Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Belgrade, Serbia (June 17-19, 2008)

Belgrade is the capital of Serbia, situated at the junction of the Danube and Sava Rivers. Because of its strategic location between East and West, Belgrade (whose name means "White City" due to the color of its ancient hilltop fortress) has been ruled in turn by the Celts, the Romans, the Slavs, the Byzantines, the Bulgarians, the Hungarians and the Turks.

Over the centuries, the city has been burned, bombed and rebuilt so many times that locals call war Belgrade's 5th season following spring, summer, winter and fall. Despite its rocky past, Belgrade has an upbeat spirit and friendly, welcoming people who are determined to enjoy life.
One of Belgrade's main thoroughfares: Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra
Outdoor cafes and restaurants line Knez Mihailova, Belgrade's main pedestrian shopping avenue, and the surrounding streets
An old man in traditional Serbian costume plays the flute on Knez Mihailova
Traditional Serbian shoes for sale in Kalemegdan Park below the city's old fortress
The confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers as seen from the top of Kalemegdan Fortress
The Classical-style Parliament building, from the early 20th century

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