Facts about Serbia 

Location

Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a country located at the crossroads of Central- and Southeastern Europe, covering the southern lowlands of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans. Serbia borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the west; its border with Albania is disputed. Serbia's capital city, Belgrade, is among the most populous in Southeastern Europe.

Area

Republic of Serbia: 88,361 sq. km

Capital

Serbian capital is Belgrade (original name: Beograd; White city), with a population of 1.6 millions. Belgrade is the administrative, economic and cultural center of Serbia.

Population

In Serbia live approximately 8 million people. The majority of the population are Serbs (66 per cent), and numerous among 37 nationalities which also live in Serbia are Albanians (17 per cent), Hungarians (3.5 per cent), followed by Romanians, Croats, Bulgarians and others. All citizens have equal rights and responsibilities and enjoy full national equality.

Climate

Climate in Serbia is temperate continental, with a gradual transition between the four seasons of the year. Summers are warm, with temperatures up to 35° C and winters are cold and snowy, with temperature from - 10° C to 10° C)

National parks

Over 31% of Serbia is covered by forest. National parks take up 10% of the country's entire territory.

Religion

The main religion in Serbia is Christian Orthodox, but there are also other religious communities: Islamic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and other.

Language

The official language is Serbian and official alphabets are both, Cyrillic and Latin. In the areas inhabited by national minorities, the languages and alphabets of the minorities are in official use, as provided by law.

Holidays - non working days

New Year - January 1st and 2nd
Orthodox Christmas - January 7th
Statehood Day of the Republic Serbia - February 15th
International Labor Day – May 1st and 2nd
Orthodox Easter - from Good Friday to the second day of Easter
On non-working holidays only shops and institutions on duty are open. Believers are entitled not to work on their religious holidays, depending on their religion.

Power supply

220 V, 50 Hz

Time

GMT + 1

Important phone numbers

Police: 92
Fire service: 93
Medical emergency: 94
Mobile operators: 064 MTS (www.mts.telekom.rs), 063 TELENOR (www.telenor.rs), 061 VIP (www.vipmobile.rs)

Area codes

Code for Serbia is +381; for Belgrade (0)11, Novi Sad (0)21, Niš (0)18 etc.
For the international calls from Serbia dial 00 + code of the desired country + code for the city.
Phone book for Serbia you can find on www.telekom.rs

Currency

The monetary unit is the Dinar (RSD)
Banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 1000 and 5000 Dinars
Coins: 50 Para, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 Dinars

Cuisine

Serbian cuisine is varied, the turbulent historical events influenced the food and people, and each region has its own peculiarities and differences. It is strongly influenced by the Byzantine-Greek, Mediterranean, Oriental and Austro-Hungarian styles. Many of the traditional Serbian foods like ćevapčići (photo), pljeskavica, gibanica, are enjoyed even today.

Sports

Sports in Serbia revolve mostly around team sports: football, basketball, water polo, volleyball, handball, and, more recently - tennis.
(Novak Djokovic)

History

After their settlement in the Balkans (7th century), Serbs formed a medieval kingdom that evolved into a Serbian Empire, which reached its peak in the 14th century. By the 16th century Serbian lands were conquered and occupied by the Ottomans, at times interrupted by the Habsburgs. In the early 1800s, the Serbian revolution established the country as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory and pioneered the abolition of feudalism and serfdom in Southeastern Europe. The former Habsburg crown land of Vojvodina joined Serbia in 1918. Decimated as a result of World War I, the country united with other South Slavic peoples into a Yugoslav state which would exist in several forms up until 2006, when Serbia once again became independent. In February 2008, the parliament of Kosovo, Serbia's southern province with an ethnic Albanian majority, declared independence. The response from the international community has been mixed. Serbia regards Kosovo as a autonomous province, governed by UNMIK, a UN mission.

Culture

The monasteries of Serbia, built largely in the Middle Ages, are one of the most valuable and visible traces of medieval Serbia's association with the Byzantium and the Orthodox World, but also with the Romanic Western Europe that Serbia had close ties with back in Middle Ages. Most of Serbia's queens still remembered today in Serbian history were of foreign origin, including Hélène d'Anjou, a cousin of Charles I of Sicily, Anna Dondolo, daughter of the Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo, Catherine of Hungary, and Symonide of Byzantium. Serbia has eight cultural sites marked on the UNESCO World Heritage list: Stari Ras and Sopoćani monasteries added to the Heritage list in 1979, Studenica Monastery added in 1986, the Medieval Serbian Monastic Complex in Kosovo, comprising: Dečani Monastery, Our Lady of Ljeviš, Gračanica and Patriarchate of Pec, monestaties were added in 2004, and put on the endangered list in 2006, and Gamzigrad – Romuliana, Palace of Galerius, was added in 2007. Likewise, there are 2 literary memorials added on the UNESCO's list as a part of the Memory of the World Programme: Miroslav Gospels, handwriting from the 12th century, added in 2005, and Nikola Tesla's archive added in 2003. The most prominent museum in Serbia is the National Museum, founded in 1844; it houses a collection of more than 400,000 exhibits, over 5600 paintings and 8400 drawings and prints, and includes many foreign masterpiece collections and the famous Miroslavljevo Jevanđelje. Currently museum is under reconstruction. The museum is situated in Belgrade.

Economy

Serbia is classified as an emerging and developing economy by the International Monetary Fund and an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. WTO accession is expected in 2010. The country is also an EU membership applicant and a neutral country.

Tourism

Serbia concentrate their tourism on the villages and mountains of the country. The most famous mountain resorts are Zlatibor, Kopaonik, and the Tara. There are also many spas in Serbia, one the biggest of which is Vrnjačka Banja. Other spas include Soko Banja and Niška Banja. There is a significant amount of tourism in the largest cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, but also in the rural parts of Serbia like the volcanic wonder of Đavolja varoš, Christian pilgrimage across the country and the cruises along the Danube, Sava or Tisza. There are several popular festivals held in Serbia, such as the EXIT Festival (proclaimed to be the best European festival by UK Festival Awards 2007) and the Guča trumpet festival.

Education

Education starts in pre-schools. Children enroll in elementary schools at the age of seven, and remain there for eight years. After compulsory education students have the opportunity to either attend a high school for another four years, specialist school, for 2 to 4 years, or to enroll in vocational training, for 2 to 3 years. Following the completion of high school or a specialist school, students have the opportunity to attend university. The University of Belgrade is the oldest and currently the biggest university in Serbia. Established in 1808, it has 31 faculties, and since its inception, has trained an estimated 330,000 graduates. Other universities with a significant number of faculty and alumni are those of Novi Sad (founded 1960), Kragujevac (founded 1976) and Niš (founded 1965). The roots of the Serbian education system date back to the 11th and 12th centuries when the first Catholic colleges were founded in Titel and Bač, in Vojvodina province. Medieval Serbian education, however, was mostly conducted through the Serbian Orthodox monasteries of Sopoćani, Studenica, and Patriarchate of Peć. Serbian Orthodox education starting from the rise of Raška in 12th century, when Serbs overwhelmingly embraced Orthodoxy rather than Catholicism. The oldest college faculty within current borders of Serbia dates back to 1778; founded in the city of Sombor, then Habsburg Empire, it was known under the name Norma and was the oldest Slavic Teacher's college in Southern Europe.