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Word Count: 2,190
Probably one of the most interesting facts about Belgrade is that it exists at all In its long history it has been devastated more than twenty times The reasons people continued living there is that it ocupies a vital strategic position at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and lies on the cross roads between east and west The Celts were the first to settle there and later the Romans built a city there The Huns the Goths and the Avars all possessed it Finally it was settled by the Slavs and remained with interuptions one of the chief cities of Serbian state until Turks took it away from the Hungarians in 1521 Numerous battles were fought for it in and around it It is not surprising that very few antiquites survive though it would be much more but for the violent German bombardment in 1941 The NATO bombardment in the spring 1999 had destroyed almost all of the very few authentic buildings but the city wall built in 16th century as a protection from Turks still remains although in ruins as one of the major characteristics of Belgrade Furthermore Serbia has been through five wars during the last decade and Belgrade is a true image of a third world capital with the government in a trasition from dictatorship to democracy with the devastated economy and overall decline of society 1 Belgrade with its two million residents is located in Serbia at the place where the Sava joins the Danube It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and besides Athens the greatest urban whole of the Balkans The oldest archeological artefacts in Belgrade date back to the fifth millenium BC It is the capital of Serbia and Yugoslavia whic is multietnical country with 63 Serbs 14 Albanian 6 Montenengrin 4 Hungarian and 13 others 65 of the population are Christian Orthodox 19 Muslim 4 Roman Catholic 1 Protestant and
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