A city for a champion: Belgrade, the birthplace of Novak Djokovic



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A city for a champion: Belgrade, the birthplace of Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is one of the Big Three of the Game, one of the strongest tennis players in tennis history, who is marking a series of impressive records and titles. With 17 Majors, he is in third place in the Slam Race, after Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Badal (19).

Just some days ago the Serb champion said he will play the Western and Southern Open and the US Open, this season both played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center di New York, a bubble to prevent all the problems due to global pandemic which is still hitting hardly the USA.

Djokovic was born in Belgrade, a city to be discovered and explored. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with cultural influences dating back almost five millennia, with traces left by the Celts, Romans and Byzantines.

The place from which to start to discover Belgrade is the Fortress, which stands at the point where the Sava and Danube rivers meet. The Romans chose it as a permanent military settlement in the 2nd century BC, the period of the IV Legion of Flavius.

They built the Castrum of which the remains of the rectangular tower are still visible in the north-east side of the medieval upper town. The present shape of the Belgrade Fortress dates back to the 18th century. The Temple of San Sava is the largest Orthodox church in the world: during the Ottoman rule the Serbs had monasteries as a place of worship and especially that of Mileševa which housed the relics of Saint Sava.

Ulica Skadarlija is the bohemian district, with its lights, places where you can taste typical dishes and live music.

Between amazing districts, museums and monuments

Stari Dvor which dates back to the period 1882 and 1884, now the seat of the Belgrade City Hall, and the Serbian and Baroque Parliament are other highlights of the city.

Along the Sava River there is Ada Ciganlija, an island that in 1967 was connected to the mainland by three dams, effectively becoming a peninsula with an artificial lake. Terazije Square is another highlight of the city. The Museum of the History of Yugoslavia is one of the most important in the city, while the Republic Square, right in the center of Belgrade, was built on the occasion of the liberation of the Serbs from Turkish rule in 1867.

The district of Zemun seems almost not to be part of Belgrade for its particular architecture and, in fact, the style is not Ottoman but Habsburg. Among the various dishes to try his main dish is the čorba, a soup that can contain various ingredients but which traditionally consists of meat or veal entrails and which Serbs eat as an appetizer before main courses. The mixed meat burger, pljeskavica, accompanied by onions is also typical.