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.
21. Earthquakes are quite common in Serbia, and the country gets devastated with these natural disasters multiple times a year. See more insights about earthquakes
22. Sex Ratio: There are 0.95 males for every female in Serbia.
23. The country spends 10.6% and 4.8% of its GDP on health-related expenditures and education, respectively.
24. There are 122 municipalities in Serbia.
25. There are 130 mobile and 40 landline connections for every 100 people.
26. In Serbia, the internet is used by almost 50% of the population.
27. For 500 years Serbia was ruled by the Ottoman Empire (Turks).
28. The majority of Serbian last names end with ‘ic.’
29. Serbia is ahead of the Swiss in clock making. They started doing this almost 600 years before the Swiss took over the industry heavily and made their name worldwide.
30. Serbia became a member of the UNESCO Executive Board recently (2015).
31. According to statistics, Serbians are known to be the most hospitable people in the world. They believe that they won’t gain any favor from the gods if they are not hospitable to their guests.
32. Do you love raspberries? A fact about Serbia is that it is the largest exporter of raspberries in the world. It contributes 30% of all raspberries to the international market.
33. Serbians love the game of football.
34. Ivo Andric is the only Nobel Prize winner from Serbia. He won the esteemed award for literature in 1961.
35. Nikola Tesla, regarded as one of the most important inventors in history, was born on July 10, 1856 in Serbia (now Croatia). He died as a Serbian American (the name for United States of America citizens of Serb ethnic ancestry.) Tesla created great inventions and made discoveries in the disciplines of electric current and magnetism. His name is also used in the unit of magnetic induction (T). Read more about Nikola Tesla here.
36. Some of the other renowned scientists from Serbia, apart from Nikola Tesla, include Milutin Milanković (mathematician, astronomer, climatologist, geophysicist, civil engineer), Mihajlo I. Pupin (physicist and physical chemist), Josif Pančić (botanist, doctor, famous lecturer), Mihailo Petrović Alas (mathematician and inventor), Mileva Marić (physicist) and Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (philologist and linguist). In spite of its turbulent history, the country has produced enormous talent in the field of science.
37. Another famous person from Serbia from the field of sports is Novak Djokovic. He is a professional tennis player who holds the number-one ATP ranking at the time of this writing. He has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles to this day. You can visit his website here.
39. Some of the beautiful and talented women from the country include: Ana Ivanovic – tennis player, Nina Senicar – model, Manja Babovic – model, Stanija Dobrojevic – model, Natasa Vojnovic – model, Ana Mirkovic – model, Nina Senicar – model and Danijela Dimitrovksa – model.
40. A fifth of all Roman rulers were born in Serbia between the 3rd and 4th centuries.
41. A donation of $5.4 million to help revive the economy of the Bosnian town of Srebrenica – site of a 1995 Massacre – was made recently by the Serbian government. This town had seen a massacre of 8000 Muslims by Serbians almost 20 years ago. And the government wants to make up for the loss of brotherhood by uplifting the town’s condition and of those who still inhabit the place.
42. Serbia installed its first ever wind power house at the ‘Kula wind farm.’ The country is aiming for 500 MW of wind capacity by 2020.
43. Serbian people are very brave, which they proved back in 1918. At that time, their army broke the Thessaloniki front in a mere 18 days. Other armies, including the British, Italian, Greek and French, also attempted the task, but were not able to do it, even in months.
Some quick facts about Serbia
|National anthem||"Boze pravde" (God of Justice)|
|Total area||77,474 sq km|
|National anthem tune|
|Borders||Hungary, Romanai, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Currency||Serbian dinar (RSD)|
|Religion||Serbian Orthodox Church (Major)|
|Life expectancy||75.47 years (2016)|
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|Independence||5 June 2006 (from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro)|
|National symbols||double-headed eagle; national colors: red, blue, white|
|Terrain||extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills|
|Natural resources||oil, gas, coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, chromite, gold, silver, magnesium, pyrite, limestone, marble, salt, arable land|
|Government type||parliamentary republic|
|Industries||automobiles, base metals, furniture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, sugar, tires, clothes, pharmaceuticals|
|Exports||$12.8 billion (2015 est.)|
Italy 16.2%, Germany 12.6%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 8.7%, Romania 5.6%, Russia 5.4% (2015)
|Imports||$17.21 billion (2015 est.)|
machinery and transport equipment, fuels and lubricants, manufactured goods, chemicals, food and live animals, raw materials
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$13,700 (2015 est.)|
|Birth rate||9.08 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)|
|Death rate||13.66 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)|
|Sex ratio||0.95 male(s)/female (2015 est.)|
|Internet users||4.688 million|
percent of population: 65.3% (July 2015 est.)
|Internet country code||.rs|
|Time Zone||CET (UTC+1) |
|Drives on the||Right|