The city of Belgrade
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, is on the right riverbank. 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 (Cukarica, Vozdovac, Vracar, Novi Beograd, Palilula, Rakovica, Savski venac, Stari grad, Zemun, Zvezdara) and 7 suburban municipalities (Barajevo, Grocka, Lazarevac, Obrenovac, Mladenovac, Sopot, Surcin).
Serbian is the official language, part of the group of south Slavic languages; Cyrillic script. The Serbian Cyrillic has 30 letters (one letter for each phoneme) that makes it unique among scripts.
Geography and Climate
The geographic coordinates of the centre of Belgrade (Knez Mihailova Street) are: 44°49’14" of latitude north, 20°27’44" of longitude east and 116.75 m above sea level. The city of Belgrade and its surroundings consist of two different environments: Pannonian plain in the north area and Šumadija in the south area. The highest mountains in Sumadija area are Kosmaj (628 m) and Avala (511 m). In the south there are wide plateaus sectioned by stream and river valleys. Altogether the riverbanks are 200 km long and there are also 16 river islands: the largest are Ada Ciganlija and the Great War Island.
Belgrade has a moderate continental climate with four seasons and uniformly spread precipitations. Spring is the wettest season and the city receives about 680 millimetres of rainfall per year. Autumn is longer than spring and it is also sunnier and warmer. January is the coldest month, the winters are not very harsh. On average there are 21 days with temperatures below 0 °C during the winter. The average temperature varies from 0.4 °C in January to 21.8 °C in July. Statistically there are 95 days per year in which the temperature is above 25 °C. Moreover there are two weeks in October of “belated summer” called St. Martin’s Summer (miholjsko leto). Another distinctive element of Belgrade climate is also a strong and cold southest-est wind called Kosava: it arises in the Carpathians and brings clear and dry weather to Belgrade. It mostly blows during autumn and winter, in 1-3 -7 days intervals, its average speed is 25-43 km/h but it can reach up to 130 km/h. During the autumn and winter, Kosava regularly ventilates the city: it is the best air cleaner of Belgrade!