Short Serbian History

Serbia has a long and rich history and has always been a real melting pot of different nations and inspiring cultures that were vanishing and rising from the ashes. The history has left many relics and traces from prehistoric and Roman sites to medieval fortresses and Serbian monasteries with marvelous and precious icons and frescoes. The traces of the first settlements on Serbia’s soil are dating back to 40000 BC to Paleolithic period.

There is the archaeological evidence that civilization in present-day Serbia dates to between 7000 and 6000 BC. One of the oldest cultures in Europe in 6500 BC in Mesolithic was the Lepenski Vir culture in the Djerdap Gorge, on the river bounds of the Danube, followed by Vinca culture near Belgrade in Early Neolithic in 4500 BC. The first known inhabitants were the Illyrians, followed by the Celts in the fourth century, and the Romans a century after that.

Slavic tribes, whose descendants today form most of the population of the region, arrived in the 6th century. The first Serbian ruler known to historians was Prince Viseslav, and in 8th century, he was succeeded by Prince Vlastimir, the founder of the Vlastimirovic dynasty, the oldest Serbian dynasty when the Christianity was adopted as a state-religion. From the 11th, century Serbia was under Byzantine cultural and state influence. Serbian kingdom was finally proclaimed in the 12th century and, simultaneously, the autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church was established.

Sarcophage of Stefan Dušan

At that time, Serbia was ruled by the Nemanjic dynasty that is remembered as a ktitor of the most beautiful Serbian monasteries and churches. That was the peak of Serbia’s cultural and economic development in the Middle Ages.In the 14th century, during the reign of emperor Dusan, who was crowned in Skopjeas the King of the Serbs and Greeks, Serbia was the most powerful country in this part of Europe, spreading from the Danube in the north, to Athens in the south and to the Adriatic Sea in the west.

After the clash in The Battle of Kosovo and due to the upcoming mighty Ottoman Empire and, later, in the mid-15th-century Serbia fell completely under Turkish domination. That was the turning point when the golden age of Serbian Empire was completed. Only at the beginning of the 19th century, after a gathering of people in the village of Orasac, The First Serbian Uprising against Turkish rule began under a chosen leader – Karadjordje.

After The Second Serbian Uprising led by Miloš Obrenović, Serbia finally obtained autonomy within the Ottoman Empire and was recognized as an independent country at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. In 1912, after the first Balkan wars, Serbia`s main territories were liberated after long Turkish domination. At the end of the First World War, an idea to unify and create a country of south Slavic people was strongly supported. As a result, The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians was created on the former territories of the two huge empires, the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empire. Becoming a republic after the Second World War, within the Yugoslav federation under the rule of Tito, Serbia finally gained its independence after the dissolution of the country and civil wars at the end of the 20th century.

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