2 is shared with Romania) as well as the
deepest (with maximum depth of 92 m);
Perućac on the Drina, and
Vlasina. The largest waterfall, Jelovarnik, located in Kopaonik, is 71
m high. Abundance of relatively unpolluted surface waters and
numerous underground natural and mineral water sources of high water
quality presents a chance for export and economy improvement; however,
more extensive exploitation and production of bottled water began only
See also: List of protected natural resources in Serbia
Uvac Gorge is considered one of the last habitats of the griffon
vulture in Europe
With 29.1% of its territory covered by forest,
Serbia is considered to
be a middle-forested country, compared on a global scale to world
forest coverage at 30%, and European average of 35%. The total forest
Serbia is 2,252,000 ha (1,194,000 ha or 53% are state-owned,
and 1,058,387 ha or 47% are privately owned) or 0.3 ha per
inhabitant. The most common trees are oak, beech, pines and firs.
Serbia is a country of rich ecosystem and species diversity –
covering only 1.9% of the whole European territory
Serbia is home to
39% of European vascular flora, 51% of European fish fauna, 40% of
European reptile and amphibian fauna, 74% of European bird fauna, 67%
European mammal fauna. Its abundance of mountains and rivers make
it an ideal environment for a variety of animals, many of which are
protected including wolves, lynx, bears, foxes and stags. There are 17
snake species living all over the country, 8 of them are
Serbia is home to highly protected owl species. In the
northernmost part of
Vojvodina plain, in the city of Kikinda, a number
of endangered 145 long-eared owls is noted, making this town the
world's biggest settlement of these species.
considerably rich with threatened species of bats and
Balkan Mountains, south-east Serbia
Mountain of Tara in western
Serbia is one of the last regions in
Europe where bears can still live in absolute freedom.
also home to about 380 species of bird. In Carska Bara, there are over
300 bird species on just a few square kilometers.
Uvac Gorge is
considered one of the last habitats of the griffon vulture in
There are 377 protected areas of Serbia, encompassing 4,947 square
kilometers or 6.4% of the country. The "Spatial plan of the Republic
of Serbia" states that the total protected area should be increased to
12% by 2021. Those protected areas include 5 national parks
(Đerdap, Tara, Kopaonik,
Fruška Gora and Šar Mountain), 15 nature
parks, 15 "landscapes of outstanding features", 61 nature reserves,
and 281 natural monuments.
Air pollution is a significant problem in Bor area, due to work of
large copper mining and smelting complex, and
Pančevo where oil and
petrochemical industry is based. Some cities suffer from water
supply problems, due to mismanagement and low investments in the past,
as well as water pollution (like the pollution of the
Ibar River from
the Trepča zinc-lead combinate, affecting the city of Kraljevo, or
the presence of natural arsenic in underground waters in Zrenjanin).
Poor waste management has been identified as one of the most important
environmental problems in
Serbia and the recycling is a fledgling
activity, with only 15% of its waste being turned back for reuse.
NATO bombing caused serious damage to the environment, with
several thousand tons of toxic chemicals stored in targeted factories
and refineries released into the soil and water basins.
Main article: Politics of Serbia
See also: List of political parties in Serbia
Serbia is a parliamentary republic, with the government divided into
legislative, executive and judiciary branches.
House of the National Assembly
Serbia had one of the first modern constitutions in Europe, the 1835
Constitution (known as "Sretenje Constitution"), which was at the time
considered among the most progressive and liberal constitutions in the
world. Since then it has adopted 10 different constitutions. The
current constitution was adopted in 2006 in the aftermath of
Montenegro independence referendum which by consequence renewed the
Serbia itself. The Constitutional Court rules on
matters regarding the Constitution.
The President of the Republic (Predsednik Republike) is the head of
state, is elected by popular vote to a five-year term and is limited
Constitution to a maximum of two terms. In addition to being
the commander in chief of the armed forces, the president has the
procedural duty of appointing the prime minister with the consent of
the parliament, and has some influence on foreign policy. 
Aleksandar Vučić of the
Serbian Progressive Party
Serbian Progressive Party is the current
president following the 2017 presidential election. Seat of the
presidency is Novi Dvor.
The Government (Vlada) is composed of the prime minister and cabinet
ministers. The Government is responsible for proposing legislation and
a budget, executing the laws, and guiding the foreign and internal
policies. The current prime minister is
Ana Brnabić of the Serbian
The National Assembly (Narodna skupština) is a unicameral legislative
body. The National Assembly has the power to enact laws, approve the
budget, schedule presidential elections, select and dismiss the Prime
Minister and other ministers, declare war, and ratify international
treaties and agreements. It is composed of 250 proportionally
elected members who serve four-year terms.
The largest political parties in
Serbia are the centre-right Serbian
Progressive Party, leftist
Socialist Party of Serbia
Socialist Party of Serbia and far-right
Serbian Radical Party.
Law and criminal justice
Main article: Law of Serbia
Serbia has a three-tiered judicial system, made up of the Supreme
Court of Cassation as the court of the last resort, Courts of Appeal
as the appellate instance, and Basic and High courts as the general
jurisdictions at first instance.
Courts of special jurisdictions are the Administrative Court,
commercial courts (including the Commercial
Court of Appeal at second
instance) and misdemeanor courts (including High Misdemeanor Court at
second instance). The judiciary is overseen by the Ministry of
Serbia has a typical civil law legal system.
Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Serbian Police, which is
subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. Serbian Police fields
26,527 uniformed officers. National security and
counterintelligence are the responsibility of the Security
Intelligence Agency (BIA).
Main article: Foreign relations of Serbia
Accession of Serbia to the European Union
Accession of Serbia to the European Union and Political
status of Kosovo
States which recognize the Province of
Kosovo as an
integral part of Serbia
States which recognize
Kosovo as an independent country
Serbia has established diplomatic relations with 188 UN member states,
the Holy See, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the European
Union. Foreign relations are conducted through the Ministry of
Serbia has a network of 65 embassies and 23
consulates internationally. There are 65 foreign embassies, 5
consulates and 4 liaison offices in Serbia.
Serbian foreign policy is focused on achieving the strategic goal of
becoming a member state of the
European Union (EU).
Serbia started the
process of joining the EU by signing of the Stabilisation and
Association Agreement on 29 April 2008 and officially applied for
membership in the
European Union on 22 December 2009. It received
a full candidate status on 1 March 2012 and started accession talks on
21 January 2014. The
European Commission considers accession
possible by 2025.
The province of
Kosovo declared independence from
Serbia on 17
February 2008, which sparked varied responses from the international
community, some welcoming it, while others condemn the unilateral
move. In protest,
Serbia initially recalled its ambassadors from
countries that recognized Kosovo′s independence. The resolution
of 26 December 2007 by the National Assembly stated that both the
Kosovo declaration of independence and recognition thereof by any
state would be gross violation of international law.
Serbia began cooperation and dialogue with
NATO in 2006, when the
country joined the
Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace programme and the
Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. The country′s military neutrality
was formally proclaimed by a resolution adopted by Serbia′s
parliament in December 2007, which makes joining any military alliance
contingent on a popular referendum, a stance acknowledged by
NATO. On the other hand, Serbia′s relations with
Russia are habitually described by mass media as a ″centuries-old
religious, ethnic and political alliance″ and
Russia is said to
have sought to solidify its relationship with
Serbia since the
imposition of sanctions against
Russia in 2014.
Serbian Armed Forces
Serbian Armed Forces and Military history of Serbia
Serbian Air Force
Serbian Air Force MiG-29
Serbian Armed Forces
Serbian Armed Forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Defence,
and are composed of the Army and the Air Force. Although a landlocked
Serbia operates a River Flotilla which patrols on the Danube,
Tisza rivers. The Serbian Chief of the General Staff reports
to the Defence Minister. The Chief of Staff is appointed by the
President, who is the Commander-in-chief. As of 2017[update],
Serbia defence budget amounts to $503 million or an estimated 1.4% of
the country's GDP.
Traditionally having relied on a large number of conscripts, Serbian
Armed Forces went through a period of downsizing, restructuring and
Conscription was abolished in 2011. Serbian
Armed Forces have 28,000 active troops, supplemented by the
"active reserve" which numbers 20,000 members and "passive reserve"
with about 170,000.
Serbia participates in the
NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan
program, but has no intention of joining NATO, due to significant
popular rejection, largely a legacy of the
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
in 1999. It is an observer member of the Collective Securities
Treaty Organization (CSTO) The country also signed the Stability
Pact for South Eastern Europe. The
Serbian Armed Forces
Serbian Armed Forces take part in
several multinational peacekeeping missions, including deployments in
Lebanon, Cyprus, Ivory Coast, and Liberia.
Serbia is a major producer and exporter of military equipment in the
region. Defence exports totaled around $483 million in 2016.
Serbia exports across the world, notably to the Middle East, Africa,
Southeast Asia, and North America. The defence industry has seen
significant growth over the years and it continues to grow on a yearly
Districts of Serbia
Main article: Administrative divisions of Serbia
Serbia is a unitary state composed of municipalities/cities,
districts, and two autonomous provinces. In Serbia, excluding Kosovo,
there are 138 municipalities (opštine) and 23 cities (gradovi), which
form the basic units of local self-government. Apart from
municipalities, there are 24 districts (okruzi, 10 most populated
listed below), with the City of
Belgrade constituting an additional
district. Except for Belgrade, which has an elected local government,
districts are regional centers of state authority, but have no powers
of their own; they present purely administrative divisions.
Serbia has two autonomous provinces,
Vojvodina in the north, and
Kosovo and Metohija in the south, while the remaining area,
"Central Serbia", never had its own regional authority. Following the
Kosovo War, UN peacekeepers entered Kosovo, as per UNSC Resolution
1244. In 2008,
Kosovo declared independence. The government of
Serbia did not recognize the declaration, considering it illegal and
Demographics of Serbia
Demographics of Serbia and Demographic history of
As of 2011[update] census,
Serbia (excluding Kosovo) has a total
population of 7,186,862 and the overall population density is medium
as it stands at 92.8 inhabitants per square kilometer. The census
was not conducted in
Kosovo which held its own census that numbered
their total population at 1,739,825, excluding Serb-inhabited
North Kosovo, as
Serbs from that area (about 50,000) boycotted the
Largest cities or towns in Serbia
Serbia has been enduring a demographic crisis since the beginning of
the 1990s, with a death rate that has continuously exceeded its birth
rate, and a total fertility rate of 1.43 children per mother, one of
the lowest in the world.
Serbia subsequently has one of the
oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 42.9
years, and its population is shrinking at one of the fastest rates
in the world. A fifth of all households consist of only one
person, and just one-fourth of four and more persons. Average
Life expectancy in
Serbia at birth is 74.8 years.
Ethnic composition (2011)
During the 1990s,
Serbia used to have the largest refugee population
Refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in
Serbia formed between 7% and 7.5% of its population at the time –
about half a million refugees sought refuge in the country following
the series of Yugoslav wars, mainly from
Croatia (and to a lesser
extent from Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the IDPs from Kosovo.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that 300,000 people left
Serbia during the
1990s, 20% of which had a higher education.
Serbs with 5,988,150 are the largest ethnic group in Serbia,
representing 83% of the total population (excluding Kosovo). With a
population of 253,899, Hungarians are the largest ethnic minority in
Serbia, concentrated predominantly in northern
representing 3.5% of the country's population (13% in Vojvodina).
Romani population stands at 147,604 according to the 2011 census but
unofficial estimates place their actual number between 400,000 and
Bosniaks with 145,278 are concentrated in Raška
(Sandžak), in the southwest. Other minority groups include Croats,
Slovaks, Albanians, Montenegrins, Vlachs, Romanians, Macedonians and
Bulgarians. Chinese, estimated at about 15,000, are the only
significant immigrant minority.
The majority of the population, or 59.4%, reside in urban areas and
some 16.1% in
Belgrade is the only city with more than
a million inhabitants and there are four more with over 100,000
Religion in Serbia
Religion in Serbia and Serbian Orthodox Church
Sava Cathedral is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the
Constitution of Serbia
Constitution of Serbia defines it as a secular state with
guaranteed religious freedom. Orthodox Christians with 6,079,396
comprise 84.5% of country's population. The
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church is
the largest and traditional church of the country, adherents of which
are overwhelmingly Serbs. Other Orthodox Christian communities in
Serbia include Montenegrins, Romanians, Vlachs, Macedonians and
Roman Catholics number 356,957 in Serbia, or roughly 6% of the
population, mostly in
Vojvodina (especially its northern part) which
is home to minority ethnic groups such as Hungarians, Croats,
Bunjevci, as well as to some Slovaks and Czechs.
Protestantism accounts for about 1% of the country's population,
Lutheranism among Slovaks in
Vojvodina as well as Calvinism
among Reformed Hungarians. Greek Catholic Church is adhered by around
25,000 citizens (0.37% of the population), mostly Rusyns in
Muslims, with 222,282 or 3% of the population, form the third largest
religious group. Islam has a strong historic following in the southern
regions of Serbia, primarily in southern Raška.
Bosniaks are the
largest Islamic community in Serbia; estimates are that around a third
of the country's Roma people are Muslim.
There are only 578 Jews by faith in Serbia.
80,053 or 1.1% of the population and an additional 4,070 declared
themselves to be agnostics.
Serbian Latin alphabet (top) and Serbian
Cyrillic alphabet (bottom)
Languages of Serbia
Languages of Serbia and Serbian language
The official language is Serbian, native to 88% of the
population. Serbian is the only European language with active
digraphia, using both
Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Serbian Cyrillic
is designated in the
Constitution as the "official script" and was
devised in 1814 by Serbian philologist Vuk Karadžić, who based it on
phonemic principles., while the Latin alphabet is given status of
"script in official use" by the constitution. A survey from 2014
showed that 47% of
Serbians favour the Latin alphabet, 36% favour the
Cyrillic one and 17% have no preference.
Recognized minority languages are: Hungarian, Bosnian, Slovak,
Croatian, Albanian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Rusyn. All these languages
are in official use in municipalities or cities where the ethnic
minority exceeds 15% of the total population. In Vojvodina, the
provincial administration uses, besides Serbian, five other languages
(Hungarian, Slovak, Croatian, Romanian and Rusyn).
Main article: Economy of Serbia
NIS headquarters in Novi Sad
Serbia has an emerging market economy in upper-middle income
range. According to the IMF, Serbian nominal GDP in 2017 is
officially estimated at $39.366 billion or $5,599 per capita while
purchasing power parity GDP was $106.602 billion or $15,163 per
capita. The economy is dominated by services which accounts for
60.8% of GDP, followed by industry with 31.3% of GDP, and agriculture
at 7.9% of GDP. The official currency of
Serbia is Serbian dinar
(ISO code: RSD), and the central bank is National Bank of Serbia. The
Belgrade Stock Exchange is the only stock exchange in the country,
with market capitalization of $8.65 billion and
BELEX15 as the main
index representing the 15 most liquid stocks.
The economy has been affected by the global economic crisis. After
almost a decade of strong economic growth (average of 4.45% per year),
Serbia entered the recession in 2009 with negative growth of −3% and
again in 2012 and 2014 with −1% and −1.8%, respectively. As
the government was fighting effects of crisis the public debt has more
than doubled: from pre-crisis level of just under 30% to about 70% of
GDP and trending downwards recently to around 60%. Labor
force stands at 3.1 million, of whom 56.2% are employed in services
sector, 24.4% are employed in the agriculture and 19.4% are employed
in industry. The average monthly net salary in November 2017
stood at 47,575 dinars or $480. The unemployment remains an acute
problem, with rate of 13% as of 2017[update].
Serbia has attracted over $25 billion in foreign direct
investment (FDI). Blue-chip corporations making investments
include: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Siemens, Bosch, Philip Morris,
Michelin, Coca-Cola, Carlsberg and others. In the energy sector,
Russian energy giants,
Lukoil have made large
Serbia has an unfavorable trade balance: imports exceed exports by
23%. Serbia's exports, however, recorded a steady growth in last
couple of years reaching $17 billion in 2017. The country has
free trade agreements with the EFTA and CEFTA, a preferential trade
regime with the European Union, a Generalized System of Preferences
with the United States, and individual free trade agreements with
Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Turkey.
Main article: Agriculture in Serbia
Vineyards in Fruška Gora, near Sremski Karlovci,
Serbia was the 11th
largest wine producer in
Europe and 19th in the world in 2014.
Serbia has very favourable natural conditions (land and climate) for
varied agricultural production. It has 5,056,000 ha of agricultural
land (0.7 ha per capita), out of which 3,294,000 ha is arable land
(0.45 ha per capita). In 2016,
Serbia exported agricultural and
food products worth $3.2 billion, and the export-import ratio was
178%. Agricultural exports constitute more than one-fifth of all
Serbia's sales on the world market.
Serbia is one of the largest
provider of frozen fruit to the EU (largest to the French market, and
2nd largest to the German market). Agricultural production is
most prominent in
Vojvodina on the fertile Pannonian Plain. Other
agricultural regions include Mačva, Pomoravlje, Tamnava, Rasina, and
Jablanica. In the structure of the agricultural production 70% is
from the crop field production, and 30% is from the livestock
Serbia is world's second largest producer of plums
(582,485 tons; second to China), second largest of raspberries (89,602
tons, second to Poland), it is also significant producer of maize
(6.48 million tons, ranked 32nd in the world) and wheat (2.07 million
tons, ranked 35th in the world). Other important
agricultural products are: sunflower, sugar beet, soybean, potato,
apple, pork meat, beef, poultry and dairy.
There are 56,000 ha of vineyards in Serbia, producing about 230
million litres of wine annually. Most famous viticulture
regions are located in
Vojvodina and Šumadija.
See also: Automotive industry in Serbia
The Fiat 500L, assembled at the FCA plant in Kragujevac
The industry is the economy sector which was hardest hit by the UN
sanctions and trade embargo and
NATO bombing during the 1990s and
transition to market economy during the 2000s. The industrial
output saw dramatic downsizing: in 2013 it was expected to be only a
half of that of 1989. Main industrial sectors include:
automotive, mining, non-ferrous metals, food-processing, electronics,
Automotive industry (with
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as a forebearer)
is dominated by cluster located in
Kragujevac and its vicinity, and
contributes to export with about $2 billion. Serbia's mining
industry is comparatively strong:
Serbia is the 18th largest producer
of coal (7th in the Europe) extracted from large deposits in Kolubara
Kostolac basins; it is also world's 23rd largest (3rd in Europe)
producer of copper which is extracted by RTB Bor, a large domestic
copper mining company; significant gold extraction is developed around
Serbia notably manufactures intel smartphones named Tesla
Food industry is well known both regionally and internationally and is
one of the strong points of the economy. Some of the
international brand-names established production in Serbia: PepsiCo
Nestlé in food-processing sector;
Coca-Cola (Belgrade), Heineken
(Novi Sad) and Carlsberg (Bačka Palanka) in beverage industry;
Nordzucker in sugar industry. Serbia's electronics industry had
its peak in the 1980s and the industry today is only a third of what
it was back then, but has witnessed a something of revival in last
decade with investments of companies such as
Siemens (wind turbines)
Panasonic (lighting devices) in Svilajnac, and Gorenje
(electrical home appliances) in Valjevo. The pharmaceutical
Serbia comprises a dozen manufacturers of generic drugs,
of which Hemofarm in Vršac and Galenika in Belgrade, account for 80%
of production volume. Domestic production meets over 60% of the local
Main article: Energy in Serbia
The energy sector is one of the largest and most important sectors to
the country's economy.
Serbia is a net exporter of electricity and
importer of key fuels (such as oil and gas).
Serbia has an abundance of coal, and significant reserves of oil and
gas. Serbia's proven reserves of 5.5 billion tons of coal lignite are
the 5th largest in the world (second in Europe, after
Germany). Coal is found in two large deposits: Kolubara (4
billion tons of reserves) and
Kostolac (1.5 billion tons).
Despite being small on a world scale, Serbia's oil and gas resources
(77.4 million tons of oil equivalent and 48.1 billion cubic meters,
respectively) have a certain regional importance since they are
largest in the region of former
Yugoslavia as well as the Balkans
(excluding Romania). Almost 90% of the discovered oil and gas are
to be found in
Banat and those oil and gas fields are by size among
the largest in the Pannonian basin but are average on a European
Đerdap 1 Hydroelectric Power Station, the largest dam on the Danube
river and one of the largest hydro power stations in Europe
The production of electricity in 2015 in
Serbia was 36.5 billion
kilowatt-hours (KWh), while the final electricity consumption amounted
to 35.5 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh). Most of the electricity
produced comes from thermal-power plants (72.7% of all electricity)
and to a lesser degree from hydroelectric-power plants (27.3%).
There are 6 lignite-operated thermal-power plants with an installed
power of 3,936 MW; largest of which are 1,502 MW-
Nikola Tesla 1 and
Nikola Tesla 2, both in Obrenovac. Total installed power
of 9 hydroelectric-power plants is 2,831 MW, largest of which is
Đerdap 1 with capacity of 1,026 MW. In addition to this, there
are mazute and gas-operated thermal-power plants with an installed
power of 353 MW. The entire production of electricity is
Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), public electric-utility
The current oil production in
Serbia amounts to over 1.1 million tons
of oil equivalent and satisfies some 43% of country's needs while
the rest is imported. National petrol company, Naftna Industrija
Srbije (NIS), was acquired in 2008 by
Gazprom Neft. The company has
completed $700 million modernisation of oil-refinery in Pančevo
(capacity of 4.8 million tons) and is currently in the midst of
converting oil refinery in
Novi Sad into lubricants-only refinery. It
also operates network of 334 filling stations in
Serbia (74% of
domestic market) and additional 36 stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
31 in Bulgaria, and 28 in Romania. There are 155 kilometers
of crude oil pipelines connecting
Novi Sad refineries as
a part of trans-national Adria oil pipeline.
Serbia is heavily dependent on foreign sources of natural gas, with
only 17% coming from domestic production (totalling 491 million cubic
meters in 2012) and the rest is imported, mainly from
Russia (via gas
pipelines that run through
Ukraine and Hungary). Srbijagas,
public gas company, operates the natural gas transportation system
which comprise 3,177 kilometers of trunk and regional natural gas
pipelines and a 450 million cubic meter underground gas storage
facility at Banatski Dvor.
Main article: Transport in Serbia
Serbia has a strategic transportation location since the country's
backbone, Morava Valley, represents by far the easiest route of land
travel from continental
Asia Minor and the Near East.
Serbian road network carries the bulk of traffic in the country. Total
length of roads is 45,419 km of which 782 km are "class-Ia
state roads" (i.e. motorways); 4,481 km are "class-Ib state
roads" (national roads); 10,941 km are "class-II state roads"
(regional roads) and 23,780 km are "municipal
roads". The road network, except for the most of
class-Ia roads, are of comparatively lower quality to the Western
European standards because of lack of financial resources for their
maintenance in the last 20 years.
There are currently 124 kilometers of motorways under construction:
two sections 34 km-long of the A1 motorway (from south of
Leskovac to Bujanovac), 67 km-long segment of A2 (between
Belgrade and Ljig), and 23 kilometers on the A4 (east of
Niš to the
Bulgarian border). Coach transport is very extensive:
almost every place in the country is connected by bus, from largest
cities to the villages; in addition there are international routes
(mainly to countries of Western
Europe with large Serb diaspora).
Routes, both domestic and international, are served by more than 100
bus companies, biggest of which are Lasta and Niš-Ekspres. As of
2015[update], there were 1,833,215 registered passenger cars or 1
passenger car per 3.8 inhabitants.
Serbia has 3,819 kilometers of rail tracks, of which 1,279 are
electrified and 283 kilometers are double-track railroad. The
major rail hub is
Belgrade (and to a lesser degree Niš), while the
most important railroads include: Belgrade–Bar (Montenegro),
Belgrade–Šid–Zagreb (Croatia)/Belgrade–Niš–Sofia (Bulgaria)
(part of Pan-European Corridor X), Belgrade–Subotica–Budapest
(Hungary) and Niš–Thessaloniki (Greece). Although still a major
mode of freight transportation, railroads face increasing problems
with the maintenance of the infrastructure and lowering speeds. All
rail services are operated by public rail company, Serbian
Railways. There are only two airports with regular passenger
Nikola Tesla Airport served almost 5 million
passengers in 2016, and is a hub of flagship carrier
Air Serbia which
carried some 2.6 million passengers in 2016. Niš
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great Airport is mainly catering low-cost
Serbia has a developed inland water transport since there are 1,716
kilometers of navigable inland waterways (1,043 km of navigable
rivers and 673 km of navigable canals), which are almost all
located in northern third of the country. The most important
inland waterway is the
Danube (part of Pan-European Corridor VII).
Other navigable rivers include Sava, Tisza, Begej and Timiş River,
all of which connect
Serbia with Northern and Western
Danube Canal and
North Sea route, to Eastern Europe
via the Tisza, Begej and
Black Sea routes, and to Southern
Europe via the
Sava river. More than 2 million tons of cargo were
transported on Serbian rivers and canals in 2016 while the largest
river ports are: Novi Sad, Belgrade, Pančevo, Smederevo,
Main article: Telecommunications in Serbia
Fixed telephone lines connect 81% of households in Serbia, and with
about 9.1 million users the number of cellphones surpasses the total
population of by 28%. The largest mobile operator is Telekom
Srbija with 4.2 million subscribers, followed by Telenor with 2.8
million users and
Vip mobile with about 2 million. Some 58% of
households have fixed-line (non-mobile) broadband Internet connection
while 67% are provided with pay television services (i.e. 38% cable
television, 17% IPTV, and 10% satellite). Digital television
transition has been completed in 2015 with
DVB-T2 standard for signal
Main article: Tourism in Serbia
Subotica, city built in Art Nouveau style, northern Serbia.
About 37 percent of all tourism in
Serbia is spa-related, on the
Vrnjačka Banja spa center.
Serbia is not a mass-tourism destination but nevertheless has a
diverse range of touristic products. In 2017, total of over 3
million tourists were recorded in accommodations, of which some 1.5
million were foreign. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism were
estimated at $1.44 billion.
Tourism is mainly focused on the mountains and spas of the country,
which are mostly visited by domestic tourists, as well as Belgrade
and, to a lesser degree, Novi Sad, which are preferred choices of
foreign tourists (almost two-thirds of all foreign visits are made to
these two cities). The most famous mountain resorts are
Kopaonik, Stara Planina, and Zlatibor. There are also many spas in
Serbia, the biggest of which are Vrnjačka Banja, Soko Banja, and
Banja Koviljača. City-break and conference tourism is developed in
Belgrade and Novi Sad. Other touristic products that
are natural wonders like Đavolja varoš, Christian pilgrimage to
the many Orthodox monasteries across the country and the river
cruising along the Danube. There are several internationally popular
music festivals held in Serbia, such as EXIT (with 25–30,000 foreign
visitors coming from 60 different countries) and the Guča trumpet
Education and science
Main article: Education in Serbia
Milutin Milanković, mathematician, astronomer, climatologist and
geophysicist, ranked among the top fifteen minds of all time in the
field of earth sciences.
Dositej Obradović, an influential protagonist of the Serbian national
and cultural renaissance, he advocated Enlightenment and rationalist
According to 2011 census, literacy in
Serbia stands at 98% of
population while computer literacy is at 49% (complete computer
literacy is at 34.2%). Same census showed the following levels of
education: 16.2% of inhabitants have higher education (10.6% have
bachelors or master's degrees, 5.6% have an associate degree), 49%
have a secondary education, 20.7% have an elementary education, and
13.7% have not completed elementary education.
Education in Serbia
Education in Serbia is regulated by the Ministry of Education and
Science. Education starts in either preschools or elementary schools.
Children enroll in elementary schools at the age of seven. Compulsory
education consists of eight grades of elementary school. Students have
the opportunity to attend gymnasiums and vocational schools for
another four years, or to enroll in vocational training for 2 to 3
years. Following the completion of gymnasiums or vocational schools,
students have the opportunity to attend university. Elementary
and secondary education are also available in languages of recognised
minorities in Serbia, where classes are held in Hungarian, Slovak,
Albanian, Romanian, Rusyn, Bulgarian as well as Bosnian and Croatian
There are 17 universities in
Serbia (eight public universities with a
total number of 85 faculties and nine private universities with 51
faculties). In 2010/2011 academic year, 181,362 students attended
17 universities (148,248 at public universities and some 33,114 at
private universities) while 47,169 attended 81 "higher schools".
Public universities in
Serbia are: the University of
founded in 1808, and largest university with 89,827 undergraduates and
graduates), University of
Novi Sad (founded in 1960 and with
student body of 47,826), University of
Niš (founded in 1965;
27,000 students), University of
Kragujevac (founded in 1976; 14,000
students), University of Priština – Kos. Mitrovica, Public
Novi Pazar as well as two specialist universities –
University of Arts and University of Defence. Largest private
John Naisbitt University
John Naisbitt University and Singidunum
University, both in Belgrade, and Educons University in Novi Sad.
Public universities tend to be of a better quality and therefore more
renowned than private ones. The University of
Belgrade (placed in
301–400 bracket on 2013 Shanghai Ranking of World Universities,
being best-placed university in
Southeast Europe after those in Athens
and Thessaloniki) and University of
Novi Sad are generally considered
as the best institutions of higher learning in the country.
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Nikola Tesla , inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer,
physicist, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the
design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply
Serbia spent 0.64% of GDP on scientific research in 2012, which is one
of the lowest R&D budgets in Europe.
Serbia has a long
history of excellence in maths and computer sciences which has created
a strong pool of engineering talent, although economic sanctions
during the 1990s and chronic underinvestment in research forced many
scientific professionals to leave the country. Nevertheless,
there are several areas in which
Serbia still excels such as growing
information technology sector, which includes software development as
well as outsourcing. It generated $200 million in exports in 2011,
both from international investors and a significant number of dynamic
homegrown enterprises. In 2005 the global technology giant,
Microsoft, founded the
Microsoft Development Center, only its fourth
such centre in the world. Among the scientific institutes operating in
Serbia, the largest are the
Mihajlo Pupin Institute
Mihajlo Pupin Institute and Vinča Nuclear
Institute, both in Belgrade. The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
is a learned society promoting science and arts from its inception in
1841. With a strong science and technological ecosystem, Serbia
has produced a number of renowned scientists that have greatly
contributed to the field of science and technology.
Serbian culture and Cultural Heritage of Serbia
For centuries straddling the boundaries between East and West, the
Serbia had been divided among the Eastern and Western
halves of the Roman Empire; then between
Byzantium and the Kingdom of
Hungary; and in the Early modern period between the
Ottoman Empire and
the Habsburg Empire. These overlapping influences have resulted in
cultural varieties throughout Serbia; its north leans to the profile
of Central Europe, while the south is characteristic of the wider
Balkans and even the Mediterranean. The Byzantine influence on Serbia
was profound, firstly through the introduction of Eastern Christianity
(Orthodoxy) in the Early Middle Ages. The
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church has
had an enduring status in Serbia, with the many Serbian monasteries
constituting the most valuable cultural monuments left from
the Middle Ages.
Serbia has seen influences of
Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice as
well, mainly though trade, literature and romanesque architecture.
Serbia has five cultural monuments inscribed in the list of UNESCO
World Heritage: the early medieval capital
Stari Ras and the
13th-century monastery Sopoćani; the 12th-century Studenica
monastery; the Roman complex of Gamzigrad–Felix Romuliana; medieval
tombstones Stećci; and finally the endangered Medieval Monuments in
Kosovo (the monasteries of Visoki Dečani, Our Lady of Ljeviš,
Gračanica and Patriarchal Monastery of Peć).
There are two literary monuments on UNESCO's Memory of the World
Programme: the 12th-century Miroslav Gospel, and scientist Nikola
Tesla's valuable archive. The slava (patron saint veneration) is
UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. The Ministry
of Culture and Information is tasked with preserving the nation's
cultural heritage and overseeing its development. Further activities
supporting development of culture are undertaken at local government
Art and architecture
Serbian art and Serbian architecture
Kosovo Maiden by Uroš Predić, arguably the most famous Serbian
painting, depicting a girl walking over
Kosovo field after Kosovo
Battle in 1389, and helping wounded warriors.
Traces of Roman and early
Byzantine Empire architectural heritage are
found in many royal cities and palaces in Serbia, like Sirmium, Felix
Romuliana and Justiniana Prima.
Serbian monasteries are the pinnacle of Serbian medieval art. At the
beginning, they were under the influence of
Byzantine Art which was
particularly felt after the fall of Constantinople in 1204, when many
Byzantine artists fled to Serbia. The most noted of these monasteries
is Studenica (built around 1190). It was a model for later
monasteries, like the Mileševa, Sopoćani, Žiča, Gračanica and
Visoki Dečani. In the end of 14th and the 15th centuries,
autochotonous architectural style known as Morava style evolved in
area around Morava Valley. A characteristic of this style was the
wealthy decoration of the frontal church walls. Examples of this
Ravanica and Kalenić monasteries.
White Angel (1235) fresco from
Mileševa monastery. This fresco
was sent as a message in the first satellite broadcast signal from
Europe to America after the Cuban Missile Crisis, as a symbol of peace
Icons and fresco paintings are often considered the peak of Serbian
art. The most famous frescos are
White Angel (
Crucifixion (Studenica monastery) and Dormition of the Virgin
Country is dotted with many well-preserved medieval fortifications and
castles such as
Smederevo Fortress (largest lowland fortress in
Europe), Golubac, Maglič, Soko grad, Ostrvica and Ram.
During the time of Ottoman occupation,
Serbian art was virtually
non-existent, with the exception of several Serbian artists who lived
in the lands ruled by the Habsburg Monarchy. Traditional Serbian art
Baroque influences at the end of the 18th century as shown
in the works of Nikola Nešković, Teodor Kračun, Zaharije Orfelin
and Jakov Orfelin.
Serbian painting showed the influence of Biedermeier, Neoclassicism
and Romanticism during the 19th century. The most important Serbian
painters of the first half of the 20th century were Paja Jovanović
Uroš Predić of Realism, Cubist
Sava Šumanović, Milena
Nadežda Petrović of Impressionism,
Expressionist Milan Konjović. Noted painters of the second half of
20th century include Marko Čelebonović, Petar Lubarda, Milo
Milunović, and Vladimir Veličković.
Anastas Jovanović was one of the earliest photographes in the world,
Marina Abramović is one of the world leading performance
Pirot carpet is known as one of the most important
traditional handicrafts in Serbia.
There are around 100 art museums in Serbia, of which the most
prominent is the National Museum of Serbia, founded in 1844; it houses
one of the largest art collections in the
Balkans with more than
400,000 exhibits, over 5,600 paintings and 8,400 drawings and prints,
including many foreign masterpiece collections. Other art museums of
note are Museum of Contemporary Art in
Belgrade and Museum of
Vojvodina in Novi Sad.
Main article: Serbian literature
Miroslav's Gospel (1186)
The beginning of Serbian literacy dates back to the activity of the
Cyril and Methodius
Cyril and Methodius in the Balkans. Monuments of Serbian
literacy from the early 11th century can be found, written in
Glagolitic. Starting in the 12th century, books were written in
Cyrillic. From this epoch, the oldest Serbian
Cyrillic book editorial
Miroslav Gospels from 1186. The
Miroslav Gospels are
considered to be the oldest book of Serbian medieval history and as
such has entered UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.
Notable medieval authors include Saint Sava, Jefimija, Stefan
Constantine of Kostenets and others. Due to Ottoman
occupation, when every aspect of formal literacy stopped, Serbia
stayed excluded from the entire
Renaissance flow in Western culture.
However, the tradition of oral story-telling blossomed, shaping itself
through epic poetry inspired by at the times still recent Kosovo
battle and folk tales deeply rooted in Slavic mythology. Serbian epic
poetry in those times has seen as the most effective way in preserving
the national identity. The oldest known, entirely fictional
poems, gather around Non-historic cycle; this one is followed by poems
inspired by events before, during and after
Kosovo Battle. The special
cycles are dedicated to Serbian legendary hero, Marko Kraljević, then
about hajduks and uskoks, and the last one dedicated to the liberation
Serbia in 19th century. Some of the best known folk ballads are The
Death of the Mother of the Jugović Family and The Mourning Song of
the Noble Wife of the Asan Aga (1646), translated into European
languages by Goethe, Walter Scott,
Pushkin and Mérimée. The most
notable tale from Serbian folklore is The Nine Peahens and the Golden
Baroque trends in
Serbian literature emerged in the late 17th century.
Notable Baroque-influenced authors were Gavril Stefanović Venclović,
Jovan Rajić, Zaharije Orfelin,
Andrija Zmajević and others.
Dositej Obradović was the most prominent figure of the Age of
Enlightenment, while the most notable Classicist writer was Jovan
Sterija Popović, although his works also contained elements of
Romanticism. In the era of national revival, in the first half of
the 19th century,
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić collected Serbian folk
literature, and reformed the
Serbian language and spelling,
paving the way for Serbian Romanticism. The first half of the 19th
century was dominated by Romanticism, with Branko Radičević, Đura
Jovan Jovanović Zmaj
Jovan Jovanović Zmaj and
Laza Kostić being the most
notable representatives, while the second half of the century was
marked by Realist writers such as Milovan Glišić, Laza Lazarević,
Simo Matavulj, Stevan Sremac, Vojislav Ilić, Branislav Nušić,
Radoje Domanović and Borisav Stanković.
Ivo Andrić, Serbian writer and the 1961 winner of the Nobel Prize in
Literature, in his home in Belgrade
The 20th century was dominated by the prose writers Meša Selimović
(Death and the Dervish),
Miloš Crnjanski (Migrations), Isidora
Sekulić (The Cronicle of a Small Town Cemetery), Branko Ćopić
(Eagles Fly Early),
Borislav Pekić (The Time of Miracles), Danilo
Kiš (The Encyclopedia of the Dead),
Dobrica Ćosić (The Roots),
Milorad Pavić and others. Pavić is the
most widely acclaimed Serbian author of the beginning of the 21st
century, most notably for his Dictionary of the Khazars
(Хазарски речник/Hazarski rečnik), which has been
translated into 24 languages. Notable poets include Milan Rakić,
Jovan Dučić, Vladislav Petković Dis, Rastko Petrović, Stanislav
Vinaver, Dušan Matić, Branko Miljković, Vasko Popa, Oskar Davičo,
Miodrag Pavlović, and Stevan Raičković. Notable contemporary
authors include David Albahari, Svetislav Basara, Goran Petrović,
Gordana Kuić, Vuk Drašković, and Vladislav Bajac.
Ivo Andrić (The Bridge on the Drina) is possibly the best-known
Serbian author,; he was awarded the
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature in
1961. The most beloved face of
Serbian literature was Desanka
Maksimović, who for seven decades remained the leading lady of
Yugoslav poetry. She is honored with statues,
and postage stamps, and streets are named for her.
There are 551 public libraries biggest of which are: National Library
Belgrade with funds of about 5 million volumes, and
Matica Srpska (oldest Serbian cultural institution, founded in 1826)
Novi Sad with nearly 3.5 million volumes. In 2010, there
were 10,989 books and brochures published. The book publishing
market is dominated by several major publishers such as Laguna and
Vulkan (both of which operate their own bookstore chains) and the
industry's centerpiece event, annual
Belgrade Book Fair, is the most
visited cultural event in
Serbia with 158,128 visitors in 2013.
The highlight of the literary scene is awarding of NIN Prize, given
every January since 1954 for the best newly published novel in Serbian
language (during times of Yugoslavia, in Serbo-Croatian
Main article: Music of Serbia
Composer and musicologist
Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac
Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac is considered
the founder of modern Serbian music. The Serbian composers
of the first generation Petar Konjović, Stevan Hristić, and Miloje
Milojević maintained the national expression and modernized the
romanticism into the direction of impressionism. Other famous
classical Serbian composers include Isidor Bajić, Stanislav Binički
and Josif Marinković. There are three opera houses in Serbia:
Opera of the National Theatre and Madlenianum Opera, both in Belgrade,
and Opera of the
Serbian National Theatre
Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad. Four symphonic
orchestra operate in the country:
Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra,
Niš Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra of Radio Television of
Novi Sad Philharmonic Orchestra. The Choir of Radio
Serbia is a leading vocal ensemble in the country.
The BEMUS is one of the most prominent classical music festivals in
the South East Europe.
Filip Višnjić sings to the gusle
Traditional Serbian music includes various kinds of bagpipes, flutes,
horns, trumpets, lutes, psalteries, drums and cymbals. The kolo is the
traditional collective folk dance, which has a number of varieties
throughout the regions. The most popular are those from
Morava region. Sung epic poetry has been an integral part of Serbian
and Balkan music for centuries. In the highlands of
Serbia these long
poems are typically accompanied on a one-string fiddle called the
gusle, and concern themselves with themes from history and mythology.
There are records of gusle being played at the court of the
13th-century King Stefan Nemanjić.
Pop music has mainstream popularity.
Željko Joksimović won second
place at the
2004 Eurovision Song Contest
2004 Eurovision Song Contest and Marija Šerifović
managed to win the
2007 Eurovision Song Contest
2007 Eurovision Song Contest with the song
Serbia was the host of the 2008 edition of the contest.
Most popular pop singers include likes of Đorđe Balašević, Goca
Tržan, Zdravko Čolić, Aleksandra Radović, Vlado Georgiev, Jelena
Nataša Bekvalac among others.
Serbian rock which was during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s part of
former Yugoslav rock scene, used to be well developed, featuring
various rock genres, and was well covered in the media, which included
numerous magazines, radio and TV shows. During the 1990s and 2000s
popularity of rock music declined in Serbia, and although several
major mainstream acts managed to sustain their popularity, an
underground and independent music scene developed. The 2000s saw a
revival of the mainstream scene and the appearance of a large number
of notable acts. The most notable
Serbian rock acts include Bajaga i
Instruktori, Disciplina Kičme, Ekatarina Velika, Električni Orgazam,
Eva Braun, Kerber, Neverne Bebe, Partibrejkers, Ritam Nereda, Orthodox
Celts, Rambo Amadeus, Riblja Čorba, S.A.R.S., Smak, Van Gogh, YU
Grupa and others.
Folk music in its original form has been a prominent music style since
World War One
World War One following the early success of Sofka Nikolić. The music
has been further promoted by Danica Obrenić, Anđelija Milić, Nada
Mamula, and even later, during 60s and 70s, with stars like Silvana
Armenulić, Toma Zdravković, Lepa Lukić, Vasilija Radojčić, Vida
Pavlović and Gordana Stojićević.
Serbia won Eurovision Song Contest 2007
Turbo-folk music is subgenre that has developed in
Serbia in the late
1980s and the beginning of the 1990s and has since enjoyed an immense
popularity through acts of Dragana Mirković, Zorica Brunclik, Šaban
Šaulić, Ana Bekuta, Sinan Sakić, Vesna Zmijanac, Mile Kitić,
Snežana Đurišić, Šemsa Suljaković, and Nada Topčagić. It is a
blend of folk music with pop and/or dance elements and can be seen as
a result of the urbanization of folk music. In recent period
turbo-folk featured even more pop music elements, and some of the
performers were labeled as pop-folk. The most famous among them are
Ceca (often considered to be the biggest music star of Serbia), Jelena
Karleuša, Aca Lukas, Seka Aleksić, Dara Bubamara, Indira Radić,
Saša Matić, Viki Miljković,
Stoja and Lepa Brena, arguably the most
prominent performer of former Yugoslavia.
Balkan Brass, or truba ("trumpet") is a popular genre, especially in
Central and Southern
Serbia where Balkan Brass originated. The music
has its tradition from the First Serbian Uprising. The trumpet was
used as a military instrument to wake and gather soldiers and announce
battles, the trumpet took on the role of entertainment during
downtime, as soldiers used it to transpose popular folk songs. When
the war ended and the soldiers returned to the rural life, the music
entered civilian life and eventually became a music style,
accompanying births, baptisms, weddings, and funerals. There are two
main varieties of this genre, one from Western
Serbia and the other
from Southern Serbia. The best known Serbian Brass musician is Boban
Marković, also one of the biggest names in the world of modern brass
Most popular music festival are Guča
Trumpet Festival with over
300,000 annual visitors and EXIT in
Novi Sad ("The best European
festival" in 2007 by UK Festival Awards and Yourope – the European
Association of the 40 largest festivals in Europe) with 200,000
visitors in 2013. Other festivals include
Gitarijada rock festival in Zaječar.
Theatre and cinema
Main article: Cinema of Serbia
Serbia has a well-established theatrical tradition with Joakim Vujić
considered the founder of modern Serbian theater.
Serbia has 38
professional theatres, the most important of which are National
Theatre in Belgrade,
Serbian National Theatre
Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, National
Theatre in Subotica, National Theatre in
Niš and Knjaževsko-srpski
Kragujevac (the oldest theatre in Serbia, established in
Belgrade International Theatre Festival – BITEF, founded
in 1967, is one of the oldest theater festivals in the world, and it
has become one of the five biggest European festivals. Sterijino
pozorje is, on the other hand, festival showcasing national drama
plays. The most important Serbian playwrighters were Jovan Sterija
Popović and Branislav Nušić, while today renowned names are Dušan
Kovačević and Biljana Srbljanović.
Emir Kusturica, most famous Serbian film director, won the Palme d'Or
twice at Cannes Film Festival.
Serbian cinema is one of the most dynamic smaller European
cinematographies. Serbia's film industry is heavily subsidised by the
government, mainly through grants approved by the Film Centre of
Serbia. In 2011, there were 17 domestic feature films produced.
There are 22 operating cinemas in the country, of which 12 are
multiplexes, with total attendance exceeding 2.6 million and
comparatively high percentage of 32.3% of total sold tickets for
domestic films. Modern PFI Studios located in
nowadays Serbia's only film studio complex; it consists of 9
state-of-the-art sound stages and attracts mainly international
productions, primarily American and West European. The Yugoslav
Film Archive used to be former Yugoslavia's and now is
film archive – with over 95 thousand film prints, it is among five
largest film archives in the world.
Serbian cinema dates back to 1896 with the release of the oldest movie
in the Balkans, The Life and Deeds of the Immortal Vožd Karađorđe,
a biography about Serbian revolutionary leader, Karađorđe.
The most famous Serbian filmmaker is
Emir Kusturica who won two Golden
Palms for Best Feature Film at the Cannes Film Festival, for When
Father Was Away on Business in 1985 and then again for Underground in
1995. Other renowned directors include Goran Paskaljević, Dušan
Makavejev, Želimir Žilnik, Goran Marković,
Srđan Dragojević and
Srdan Golubović among others. Steve Tesich, Serbian-American
screenwriter, won the
Academy Award for
Best Original Screenplay
Best Original Screenplay in
1979 for the movie Breaking Away.
Some of the most prominent movie stars in
Serbia have left celebrated
heritage in cinematography of
Yugoslavia as well. Notable mentions are
Zoran Radmilović, Pavle Vuisić, Radmila Savićević, Olivera
Marković, Mija Aleksić, Miodrag Petrović Čkalja, Ružica Sokić,
Velimir Bata Živojinović, Danilo Bata Stojković, Seka Sablić,
Olivera Katarina, Dragan Nikolić, Mira Stupica, Nikola Simić, Bora
Todorović, and others.
Milena Dravić is the most celebrated actress
in Serbian cinematography. The actress has won Best Actress Award on
Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival in 1980.
Media of Serbia
Media of Serbia and Media freedom in Serbia
The freedom of the press and the freedom of speech are guaranteed by
the constitution of Serbia.
Serbia is ranked 54th out of 180
countries in the 2014
Press Freedom Index
Press Freedom Index report compiled by Reporters
Without Borders. Both reports noted that media outlets and
journalists continue to face partisan and government pressure over
editorial policies. Also, the media are now more heavily dependent on
advertising contracts and government subsidies to survive
Avala Tower, the tallest tower in the Balkans
According to AGB Nielsen Research in 2009,
Serbs on average watch five
hours of television per day, making it the highest average in
Europe. There are seven nationwide free-to-air television
channels, with public broadcaster
Radio Television of Serbia
Radio Television of Serbia (RTS)
operating three (RTS1,
RTS2 and RTS3) and remaining four are private
broadcasters: Pink, Happy TV, Prva, and O2.TV. Viewing shares for
these channels in 2016 were as follows: 20.2% for RTS1, 14.1% for
Pink, 9.4% for Happy TV, 9.0% for Prva, 4.7% for O2.TV, and 2.5% for
RTS2. There are 28 regional television channels and 74 local
television channels. Besides terrestrial channels there are
dozens Serbian television channels available only on cable or
There are 247 radio stations in Serbia. Out of these, six are
radio stations with national coverage, including two of public
Radio Television of Serbia
Radio Television of Serbia (Radio
Belgrade 1 and Radio
Belgrade 3) and four private ones (Radio S1, Radio
S2, Play Radio, and Radio Hit FM). Also, there are 34 regional
stations and 207 local stations.
There are 305 newspapers published in Serbia of which 12 are
daily newspapers. Dailies
Politika and Danas are Serbia's papers of
record, former being the oldest newspaper in the Balkans, founded in
1904. Highest circulation newspapers are tabloids Večernje
Novosti, Blic, Kurir, and Informer, all with more than 100,000 copies
sold. There are one daily newspaper devoted to sports –
Sportski žurnal, one business daily Privredni pregled, two regional
newspapers (Dnevnik published in
Novi Sad and Narodne novine from
Niš), and one minority-language daily (
Magyar Szo in Hungarian,
published in Subotica).
There are 1,351 magazines published in the country. Those include
weekly news magazines NIN,
Vreme and Nedeljnik, popular science
magazine of Politikin Zabavnik, women's Lepota & Zdravlje, auto
magazine SAT revija, IT magazine Svet kompjutera. In addition, there
is a wide selection of Serbian editions of international magazines,
such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Grazia, Men's Health, National Geographic,
Le Monde diplomatique, Playboy,
Hello! and others.
There are two main news agencies, Beta and Fonet.
As of 2017[update], out of 432 web-portals (mainly on the .rs
domain) the most visited are online editions of printed dailies
Blic and Kurir, news web-portal B92, and classifieds
Christmas meal; Šljivovica, the national drink
Main article: Serbian cuisine
Serbian cuisine is largely heterogeneous, sharing characteristics of
Balkans (especially former Yugoslavia), the Mediterranean (Greek
in particular), Turkish, and Central European (especially Austrian and
Hungarian) cuisines. Food is very important in Serbian social life,
particularly during religious holidays such as Christmas,
feast days i.e. slava.
Staples of the Serbian diet include bread, meat, fruits, vegetables,
and dairy products. Bread is the basis of all Serbian meals, and it
plays an important role in
Serbian cuisine and can be found in
religious rituals. A traditional Serbian welcome is to offer bread and
salt to guests. Meat is widely consumed, as is fish. Serbian
specialties include ćevapčići (caseless sausages made of minced
meat, which is always grilled and seasoned), pljeskavica, sarma,
kajmak (a dairy product similar to clotted cream), gibanica (cheese
and kajmak pie), ajvar (a roasted red pepper spread), proja
(cornbread), and kačamak (corn-flour porridge).
Serbians claim their country as the birthplace of rakia (rakija), a
highly alcoholic drink primarily distilled from fruit.
various forms is found throughout the Balkans, notably in Bulgaria,
Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro,
Hungary and Turkey. Slivovitz
(šljivovica), a plum brandy, is a type of rakia which is considered
the national drink of Serbia.
Main article: Sport in Serbia
Sports play an important role in Serbian society, and the country has
a strong sporting history. The most popular sports in
football, basketball, tennis, volleyball, water polo and handball.
Professional sports in
Serbia are organized by sporting federations
and leagues (in case of team sports). One of particularities of
Serbian professional sports is existence of many multi-sports clubs
(called "sports societies"), biggest and most successful of which are
Red Star, Partizan, and Beograd in Belgrade,
Vojvodina in Novi Sad,
Radnički in Kragujevac, Spartak in Subotica.
Novak Djokovic, considered one of the greatest tennis players of all
Football is the most popular sport in Serbia, and the Football
Serbia with 146,845 registered players, is the largest
sporting association in the country.
Dragan Džajić was
officially recognized as "the best Serbian player of all times" by the
Football Association of Serbia, and more recently the likes of Nemanja
Dejan Stanković and
Branislav Ivanović play for the elite
clubs of Europe, developing the nation's reputation as one of the
world's biggest exporters of footballers.
Serbia national football team
Serbia national football team lacks relative success although it
qualified for three of the last four FIFA World Cups.
youth football teams have won 2013 U-19 European Championship and 2015
U-20 World Cup. The two main football clubs in
Serbia are Red Star
(winner of the 1991 European Cup) and Partizan (finalist of the 1966
European Cup), both from Belgrade. The rivalry between the two clubs
is known as the "Eternal Derby", and is often cited as one of the most
exciting sports rivalries in the world.
Serbia is one of the traditional powerhouses of world basketball, as
Serbia men's national basketball team have won two World Championships
(in 1998 and 2002), three European Championships (1995, 1997, and
2001) and two Olympic silver medals (in 1996 and 2016) as well. The
women's national basketball team won the European Championship in 2015
and Olympic bronze medal in 2016. A total of 31 Serbian players have
played in the NBA in last two decades, including Predrag "Peja"
Stojaković (three-time NBA All-Star) and
Vlade Divac (2001 NBA
All-Star and FIBA Hall of Famer). The renowned "Serbian coaching
school" produced many of the most successful European basketball
coaches of all times, such as Željko Obradović, who won a record 9
Euroleague titles as a coach.
KK Partizan basketball club was the 1992
Serbia men's national water polo team
Serbia men's national water polo team are current Olympic and European
Recent success of Serbian tennis players has led to an immense growth
in the popularity of tennis in the country. Novak Đoković,
twelve-time Grand Slam champion, finished in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015
as No. 1 in the world.
Ana Ivanovic (champion of 2008 French
Jelena Janković were both ranked No. 1 in the WTA Rankings.
There were two No. 1 ranked-tennis double players as well: Nenad
Zimonjić (three-time men's double and four-time mixed double Grand
Slam champion) and Slobodan Živojinović. The
Serbia men's tennis
national team won the
2010 Davis Cup
2010 Davis Cup while
Serbia women's tennis
national team reached the final at 2012 Fed Cup.
Serbia is one of the leading volleyball countries in the world. Its
men's national team won the gold medal at 2000 Olympics, and has won
the European Championship twice. The women's national volleyball team
won the European Championship twice as well as Olympic silver medal in
Serbia men's national water polo team
Serbia men's national water polo team is the second most
successful national team after Hungary, having won Olympic gold medal
in 2016, three World Championships (2005, 2009 and 2015), and six
European Championships in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2014 and 2016
VK Partizan has won a joint-record seven European
Other noted Serbian athletes include: swimmers
Milorad Čavić (2009
World champion on 50 meters butterfly and silver medalist on 100
meters butterfly as well as 2008 Olympic silver medalist on 100 meters
butterfly in historic race with American swimmer Michael Phelps) and
Nađa Higl (2009 World champion in 200 meters breaststroke – the
first Serbian woman to become a world champion in swimming); track and
Ivana Španović (long-jumper; 2016 European champion
and bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympics); wrestler Davor Štefanek
(2016 Olympic gold medalist), and taekwondoist
Milica Mandić (2012
Olympic gold medalist).
Serbia has hosted several major sport competitions in the last ten
years, including the 2005 Men's European
Basketball Championship, 2005
Volleyball Championship, 2006 and 2016 Men's European
Water Polo Championships, 2009 Summer Universiade, 2012 European Men's
Handball Championship, and 2013 World Women's
The most important annual sporting events held in the country are
Belgrade Marathon and
Tour de Serbie cycling race.
The public holidays in
Serbia are defined by the Law of national and
other holidays in the Republic of Serbia.
New Year's Day
Julian Orthodox Christmas
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar
Anniversary of the
First Serbian Uprising
First Serbian Uprising in 1804 and the first
Constitution in 1835
See Date of Easter
Orthodox Good Friday
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church calculates
Easter using Orthodox Computus
May Day / International Workers' Day
National colours of Serbia
International rankings of Serbia
Outline of Serbia
Timeline of Serbian history
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