Serbia - Cruises on the Danube and city tours

serbien smederevoThe main tourist destinations in Serbia are primarily the capital Belgrade and the other major cities of Novi Sad, Niš, Kragujevac and Subotica, but also smaller towns such as Jagodina, Užice, Požarevac and numerous health resorts, including Vrnjačka Banja and Sokobanja, or the Kopaonik and Zlatibor mountains as well as the Danube, which is used by cruise ships and boats.
In the past, Serbia was often a borderland of important empires. The border between Western and Eastern Rome once ran along the Drina through Serbian areas. There were several important Roman legionary camps (Singidunum), large cities (Sirmium, Viminatium) and imperial residences (Sirmium, Naissus, Mediana, Felix Romuliana) of late antiquity on the Sava, Danube and along the Via militaris.
The architecture in Serbia is as diverse as the country's history. Byzantine architecture is important, especially in the numerous Serbian monasteries, some of which have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The most important patrons of architecture were the members of the Nemanjid ruling dynasty. Since the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher by the dynastic founder Stefan Nemanja in the Studenica Monastery, all other Serbian kings have acted as patrons of the arts and, in particular, of religious architecture.
From this, the fresco painters developed a special style and a certain content, which is visibly different from both the subject matter in the Serbian churches of the 13th century and the iconographic content of those large ensembles that were created around the middle of the 14th century. In the Milutin school of painting, which belonged to the so-called Palaiological Renaissance, a whole army of painters, of whom the names of the Greek court painters Mikhail Astrapas and Eutychios have come down to us, worked on the fresco design of Milutin's numerous foundations in Serbia, Thessaloniki, Constantinople, the Holy Mount Athos and Jerusalem.
There is also a rich “independent” music scene in Serbia, which can be linked to the youth scenes in the former Yugoslavia, which were suppressed during the time of the Milošević regime. These include electronica acts like Darkwood Dub or indie rock combos like the Partibrejkers. Well-known popular Serbian singers of various genres include Đorđe Balašević, Lepa Brena, Neda Ukraden, Željko Joksimović, Mile Kitić, Aca Lukas, Marija Šerifović, Zdravko Čolić and Ceca.

Niš in Serbia – historic city on the Nišava

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Niš in Serbia – historic city on the Nišava

Once again traveling on the highway from Izmir towards Augsburg, we chose the second largest city in Serbia, Niš on the Nišava, for this time's overnight stopover during the approximately 2,400-kilometer-long journey.

The Ottomans were leaving Belgrade - a changing city

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The Ottomans were leaving Belgrade - a changing city

Until 1850, the historic old town of Belgrade, today a large part of the Stari Grad district, was almost congruent with the entire city area, i.e. actually a small town.

Belgrade - The strategic importance of the fortress

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Belgrade - The strategic importance of the fortress

We were impressed by the size of the fortresses, which from the distance from the opposite banks of the Sava river looked rather inconspicuous. Only with the tour and through the overview from above, the importance and also the mightiness will become clear, so the visitor should also bring enough time for an extensive tour.

Thracians, Celts and then the Romans in Singidunum

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Thracians, Celts and then the Romans in Singidunum

From the 6th to the 4th century BC Thracian and Scythian tribes immigrated to the region around modern Belgrade, who built the first fortification in the 3rd century BC.

Belgrade - Ottoman Conquest and Turk wars

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Belgrade - Ottoman Conquest and Turk wars

For Sultan Mehmed II, after the fall of Constantinople, Belgrade and the completion of the conquest of Serbia were the preconditions for reaching Central Europe.

Intermediate stop in Belgrade - floating hotel on the Danube?

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Intermediate stop in Belgrade - floating hotel on the Danube?

After a few days of organizational office work in Germany, we supposed to go via Brunn am Gebirge (further talks on the planning / designing of a camper stop) to Belgrade, where an interim overnight was planned.

Singidunum - development in the Byzantine Empire

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Singidunum - Further urban development in the Byzantine Empire

During the first half of the 4th century, Singidunum had a period of peace: the city gained the status of a Roman colony, which further strengthened its autonomy.

Singidunum - fortification on the Danube limes of Romans

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Singidunum - fortification on the Danube limes of the Romans

Singidunum was once the name of the ancient Roman city at the mouth of the Sava River into the Danube, which we today call Belgrade. In the Roman Empire, Singidunum was part of the defensive fortifications along the Danube Limes.

Camping Center Belgrade - City tour with a convertible

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Camping Center Belgrade - City tour with an old-timer convertible

And even if the sign in the background suggests something else, we are actually on the road in Belgrade and in Dusan, the operator of the camper stop in the city centre, we have found a Tour guide, who gives us a first overview to Belgrade in his way, within yellow old-timer convertible, a pleasure for sight-seeing.

Belgrade - The fortress on the river mouth of Sava - Danube

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Belgrade - The fortress on the river mouth of Sava - Danube

After our extensive city tour through the center of Belgrade in the impressive Cabriolet of Ducan we had agreed to explore the Castle ourselves and then go back to the Camper Stop Station 38 - Camping Center Belgrade.

Camping Club Serbia - Danube-Meeting Smederevo

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Camping Club Serbia - meeting at the Danube near Smederevo

After the invitation to the camper club meeting on the river banks of the Danube at Smederevo, we left Belgrade on narrow side and country roads, which led us high above the Danube.

Sirmium - today Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia

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Sirmium - today Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia

Our route to the north should this time lead us passing Skopje, Nis and Belgrade along the main route E 75 or A1 / E 70 through the Balkans into the Serbian Vojvodina, next to previously little known Campsite Zasavica next to the city Sremska Mitrovica, once a Roman imperial palace with fortress which was called Sirmium.

Sremska Mitrovica from the perspective of an architect

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Sremska Mitrovica from the perspective of an architect

Our first tour through Sremska Mitrovica had led us to the office of Vlada (in the picture on the left), who, together with Jovane and some other committed citizens, had already been able to implement some changes in the cityscape to improve the still dreary image of Sremska Mitrivica.

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