... the unlucky host of the 71st ISE AM.
This is a place where participants were supposed to find all they need to know about the city: how to get there, where to stay, what to visit, where to eat well..... Now, we hope you will find here enough reasons to visit it in the near future.
The content of the website remained unchanged, the same as it looked at the time the decision to cancel the meeting was made, except of adding some new content helping you get to know the city you were supposed to travel to better.
And one more thing! As the hosts of 71. ISE Annual Meeting we have prepared a small gift for all participants: digital prints (graphics) with 16 different motifs of Belgrade and Serbia.
Unfortunately, it is no longer possible for the graphics to be handed to you in person, but we have made them possible to download, in case you wish to print them and frame them as a memento of your not coming to Belgrade this August/September and a reminder that there is a city you still need to explore.
The official name of Belgrade is: Beograd (Бeоград), from Beo that in Serbian means white and Grad means city. Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and one of the most populated cities in South-Eastern Europe.
It is located in a prominent position, where the river Sava merges into the Danube. The historical core of Belgrade, Kalemegdan, was on the right riverbanks. Since 19th century the city has been expanding to south and east and after the World War II, New Belgrade was built on the left bank of Sava river. In the past due to its position Belgrade was properly called "the gate of the Balkans” and "the door of Middle Europe”.
Belgrade covers an area of 322.268 km² and hosts a population of about 1.750.000 habitants that is equivalent to the 21 % of the total population of Serbia. Moreover Belgrade is a young city: more than 40 % of its citizens are between 15 and 44 years of age.
Belgrade territory is divided into 17 municipalities: 10 urban municipalities (Čukarica, Voždovac, Vračar, Novi Beograd, Palilula, Rakovica, Savski venac, Stari grad, Zemun, Zvezdara) and 7 suburban municipalities (Barajevo, Grocka, Lazarevac, Obrenovac, Mladenovac, Sopot, Surčin).
Serbian is the official language, part of the group of south Slavic languages; Cyrillic script and Latin script are both officially used and taught in schools. The Serbian Cyrillic has 30 letters (one letter for each phoneme) that makes it unique among scripts.
You probably did not know!
Vampire - The only world known Serbian word. Even though Dracula is without a doubt the world’s most famous vampire, first mention of a vampire occurred in Serbia, his name was Sava Savanović.
The 3 Fingers - Lifting 3 fingers (thumb, index and the middle finger) is a Serbian tradition. So if you want to show your appreciation towards Serbia and to its locals that will send a clear message without having to struggle with Serbian language. Three fingers are used when signing the cross in Orthodoxy, symbolizing the Trinity. The Serbs, when swearing Oath, historically used the three fingers (collected, as when crossing) along with the greetings "My Holy Trinity" (Svetog mi Trojstva) or "for the Honorable Cross and Golden Freedom" (za krst časni i slobodu zlatnu) during formal and religious events.
Guess who made a clock 200 years before the Swiss? Serbs! - Lazar the Serb or Lazar the Hilandarian was a Serbian Orthodox monk and horologist who who invented and built the first known mechanical public clock in Russia in 1404. The Swiss formed their first guild only in 1601.
12 interesting facts about Belgrade
- Belgrade rests on the relics of a prehistoric city. In Belgrade’s old town there are plenty of remnants from the Roman period. The first urban settlement was built in the 3rd century BC by the Celts.
- It’s one of the oldest metropolises in Europe, with settlements unceasingly remaining here for at least 7000 years.
- A lot of the architecture in Belgrade occurred in the period after World War II however, you can also find Ottoman styled housing, neoclassicism, baroque and Art Nauveau.
- There is an area of the city called Silicon Valley (Strahinjića Bana Street). It has nothing to do with technology, it in fact is a term that the locals use for an area of the city where all of the bars, clubs and restaurants are located. Silicon also refers to the plastic surgery and glammed up women who like to party there.
- There are literally more than 100 caves, canals, tunnels and passages below the surface of Belgrade. They each tell the story of its connection to numerous empires and states that reigned there over the ages.
- Belgrade Fortress and the statue of Victor are renowned landmarks of the city.
- The first kafana (a Serbian word for a colourful local bistro) in Europe was opened in Dorćol, in 1522. The only beverage that this kafana served was coffee, hence the name. It was actually the Turks that opened this establishment, and since then kafanas have been the centre of cultural, economic, social and political life, a place of fun and pastime, vice and passion, machinations and plotting to overthrow governments and rulers. This was long before it happened in London, Paris and Vienna.
- Saint Sava's Temple is one of the most recognisable symbols in Belgrade, reaching a height of 70 metres in total. It is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. It also ranks among the largest church buildings in the world.
- Belgrade has been through the wars, literally. It has been fought over in 115 wars and got the nickname, the White Fenix as it has been destroyed and rebuilt more that 44 times during its history.
- Due to its tactical location at the meeting of the 2 rivers, the city has found itself at the junction of Western and Oriental Europe. It has been conquered by the Celts, Romans, Goths, Huns, Ottomans, and then fought over by the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires.
- Belgrade was bombed a few times in the 20th century. Both in World War I and War War II and once again by NATO in 1999. There are still ruins of the NATO bombings in the city today to show as a reminder of what happened.
- Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from its commencement as a kingdom in 1918, throughout the post-World War II socialist era, right up until Serbia was "the last man standing" in 2006.