The layers of Belgrade
After having visited all of the surrounding countries, I was curious to what I would find in Serbia. For obvious reasons, many of the countries are vary of Serbia, to say the least. When I was visiting Bosnia-Herzegovina some years ago, they all but spat every time I happened to mention the name of the country.
Even though the Yugoslav Wars were terrible, the country has seen much more conflict during the centuries. Being one of the oldest cities in Europe, Belgrade has been battled over in 115 wars and razed 44 times.
The Kalemegdan fortress, holding a fatally strategic position, stands in silent vigil where the rivers Sava and Danube meet. Since the fortress looked white from the river, the city was once given the name Belgrade – meaning white city. According to legend, the grave of Attila lies under the fortress.
But beneath this past of stone and sorrow, there are more layers to the city. Strolling down fashionable street Knez Mihailova feels like walking through any large city in Italy or France, with designer boutiques located in beautiful buildings. The infamous Splavs, party boats, are lining up along the Sava river. In cavernous halls the young and beautiful dance the night away with DJs and loud crap music. The times are changing, even here.