History of Serbia

Quick History of Serbia – main events, crucial facts….

A traveler making his way through modern Serbia is impressed above all by the countless signs of its long and varied past,  as the territory of Serbia was inhabited some forty thousands years ago. Presence of the human communities of the Old Stone Age is evidenced in the karstic edge of the Timok basin – the Zlot Pecina Cave /Lazareva Pecina Cave/, on the western slopes of the Svrljig Mountains – the Prekonoska Pecina Cave, on the northern slopes of the Maljen Mountain – the Petnica Pecina Cave and the Visoka Pecina Cave, and on slopes of the the Crni Vrh Mountain – the cave beneath the Jerina Hill, in the Gradac village and on slopes of the Vencac Mountain – the Risovaca Pecina Cave.

The Serbs who are the oldest Slavs had inhabited the Podunavlje region – the Danube River area – the ancient Ister from the time immemorial as found in records which describe the numerous Illyric – Thracian tribes. This is today widely known and clear to every serious researcher and intellectual. The cradle of the first civilization occurred on the Danube River, while the Vinca is the ‘cultural matrix of the world’, better known as the ‘Old Europe’ or the trading center and the distant forerunner of trade on the Mediterranean, Levant and the East. /Slobodan M. Filipović – Kulturna kolevka holocena/.

“The Old Europe – Stara Evropa is term which first began to use Marija Gimbutas, the Litvanian-American archaeologist renowed for research of the Neolithic and Bronze Europe when she described that what she considered homogenous and widely spread Neolithic and Eneolithic culture of Europe from 6500 to 3500 BC. The term Old Europe – Stara Evropa determines the wide and the central portions of territories. The wider portions include areas from the Aegean and the Adriatic in the south to Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland in the north – the northenr part of the border passing along the Carpathians and Riphean Mountains and Moldavia and Ukraine in the east. The center of the Old Europe existed in the heart of Serbia and is known as the Vincha civilization as recorded in the middle of the 15th century by the Turkish historian Dursun-Bey when he described it as the  “nucleus of all lands” and “the whole gold and silver mine”. Izvor: Eja Kolhida u zlatnoj dolini Peka

Some researchers and scholars fight against the fake – forged history of Serbia, claiming with valuable available sources the Serbs lived more than 7500 years ago in the wider areas of the present Europe and in the nowadays areas of Serbia. There are ancient historical testimonies that the ancient Serbs have officially used the ancient Serbian calendar and have started to count years since 5508 before Christ. The Septuaginta translation of the Old Testament was translated into the Church – Slavic language. So they determine members of the oldest Dynasties of Serbia, when mention that Stefan Đurađ Branković was killed in 6935 and the Prince Lazar was killed in the Kosovo Battle in 6893. The Serbs preserved the solar symbols from the antediluvian times till the 20th century – symbol of birth, grow, life and immortality, the House of Sun, in the church in the Gorovic village near Topola. 

Hidden History and Archaeology eventually that claim the Serbs are real Aryans, Alans, Hyperboreans, Sarmatians….  ‘Among the Venedi peoples who are settled between the Elbe and the Sale Rivers named the Serbs or sometimes called the Moesi people, there are people who enter the border territories of Saxons and Thuringia. Of all the Venedi peoples, the most fearless and numbered are the Serbs Bohemians, as well as Abodrits, after whom the area of Maissen is called the Sirbia or Sorabia, and before the Bohemia – M. Reinhardt, On the origin of Maissens. According to the ancient manuscripts, those Venedi people are border guardians, and their territory spreads from Maissen to the Upper Luzhice, which is from the Elbe River to the Sal River’. Disputationem historicam de Serbis

“The Medieval world is created by deeds of the people who lived then, as the present world is built from the same substances – human virtues and imperfections, greed and mercy, hatred and love”, Tibor Živković

Cassius Dio says: Bastarni, having then crossed the Ister, conquered Moesia which was opposite their land, and then also the Triballi who were her neighbors, and the Dardani living in their /Triballian/ land. And all the time they did that, they had nothing to do with the Romans, but when they crossed Mount Haemus… /present-day Stara Planina or the Balkan Mountains/. This remark about the Dardani living in the Triballian land may refer only to the area of the Južna Morava /South Morava/ and Nišava rivers, which then means that this territory was not of immediate interest to the Romans until Crassus’ campaign. According to Herodotus /c. 484 – 425/413 BCE/, the territory populated by the Tribals – Triballians in the 5th century BC spread west of the Iskar River in Bulgaria, and the area of the Serb Podunavlje and Pomoravlje /around the Danube and the Morava Rivers/, part of Kolubara River, the east Serbia, northwest Bulgaria, direction south to Skopje. The expression Triballi is often found in the works of the Byzantine and other European authors of the Middle ages, and exclusively refers to the Serbs – ‘the Triballians are the Serbs’.

On the territory of the Paracin-Jagodina ravine i along the course of the Velika, Zapadna and Južna Morava Rivers /Great, West and South Morava rivers/, life of indigenous Proto Serbs was practiced in the earliest periods of civilization on which testify numerous finds and localities dating from all civilization periods as well as a number of historical records.

“In the first centuries of existence of the Serb state there are several regions which particularly stand out, that had preserved their specifies and features in the later history of Serbia. Тhose are primarily the coastal Serb lands of Trebinje with Konavlje, Zahumlje and the Neretva area, the Podgorje, Duklja /Zeta/, Bosnia and Rascia…. The nucleus of the earliest Serb state should be primarily traced in the Serbian coastal lands….” dr Relja Novakovic, “Gde se nalazila Srbija od VII do XII veka: istorijsko-geografsko razmatranje”, Istorijski institut u Beogradu, 1981, str. 396/. Illustration: Balkans in the 7th and the 6th century, map from the book of Professor Gustav Droysen, “Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas”, Verlag Velhagen und Klasing, Bielefeld / Leipzig, 1886.

During the Roman reign the Serbs arrived from the north to the Sclavinia – present Balkans to help their fellow-people – indigenous tribal population and remained here to have preserved their customs and language. Serbia was established in 490 in present Shkoder and lasted for 700 years while ruled by more than 40 crowned kings after the realm was taken by Stefan Nemanja /the Nemanides Dynasty/. The Pre-Nemanide state of Serbia spread from the Black Sea to the area further from Trieste on which we find historical records from the 18th century by Andrija Kacic Miosic work and the Venetian historian at that time – Sebastian Dolci. Before rule of Stefan Nemanja there were three ruling dynasties of Serbia : Svevladović Dynasty from 490 till 641/, Svetimirović Dynasty /from 641 until 794/ and Oštrivojević Dynasty from 724 until 1171.

In the 4th century AD during the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great /306-337/ two provinces were created in the area of the Upper Moesia – the Moesia Prima and Dardania, while the Dacia Ripensis – the Maritime Dacia and the Dacia Mediterranea – the Mediterranean Dacia were established by division of the Lower Moesia. At the end of the 4th century /379-395/ by creation of the Illyric Prefecture, the two Dioceses were founded – the Macedonia /Macedonid/ and the Dacia /Dacia/. Within the Dacia Diocese there were provinces of the Upper Moesia, Maritime Dacia, the Mediterranean Dacia, Dardania and Preavalis.

Far away from Rome, on the unpredictable Danube, the Roman Empire established its frontier – the limes. A sequence of fortresses were built by the road along which the legions advanced in their campaigns against barbarian tribes across the river. Next after the army ventured the merchants, artisans, and soon new towns emerged along all the important communications. In about two hundred years, starting from the third century, the Upper Moesia and Lower Pannonia turned from marginal border provinces into the center of the Empire’s life. Illyricum and its elite troops gave birth to seventeen emperors who would rule the empire at the time of its worst crisis. Born either in prosperous towns on the limes or in craggy hinterland, some from among them would change the very appearance of the world known until then. The fact that sixteen emperors (establishment of birth data for the seventeenth is in process) were born in the territory of Serbia attests to the importance of the this area of today’s Serbia in the ancient Roman Empire.


The present-day Serbia answers roughly to the ancient provinces of Moesia Prima, Dacia Mediteranea and Dardania. In the last 20 years it it revealed that there are absolutely no archaeological nor historical evidences that in some of the great migrations of Europe /5th to 6th century/ Serbian ancestors allegedly arrived to the Balkan Peninsula from several directions and settled in the wide area between four seas – Black, Adriatic, Aegean, and Ionian.

In the early Middle age the Serbian nation lived in several of its states – Raška/Serbia and Bosnia in the inner Helm Peninsula, and in the littoral areas were Doclea, Travunia, Konavli, Zahumlje and Pagania/Neretva Princedom. The Ras-Rashka state included territory which was under the Ras Dioceze with the medieval zhupas of Raska, Jelcanica, Pnuca, Ljudska, Senica, Jelakci-Gornji Ibar, Brvenik, Zvecan, Ibar, Studenica, Jehosanica, Sitica, Lab and Drskovina. After two uprisings against the Romaioi administration, the Prince Stefan Vojislav came to the throne of Doclea – present Montenegro. During the reign of Emperor Teophile /829-842/ the Byzantine Empire held pretty strong positions in Durres and Zadar and from those two themas it easily influenced the hinterland and the Serb Principalities of Zahumlye, Travunia, Doclea and Serbia itself. Prince Stefan Vojislav was succeeded by his son Mihailo who became the first Serbian king, most probably in 1077. Mihailo led active foreign politics against the Byzantium and succumbed the areas of Travunia and Zahumlie. At that time Serbia had important role towards the Hungarians from whom it protected the Byzantine Empire. After the Byzantine – Rhomaioi defeat at the Manzikert in 1071, Emperor Mihailo supported the Bulgarian rebels in their uprising for fiscal policy of collection of local taxes by the Romaioi rulers, and sent his son Konstantin Bodin to them.

Serbia is the legal successor of the Holy Roman Empire for it was the last free territory of the Roman Empire when the whole Greece was in hands of the Ottomans. For our nation and identity it is important to know that the Serb kings were married to daughters of the Roman Empire and thus they had the title of Stefanos – Стефанос (married). This title of Stefan meant that kings had right of blood heredity of the royal crown. Proof of this are Serbian kings of the Roman royalty  – Dusan, Uros, Sinisa, Jovan. Since then we have the flag of the royal Paleologue Family known by the Serbs as ”Four S”, while in reality it determines that the real ruler of the state is “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords“, that is part of the Jesus Christ Gospel, Revelation 19:12-16.

The seal of Prince Strojimir is proof that the Serbian state dates since the 9th century. The seal is made of gold, and weights 15.46 grams, and is 1.94 centimeters long, with the circular seal plaque of 1,35 cm in diameter. The seal of Prince Srojimir features cone shape and a quoit on top. The seal has round inscription field with the elevated part of the Patriarch cross around which is written in Greek “God help Strojimir”. The seal of Prince Srojimir was manufactured in one of the Byzantine royal goldsmiths in Thessaloniki, Athens or Tsarigrad. Existence of the Prince Strojimir’s seal proves that there was administration, archives and the royal office in that time Serbia which attributed the state. The Prince Stojimir’s double-sided cross on the seal testifies that his founder was a Christian, while it can be assumed that ancestors of the founder were also Christians, which opposes the former understanding that the Serbian princes received Christianity between 867 and 870. The seal of the Prince Strojimir can be seen in the exhibition of the Historical Museum of Serbia. 

The Serbian Medieval state of Rashka existed in the Dinaric space between the rivers of Ibar and Drina, and the Adriatic and the West Morava and Tara rivers and the Kupa and Posavina area. Since the beginning of the Middle age, maybe even before, Serbs are present in the eastern areas of Pomoravlje, Timok and the mountainous Banat, and in the sought in the areas of Podrimlje up to Povardarje and in present day Albania, although there mixed with the other Slavs. It is on this location that the eldest Serbian feudal states Raška /Raschka, Rascia, Rassa /, later Serbia and Duklja, later Zeta /the Adriatic littoral roughly from Kotor to Skadar/ and later Montenegro, were formed that unified neighboring Serbian tribes into the main Medieval Serbian state in the Balkans where Eastern Orthodox Christianity was accepted in the 9th century. Raška is geographical area in SW Serbia named after the river of the same name. In the western sources /Venice, Italy, Vatican, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Germany and Hungary/ the name of Rasciae /Raška/, Regnum Rasciae /Kingdom of Raška/ was accepted. This is how this area was called in western – Latin sources even in the time when the Serbian Medieval state extended its borders to the other Serbian and some neighboring states, during the reign of King Milutin and Tzar Dushan, in the 14th century. And later, until the end of the 19th century, this area and the wider region was known by the name of Raška, which was a synonym for Serbia, and Rascians for Serbs. In the Middle Ages Raška was one of the Serb zhupas – dukes, lords – whose zhupans since the beginning of the 12th century waged leadership of the Serb campaigns against Byzantine Empire instead of the fist Serb Statehood of Zeta, so the great zhupan /duke/ Stefan Nemanja became the most powerful among the Serb aristocracy at the beginning of the 12th century and created the state with its center at Ras, located near the present day of Novi Pazar. Under Stefan Nemanja and his descendants from Nemanja’s statehood the Kingdom of Serbia has been established, which developed into the Serbian Kingdom in the 14th century. Stefan Nemanja – Stephen Nemanya, whom the Byzantine emperor recognized as grand zhupan -grand duke- of Serbia in 1159, founded Nemanide Dynasty that ruled for two centuries. His son and successor assumed the title king of all Serbia in 1217 with the pope’s blessing. However, the king’s brother, Sava, the first archbishop of Serbia, succeeded in having papal influence eliminated from the kingdom; in 1219 he won recognition from the patriarch of Constantinople of an autocephalous Serbian Orthodox Church. The Serbian Medieval kingdom was at first overshadowed by the rapid rise of the Bulgarian empire under Ivan II (Ivan Asen), but under King Stephen Dušan, who became king in 1331 and Tsar in 1346, Serbia of Nemanya Dynasty became the most powerful empire in the Balkan Peninsula, much of which it absorbed.

Serbia was noted for its high economic, social, and cultural level in the Medieval era even by the European states. After Stephen’s death in 1355, however, the Serbian Empire decayed and fell victim to the onslaught of the Ottoman Turks. The fatal Maritza battle was fought on September 26th, 1371 on the river Maritsa, near the town Chernomen between the joint Serbian army of Despot John Uglješa and his brother – King Vukašin Mrnjavčević on one side and the Turks on the other. The Mrnjavčević brothers were not just defeated, they both lost their lives together with a substantial number of their soldiers. After the Serbs suffered defeat at the Maritsa River in 1371 in the Maritza Battle, it resulted in the farthest reaching consequences for the entire Balkans before the fall of Constantinople in 1453, as it opened the gates of Macedonia, Serbia and Greece to the Turks. Soon after that, the same year /1371/ died the last Serbian ruler, Stephen Urosh V, without male offspring. Place of the Maritza Battle in 1371, where the Serbian kings Vukasin and Ugljesa who led their armies clashed with the invading Ottomans was known as the “Sirf-Sindugi” – “The Serbian defeat”.

Milan Oljača: “The settling of the Banat area in the medieval period – at that time within Hungary, started already after the defeat in the Battle of Maritza River in 1371. Historian Dušan J. Popović claimes that the Serbs lived in the Banat area during the arrival of the Hungars into the Pannonan Plain in 895, on which event writes also Mile Tomić who records some 70 Serb settlements of which Bazias was the oldest Serb settlement of the gorge type, established in 1200. Among the earliest medieval rulers who received estates in Banat were Dmitar Mrnjačević, “highly respected ruler and son of King Vukasin”, the brother of Marko Kraljević. He received possessions in the Vilagos land properties and title of the High duke of the Zarandan county. After him follows also despot Stefan Lazarević, and after him also Vuk Branković came into possession of lands. The Serbs from the South and the East Serbia were settled on those estates”.

The successor of the Serbian King Uros Nemanjic, Lazar Hrebeljanovic contented himself with the title Prince of Serbia. Prince Lazar was slain in 1389 in the bloody Battle of Kosovo Field in which the cream of Serbian nobility was massacred and the fate of independent Serbia sealed. Then the Serbian hero Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic lost his Kingdom to the Ottoman Turks, so Kosovo for Serbs retains its great symbolic significance and great identity feature. Prince Lazar’s son, despot Stephen Lazarevic was allowed by Sultan Beyazid I to rule /1389–1427/ over a diminished and divided Serbia, in the vassal relationship with obligation of paying tribute to the Turkish sultan, and fight on the side of the Turks, as was the case with other Christian princes and rules in the Balkans, among whom was the Byzantine emperor, too. There are historical evidences about difficult circumstances in which the Balkan peoples found themselves when the Turks invaded, conquered and almost destroyed the glorious Roman Empire whose inhabitants were forced not only to pay taxes to the Turks but were almost completely under their authority. Although Despot Stefan Lazarevic and his successor, George Brankovich /ruled 1427–56/, received the title of despots /vassal lords/ from the Byzantine Empire, the Turks gradually absorbed their /vassal/ lands. The quarrel over the Brankovich succession facilitated the fell of Smederevo fortress and complete annexation of Serbia by the Turkish Sultan Muhammad II in 1459. Belgrade, then held by Hungary has fallen to the Turks in 1521. The fall of Constantinople /1453/, Smederevo in Serbia /1459/, Jajce in Bosnia /1463/, and Bihać in Croatia /1592/ by the Turkish conquest moved the borders between Europe and Orient far to the West. During the centuries-long Turkish occupation of Serbia, national traditions and the memory of the Dušan’s empire were preserved by the Serbian Orthodox Church.


Serbia became a Turkish province with its pashas residing at Belgrade. Turkish rule in Serbia was oppressive while the the Serbian nobility was annihilated and Christian peasants were treated like virtual slaves. At the end of the 17th century Austria declared war to the Ottoman Empire which made the Serb population believe into possibility of the soon possible liberation from the Turkish yoke. However, when Serb eventually understood that they were used as a tool for reciprocal fights, all Serb hopes dispersed like smoke and had resulted in the Great Serb migration led by Patriarch Arsenije Carnojevic to the far and distant northern areas. Many Serbs fled to Hungary and Austria from the southern part of the country persecuted by the Turks. Islam was in a period of expansion during this time, especially in Raška, Kosovo and Bosnia regions. Many Serbs and Croats converted to Islam, which eventually led to the forming of the Bosniak nation. The Ottoman period was a defining one in the history of the country; Slavic, Byzantine, Arabic and Turkish cultures suffused. Many contemporary cultural traits can be traced back to Ottoman period. Occupation of Serbia lasted until the uprising against Turkish yoke in 1804, so in 1867 the last Turkish troops left Serbia.

‘The historical migrations are long and arduous process of resettlement of the Serb population towards the north. The migration process of the Serbs from the areas of the present narrow Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Old Serbia with Macedonia started close after the fall of the Serbian Despotate and the Kingdom of Bosnia and lasted nearly until the end of the 18th century, with the most notable and the most massive migration of the Great Migration of the Serbs in 1690 under the leadership of the Patriarch Arsenius III Carnojevich. The demographic flow of the Serb population into the Hapsburg Monarchy caused the creation of separate communities, and later the Military Frontier – Vojna Krajina with the aim of defense of the frontier areas from the Turkish invasions. The areas of Dalmatia up to Timisoara and Arad and from the Sava and the Danube Rivers to Saint Andrew formed the unified space which enabled „survival“, and preservation and revival of the Serbian culture’. Izvor Blagoje Mišić

The constitution of Serbia of 1869, granting more power to the Skupština /Parliament/ after the Congress of Berlin, reestablished Serbia as a state which obtained formal independence in 1878. The strengthening of parliamentary government and expansion of the economy greatly raised Serbia’s prestige and exerted a powerful attraction on the South Slavs who remained under Austrian-Hungarian rule. The so-called Customs War that started in 1906 between Austria-Hungary and Serbia with Belgrade which was the natural obstacle for the large empire for the economic break through towards Thessaloniki and further to the east. The economic war meant too high custom fees applied on the export from Serbia. Earlier were terminated all contracts for export of goods with Serbia which was not able to export anything under those conditions. The smart Minister of finance of Serbia, Lazar Paču found new markets in Europe and largely enlarged the trade turnover for 100% and strengthened the Serbian dinar by which he covered the national budget in the value of 103 million of golden dinars.

“After the Balkan wars Serbia and Greece made border along the Shkumba river when portions of Shkoder, Durres, Tirana and Elbasan belonged to the Serbs, and parts of Berat and Valona to the Greeks. After that followed the ultimatum of Austria and Great Britain when the Serbs and the Greeks were forced to withdraw in favor of creation of the new state from the Arnavul tribes. However, general Božidar Janković who was the chief commander of liberation of the Old Serbia and Macedonia opposed the withdrawal, especially from  Shkoder and Durres, having in mind the Serb casualties and geostrategic importance. Yet, Nikola Pašić and King Petar decided to accept the ultimatum and so avoid the already started Great War, by the aggression of Austria-Hungary”. Source Vuk V. Draškić  

Austria-Hungary’s annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908 was designed to quell sentiment in that region for union with Serbia. In 1912 Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia established the Balkan League and declared war on the waning Ottoman Empire and stripped it of most of its remaining European possessions. The First Balkan War started on the 8th October 1912 and ended on 30th May 1913 with victory of Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria over the Ottoman Empire. However by the Treaty of London the great powers opposed the strategic plan on exit of Serbia to the Adriatic sea. The aim of Kingdom of Serbia of waging the First Balkan war in 1912 was regaining the historical areas of Kosovo vilayet – administrative division, and exit to the Adriatic sea with taking over part of the Albanian shores which the Serbian Army had achieved by taking larger part of Albania and establishment of the Durres county, under leadership of King Peter I Karadjordjevic and with support of leading politicians and intellectuals. The Treaty of London dealt with territorial adjustment and new borders between the Balkan associates on one side and the Ottoman Empire on the other, with creation of the Albanian state from whose coast the Serbian Army was forced to retreat. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the initially numerically inferior /significantly superior by the end of the conflict/ and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success. The First Balkan War was a comprehensive and unmitigated disaster for the Ottomans, who lost 83% of their European territories and 69% of their European population. As a result of the war, the Balkan League captured and partitioned almost all of the Ottoman Empire’s remaining territories in Europe. Ensuing events also led to the creation of an independent Albania on Serbian and Greek land, which angered the Serbs and the Greeks. Bulgaria, meanwhile, was dissatisfied over the division of the spoils in Macedonia, and attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece, on 16 June 1913 which provoked the start of the Second Balkan War. The Second war in the Balkan Peninsula was fought in 1913, again over boundaries. Bulgaria attacked Serbia and Greece, leading to an invasion and a partial dismemberment of Bulgaria by its former Balkan allies and Turkey.

As per Turkish inventory, in 1903 there were over 900.000 Serbs living in the northern Greece. In 1925 in the area of the northern Greece the genocide was committed against the Serbs. Then some 500.000 Serbs were forcibly displaced and had to flee from the northern Greece to the border of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, seeking refugee in their home country. After rejection, they continued to Bulgaria where they were received …

In 1913 the Austrians informed the Italian government that they were going to invade Serbia and the Austrian National Archive (Österreichisches Staatsarchiv) Vienna released the statement „Serbia must die“ (Serbien muss Sterbien), ounting with „quick victory of the Austrian-Hungarian troops, already in August” as it was believed that Serbia weakened during the Balkan wars in 1912/13. The Italian Prime Minister in 1914 cited this fact to claim that: ‘The telegram indicates that the assassination of the Archduke was the occasion rather than the cause of Austria’s ultimatum to Serbia, and it reveals the reason for Austria’s action – invading Serbia in July, 1914‘. The Ultimatum of Austria-Hungary on Serbia was extreme on purpose – the Austrians hoped that the Serbs would reject it, giving them the excuse to invade. England, Russia and France have agreed among themselves … to take the Austrian-Serbian conflict as an excuse for waging a war of extermination against Germany. In fact, the Austrian Chief of Staff General Hotzendorf had asked for a ‘surprise’ war to destroy Serbia more than 25 times in the eight years after 1906. The Great War – WWI began as an amalgamation of many different factors and causes – Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism and Lack of International Organization to install rules and regulations for international affairs, based on individual treaties, forged between nations that were sometimes contradicted with treaties with other nations. The Christian Kaisers from Berlin and Vienna started a brutal and merciless crusade against the Serbs, who have been, with all their Southern Slav brothers from Croatia and Slovenia, a protecting barrier for them during centuries. Now it is a question which is really the Christian nation: the Serbs, who unsupported and suffered horribly for Christianity during five hundred years, of the Germans, who made their glory allied with Islam, in crushing the little Serbian nation? read more Kosovo Day 1389-1916 – For Cross and Freedom

Victorious in Balkan wars and the World War I, Serbian army fought bravely, but in 1915, when Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and Germany reinforced the Austrians, Serbia was overrun. Serbia’s soldiers had rendered heroic admirable efforts which, after a terrible struggle against a formidable enemy, unbearable sufferings and casualties, typhus, starvation, exhaustion and privations of all sorts, led them over the impassable snow-covered mountains of Albania – ‘Albanian Alps’, across the sea to Corfu and to Salonika-Thessaloniki, from where, with the help of their valiant allies, they fought their way back to their country, and to Freedom, and to Union with their brethren in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. There were 400.000 Serbian soldiers and civilians retreating through the gigantic Albanian mountains during the Great Serbian Retreat or the Albanian Golgotha of which 150.000 survived. The hardest and the most horrific route along the gigantic mountains as per testimony of Milutin Velimirovic was the way across Cafa Kumulus – Prizren – Zur – Ljum kula – Fani Bisak – Oros – Lieze. Of those who survived, 4.500 died and perished in the Greek Island of Vido. In World War I, Serbia had 1,264,000 casualties — 28% of its total population, and 58% of its male population, which is real demographic catastrophe. Due to the massive loss of life, the Serbian army’s retreat through Albania is considered by Serbs to be one of the greatest tragedies in their nation’s history. The survivors of the Albanian retreat were so weakened that thousands of them died from sheer exhaustion in the weeks after their rescue. The Serbian troops and government were evacuated to the Greek island of Kérkira /Corfu/ Krf, where in 1917 Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, and Montenegrin representatives proclaimed the Union of South Slavs. In 1918 the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, headed by Peter I of Serbia, officially came into existence. The positive Western perception of Serbia was built during the First World War when the Serbs stood essentially alone in the Balkans against the Central Powers.

“Because of the Serbs the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and Germany started the First World War – the Great War. The first attack of the Great War was carried out in August 1914 towards Belgrade and Serbia and it were the Serbs who finished this war. The end of this largest ever global conflict in the history of mankind led to two phenomenon: 1/ the Break-out of Thessaloniki front and 2/ the American intervention in the Western front. The break-out of Thessaloniki fron of the Serbian Army started on 14th September 1918 with the famous battle of Dobro Polje – then the part of South Serbia which is today unfortunately and for no reason located in the artificial communist formation of “North Macedonia”. The break-out of Thessaloniki front first by the Serbian Army and then the French Army in September 1918 led to capitulation of Bulgaria and complete collapse of Austria-Hungary, while the American intervention led to the breakdown of extremely powerful German Reich. Since April 1917 when the States entered the war, they collected the army of incredible 4 million soldiers, and in summer of 1918 they sent 10000 soldiers daily to France that Germany could not resist”. Source: Istorija Srbije

Serb’s love for the country and love for freedom and the patriotic and heroic epic poetry of Serbs attracted numerous international personalities, from Napoleon to Goethe, from Byron to Victor Hugo. The recently published book, the ‘Retreat to Victory in 1915‘, written by Nancy Cramer is the epic story of the Serbian army’s retreat to safety and subsequent return to defeat the Bulgarians.  Please see what the author, Mrs Nancy Cramer says : Why I wrote this book, as this is the story that all visitors to Serbia should know about, so feel free to contact us for ordering your copy of this precious book on the Serbian fatal history, superhuman courage, patriotism and the soul of Serbia, as the author claims.

15 September 1918 remembers the day that the Serbian Army with an Allied army in WWI broke through the Austro-Hungarian and the other Central Powers’ lines on the 450 km long Salonica campaign – Thessaloniki front. On one line of the Salonica campaign were French, British and Serbian soldiers, whom later joined some Greek and Italian soldiers, while on the other line of the Salonica front were divisions of Austria-Hungary, Germany and Bulgaria, well dig into trenches. This directly contributed to the end of this terrible war and to the liberation of Serbia and the South Slavic peoples in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Serbian army had been reborn from the Golgotha of defeat, the long march through Albania, starvation, epidemics and unbelievable human suffering. Already in 1916 the Serbian Army reached the Kajmakchalan peak of the Nidze Mountainn, 2524 m, with huge casualties and fierce fight hand to hand with the Bulgarians. Story of heroism, perseverance, sacrifice and loyalty was celebrated from Washington D.C. to Paris and uplifted the morale of the Alliance. Day of capitulation of Germany in the First World War /Remembrance Day/ is public holiday in Republic of Serbia, celebrated on the 11th November. This day marks the 11th November 1918 when the Armistice of Compiègne was signed by the Entente powers and Germany which officially ended the First World War.

At the Peace Conference in Versailles in 1919 when the end of the Firt World War was finally determined, the President of the French Government George Clemenso said: ‘Before I leave this podium at the finalization of thie Conference, I must express my huge sorrow that one large historical name dissapers from the political stage which is Serbia’.

….”In the Compiègne wagon near Paris of Marshal Foch of France, Germany capitulated on 11 November 1918 at 11 hours, on the 11th day or the 11th month, by signing the Armistice with the Entante powers – Allied governments of the war victories which came into effect then. This date was commemorated in the West since 1919 as the Remembrance Day or the Veterans Day, while Serbia celebrates it as the public holiday of the Armistice Day.  …. This armistice carriage played great symbolic role in the Second World War. Due to revenge, Hitler forced the French authorities to sign the humiliating capitulation in 1940, and later transferred it to Berling. In 1945 this armistice carriage wagon ended in the German Province of Thyringhia where Nazis destroyed it. After the war, in 1946 the constructor company of the old wagon – “Compagnie Internationale des Wagon-Lits” donated reconstruction of the same wagon repica from 1918 and today it is the main iten exposed at the Memorial Museum of Compiegne. There were flags of the winner governments of the First Word War positioned in the wagon. However, after the Second Word War the French authorities and the Entente states refused to post the Yugoslav communist flag with five-pointed red star which remained so until 2009. Their explanataion was simple – Yugoslavia was not winner in the First WW and the state mix of defeated and winners in this war, on whose top since 1945 were defeated units dressed into communist clothes, who do not deserve their flat to be exposed in such important place. Finally, during the special ceremony in 2009, the Serbian flag was after 63 yearas returned among victory flags to the armistice carriage in Compiegne, along with clear message : winners of the Great War were the Serbs and nobody else deserves to decorate with victories paied with the Serbian blood”. Đorđe Vukmirović 

On March 27, 1941, two days after the Yugoslav government signed a controversial pact with the Axis powers, Yugoslav air officers, aided by the British secret services, toppled the country’s pro-Axis regime. Although the Yugoslav Kingdom under King Peter II signed a friendship and non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union on 05 April 1941, the Nazi leader – German Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler gave the direct order to “destroy the Yugoslavian state by military force”, by launching a massive invasion of the country that began on April 6 /on the Easter/ with the severe bombing of Belgrade. After the military capitulation of the Yugoslav Army on 17 April 1941, Yugoslavia was distributed between Germany, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria. More than 300,000 Yugoslav officers and soldiers were taken prisoner, while only 200 Germans died in the conquest of Yugoslavia. During the World War II, Serbia was a German-occupied puppet state that included present-day Central Serbia and Banat, popularly called Nedić’s Serbia. However, parts of the present-day territory of Serbia were occupied by Hitler collaborator Croatian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Albanian, and Italian armies. The legendary WW2 Serbian general Draza Mihajlovic led the King’s Army against Hitler, the communists and the monstrous Croat ustase, but was stabbed in back by Churchill who inexplicably switched British support to Tito’s communists. It is still hard to understand why Churchill made his fateful decision to switch sides from Royalists to Communists.

The occupying powers committed numerous crimes against the civilian population, especially against the Serbs and the Jews, with the Serbs especially brutalized. “On the fourth day of the war attack of Germany, on the 10th April 1941 the Croatian Banovina /region/ separated from the attacked Yugoslavia and joined Hitler and German associates in invasion of Yugoslavia. By this event the war agains Yugoslavia turned into the war of the Croats against the Serbs, and only against the Serbs living there. By this, the war aim and its purpose proclaimed by Hitler was achieved – that the attack on Yugoslavia become punitive military-political expedition exclusively against the Serbs”. Žarko Vidović, “Srbi u Jugoslaviji i Evropi”

From 1941 to 1945, a systematic persecution and genocide was committed against the Serbian people in both Serbia proper, Croatia and Bosnia. About 1,000.000 Serbs perished. The result of attack on Kingdom of Yugoslavia already in 1939 of 870000 soldiers was division of its territory among Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary. The most brutal were Croatian Fascists Ustashi. ” We shall kill one part of the Serbs, we shall transport another, and the rest will be forced to convert, ” so said Dr. Mile Budak Minister of Education and Creeds in Croatia on July 22, 1941. In the concentration camp of Jasenovac, the most heinous crimes recorded in history were committed on more than 700,000 men women and children. (When in 1984 the Serbian Patriarch German consecrated the memorial church in Jasenovac, he said “Forgive we must, forget we cannot”). It was customary for Ustashi to torture Serbian people, tie them in bundles and throw into pits. Examples of such terrible crimes are numerous. In the village of Prebilovci, near Medjugorje in Hercegovina, 870 people were massacred. Nearly 50 years later their remains were exhumed and laid to rest in a newly built memorial church. Both the church and the remains were dynamited after the secession of Bosnia in 1992.

Broz received 80.000 Ustashi into partisans and brought them to Serbia with the aim of ‘liberation’. Without trail the communist regime executed 250.000 people. 50.000 Serbian youth were killed in the Srem Front – the Syrmian Front. Bombardment of the Allied Forces lasted from October 1943 until September 1944 and caused tenths of thousands of innocent civilians killed in towns of Nis, Leskovac, Alibunar, Uzice, Cuprija, Kraljevo, Novi Pazar , Smederevo Subotica, Prijepolje, Sjenica…. Numerous economic facilities and strategic and military targets were destroyed – airport, shipyard, factories, markets, railway communications – bridges, railways, marshaling yards,…. even the Sajmiste Concentration camp experienced huge damage in bombardment of Belgrade, on the 17th April 1944 ! 

From 1945 Serbia was one of the six consistent units of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. „Brotherhood and unity” as a political formula was coined by the Yugoslav Communist Party during World War II. As one of the political values created during the people’s liberation struggle, it became part of the revolutionary tradition and thus affected the shaping of the Yugoslav post-war historic and social consciousness. Known as Tito’s Yugoslavia, led by the Yugoslav Communist Government until 1992, Yugoslavia consisted of united socialist Republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia.

In 1986, Slobodan Milošević became leader of the Serbian Communist party. In year of 1991 civil war was unsuccessfully prevented. Despite the civil wars in neighboring Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Nations imposed economic sanctions on Yugoslavia. UN Sanctions were eased in September 1994 after Serbia announced it was cutting off aid to the Bosnian Serbs, and in late 1995 in Dayton USA, Presidents of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia signed a peace, and brought an end to a totally unnecessary conflict. Fall of the Republika Srpska Krajina /RSK/ and exodus of several hundreds thousands of Serbs from Croatia in August 1995 is the only one of the tragedies caused by break-up of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. This makes the largest, the most abhorrent, the dirties and bloodiest prank to a civilized European nation at the very end of the 20th century, while explanations of the events are simplified to vulgarity, full of escape of responsibilities, and of unacceptable cynical transfer of guiltiness on others.

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) remained peaceful until 1998, when the clashes with controversial K.L.A. started in Kosovo province. The desire of the major of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo for independence or for union with Albania resulted in terrorism, violence and bloody war. Beginning in 1989, Milošević ended Kosovo’s autonomy, which Tito fronteered and granted in the 1974 constitution, and sent in troops to suppress the protests of Kosovo’s Albanian majority.

Between 1998 and 1999 continued clashes in Kosovo between Yugoslav security forces and the K.L.A. ended with NATO aerial attack by bombardment to Yugoslav military and civil targets which lasted for 78 days. The NATO attacks stopped when Serbian president Slobodan Milošević agreed to remove all security forces, including the military and the police, and have them replaced by a body of international police, in return for which Kosovo would formally remain within the Yugoslav Federation.

From 1992 until the 2003, Serbia, together with Montenegro, was part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The Democratic Opposition of Serbia /DOS/ won early parliamentary elections held /December 2000/ after Milošević lost the Yugoslavian presidency to Vojislav Koštunica, and formed the first non-communist, non-socialist government in Serbia in 55 years. Zoran Djindjić became the prime minister of Serbian Government. The DOS pledged to create a market economy and to dismantle the authoritarian state Milošević had established, and subsequently /2001/ turned the former president over to the UN war crimes tribunal at the Hague. Relations between Djindjić and Yugoslavian president Koštunica became increasingly strained, with the prime minister more concerned about improving the economy and relations with Western Europe than preserving the Yugoslavian federation. Djindjić was assassinated on March 12. 2003, and Serbian officials accused a criminal gang of responsibility. The assassination resulted in extensive arrests of governmental, security, and criminal figures associated with organized crime and the former Milošević regime.

From 2003 to 2006, Serbia was part of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, into which the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had been transformed.

On March the 17th 2004 Kosovo erupted in anti-Serb violence that appeared designed to exclude Serb population from mixed urban and edged rural areas. Enormous number of Serbian and World cultural heritage monuments were devastated. Koštunica called, as he had before, for the partition of province into Albanian and Serb cantons. The United Nations and Albanians from Kosovo rejected that solution, but Serbia remains opposed to complete independence for Kosovo, and the ultimate status of Kosovo is unresolved.

The former President of Serbia was Boris Tadić, a pro-Western reformer and the leader of the Democratic Party (DS), who was elected with 53% of the vote in the second round of the Serbian presidential election held on 27 June 2004, following several unsuccessful elections since 2002. The current President of Serbia is Tomislav Nikolic, from the SNS /progressives/ Party.

On May 21, 2006, Montenegro held a referendum to determine whether or not to end the union with Serbia. The next day, state-certified results showed 55.5% of voters in favor of independence, which was just above the 55% required by the referendum. On June the 3rd, the Parliament of Montenegro declared Montenegro independent of the State Union and on June the 5th, the National Assembly of Serbia declared Serbia the successor to the State Union as Republic of Serbia.

The Serbian Parliament adopted the new Constitution of Serbia in a solemn session on November 8, 2006 in the House of Parliament in Belgrade. The Constitution of Serbia comes into force on the day of its proclamation. For the first time a Serbian constitution was proclaimed in the representative Parliament edifice at the Nikola Pašić Square, where all constitutions of the former Yugoslavia were proclaimed.

The Serbs have been constantly demonised because they have consistently got in the way of the west’s hegemonic ambitions in the region. Due to its long and eventful history Serbia offers numerous amazing and exciting sights to be explored.