Wikijunior Europe: Serbia
Serbia (Република Србија / Republika Srbija in Serbian language) is a country located in south eastern Europe in the Balkan peninsula. Its neighbours are Bosnia & Hercegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro (which was part of a union between Serbia and Montenegro until 2006). Within Serbia there are officially two autonomous regions: Vojvodina and Kosovo Metohija, however, in February 2008 Kosovo declared itself independent from Serbia although the many countries in the world have not recognised this independence including Serbia. The capital of Serbia is Belgrade. Other big cities in Serbia are Novi Sad and Niš. The currency of Serbia is the dinar.
Serbia has a long history and has been part of many different countries and empires over the centuries including the Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire and, more recently, Yugoslavia. During the 1990s Serbia (the dominant part of Yugoslavia, especially after other countries became independent) fought several wars directly or indirectly in the region. The Yugoslav Army (mostly under the command of Serbs) fought wars in Slovenia and Croatia and the Yugoslav Government (then consisting of just Serbia and Montenegro) aided and funded paramilitary groups during the Bosnian War. At the end of the 1990s Serbia was bombed by NATO and withdrew from Kosovo (which is populated mostly by Albanians but considered to be the birthplace of the Serbian people and their church).
Serbia a landlocked country in Central and South-eastern Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. Serbia is bordered by Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the west.
The Serbian climate varies between a continental climate in the north, with cold winters, and hot, humid summers, and a more Adriatic climate in the south with hot, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy inland snowfall.
The people of Serbia are a mixture of many nationalities. 7 million people live in Serbia. The majority of people who live in Serbia are Serbian. Other nationalities include Hungarians, Muslims (Serbian and Bosnian), Albanians, Slovaks and Roma.
Tourism in Serbia is mostly focused on the villages and mountains of the country. The most famous mountain resorts are Zlatibor, Kopaonik, and the Tara. There are also many spas in Serbia, one the biggest of which is Vrnjačka Banja. Other spas include Soko Banja and Niška Banja. There is a significant amount of tourism in the largest cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, but also in the rural parts of Serbia like the volcanic wonder of Đavolja varoš, Christian pilgrimage across the country and the cruises along the Danube, Sava or Tisza. There are several popular festivals held in Serbia, such as the EXIT Festival and the Guča trumpet festival. Nightlife in Belgrade and Novi Sad is popular with locals and tourists alike and the largest clubs in Belgrade attract clubbers from all over south-eastern Europe.
There are 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Serbia including a collection of monasteries and churches located in Kosovo. Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerius in the east of the country dates back to the 3rd Century CE and was built by the Romans. Studenica Monastery, in the west, is Serbia's largest monastery.
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