is all that remains of the former Yugoslavia following the independence
of Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
During WWII, the former Yugoslavia was united under the strong leadership
of Josip Tito. Although a communist, he was much revered by his
people and ruled with a more benevolent hand than other communist
leaders. In fact he was a bit of an enigma, with strong supporters
in the west as well. We visited the Tito Memorial in Belgrade. His
home was destroyed but the grounds where he lived and is buried
is now a museum. There
is an extensive collection of his batons and other gifts from people
around the world.
In the 1990's, post Tito's Yugoslavia began to unravel along ethnic
lines. Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia declared their independence
in 1991; Bosnia and Herzogovina in 1992. Serbia and Montenegro formed
a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992 and under President
Milosevic, Serbia led many military interventions in an effort to
unite Serbs in neighboring countries. Croatia and Bosnia were particularly
hard hit. In 1999, in an effort to curb the violence and oust Milosevic,
NATO bombed Serbia. In 2006, Montenegro became an independent state.
is the capital of Serbia and home to about 2M people. We
visited the old Fortress Kalemegdan that overlooks the confluence
of the Danube and Sava Rivers. The fortress has a long history,
dating back to the Roman times. Belgrade was conquered by the Turks
in 1521 and there were still Turkish garrisons in the fortress during
the early 1900's. It now houses a museum with old tanks and guns
is a city of contrasts.You can still see the effects of the bombings
that occurred in Belgrade during WWII and during the NATO bombings.
we also drove by the wealthy area of Belgrade with its beautiful,
modern homes. And the main pedestrian shopping area has many famous
After dinner, we were visited by three Serbian university students
for a question and answer session about life in Serbia. If all the
young people in Serbia are as intelligent and articulate as these,
Serbia will have a great chance at becoming a stable and viable
country in the future. To view additional photos from Belgrade,
go to the Serbia Photo Gallery.
Locations Visited Photos Map