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Belgrade Guide


Slavic city of Belgrade

At the end of 6th century, under the attack of Avars and Slavs, the town was destroyed and its old name, Singidunum, was replaces by a Slav name Beli grad (the white city). The first appearance of the name Belgrade was in the 9th century (878) in a letter of Pope Johan VIII to Boris Bugarski. From that day on, every nation in touch with Belgrade gave it this name in its own language.

From the IX to the first half of 15th century Bulgaria, Byzantium and Hungary changed power over Belgrade. It was also on the path of the crusaders in the 11th and 12th century.

Hungarian king Stephan II took Belgrade from Byzantium in 1124, destroyed its ramparts and used that material to build Zemun. But Belgrade once more came into power of Byzantium, Zemun was destroyed, the material of the old Belgrade fortress was won over and the fortress was rebuilt after thirty years.

In 1284 Hungarian king Ladislav gave Belgrade to the Serbian king, Ladislav’s brother in law and vassal, Dragutin who built himself a court in the town.

After the death of king Dragutin, the Hungarians again ruled Belgrade, but in 1402 the town came under power of duke Lazar’s son, despot Stefan Lazarevic, and became the capital of medieval Serbia. The town prospered in economy, culture and religion and a Metropolitan church, a new fortress, despot’s court and library were built. Unfortunately, this prosperity didn’t last long, since Djuradj Brankovic gave Belgrade to Hungary and a hundred year Hungarian rule started.

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