Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a sovereign state situated at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe. Notably, a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife in 1914, which became the catalyst for World War I. With these 43 interesting facts about Serbia, let’s learn about its history, economy, geography, notable personalities and more…
1. Did you know that Serbia is the place of the highest number of Roman emperors born in one country? Yes, 18 Roman rulers were born in this country and it accounts for a fifth of all Roman emperors.
2. Most villages in the world are made of houses and other structures built on different types of material. But in Serbia, there is a village located in Mt. Stara Planina that is made entirely out of stone. This village, known as Gostuša has all of its houses and other structures made out of mud, stone and natural materials and no other material. You would think that because these materials are weak compared to other modern building materials that the houses would have collapsed due to age but you are wrong. These houses are still very strong and structurally sound that people still live in them today.
3. The tallest stone gates in Europe are located in Serbia. These gates, which are three in number, are called the Little Prerast, the Big Prerast, and the Dry Prerast. Contrary to what the names might suggest, Little Prerast is the biggest among the three. It measures 34 meters in height, 30 meters in length, and 15 meters in width.
4. Serbia has its own Grand Canyon. The Temštice river canyon is a canyon in Serbia that strikingly resembles the Grand Canyon of the Colorado because its red cliffs.
5. Did you know the first vampire was not count Dracula? Yes, Dracula was not the first. The first vampire in the world who was also extensively written about in the Austrian press in 1725 was Petar Blagojević. In fact the word vampire was derived from the Serbian word, Vampir.
6. We all know that the first video transmission between North America and Europe was done in 1963 because of the launch of the first telecommunications satellite. But what most people do not know is that the video featured a fresco from the Mileševa monastery in Serbia known as the White Angel. So you can safely say that Serbia took part in the breakthrough that was intercontinental telecommunication.
7. Have you ever seen an insect dance? Well, if you have never seen it, then visit Serbia in June. This dance occurs during a phenomenon called the Blooming of the Tisza River. The Palingenia longicauda, which is an insect performs a romantic and melancholic dance of life and death as spectators watch in amazement for 12 minutes.
8. Serbians too played a major role in the first moon landing. Though they might not have contributed financially, theirs was a contribution of manpower. Three Serbians took part in that project, which was known as Apollo. Also, a Serbian named Mihajlo Pipin is among the founders of NASA.
9. We all know that islands do not float but reach deep into the earth’s crust just like any other land form. But in Serbia, there are two lakes named Vlasina and Semeteš where islands float on the lakes surfaces.
10. There are globes in Serbia that are filled with mystery. Firstly, nobody can tell for certain the origin of these globes named the Povlen globes. Scientists say that they originated from volcanic activity, while others claim that they were created by aliens. There are also those who claim that these globes posses healing and miraculous powers.
11. Serbia is a landlocked country.
12. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the largest cities in Southeast Europe.
13. Serbia formed a union with Montenegro in 1992, and spilt up again in 2006 to become independent.
14. It is ranked 77th in the world on the Human Development Index.
15. The name “Serbia” comes from the Greek language, meaning “land of the Serbs.”
16. Serbia has five national parks: Đerdap, Fruška Gora, Kopaonik, Šar-planina and Tara. You can explore more about these Serbian national parks here.
17. Serbia is slightly smaller than South Carolina in area.
18. It has a total land boundary of 2,322 kilometers and no coastline, as it is a landlocked country.
19. The lowest point, 35 m, is at the Danube and Timok Rivers, and the highest point is Midzor at 2,169 m.
20. Serbia’s agricultural land area is approximately 58%, while forests cover 31.6% of its total land area.